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Essex Police blasted (again) for victim-blaming filtering tweet; New law on dangerous driving, so Daily Record bangs on about cyclists in the “centre of the road”; No-saddle guy falls off his bike, indoors; Brailsford’s new signing + more on the live blog

Too many sad days, too many Tuesday mornings… Right, enough of the Pogues, as Ryan Mallon is back for your second helping of the live blog this week
02 August 2022, 16:25
Filtering, Essex Police’s top tips and the Daily Record comments section: Reader reaction

Some of you weren’t too impressed with Essex Police’s latest attempt to keep our roads safe:

Maybe the Essex police could rename their posts to: "Drivers tips on avoiding responsibility for knocking down vulnerable road users."

And why did they put "vehicles" in inverted commas?  Don't the Road Policing Unit know that motorcycles and bicycles are legally vehicles?

Could we start a league table of the most incompetent Road Policing Units?  Essex would definitely be in the top three.

Essex "police."

Martin73, however, was a touch more sympathetic to the police’s aims, and suggested a slight tweaking of their advice:

"Filtering is legal .... "

So is tap dancing blindfold on the edge of a cliff. Legal doesn't mean it is always safe or sensible.

I suggest a slight rewording:

"Filtering can be dangerous so be careful. As a smaller vehicle, drivers in cars and lorries may not see you approaching them from behind. If they haven’t checked their mirror before changing lanes, they may not see you until it’s too late. Your decision to filter through the traffic could result in you being injured or worse."

That pretty much sums up the advice I give as a L2 Cycle Training Instructor.

Some of you even ventured deep into the Daily Record comments section, and lived to tell the tale:

That Daily Record FB post has over 4,000 comments! FFS!!

Over 13,000 now.  Guess what the general theme is...

Is it "Yes, these are reasonable rules that help protect vulnerable cyclists who currently get treated like shit on the roads. Besides 99 percent of the delays and congestion that drivers experience is due to the excessive amount of cars on our roads"? Or am I off the mark?

Close, just the content, tone and intelligence of your comment is a little optimistic...

The top comments are all cyclist hate bingo but at least the top replies to those comments are almost universally disagreeing with them. Maybe at least those original commenters won't feel like they are in the screaming, yelling, tantrum throwing, policy forming, pedestrian murdering "silent majority" when they read the replies.

We can only hope…

02 August 2022, 15:56
How many ‘no cycling’ signs does one beach need?

“I thought you may enjoy this video of a man at one with his work in Tyneham Village, Dorset,” says road.cc reader Jason.

“Touching up the no cycling sign, which is beside another no cycling sign, which is beside a list of rules that includes no cycling…”

02 August 2022, 15:37
Tyne Pedestrian and Cyclist Tunnels (CC licensed by Jake Cook via Flickr)
Final stage of Tyne Pedestrian and Cyclist Tunnels refurb still incomplete

The final stage of the refurbishment of the Tyne Pedestrian and Cyclist Tunnels, reopened in 2019, has been delayed due to supply chain issues, the BBC reports.

The side-by-side pedestrian and cyclist tunnels together comprise a Grade II listed structure.

They were closed in 2013 and refurbished at an estimated cost of £17 million, forming an important link to the National Cycle Network, with access to National Route 14 (South Shields to Darlington) and National Route 72, Hadrian’s Cycleway (South Shields to Ravenglass), as well as to National Route 1.

> Over 10,000 cyclists used Tyne Tunnels in first two months after they reopened

Two wooden escalators were retained at either end of the tunnel, but they are no longer operational. Glass-sided inclined lifts were planned to replace them, with each lift to be able to take up to six people with bikes.

However, while the tunnels opened in 2019, supply chain issues mean that contractors are still waiting for the delivery of parts three years on.

British firm Lift Design Limited was brought in last year after Italian company Maspero Elevatori pulled out of the project citing Covid travel restrictions as the reason behind their inability to complete the lifts. There are suggestions that a legal claim could be made against the firm to recoup some of almost £600,000 spent on the lifts in the last two years.

Previous delays were blamed on the tunnel’s listed building status, the discovery of asbestos, and original contractor GB Building Solutions going bust.

Fiona Bootle, Tyne Tunnels Manager for Transport North East, has told a council meeting that the project was “waiting on the delivery of doors and a mechanism”.

“There is a problem with the supply chain, as there is in a lot of areas today, with the steel and glass for those doors,” she said.

Members of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee for the North East Joint Transport Committee have been told that the lifts will be completed “later in 2022”.

02 August 2022, 14:59
Van Dijk and De Gendt: an unbeatable Twitter combo?

Watch out Thomas, I think Ellen is coming for your social media crown…

02 August 2022, 14:33
Northern Ireland athlete finishes sixth in Commonwealth Games para-marathon – four years after being struck by SUV driver during time trial

In June 2018 Mark Millar was racing in the Ulster 100-mile time trial championships in Co. Antrim when he was struck from behind by a motorist driving an SUV.

According to Sticky Bottle, Millar broke his spine in four places in the collision and his spinal cord was severed, leaving him paralysed from the waist down.

Elaine Adu, the Christian pastor who hit Millar, was handed a year-long driving ban and ordered to complete 80 hours community service, a sentence the cyclist described at the time as a “joke”.

Within fifteen months of the life-changing crash, the now-42-year-old – who had competed at home and abroad in cycling and triathlon races (including three editions of the iconic Rás) before the collision – was back in competition at para-events.

At the weekend, Millar finished sixth in the Commonwealth Games para-marathon in Birmingham, capping a remarkable journey since 2018.

“I think I have to be delighted with that. It’s my first Commonwealth Games, I’m only in a wheelchair four years after a big accident so I’m delighted to get to this level and be competitive,” he said after the race.

“It has been a tough journey back but also a very rewarding one coming into wheelchair sport and progressing as quickly as I have. I was probably top ranked at the amateur level in cycling but long distance triathlon was my main sport whenever the accident happened.

“I had a good aerobic base so it was just a matter of getting the arms built up and I took to the wheelchair racing quite quickly, I also did a bit of para-triathlon.”

02 August 2022, 13:57
This Olympic champion is small, the one out there is far away…
02 August 2022, 13:21
Transcontinental update: Dash for the Danube underway

The finish line is in sight (kind of) for the leaders of the Transcontinental Race. Seven riders have made it through the fourth and final checkpoint before the finish in the Bulgarian coastal city of Burgas.

Christoph Strasser has maintained his lead, which he took yesterday morning, on the tough gravel section surrounding the Transalpina Pass, ahead of Ulrich Bartholmoes (who has been struggling with both his tracker and his legs in the poor conditions) and Adam Bialek.

Strategy – particularly concerning which ferry to board to cross the Danube on the way to Burgas – could decide the eventual winner, though it’s just been confirmed that Strasser has just made it across the river.

Can anyone catch him?

Meanwhile, seventh-placed Marin de Saint-Exupéry had time to chat with some locals on the Transalpina Pass:

And, of course, you can keep up-to-speed with all the dot-watching goodness on the race’s website.

02 August 2022, 12:41
‘Construction Traffic Beware Cyclists Going Straight Ahead’

That whole hierarchy of vulnerable road users thing, could you go over it one more time, please? 

02 August 2022, 11:52
‘Protected bike lanes are – checks notes – dangerous for drivers…’
02 August 2022, 11:29
Chad Tavernia No Saddle Cycle Jockey
“Who says Zwift isn’t a contact sport?”: No-saddle Chad falls off his bike… indoors

You may remember Chad Tavernia, otherwise known as the Cycle Jockey, or more pertinently, No Saddle Guy.

The 41-year-old retired law enforcement officer from Malone in New York State first popped into the road.cc consciousness just over a year ago after completing a century… while out of the saddle the whole time.

After being questioned over the validity of his initial outdoor effort (I’m looking at all you cynical people in the comments), he then repeated the feat indoors on rollers back in November, in order to silence the doubters. He even starred on the road.cc podcast a month later, proving that us cyclists really are suckers for anything to do with mindless suffering.

> What does it take to ride 100 miles out of the saddle? 

Well, yesterday Chad suffered in a slightly different way than usual while training on the rollers.

No-saddle Chad falls off bike indoors (via Zwift Riders Facebook group)

Posting on the popular Zwift Riders Facebook group, where he’s become a bit of a cult figure, Chad informed us that “a momentary lapse in concentration sent me off the rollers, arm first into two of my cooling fans”.

Ouch.

While the spectacular indoor fall (though who here hasn’t catapulted off their rollers at least once?) resulted in 15 stitches, Chad seemed more concerned about his lost PBs.

Thank goodness he had his saddle on this time…

02 August 2022, 10:57
“The perfect photo doesn’t ex…”: The coolest two-up time trial of all time?

Alexa, show me the perfect bike race…

Last night, at a post-Tour crit in the Dutch city of Roosendaal, the coolest ever two-up time trial in the history of pro cycling took place (sorry, Baracchi Trophy).

After the traditional men’s and women’s ‘races’, fans were treated to a once-in-a-lifetime sight, as Marianne Vos and Wout van Aert took on Tour Femmes champion Annemiek van Vleuten – just over 24 hours after her yellow jersey-sealing victory on La Planche des Belles Filles – and Mathieu van der Poel, and Ellen van Dijk and Bauke Mollema, with Jumbo-Visma’s jolly green giants coming out on top.

Along with being a nice, lucrative evening for the pros, van Dijk pointed out this morning that the crit also allowed them the opportunity to give Van der Poel and co. a share of the limelight for a change:

What a podium. 

02 August 2022, 10:16
Essex Police blasted (again) for ‘victim-blaming’ filtering tweet

Dear reader, I regret to inform you that Essex Police are at it again…

On Friday, we saw that the county’s Roads Policing Unit don’t take kindly to cyclists, after being recklessly overtaken by Range Rover drivers, effin’ and jeffin’ all over their social media.

Well, it turns out that they’re not that fond of cyclists filtering through traffic either.

In a since-deleted tweet, which was flagged by the Colchester Cycling Campaign, Essex Police advised cyclists and motorcyclists against filtering.

On their website, on a page titled “Keeping our vulnerable road users safe”, they also warned against filtering as part of their “top tips” for motorcyclists, alongside other useful guidance such as “don’t drink or drug drive”.

Under the heading, “Filtering is dangerous, don’t do it”, Essex Police reminded people using bikes, motorbikes, or e-scooters that “your decision to filter through the traffic could result in you being injured or worse”.

They continued: “As a smaller “vehicle”, drivers in cars and lorries may not see you approaching them from behind. If they haven’t checked their mirror before changing lanes, they may not see you until it’s too late.”

Needless to say, not everyone was impressed with Essex Police’s latest dabble in victim-blaming:

Oddly enough, since that latest backlash against their road safety ‘advice’, that particular tip has been removed from Essex Police’s website…

Perhaps the message is getting through?

02 August 2022, 09:28
Brailsford signs British star hoping for one final shot at glory… and no, it’s not Cav

The Tour de France may just have finished, but cycling’s silly season has already begun, with teams able to announce their singings for 2023 from yesterday.

We reported yesterday that Hayter the younger (more commonly known as Leo) will join Ineos as a stagiaire until the end of the season before going pro with the British team in 2023, while Eddie Dunbar has also confirmed his move to Team BikeExchange-Jayco and Norwegian star Alexander Kristoff has penned a deal with upcoming home team Uno-X.

Hayter Jnr’s signature wasn’t the only piece of business wrapped up by Ineos this week.

Yesterday, Sir Dave Brailsford was pictured at the grand unveiling of an aging British star with something to prove.

Yep, that’s right, Mark Caven- oh, wait… Aaron Ramsey has signed for French football club OGC Nice, which of course are owned by chemical giants Ineos and overseen by Brailsford in his role as the company’s Director of Sport.

The former Arsenal and Juventus midfielder might be fine for pootling around Nice and the Côte d'Azur, but can he do it on a cold April Sunday in Flanders?

02 August 2022, 08:56
Vingegaard Cervelo S5 Tour de France Yellow Bike A.S.O. Aurélien Vialatte
Join Jonas: Vingegaard’s victory lap on Zwift

Did you get jealous last Sunday watching Wout van Aert, instead of contesting the sprint, hang back with Jonas Vingegaard for a gentle cruise across the line on the Champs Élysées?

Well, it’s your lucky day then, as you too can now ride at a steady pace on cycling’s most famous avenue with the Tour de France champion (on Zwift at least).

Today at 5pm BST, Vingegaard and other Jumbo-Visma riders will be hosting a ‘victory ride’ on the online training platform, to celebrate the Dane’s epic win and to ease the post-Tour blues for everyone after the finish of the women’s race on Sunday.

“I use Zwift more often during the winter but I was also on it just before the Tour this year,” Vingegaard says.

“I use it in many different ways but at the end of June, it was a good way to keep safe and healthy while turning the legs. Now I'll be jumping back on to celebrate my victory, and I hope to see many people join me.”

You can join Jonas on Zwift this afternoon at this link.

02 August 2022, 08:42
New law focuses on dangerous driving… so Daily Record bangs on about cyclists riding in the “centre of the road”, obviously

Ah, the Highway Code, the content gift that keeps on giving…

I know what you’re thinking – it’s a bit cheeky of road.cc to criticise anyone for droning on about the Highway Code, though I’ll have you know that since the changes were introduced in January, it’s only appeared in 17.6 percent of our live blogs (source: madeupstats.org).

But this FaceyB post by the Daily Record takes the biscuit.

Last week, the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act came into effect. Among a number of other provisions, the Act features changes designed to tackle dangerous driving, including sterner sentences for causing death by dangerous driving or causing death by careless driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

“This Government is delivering on its commitment to make our streets safer,” said outgoing PM Boris Johnson of the changes. “We have changed the law so that dangerous criminals are given the sentences they deserve and kept behind bars, and we are backing the police with the powers they need to keep us safe.”

So, in a clear, completely unmuddied bid to tell their readers about the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act, the Daily Record posted the following, not at all confusing or misleading, image:

Ah, ‘centre of the road’, my old friend. How have you been?

Unsurprisingly, the usual suspects appeared in the comments, telling us that cyclists should have ID, pay road tax, have insurance, not be on the same roads as motorists, wear helmets, stop riding too close to their precious bits of metal, and that “they” should “just ban most of us from driving because that is where this is heading”…

And what did nobody in the comments mention? Ah, that’s right – the new law about dangerous driving…

Ryan joined road.cc as a news writer in December 2021. He has written about cycling and some ball-centric sports for various websites, newspapers, magazines and radio. Before returning to writing about cycling full-time, he completed a PhD in History and published a book and numerous academic articles on religion and politics in Victorian Britain and Ireland (though he remained committed to boring his university colleagues and students with endless cycling trivia). He can be found riding his bike very slowly through the Dromara Hills of Co. Down.

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