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Traffic cops clash with talkRadio's Cristo Foufas about...CyclingMikey?; BBC responds to 'hit by car' headline complaints; COP26 accessibility issues; Hill climb rain and pain; Have you signed for Ineos?; Cycling friends episode 2 + more on the live blog

It's Tuesday and Dan Alexander is in the saddle for another day on the live blog...
02 November 2021, 16:38
Cristo asks for the complaints form link...positive reviews and thanks flood in for Surrey Roads Policing Unit

Cristo Foufas was quick to deploy the 'I'm telling your boss card' on Surrey Roads Policing Unit's Twitter admin, getting the link for 'thanks and complaints' from Sgt Pascoe, who was only too happy to oblige his request.

Unfortunately for the talkRadio presenter, this too seemed to backfire as his replies were then full of people sharing the positive feedback they'd sent off about Sgt Pascoe's conduct...

Cameron James shared a screenshot of his thanks: "Sgt Pascoe's handling of a 'radio presenter' who seemed to constantly try and twist the wording of posts made through the official Twitter account for Surrey RPU was highly professional and calm. I want to thank them for their continued commitment to keeping the roads of my home county safe whilst professionaly calling out those who try to twist words and threaten to complain. A real credit to Surrey Police! Thank You!"

Cristo claimed these thanks were really helping his cause by proving "just how many people the tweets could potentially put in danger." Anyway, let's see some more of them...

The force also confirmed they'd blocked Cristo for "continually misquoting" their tweets... 

02 November 2021, 16:17
But cyclists...
02 November 2021, 14:57
Mini LTN planters for sale

Don't let your family know you read otherwise you can be sure to get one of these tenuous active travel gifts for Christmas... similar to those novelty cycling gifts every non-cycling family member has got you at some point.

I'd steer clear of these anyway, rumour has it they increase traffic in neighbouring rooms and stop you getting to the toilet when you need to go...children and pets tend to ignore them too.

Thanks to Tom_77 for pointing these out in the comments, you're already having fun with them...

Live blog comment (2/11/2021)


02 November 2021, 14:33
Common sense or victim-blaming? Derbyshire Police's hi-vis message goes down like a lead balloon

You'd have thought police forces would have worked out posts like these are more hassle than they're worth. Wear hi-vis and make sure you've got lights. Ask any cyclist who does both of those things and you'll hear countless tales of how both did nothing to prevent dangerous driving, close passes, near misses etc. 

Anyway, here's some of the reaction rolling in...


> Met Police denies operation issuing hi-vis to cyclists was ‘victim-blaming’

It must be that time of year...last Friday Philip Pullman had a rant about "damn fools" on bikes "speeding through Oxford" without lights or hi-vis.

02 November 2021, 13:48
Victor Campenaerts: Dowsett has 50/50 chance to break Hour Record
Dowsett Hour (YouTube)

One man who will be keeping a close eye on Alex Dowsett's progress in Mexico tomorrow will be Victor Campenaerts. The Belgian, fresh from signing for Lotto-Soudal, has spoken about Dowsett's chances of reclaiming the record he lost to Sir Bradley Wiggins in 2015.

Campenaerts holds the current record, having covered 55.089km in April 2019, coincidently (or not considering the performance marginal gains) at the same high altitude velodrome in Aguascalientes. "I think it’s a 50-50 per cent chance that he can break my record," Campenaerts said in a video posted on his YouTube channel. "I think the biggest benefit Alex has over me is that he already had the Hour Record before. He already did an attempt and the full preparation.

> Alex Dowsett reveals his hour record bike for tomorrow’s attempt

"I prepared for the Hour Record very well but by doing it all I learned some things that I would do differently. That’s a big advantage Alex has – that he has the experience."

We took a look at Alex Dowsett's Hour Record machine, complete with £950 gold chainring, HED's Volo wheels and Aerocoach Ascalon bars, and Campenaerts believes the improved tech two years on will help the Brit's chances.

"Technology hasn’t been standing still. Everything goes forward," he continued. "Tyres are getting faster, frames are getting more aero, suits are getting faster, you have faster chain rings, faster chain lubes. All marginal gains but those margins are all very important in the end if you want to break an Hour Record. There are also new rules. Alex can ride with aero shoe covers, which I wasn’t allowed, though that’s only a small advantage.

"If he breaks it, I’m happy for him. Records are there to be broken, and Alex is a nice guy. I also know what it would mean to him to break the record, so I would be happy for him."

If Dowsett does set a new world-best distance, Campenaerts won't be jumping back on the boards to reclaim his crown..."I don’t think I’d go back after him - not on short notice anyway - because of changes in my career. I think I lost a lot of my time trial abilities. It would be already hard to break my own record, so if Alex breaks it, I will just cheer hard for him, congratulate him, and not go back after him."

There'll be no shortage of eyeballs on Dowsett's attempt which will be broadcast on the BBC iPlayer, BBC Sport website and the UCI's YouTube channel from 21:45GMT tomorrow evening.

02 November 2021, 13:42
Our new favourite Instagram page: Movethosehoods

Niche but very enjoyable. In their own words: "A page to share mechanic wins/blunders,dream hood/bad hood placement shaming & being generally obnoxious!" Anything to be more aero, right? 

02 November 2021, 12:18
Cristo has been saying things about cycling again...this time it's Santander Cycles and TfL in the firing line

Another one for the collection...presumably he wants way more journeys made by bike?

02 November 2021, 12:01
Dreaming of summer? Chase the Sun registrations open 15th November

The nights are dark and it's suddenly got all very cold here in the UK...if you need any extra motivation to get out on the bike this winter, maybe booking a big ride for next summer will help. Pick a goal, have it in the back of your mind, get out on the bike more as a result, get fitter, smash 2022? That's the plan...

> 16 winter cycling tips to get you motivated and battle the winter blues

Naturally, the people at Chase the Sun reckon you should pick one of their rides. Registration for their UK North, UK South and Italia events opens on 15 November. So, if you fancy it, put 18 June 2022 in the diary for a 205-mile summer adventure.

The North UK route starts on the beachfront in Whitley Bay, north of Newcastle upon Tyne, and takes in the wild hills, forests and rivers of Northumberland and the dramatic southern uplands of Scotland, crossing historic bridges and wilderness, riding over 200 miles to reach a view of mid-summer sunset over the Firth of Clyde from Ayr seafront.

Chase The Sun UK South starts at sunrise on the Isle of Sheppey in Kent, crossing a diverse section of the country, encompassing the urban sprawl of London, country lanes, green vales and the mighty Cheddar Gorge, ending at sunset in Burnham On Sea on the Somerset coast some 205 miles later.

Chase The Sun Italia is a 270 kilometre route full of scenic climbing and thrilling descents, it traverses the country from Cesenatico, birthplace of Marco Pantani, over the Appenine mountains, scenic Tuscan hills and vineyards, and passing historic cultural landmarks in Florence and Pisa, to arrive at the Tirrenian sea, on the coast west of Pisa.

Pick your fighter, and get training...

02 November 2021, 11:31
Cycling friends with Jeremy Vine episode 2: Scott Mills

I know Scott Mills isn't on a bike like Peter Hitchens was last week, but I reckon this still counts for Jeremy Vine's cycling friends series. BBC's Scott Mills using a zebra crossing — tremendous entertainment. Top marks to fellow BBC DJ and Peter Crouch podcast host, Chris Stark, for this...

I wonder if Scott will be back stronger with a reply?

Cycling friends with Jeremy Vine episode 1 was a started with Peter Hitchens on a Santander Cycle in Hyde Park, progressed to Hitchens describing Vine as "wheezing uphill towards me, dressed as an insect, with what looked like a periscope on his head". Before, in a shock twist, ending with Vine defending his pal's lack of helmet. 

02 November 2021, 10:38
BBC responds to 'hit by car' headline complaints — insists wording was "fair and accurate"

Remember this one? A reader got in touch to say they had complained to the BBC, citing the Cycling UK media reporting guidelines and "mentioning it would be better to reframe the focus of the headline away from a passive, uncontrollable vehicle". 

The BBC's official line on the headline, which said 'Woman and three children hit by car in South Lanarkshire', is...

We believe it to be a fair and accurate summary – investigations into the incident still ongoing – and would not propose making any changes to the wording at this time.

The BBC has its own guidance which we follow, and the recommendations you highlight are not a part of that

02 November 2021, 10:01
Who hasn't signed for Ineos Grenadiers? Has your contract been lost in the post?

Four signings from Ineos yesterday has left more than a few punters feeling left out. Surely we could do a job in a couple of early season races? You know, get all the free kit and the flash bike, ride on the front during the neutral zone, go back to the car, fail to rejoin the bunch, jump in the car...that sort of thing. 

They've boringly gone down the signing proven talent route...if you missed the news yesterday, Elia Viviani is rejoining the team for 2022, along with Spanish champ Omar Fraile, German U23 champ Kim Heiduk and promising British talent Ben Turner. What have they got that we don't?

02 November 2021, 09:41
Hill climb nationals vid...rain and pain in the Peak District

We've been sent in this recap of all the men's action from Sunday's national hill climb champs. In absence of any live broadcasting it does a pretty strong job of capturing the protagonists, pain and puddles. There's a women's recap coming soon too, so keep your eyes peeled for that...

02 November 2021, 09:33
More accessibility problems at COP26
Cop26 security (via Thomas Cornwallis on Twitter).PNG

Yesterday we brought you the story from Glasgow that security guards at COP26 were asking cyclists to use a footway and had refused to open a barrier on the road. The footway didn't have a ramp over the kerb, however, making it unaccessible to everyone.

Now, the BBC reports an Israeli minister was unable to attend the conference yesterday because it was not wheelchair accessible. The Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett's delegation said they had formally complained to organisers about the issue.

The UK's Environment Secretary, George Eustice, said the incident was "deeply regrettable" and apologised to the Israeli politician.

02 November 2021, 08:49
Traffic cops clash with talkRadio's Cristo Foufas about...CyclingMikey?

Maybe this is life in the metaverse? Three live blog favourites coming together for one royal rumble. In the red corner it's the Surrey Roads Policing Unit's Twitter admin — a defender of all things cycling. In the blue corner it's talkRadio presenter Cristo Foufas — LTN critic and definitely not a defender of all things cycling. The battleground? CyclingMikey.

We begin with Cristo setting his sights on the catcher of law-breaking drivers..."Mikey is such a desperate and weird character. Imagine being so sad as to spend hours at a time at a junction hoping to film inside peoples’ cars. Odd and perhaps even sinister to say the least," talkRadio's finest begins. 

The presenter took issue with CyclingMikey's hands-on approach to catching drivers on their phones and breaking the rules of the road.

In our book that's round one to the traffic cops...

Cristo went straight for the nuclear 'I'm telling your boss' approach, replying: "Interesting. Looking forward to passing this exchange onto senior officers at Surrey Police how you’re endorsing to over 100k followers, a civilian walking in front of a moving vehicle at a junction with no authority, based on the suspicion of an alleged offence. Thanks for clarifying."

This is getting very tasty...time for closing remarks:

For the backstory on these two, a dip into our archives will let you know how we got to this point...

Surrey Road Cops' live blog career is a glittering highlight reel of education and mic drop moments. We had them calling out a safe driving campaign spouting "dangerous advice" about riding two abreast. The time before that they were sliding into the DMs of one driver calling cyclists "dickheads". And it's not all entertainment...last year they explained to their followers why road safety enforcement focuses on drivers.

Cristo's most recent mention came when he called a caesefire on one LTN debate to ask an anti-LTN account on Twitter to not use language comparing cyclists to rats or vermin. Last summer he ripped up the Highway Code during one of his talkRadio shows, saying: "I am so sick of drivers rightly being held to account for their behaviour on the roads... but cyclists ignore the law with impunity."

Back in March he received many a joke online for complaining about struggling to drive around south London...because of road closures, bus lanes and a lack of parking. 

Dan joined in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.

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