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Adam Blythe clocks 136.9km/h; We Don't Want No Cycle Paths Here: The must-hear No.1 hit of the summer; 'Britain's biggest bike lane' council awarded more infra funds; AJ's pro cycling agency; Carol Kirkwood recalls collision trauma + more on the live blog

Happy Friday! It's the end of the week and Dan Alexander is here to bring the weekend home with the final live blog of the week...
20 August 2021, 16:13
Hundreds of cyclists attend 'die in' in Exeter to call for safety improvements

Around 200 cyclists attended a die in in Exeter on Thursday evening to protest for changes following the death of 53-year-old Maria Perez-Gonzalez two weeks ago. Perez-Gonzalez died in hospital following a collision with a BMW driver at around 8.35pm on Saturday 7 August. A 21-year-old man from Plymouth was arrested on suspicion of driving while unfit through drink/drugs and later released under investigation.

Mike Walton of the Exeter Cycling Campaign said the die in aimed to "underline how vulnerable our roads can be for people walking and cycling". He told Planet Radio: "The aim is to show our sadness at this unnecessary loss, to challenge the normalisation of the death and injury we see on our roads and to repeat our simple calls that driver lawlessness and inattention must stop, that all journeys for people cycling should be safe and that active travel must be adequately funded."

20 August 2021, 15:36
Alejandro Valverde crashes out of the Vuelta a España

Alejandro Valverde has followed Hugh Carthy out of the Vuelta this afternoon following a heavy crash on a descent. The former world champ hit a bump, regained control before sliding out on the bend. Valverde slid across the road and down the side of a slope and had to be helped back up to his bike. He soldiered on for several kilometres before calling it a day, visibly upset as he stood at the side of the road. 

20 August 2021, 14:34
Adam Blythe clocks 136km/h

Wowzers. How's your nerve? Anything close to 80km/h and I'm usually nervously glancing down at the Garmin, twitching for the brakes. Adam Blythe shared the pic on Twitter showing his head unit reading of 136km/h (85mph)...the retired pro normally uploads his rides to Strava, but we've not seen this one yet. We'll keep an eye out.

Some in the replies were jokingly concerned for his max heart rate...others in admiration of 'fuck yeah' mode...I'd hazard a guess at 85mph your heart rate might just jump up a bit...

Mainly people just wanted to know where in the UK you can hit such ridiculous speeds. Somewhere in the South West we suspect as Blythe is currently on screen for GCN's Vuelta coverage from Bath. Or is it an old pic from his racing days? We need answers, Adam.

I guess the obvious question is what's the fastest speed you've ever hit on two wheels? 

20 August 2021, 14:15
Hugh Carthy abandons Vuelta a España

Last year's podium finisher Hugh Carthy has abandoned the Vuelta a España during stage seven. Carthy had already lost 4:28 to red jersey Primož Roglič before today and stepped off his bike with 64km to go on one of the first major mountain days of the race.

We'll keep you updated on any words of explanation from the Preston-born climber or EF Education-Nippo as we get it...

20 August 2021, 13:59
FuroSystems electric bikes and scooters manufacturer becomes the first brand of its kind to accept cryptocurrency payment
Furo e-bikes (Press release)

E-bike and e-scooter manufacturer FuroSystems is the first company of its kind to make its products available to purchase using cryptocurrencies. Customers can pay for products using Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin and Furo is working with Coinbase to ensure funds can be transferred safely.

In the case of a refund, customers will be returned the volume of coins used in the initial purchase, accounting for price volatility up to 0.5 per cent. Customers will not be charged for price changes between transactions beginning and completing. 

Company CEO Eliott Wetheimer said the brand sees many similarities between the shift to micro-mobility and interest in cryptocurrencies. "E-bikes and e-scooters are the next-generation transport modes and are key to creating healthier, less congested cities," he said. "At the same time, demand is rising for cryptocurrencies and we think they will play an important role in the future of payments. We want to empower everyone to participate in the micro-mobility revolution."

20 August 2021, 12:14
Don't underestimate the amount of tech that can be squeezed into a cap...MAAP teams up with New Era on new waterproof number
MAAP New Era cap

MAAP has teamed up with New Era to make a new Prime Rain Cap designed for surprise, surprise, riding in wet conditions. Handy if you live in the UK. The first collaboration, the Stealth Performance Cap, sold out within a week so they've come together again for another design. This time using Polartec NeoShell fabric for waterproof protection, but without sacrificing breathability.

MAAP says this one is perfect for wet weather conditions and features thermo welded and taped seams, reflective graphics and an elasticated internal sweatband. The brand's design manager Craig Coetsee is pleased with the final product, saying it strikes the right balance between innovation and classic workmanship.

20 August 2021, 11:54
Primal releases charity jersey with Jeremiah's Journey to support Plymouth-based children's bereavement charity
Jeremiah's Journey charity cycling jersey (Primal)

Primal has released a charity jersey in the wake of the terrible events in the brand's home city of Plymouth last week. In collaboration with Jeremiah's Journey, all profits from the limited-edition jersey will go directly to supporting their work. The Plymouth-based children's bereavement charity has offered free support to local children and young people for the past 25 years. The £39.99 men's and women's jerseys include the charity's name and logo.

20 August 2021, 11:26
A video of Wimborne cycle lane submitted by a reader

A couple of minutes into this video submitted by a reader you get a first-person look at the new Wimborne cycle lane in all its glory next to a normal-looking two-lane road.

Gaz told us: "It's great! people will always moan about anything bicycle related. Why can't they see what a stupendous invention it is when catered for correctly?"

20 August 2021, 10:52
We Don't Want No Cycle Paths Here: The must-hear No.1 hit of the summer

Eurovision 2022? Christmas number one? Glastonbury headliner? The sky is the limit for Judy's catchy cycle path song. The critics will no doubt gush over the 'hard-hitting social commentary inspired by pervasive anti-cycling sentiment in 21st century post-lockdown Britain'.

It's the best musical achievement we've covered on the blog since Australian cyclist Cyrus Monk spent his hotel quarantine recreating Darude's memetastic song Sandstorm using a Tacx Neo smart trainer.

I really don't know what else to say. Just try not to get it stuck in your head all weekend...

Back in 2016 we asked you for your favourite songs about bikes and cycling...check out the top 20 ft. Pink Floyd, Queen and Kraftwerk...Where would 'We Don't Want No Cycle Paths Here' rank? 

20 August 2021, 09:59
'Britain's biggest bike lane' council awarded extra £247,000 for active travel plans

One of the councils under fire in some sections of the tabloid press for 'Britain's biggest bike lane', has been awarded an extra £247,000 grant from the government to encourage active travel. The money from the Department for Transport's Capability Fund has been awarded to BCP Council (Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council) and will be used to provide additional cycle training in schools and to encourage local businesses to get their staff to come back to work by bike.

BCP and Dorset Councils are already currently investing more than £100 million in new infrastructure in south-east Devon, including the 11-ft Wimborne bike lane we covered on yesterday's blog. 78km of new cycle lanes, pedestrian pavements and bus service improvements are all in the plans for encouraging people to ditch their cars for active travel or public transport.

"This is great news," Cllr Mike Greene said on the additional grant. "It will allow us to robustly support our Transforming Travel programme. We have learned from successful schemes in other local authorities that major change in the way people travel takes a while to bed in and needs the support of good public engagement, training and communications. This money will be very helpful in achieving this.

"Congestion is a major problem in South East Dorset and our road network is at saturation point. Already, over this past year, we have seen cycling on British roads increase by 45.7% to 5 billion miles. We really want to make use of this forward momentum and help encourage more people to make the sustainable change and leave the car at home."

20 August 2021, 09:15
Anthony Joshua launches cycling talent management agency
Anthony Joshua (wikimedia commons Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported)

 Heavyweight champion of the world Anthony Joshua has taken a step into the cycling game by expanding his talent management agency 258MGT with the signing of a host of young prospects. ‘258 Protégé’ will represent riders in contract negotiations, sponsor negotiations and corporate events.

Notable signings include Finn Fisher-Black, one of UAE Team Emirates' big summer additions on a long-term deal, Sarah Gigante who recently joined Movistar, Nicholas Dlamini and Leo Hayter - brother of Olympic silver medallist Ethan.

The agency was founded by Jamie Barlow who has worked as a pro cycling agent since 2013. Barlow said: "AJ is one of the biggest sports icons on the planet and that doesn't happen without a committed team behind him. We look forward to replicating this model with professional cyclists and offering a hands-on approach with a select number of talents over the coming years. 

"We are in a unique position to disrupt the market and challenge the current shortfalls of the commercial elements of the sport & utilise the full support of the team 258MGT has built around AJ across legal, financial, PR and branding industry leaders. Our modus operandi will be to focus on elite talent with a quality over quantity hands-on approach. 

"Having identified and worked with some of the best young talent the past eight years, WorldTour, Women’s World Tour, Pro Continental and Devo teams trust our opinion on talent. Outside of the cycling bubble we are the best connected commercial agency barring none."

20 August 2021, 08:49
Think smarter, not harder

This made us laugh...some effort for a sly new bit of kit.

20 August 2021, 08:26
Cycling New Zealand and High Performance Sport New Zealand launch independent inquiry following the death of Olympic track cyclist Olivia Podmore
Olivia Podmore (Nicola, Wikimedia Commons, CC-by-sa 4.0)

An independent inquiry into Cycling New Zealand and high Performance Sport New Zealand has been ordered following the death of Olympic track cyclist Olivia Podmore 11 days ago. The death of the track cyclist who represented her nation at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio has raised questions in the media and amongst former athletes about wellbeing and support in the high performance programme.

The details of the inquiry will be confirmed next week, but Raelene Castle, Chief Executive of High Performance Sport NZ said the athlete's death has "focused our attention once more on the complex issues surrounding athlete welfare and wellbeing". 

During her career Podmore won two medals at the Junior Track World Championships in 2015 before qualifying for Rio a year later. Some have questioned why Podmore was not selected for the Tokyo Games having reached the qualification criteria. In the days before her death, the athlete had posted on social media about the stress of competing at an elite level.

20 August 2021, 07:56
"I dream about being hit": BBC weather presenter Carol Kirkwood still has nightmares about collision

BBC weather presenter Carol Kirkwood says she is still struggling with the trauma of a collision in May last year when a driver knocked her off her bike. Kirkwood suffered a bad cut to her knee. Speaking to PA news agency she compared her injuries to what you might expect from a shark attack.

"It was cut down to the kneecap and some of my nerves were hanging out," the weather presenter explained. "My confidence cycling on the road has gone to pot. I don’t do that now. I’m fearful now of cycling on the road. It was such a shock. I had dreams about it and I still do. Sometimes, I still get upset talking about it. It’s not on my mind all the time, but I dream about being hit."

At the time, Kirkwood's employer - the BBC - was criticised for reporting the collision as a "bike accident". The article also said the presenter had been "knocked off her bike by a car", not a car driver.

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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