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"If only there were a way of combining cycling with transport": Peloton coaches drive Mazda electric "support their active lifestyle"; Wout van Aert Cervélo auction reaches £11k; Cycle lane delivery; Infra made permanent + more on the live blog

It's Tuesday and Dan Alexander is here for your second live blog of the week, taking you one day closer to the weekend (anybody got any plans? Heard it's just a quiet one this week)...
21 December 2021, 16:58
EF Education-Nippo boss Jonathan Vaughters asks the big question

I want to see his biological passport and Rudolph's FTP before I let you down that chimney... 

21 December 2021, 16:03
Thief steals e-bike worth more than £5,000 after tricking staff into letting him have a test ride
Les's Cycles Canvey (Google Maps)

A thief tricked staff into letting him take an e-bike worth more than £5,000 for a test ride, only to make off with the bicycle. Paul Diani, owner of Les's Cycles, in Canvey in Essex told the Echo he has changed his policy about test rides, and feels "violated in his own business".

The man came into the shop on Thursday at around 1.50pm and asked to see a high-end e-bike. "He took it out and then on the way back just rode right past the staff who gave chase and was out for about 15 minutes," Mr Diani recalled.

"It’s a Scott Randsome 920 and is high end with full suspension and high technology gears and other features. We don’t get them in often and they do sell quickly when we do. It's normal for them to sell for this much money and for shoppers to want to try out the bikes too. I don’t know if he had a van or anything or if it was planned or anything.

"He was pretty tall and was wearing a mask and cap too and seemed like a normal chap. I will need to sell about 10 bikes to make that money back. We are also changing the rules for people who want to test out a bike too.

"We will be asking for people’s car keys and identification too otherwise nobody will get a ride on the bikes. It’s a loss of business as well as most people are honest and will buy the bike after trying it out."

21 December 2021, 13:58
More Peloton-roasting Mazdapieces...

Some delicious replies and reaction to our main live blog story of the day — Peloton's instructors driving Mazda electric cars to "support their active lifestyle"...

Chris Harrison summed it up on Twitter, "2021 —  when 'active lifestyle' means an electric car and a fake bike."

Ian Muirhead had some radical advice for the pair..."

Some were just concerned nobody had told her you don't have to pour the electricity in like petrol...

Graham Black commented: "Someone please tell her you don't have to stand there and hold the nozzle while it's charging..."

Eton Rifle added: "I love the way she seems to think that you have to stand there, holding the nozzle, waiting for the electricity to pour in. Don't forget to jiggle the end to get those last watts out..."

On Facebook, Pete Smyth wrote: "To support my healthy diet, I'm going to open a donut shop..."

Under the live blog, DoomeFrog thinks they've got a better alternative, Peloton instructors charge their Mazda cars through their classes..."It could be active lifestyle if the Peloton exercise machine was used to generate the electricity to go into the car. 'Let's work it people, just another 95 per cent charge to go!'"

21 December 2021, 15:28
Egan Bernal plots battle strategy for Primož Doglič and Tadej Dogačar

Never mind who let the dogs out? Why isn't Egan letting the dogs in? Answers, we need them... 

21 December 2021, 14:50
More barrier problems

If you missed it, on Sunday, we brought you the story of cycle campaigners in York calling on the council to remove "shameful" barriers preventing disabled cyclists accessing the city's paths.

 This post shows it's a problem elsewhere in the UK, and not just where infrastructure is outdated...

21 December 2021, 14:21
Apprentice star Claude Littner to miss upcoming season while continuing recovery from e-bike crash
Claude Littner (picture via BBC)

Anyone hoping for disasterclass interviews and red faces on the next season of The Apprentice may have to look elsewhere. No-nonsense aide to Lord Alan Sugar, Claude Littner, will not be on the latest season when it airs on the BBC in January.

> Apprentice star Claude Littner reveals he almost lost leg in e-bike crash

The 72-year-old crashed while riding his e-bike in north London in April. Doctors initially feared they may have to amputate Littner's leg but managed to save it.

"I must have been doing no more than 10 kilometres an hour on this sort of two-track road. The next thing I knew, I was on the left-hand side of the street, my bike was in the middle of the road and I didn't know what happened," Littner said previously.

21 December 2021, 12:07
Lizzie Deignan: You can stop asking me about retirement
Lizzie Deignan of Trek Segafredo practises for the Olympic Cobble Relay after winning Paris-Roubaix - credit Dion Kerckhoffs:CorVos:SWpix.com_.JPG

Lizzie Deignan sat down with Cyclingnews to talk about her historic season, and said speculation about her retirement can be put on hold for now. Deignan won the inaugural women's Paris-Roubaix in October and said the pandemic has made her more appreciative of the sport.

"I would say you can stop asking me about retirement," she said. "I'll let you know when I'm thinking about it again."

The Trek-Segafredo rider, who turned 33 on Saturday, stepped away from pro cycling in 2018 to give birth to her first child, and had suggested she would be ready to call it a day after the Tokyo Olympics.

"Being a professional athlete has its difficult times, but you look around and realise that, in the middle of a pandemic when people are struggling, I’m still getting to travel the world and still getting paid to ride my bike," Deignan said.

21 December 2021, 11:53
Hull City Council votes to keep emergency cycle lanes
oxon travel cycle lane picture 2 - via twitter.PNG

Cycle lanes in Hull, first introduced last year as an emergency measure in response to the pandemic, will be made permanent following a vote by councillors. Hull City Council had earlier approved plans to keep the segregated lanes in the city centre.

Ann Hutchinson, a member of CycHull, told the BBC the Spring Bank infrastructure helped make people feel safe using the route. 

"It makes people keep a wider berth around you so they are not so close and it can be pretty scary if something zooms right past you." 

Council monitoring of the lane showed a 37 per cent increase in cyclists, with around 1,000 using the infrastructure each day.

Councillor Dean Kirk is responsible for highways and transport, he said: "The way in which we travel is changing, and how we share the road space is a key consideration for the council.

"We appreciate that changes to how people travel may not happen overnight, but our ambition is to build a transport network that works for everyone."

21 December 2021, 11:17
"A true classic of the genre" 10/10
21 December 2021, 11:00
Wout van Aert Cervélo auction reaches £11k (+ Jumbo-Visma rider wins second successive Belgian Sportsman of the Year)
Wout Van Aert on Stage 11 of 2021 Tour de France 03 A.S.O., Pauline Ballet

The auction for Wout van Aert's Mont Ventoux stage-winning Cervélo is up to €13,250 (£11,289), while his Tour of Britain-winning R5's top bid is currently €7,500 (£6,390). Primož Roglič's special red Vuelta-winning bike is still only at €6,000 (£5,113). Bargain.

> Want to buy Wout van Aert's Mont Ventoux stage-winning Cervélo? Here's how much it will cost you

Elsewhere in Van Aert news, the 27-year-old was, on Sunday, crowned Belgian Sportsman of the Year for a second successive year. Van Aert beat Olympic bronze medallist runner Bashir Abdi and judoka Matthias Casse to the award organised by Sporza.

"I thought it would be difficult to win again, certainly with this opposition. But that makes it all the more beautiful," Van Aert said afterwards.

21 December 2021, 10:30
Comment of the day (so far)


21 December 2021, 10:11
Summer is just around the corner

You've done's the shortest day of the year. From here we creep back towards those long spring and summer evenings. We'll keep our eyes peeled for anyone marking the shortest day with their longest or similar challenges... 

21 December 2021, 08:51
"If only there were a way of combining cycling with transport": Peloton coaches drive Mazda electric "support their active lifestyle"

This one has got real end of term the people at Mazda were sat around trying to find a way to justify their partnership with Peloton's coaches Leanne Hainsby and Ben Alldis, couldn't think of anything vaguely plausible, so thought 'to hell with it' it's Christmas, we'll just say it's to "support their active lifestyle"... that makes sense, doesn't it?

If there is one thing Twitter is good for, it's watching brand's and 'famous' people get roasted when they try to promote something silly. And boy has Mazda been on the receiving end this morning...

But what did the 'cyclists' say?

Well, Ben Alldis' paid partnership Insta post promoting the vehicle showed him driving it around London and said: "it's been the absolute dream [...] It's a great car for city living during the week and perfect for getting out of the city to see family and friends across the weekends." There were unfortunately no clips of Ben inevitably stuck in a queue of drivers while cyclists on non-two grand subscription exercise bikes streamed past...

I could share some of Leanne's post (which reads like...well, a Mazda advert) but I was preferring hearing what the good people of cycling Twitter had to say about the whole debacle, so let's do more of that...

Riviera Rider replied: "Instead of riding an actual bike to get around London, spin cycling instructors promote an electric car under the guise of 'supporting an active lifestyle' by driving through the country's best city for public transport." That's...pretty much it...

We'll be back with more reaction in a bit...

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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