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Lord calls for bad parking cyclists to get six months in prison; Festive ice rink or triathlon lane? Good luck riding in this bike lane; Snow way past; Pro races cancelled due to Covid-19; Alex Dowsett will do your nan's shopping + more on the live blog

It's the start of a new week and Dan Alexander will be getting you through Monday on the live blog...
21 December 2020, 16:52
'What does he propose for drivers, I wonder?': Social media reaction to Lord Blencathra proposing six-month jail sentence for cyclists who block the pavement

Unsurprisingly the Conservative Party life peer, who was MP for Penrith and The Border between 1983-2010, has anti-cycling form. Back in 2017, during a debate about air pollution in the House of Lords, Lord Blencathra said: “There is nothing more repulsive than the sight of the Lycra-clad louts in London with their bum in the air and their head between the handlebars." 

You can read more about his latest gaffe further down the page. 

21 December 2020, 15:55
Welsh furniture craftsman launches locally made wooden bicycle brand

Twmpa Cycles is the brainchild of Welsh furniture craftsman Andy Dix. Cycling Industry News shared the story of how Andy started making bicycle frames out of British-grown Ash timber and has managed to balance creating a low carbon alternative to metal and carbon frames, while also creating a quality product. "It’s great to push for more bikes and fewer cars on the road, but there’s no escaping the fact that the bike industry as a whole is pretty energy intensive," he says.

"I’ve always tried to minimise environmental impact in my work. Rather than relying on heavily-processed metals, or layers of plastic that will one day end up in landfill, I’m building bikes from captured carbon, in a process powered by sunlight. I was gliding along battered roads that would have shaken me to bits on a carbon bike. The penny dropped – not only could I make a bike out of wood, but it had inherent advantages over other materials."

21 December 2020, 15:18
No context Alan Partridge

"Michael I was just saying to Susan, bit of a job for you. Unfortunately some vandals have sworn all over my car again."

21 December 2020, 15:01
New name and colours for Bahrain Victorious in 2021

Bahrain Victorious have shared their new red kit for 2021 with this video featuring some out of place sinister music. It sounds more like a trailer for a horror movie than a pro cycling kit launch but hey at least it's not like AG2R Citroën's shocker...

21 December 2020, 14:15
Australian National Track Championships keirin won by Malaysian rider Azizulhasni Awang

 Malaysian rider Azizulhasni Awang won gold in the keirin final of the Australian National Track Championships to become the first non-Aussie winner. Teammate Mohd Shah Firdaus Sahrom also won bronze.

Azizulhasni said: "Shah Firdaus and myself never expected this to come. First of all, I want to thank Cycling Australia for allowing us to be here and to race as guest riders as this was their national championships. We are very happy with what we achieved as we are still in the midst of a heavy training load and not geared towards competition.

“The Australians were at their best as they take this nationals seriously, so it’s a very good meet to gauge where we are at, which is not far from our performance in Berlin early this year."

21 December 2020, 13:39
Alex Dowsett will do your nan's shopping this Christmas

It seems demolishing a box of Celebrations and Quality Street on Saturday evening has fuelled Alex Dowsett for some seasonal good deeds... He's offering to help out any elderly people who don't want to go to the supermarket by doing their shopping for them. Well done that man...

21 December 2020, 12:49
Ineos Grenadiers vehicles vandalised in Belgium

Ineos Grenadiers vehicles, including a team car and bus, have been vandalised at their service course in the Belgian city of Deinze, seemingly by climate protesters. They were tagged with the 'Ineos Will Fall' slogan which has a group opposing the chemicals company named under the same banner, although it has not been confirmed that the group were behind the vandalism. The Ineos Will Fall group describe themselves on Facebook as a climate and citizen movement with the goal of stopping the planned building of a new plastic company in Antwerp. 

Full story to follow shortly.

21 December 2020, 12:09
Lord calls for bad parking cyclists to get six months in prison

Baroness Vere, the Minister for Roads, Buses and Places, wasn't too impressed with this question from Lord Blencathra proposing that cyclists who block the pavement with their poor parking should be imprisoned for six months or fined up to £5,000. Baroness Vere replied: "Her Majesty's Government have no current plans to consult on raising the penalties for cyclists and delivery drivers using heavyweight electric bicycles who ride on the pavement, or leave their bikes blocking the pavement."

The transport journalist, Carlton Reid, suggested that Lord Blencathra was unaware that cycling on the pavement and driving on the pavement are equally forbidden by the 1835 Highway Act. He wrote on Twitter: "Really, imprisonment for blocking a footway? If that got on the statute books half the motorists in Britain would be in jail within days. Lord Blencathra has multiple sclerosis and uses a wheelchair so I assume he finds it very irritating when cyclists block or ride on footways. But does he find it equally frustrating when motorists do it, and has he asked for motorists to be banged up for six months for doing it?"

21 December 2020, 11:29
Merry Christmas
21 December 2020, 10:48
More pro races cancelled due to Covid-19

The 2021 Tour Colombia has joined the growing list of pro races to be cancelled due to Covid-19. The race is one of the traditional curtain-raiser events on the calendar but has now been cancelled. The Colombian Cycling Federation say the number of cases in the country means it would be too difficult to ensure the safety of everyone involved.

Tour Colombia was due to get underway on February 14 and has become synonymous with large, passionate crowds. Of the traditional early season races —Tour Down Under, Cadel Evans Road Race, Herald Sun Tour and the Tour de Langkawi have all been cancelled.

In a statement, the Colombian Cycling Federation said: "Due to the high number of active cases, the outbreaks in the world and the difficulty of providing all the guarantees related to the biosecurity protocols for the caravan and the fans in general, the executive committee of the Colombian Cycling Federation in full, has taken the decision to cancel the realization of Tour Colombia 2.1 for 2021, an event that will be resumed in the 2022 season."

21 December 2020, 10:20
Reaction from Namur as Mathieu van der Poel comes out on top in three-way battle with Wout van Aert and Tom Pidcock

It was another classic afternoon of cyclo-cross yesterday with Mathieu van der Poel reasserting his dominance at the top of the cycling world by overcoming another impressive performance from Tom Pidcock to win in Namur...

21 December 2020, 09:28
It could be worse...New Yorkers faced with up to a foot of snow in their bike lanes
New York cycle lane (via Twitter)

Any of our readers from New York probably laughed at the post about the flooded bike lane. Call that an ice rink? Over in the five boroughs, cyclists have been unable to use many of their bike lanes after a blizzard snowed them under last week.

Noel Hidalgo, co-founder of the North Brooklyn Open Streets Community Coalition, told The New York Post on Sunday: "If you don’t own a car, which is the majority of New Yorkers, you’re essentially very inconvenienced. It’s just really disappointing that, you know, that pedestrian infrastructure, bike infrastructure has not been considered after this week’s snowstorm."

Up to a foot of snow fell in parts of New York last week and a representative of the city's Department of Transportation said they would be clearing about 30 miles of bike lanes but routes for emergency vehicles would be given priority over cycle lanes.

21 December 2020, 08:45
Festive ice rink or triathlon lane? Good luck riding in this bike lane

Bloody cyclists not using the bike lane... Anyone cycling near Hampton Court yesterday that came across this submerged cycle lane hopefully managed to avoid it or remembered to bring some goggles. Simon Hawthorn shared the photo and his followers have been speculating about its purpose. One person suggested it could be a welcome attempt at providing some festive cheer for those stuck in Tier 4 for Christmas by making the Hampton Court Palace Ice Rink free for everyone to use... 

Gavin Hodgson was excited to see the first triathlon lane being implemented in the capital...

Anyway, for another unbe-leaf-able bike lane, take a look at this cycle lane in Manchester which the council decided was the best place to collect fallen leaves back in the autumn. 

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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