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'Road Rage: Cars v Bikes': BBC's Panorama episode receives mixed reception (+ statistics questioned); Newly crowned hill climb champ Illi Gardner smashes Sa Calobra QOM; Cyclists warned of runaway oversized baubles; Close pass flag + more on the live blog

It's a sunny Wednesday and Dan Alexander has just about dried out from yesterday's downpours. In between changing the newspaper in his shoes he'll be updating the live blog.....
02 November 2022, 17:39
Until tomorrow...

We'll leave you with a final word from Zlatan Ibrahimovic... (don't think we didn't see that helmet to the Swede's right)... presumably quoting Pantani or Quintana...

02 November 2022, 17:15
What did you make of Panorama 'Road Rage: Cars v Bikes'?

*Spoiler alert if you're waiting for the prime time BBC One viewing* 

That was a joke, by the way, before anyone gets back in the comments to call me a self-important joker for suggesting people might actually be avoiding what happens for the full 'live' experience...

Anyway, not sure any of the above was necessary... onto your comments and reaction before I live blog myself down another midweek avenue of nonsense...

BBC Panorama

eburtthebike: "Well, the Panorama thing was nowhere near as bad as I thought it was going to be, but as others have pointed out, it still had significant flaws. For instance pretending that Rod Liddle was in any way an authoritative source, or that their online survey was the least bit valid.

"Neither did they compare the amounts spent on cycling with the amounts spent on other transport infrastructure to put it into context, or mention the police data which shows that it is overwhelmingly the driver at fault in cyclist/motor vehicle collisions.

"So while it could have been much, much worse, it could have been so much better.   Still, at least it's an improvement from the BBC's normal line for the past forty years of 'two wheels bad, four wheels good' approach. Maybe they'll even actually commission a series about cycling and why it is so good for you, your neighbourhood and the planet.*

"*Just a little joke I thought I'd throw in for my own amusement."

HoarseMann: "Good to see some NMotD clips highlighting the issue. This is a bit better than some of the other programmes on this topic, but still too much framing the problem as a balanced difference of opinions.

"Letting Rod Liddle mouth off unchallenged is a low point, along with some Highway Code change inaccuracies (cyclists can now ride in the middle of the road) and the London van driver (that cyclist should be in the bus lane so that they're out of the way).

"Illegal driving and the failure of the police to enforce the law is the root cause. Difficulty getting justice was lightly covered, but the lack of enforcement for careless driving around cyclists didn't get a look in."

Anyone else got any thoughts on the programme?

02 November 2022, 16:56
The WorldTour's leaders in subtle and tasteful product placement are at it again

Nothing says cycling like the inside of a 4x4...

(Or on the bonnet)

Filippo Ganna breaks UCI Hour record (credit - Ineos Grenadiers)


02 November 2022, 16:29
Brian Cookson: More heads have to roll at British Cycling
Brian Cookson at the World Cycling Centre in Aigle (source

Former UCI and British Cycling president Brian Cookson had some strong words for cycling's governing body in the UK, saying he has "no confidence" in chair Frank Slevin and more "heads have to roll" following on from CEO Brain Facer's departure.

> British Cycling CEO Brian Facer leaves post with immediate effect

"The chair [Frank Slevin] needs to take some responsibility for this," Cookson told Cycling Weekly. "I have no confidence in him to continue, I think he should go. Now we have a structure imposed on us by UK Sport and the reality is we have a chairman who has effectively come from outside the sport, presumably appointed for his business expertise.

"The problem as I see it is that we're governed by people who don't really have a background in that sport, pastime, activity and I don't know what they're motivated by.

"Frank Slevin is almost invisible from what I can see. I think he needs to take some responsibility for some of these unfortunate controversies that have happened during his tenure. I do think that it seems inexplicable to me that the chairman and the board were unaware of the implications of the things that have happened and that have been so controversial.

"I think that some heads have to roll."

Facer's departure by "mutual agreement" came just weeks after British Cycling announced a toxically controversial eight-year partnership with petrochemicals giant Shell.

02 November 2022, 15:24
Happy Wednesday...
Panorama trending Twitter


02 November 2022, 14:50
Newly crowned hill climb champ Illi Gardner smashes Sa Calobra QOM

What a hero Illi Gardner is. Three days after winning the women's event at the National Hill Climb Championships, the climbing phenom has gone and smashed the QOM up one of the most hotly contested Strava segments in the world — Sa Calobra.

> Most competitive Strava segment in the world? Ed Laverack smashes Sa Calobra KOM

Clocking 29:09 up the iconic Mallorcan climb, Gardner beat previous QOM holder, Swedish pro triathlete Sara Svensk's time by 50 seconds and went almost two minutes faster than Emma Pooley's best.

> Weird and wonderful bikes from the National Hill Climb Championships

Covering the 9.44km, which averages seven per cent, at an average speed of 19.4km/h (12mph), Gardner's power data shows she held 264w, 5.4w/kg based on her Strava weight...

02 November 2022, 14:36
Haters will say it's fake...
02 November 2022, 13:47
Review: Panorama – Road Rage: Cars v Bikes

Right, we'll round up some of your reaction later on, but for now we'll move onto some other things happening in the cycling world today...

That is after we've shared Simon's review of the episode...

BBC Panorama

> Review: Panorama – Road Rage: Cars v Bikes

02 November 2022, 13:28
'Road rage' on BBC panorama: fuelling the fire or raising awareness? We interview the presenter on the Podcast
roadcc podcast episode 37

As promised here's our chat with Panorama reporter Richard Bilton about the episode...

> 'Road rage' on BBC panorama: fuelling the fire or raising awareness? We interview the presenter on the Podcast

02 November 2022, 11:53
BBC broadcasts Rod Liddle clip from Panorama episode during radio news bulletin

If you've been listening to BBC radio this morning you might have noticed the Panorama episode's statistics, questioned by Peter Walker in an earlier live blog post, being read out during news bulletins...

Said 'soundbite' of choice? Yep... it's Rod Liddle's input to the episode...

Others have reported hearing the clip on Radio 2 and 4, we heard it during Lauren Laverne's Radio 6 Music show when a newsreader said:

A survey of motorists suggests there is widespread dislike of cyclists. More than 12,000 drivers were questioned and one-in-three told the BBC's Panorama that cyclists shouldn't be on the road. A quarter admitted deliberately driving too close to them. The government is spending billions of pounds encouraging more people to get on their bikes, the columnist Rod Liddle thinks more regulation of cyclists is needed...

Right... cue the soundbite from the episode (you'll have to read it, which might be a plus if you don't wish to hear this particular voice)... 

Liddle: "Possibly some form of registration or indeed make it the law to use cycle lanes where they have been provided, I think that is one of the things that really gets up the nose of people. And I would enforce speed limits and pick them up for running red lights"...

Panorama's 'polling' has been criticised this morning... check out the earlier blog post for more from the Guardian's Peter Walker on the matter...

So in conclusion, based on these BBC news bulletins... the problem is a quarter of motorists admit deliberately driving too close to cyclists... so let's get Rod Liddle on to tell everyone the people being driven too close to should be registered for the privilege...

Yep, that's this Rod Liddle...

> 'Tempting' – Sunday Times columnist Rod Liddle on stretching piano wire across road to target cyclists 

02 November 2022, 10:22
'Road Rage: Cars v Bikes': BBC's Panorama episode receives mixed reception

So, it's finally here... BBC's Panorama episode titled 'Road Rage: Cars v Bikes' has dropped on iPlayer ahead of its broadcast on BBC One at 8pm tonight and you might even recognise some of the video clips from a certain Near Miss of the Day series...

BBC Panorama

We spoke to the episode's producer, as well as reporter Richard Bilton, to contribute, which is why there are more than a few clips from this website included. Clearly, there are aspects we would rather weren't part of the episode... Rod Liddle's section springs to mind, while the title 'Road Rage: Cars v Bikes' has also landed some criticism.

We'll have a full piece analysing the episode, as well as a podcast episode with Bilton coming later today. Of course, we'll also keep you updated with all the reaction here on the live blog...

"Good in parts"

The Guardian's Peter Walker suggested the investigation is "good in parts" — Bilton talks to Cycling UK, the London Cycling Campaign and "very effectively shows how commonly dangerous driving affects you when cycling"... BUT raised concerns about the stats used, notably a third of drivers thinking cyclists shouldn't be on the road (figures already reported with clicky headlines by the Daily Mail and Cycling Weekly)... AND questioned the title..."There's this weird compulsion to make everything about cycling into a battle. As others have said, it's less a battle than a massacre."

Keep your eyes peeled for our podcast episode with Richard Bilton which goes live later today... 

02 November 2022, 10:54
"Overall I think it's fairly good in showing the dangers and highlighting how awful it is for people cycling... shame they have to have a shock journalist implying that cyclists need to be 'poked'..."

Road safety campaigner Adam Bronkhorst agrees it is "fairly good" just with a couple of disappointing moments...

02 November 2022, 10:02
The close pass flag
02 November 2022, 08:59
Dangerous drivers, potholes and... oversized baubles?! The latest danger for cyclists on Britain's roads

It's that time of year... Halloween's passed (if that even counts as a notable calendar date) and one of my now-muted group chats has this week begun debating the best Christmas songs... they did festive movie rankings in October!!! Hopefully the World Cup will bring them back to more comfortable discussion...

Anyway, more importantly for us two-wheeled travellers, there has been a warning the Christmas period could bring an extra danger to cyclists using the roads... nope, not darker evenings, drivers taking a chance after the Christmas party, or even icy conditions... nope, today's warning is to look out for runaway oversized baubles... no, really...

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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