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Shocking close pass caused by 'magic white line' cycle lane; New material could lead to 'indestructible' bike lock; Cyclists "pollute air with strong body odour"; Quarter of National Cycle Network cut; 40th anniversary TI-Raleigh + more on the live blog

Welcome to Monday's live blog. Jack Sexty is in charge today, with Simon MacMichael taking over later this evening. ...
20 July 2020, 17:35
As racing returns, some good safety advice to fans from Deceuninck-Quick Step

This should all be second nature after four months ... but it doesn't do any harm to give a gentle reminder.

20 July 2020, 16:02
"My concern is more about the infrastructure": cyclist shares shocking close pass footage, putting blame on narrow strip of paint acting as a cycle lane

While it's terrifying to watch and you'd think most competent drivers would understand it was not safe to pass when this lorry driver did, the cyclist who shared the footage says he blames the design of the cycle lane on the A308 near Bushy Park more than the driver.

Andy Litchfield added:" I did consider reporting it but I actually think the tweet will have more impact as evidence of the need to carry out improvements to the road layout. It was crappy driving but just a misjudgment rather than malicious, imo."

Cycle lanes that are marked out by paint with no protection have been nicknamed 'murderstrips' in the past, which was even touted as Belgium's Word of the Year in 2018. Do you think the driver should be punished regardless, or is the horribly narrow cycle lane more to blame for the error of judgement? 

20 July 2020, 16:00
Cars blocking the cycle lane (again)

With today's example coming from Manchester, it seems more than ever councils should exercise their new rights to fine drivers for parking in cycle lanes

20 July 2020, 14:19
Raleigh release 40th anniversary edition of the TI-Raleigh in celebration of Joop Zoetemelk's 1980 Tour de France win
T.I Image

While some of his 'training' methods would most likely have been even more controversial by todays standards, Zoetemelk is still officially the most successful Dutch cyclist ever, and in 1980 he finally captured the yellow jersey at the Tour de France. In tribute Raleigh have made a special 40th anniversary edition of the TI-Raleigh that propelled him to victory. 

T.I Image 5

With a number of retro parts that are almost identical to the originals such as a Selle Italia Turbo 1980 saddle, Reynolds 753 tubing and Cinelli bars, Raleigh have made things a bit easier by equipping the Campagnolo groupset with a 10 speed cassette. Only 250 will be available to buy, including a signed certificate of authenticity from Zoetemelk himself, with full details and prices TBC so far. You can sign up for more info on a special online event ahead of the bike going on sale in September here.  

20 July 2020, 15:11
Iain Duncan Smith says you're "more likely to die on a bicycle than from COVID-19"
Iain Duncan Smith - via wikimedia commons

The Tory MP made the comments during an LBC interview, in which he said there had been a "general hysteria" over coronavirus in the UK. 

He said: "Only 4% of those who have died have died without any known co-morbidity.

"If you're under forty you're more likely to die by getting on a bicycle than you are by having Covid, so we need to get the balance of risks right"

20 July 2020, 13:16
Could new wonder material lead to indestructible bike locks? University researchers say Proteus is world's first manufactured 'non-cuttable' material

You can have all the gold-rated bike lock armoury in the world, but unfortunately the strongest locks commercially available can still be bypassed by a very committed thief with a huge angle grinder (although they're still a huge deterrent, so get the best one you can afford). That could all change if the claims of researchers from Durham University and Germany's Fraunhofer Institute are accurate, because they say that their new Proteus material - that is 15% the density of steel - cannot be cut by anything. 

The video above posted by New Atlas shows an angle grinder is no match for Proteus, with an accompanying article explaining that while the outer layer can be cut through, the 'embedded ceramic spheres' inside actually damage the sharp edges of the tool. 

Lead author of the research Stefan Szyniszewski, Assistant Professor of Applied Mechanics at Durham's Engineering department, told New Atlas: "Essentially cutting our material is like cutting through a jelly filled with nuggets. If you get through the jelly you hit the nuggets and the material will vibrate in such a way that it destroys the cutting disc or drill bit.

"The ceramics embedded in this flexible material are also made of very fine particles which stiffen and resist the angle grinder or drill when you’re cutting at speed in the same way that a sandbag would resist and stop a bullet at high speed. This material could have lots of useful and exciting applications in the security and safety industries. In fact, we are not aware of any other manufactured non-cuttable material in existence as of now."

Could this stuff put bike thieves out of a job for good? We may have to press the researchers with some further questioning, but in the meantime the full paper can be found here

20 July 2020, 12:59
Bernal, Quintana et al whisked to Europe on special 'sports flight' from pandemic-hit Colombia

With COVID-19 cases rapidly on the rise in Colombia, some of the nation's best cyclists were included on a special flight that has transported around 120 athletes and coaches to Europe. With all events of international significance on the cycling calendar taking place in Europe, it was perhaps inevitable that Colombia's top cycling talent were best to get across the Atlantic before they were at risk of being banned from travelling altogether.

As noted by Pasión Ciclismo below, the flight landed in Madrid this morning. 

20 July 2020, 11:22
Wattbike rename flagship indoor training bike the Nucleus due to a copyright issue
wattbike nucleus - via wattbike.PNG

Wattbike's top-of-the-range trainer was launched as the Icon last year, but today they've announced it will now be known as the Nucleus. Their CEO Richard Baker commented: 

“When we launched two new products for the commercial market last year, we were made aware of a copyright issue with the ‘Icon’ in one country. We therefore made the decision to rename the product to ensure brand consistency internationally and to treat this as a positive opportunity to bring the portfolio of Wattbikes closer as a collective by name.

"Within science; the nucleus is the positively charged central core of an atom, consisting of protons and neutrons and containing nearly all its mass. This description fits both the product and the brand perfectly and will further help to bring consistency to our product portfolio.

"Our company history is steeped in working with the best sport scientists, so it seems fitting to continue to look to science as we grow our product range.”

The Nucleus has an RRP of £3,120, but is currently discounted down to £2,499 on Wattbike's website

20 July 2020, 09:44
Updated National Cycle Network map is now live on Ordnance Survey

The new slimmed down map - minus Coast to Coast and the Caledonian Way amongst many other routes that have been taken out - is now live. You can find it here by selecting 'National Cycle Network' on the Map menu on the bottom right. 

20 July 2020, 08:56
"They pollute the air with their strong body odour": hilarious caller has some dubious reasons for disliking cyclists in public meeting

road.cc reader Mark has made us aware of this gem on YouTube, which was part of a virtual public meeting held by the San Francisco Recreation & Park Commission.

The caller seems super keen to ban cyclists from parks in San Fran, and even backs up his argument with 'science': 

"We know from research that they are so entitled and self-righteous and rude.

"And we know from science that many of them, they smell bad and pollute the air by their strong body odour when they ride to the park. To deny it is to deny science. 

"93% of San Franciscans don't use a bike for anything. The rest of us want a better city with less bike dependence.

"I'm a supporter of bike-free streets, I have been hit three times by a bike. I see people biking recklessly and aggressive. I avoid the one side of the path because the bikes there are so aggressive..."

It gets better...

"Bikes are bad for the environment. Bikes create 12,800% larger carbon footprint per month than pedestrians. That is science. The self-righteous bikers are a shame. The park should be for people, the parks should not be for bikes." 

It seems we've been denying science all this time, so our sincerest apologies to this caller. 

20 July 2020, 09:15
socksoff2
Join us at 7pm tonight on Zwift for the chance to win socks!

We're back again for another Ride Your Socks Off! event on Zwift at 7pm BST. This week it's a D week, so it's a flat course and a gentler pace. Tonight we're doing five laps of the Classique circuit in London. We might throw a couple of (optional) sprint drills in for fun. There will be a sock giveaway at some point too. Come ride with us!

https://www.zwift.com/events/view/958005

20 July 2020, 08:26
Sustrans' CEO responds to reports that they've 'lost' 4,000 miles of the National Cycle Network

The Guardian reported at the weekend that from today, a quarter of the National Cycle Network has officially been cut off because of poor maintenance, signage and some dangerous sections that take cyclists onto roads with heavy traffic. The routes that will no longer form part of the official Network include the popular Coast to Coast path. 

Sustrans, the charity who have the huge task of maintaining the network along with various landowners, say this is part of their wider ambition to make the Network "traffic-free, more consistent and accessible", and say they want to see 5,000 more miles of traffic-free paths by 2040. This ambition forms part of the #PathsForEveryone campaign that was first launched in 2018, which includes a list of 15 recommendations to achieving Sustrans' 'vision' for the Network. 

Sustrans' Ceo Xavier Brice says above that they will still promote routes that are no longer part of the official National Cycle Network, but their resources are now focussed on delivering the improved infrastructure that meets the 'Paths For Everyone' standards going forward. 

20 July 2020, 08:25
Apparently, foxes eat cycling shoes

And Rory McCarron found ourt the hard way... who knew? 

Arriving at road.cc in 2017 via 220 Triathlon Magazine, Jack dipped his toe in most jobs on the site and over at eBikeTips before being named the new editor of road.cc in 2020, much to his surprise. His cycling life began during his students days, when he cobbled together a few hundred quid off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story) and bought his first road bike - a Trek 1.1 that was quickly relegated to winter steed, before it was sadly pinched a few years later. Creatively replacing it with a Trek 1.2, Jack mostly rides this bike around local cycle paths nowadays, but when he wants to get the racer out and be competitive his preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking - the latter being another long story.  

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