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"Paint isn't infrastructure": Are unsegregated bike lanes more dangerous for cyclists?; Are daytime lights essential?; Pogačar says he's a Man City fan; Big win for Cav at the UAE Tour; Cyclists' Film Show returns + more on the live blog

Happy Monday! After a blustery weekend mostly spent on the sofa watching all the racing, Ryan Mallon’s back for the first live blog of the week. Only five days to Omloop…
21 February 2022, 17:53
Cycle Lane (via Mungecrundle)
Now That’s What I Call Infra 108

Tilt your head slightly, there you go...

This great piece of “cycle superhighway” flagged in the comments by user John (and featured in Near Miss of the Day 647) perfectly encapsulates the pointlessness of some of the UK’s painted, non-segregated cycle lanes.

Barely the width of your handlebars, drains everywhere, and then… nothing. Top bit of road design there...

21 February 2022, 17:32
Full route for RideLondon-Essex 100 released
RideLondon Essex route 2022

The full route for the eighth edition of RideLondon, due to take place on Sunday 29th May, was announced on Friday. 

The event, which will be held for the first time since 2019, has swapped its former Surrey stomping ground for Essex, with a new 100-mile route starting at Victoria Embankment in London before entering the county via the historic Epping Forest.

After riding through Ongar, Fyfield, the Rodings and Great Dunmow, the participants will join up with the route for stage three of the 2014 Tour de France around Chelmsford before heading back towards Ongar and central London, finishing at Tower Bridge.

The revamped format and partnership with Essex County Council also includes the creation of a new three-day UCI Women’s WorldTour stage race, the RideLondon Classique, which starts on Friday 27 May and features two stages in Essex.

Those who tried to enter this year’s RideLondon-Essex challenge via the public ballot should by now have found out whether they’ve got a place. However, there are still some charity places available.

If you fancy taking on RideLondon’s brand-new route for a good cause, the charity Lyme Disease Action, which strives for the prevention and treatment of Lyme disease and associated tick-borne diseases, has spaces available.

LDA is keen to promote the idea that people should not be scared of activity or the disease. If ticks are removed correctly then the risk of contracting Lyme disease is much lower and if it is treated in the early stages, the outcome is very good.

The charity is run by volunteers so any donations raised will go directly to funding the aims of the charity. Donations can also be increased by 25 per cent, with no extra cost to the person, if they are a UK taxpayer.

Anyone who wants to take part should contact LDA at fundraising [at]

21 February 2022, 16:50
A rivalry for the ages – or February, at least

Over the weekend one of cycling’s great rivalries came to a head. Forget Coppi and Bartali, and Hinault and LeMond – at the Tour du Var we saw the clash of the two great early season bandits, Nairo Quintana and Tim Wellens.

While Lotto Soudal’s Wellens predictably got the better of Quintana in their two-up sprint in La Turbie on Saturday, it was the Colombian from Arkéa Samsic who had the last laugh, riding to a dominant solo stage win and the GC the following day.

Quintana’s win at the Tour du Var followed his overall victory at the Tour de la Provence the week before, almost exactly mirroring his promising start to the 2020 season (later derailed by the pandemic, of course).

Nairoman’s recent penchant for early season success echoes that of his Lotto Soudal counterpart. Since 2016, Wellens has only went one year – 2020 – without picking up a win before the end of February, and he’s yet to finish outside the top 12 of any stage or one day race so far this year.

Can Quintana and Wellens keep this form going for the rest of 2022? Probably not, but at least we’ll always have February.

Same again this time next year, fellas?

21 February 2022, 16:10
Bontrager Flare Trek Factory Racing
Left in the Dark – should cyclists ride with lights during the day?

Our feature, published over the weekend, which explored whether cyclists should use bike lights even during the day – an idea propagated by Trek – has provoked some fierce discussion on Twitter (the spiritual home of fierce discussion).

Here is a selection of some of your views, both from Twitter and in the comments section of the original article:

 In the daytime possibly, in bright conditions – definitely not.

When you can see a cyclist from a distance of about half a mile, but their light only becomes obvious at half that it seems pretty pointless. Just a waste of energy and a stick to beat cyclists who aren’t using lights with.

I'm generally against using lights in the daytime, as I am often trying to conserve my light burn time for when it matters.

As cyclists we are competing against the background and other road users to be seen.

New models of cars have been using DRLs since 2011.

We should not have to but are almost forced to use lights in daytime in our own interests.

It is only one small step from no lights to victim blaming.

 I'll put my lights on during the daytime if the weather is bad (rainy, very overcast, fog, etc).  Other than that, no.

If someone honestly can't see you during the hours of daylight without your bike having flashing lights then in my opinion they shouldn't be driving.

And if they are only looking for lights, not for - you know - things, then again they should probably go and retake their driving test.

The problem would occur if a requirement for daylight lights turned up, with all the potential for the hyper-junk press to excuse their moron psycho readers for any offence against cyclists.

21 February 2022, 15:26
Cyclists’ Film Show returns to Finchley

 After a two-year hiatus, the Cyclists’ Film Show (formerly held in Hammersmith) returns this Sunday to the Phoenix cinema in Finchley. 

Organised at short notice by cycling film historian Ray Pascoe, best known for making two films about Tom Simpson, the event will feature screenings of Keep Going Lapebie, the story of Roger Lapébie’s 1937 Tour triumph, the Team Telekom documentary Hell on Wheels, and Ray’s own Notebook from the Tour 2019, as well as archival footage of cycling events from the 1910s and 1920s.

With Omloop Het Nieuwsblad kicking off Opening Weekend – and for many, the start of the cycling season proper (sorry, UAE Tour) – what better time to indulge your inner cycling historian?

21 February 2022, 15:02
Segregated cycle lanes, Menorca-style

On the subject of protected cycle lanes, this one on the Balearic island of Menorca is… shall we say... interesting.

The lane was installed on the access road to the island’s airport by operator Aena. While the path is segregated from traffic, its serpiginous route around the lamp posts has baffled some on social media:

Others, however, at least saw the meandering path as an upgrade on some of the UK’s classic examples of cycle infrastructure:

21 February 2022, 13:33
Cavendish - UAE Tour Stage 2 (via GCN) 2
Cavendish beats high-quality field at UAE Tour

It’s one thing beating Fernando Gaviria at the Tour of Oman; it’s quite another to come out on top against the likes of Jasper Philipsen, Sam Bennett, Pascal Ackermann, Dylan Groenewegen and Arnaud Demare at WorldTour level.

But that’s exactly what a flying Mark Cavendish did on today’s stage of the UAE Tour, edging out race leader Philipsen after the pair contested what was effectively a 250m drag race to the line, into a headwind.

Following his win in Oman, today’s victory marks only the fifth time in the Manxman’s career (and the first since 2015) that he’s won two or more sprints by the end of February.

Cavendish’s impressive long-range victory followed another relatively benign stage at the UAE Tour (a brief opportunity for echelons notwithstanding), characterised by pan-flat roads, a stifling headwind, and the incongruous sight of three Gazprom-Rusvelo riders making up the day’s breakaway.

Bora-Hansgrohe, Groupama-FDJ and Quick Step were the main protagonists in a slightly chaotic finale, with Cavendish launching his sprint early by peeling off a fading Sam Bennett’s wheel with 250m to go. Philipsen looked like he was closing on the Manx Missile as the duo approached the line, located on a slight bend, but Cavendish had done enough for win number two of 2022.

Cavendish - UAE Tour Stage 2 (via GCN)

“I knew we could win here, but I’m more happy because how the team worked today,” the Quick Step-Alpha Vinyl rider said after the finish. “A third of the team here are first-year professionals, so this is the first or second race in their career.

“But seeing how they rode today, they were like seasoned professionals. And that’s after one day of talking about how we didn’t get it right yesterday.

“Nobody panicked today – the job was to get me to the final as fresh as possible. And they did that, and they did it so well I could go for between 300 and 250 metres into a headwind.

“But I was delivered so well, I knew I had the energy to take it to the line. I felt Philipsen coming fast at me and I knew he was in good form after his sprint yesterday, so I’m happy we could hold him off and take the win.”

Cavendish’s flying start to the year continues, and today’s win – taken against an arguably stronger field than he faced at the 2021 Tour de France – certainly bodes well as he challenges the other in-form sprinter of February, Fabio Jakobsen, for a spot in Quick Step’s team come July.

21 February 2022, 12:26
Italy’s Team Pursuit squad versus the UAE Tour peloton - who wins?

After a gentle 180km preamble, the last four kilometres of stage one of the UAE Tour yesterday were pretty rapid.

Just not as rapid as the Italian Team Pursuit squad that won gold in Tokyo, who – as Groupama-FDJ’s Jacopo Guarnieri pointed out – also had to deal with a standing start and no tailwind (incidentally, both the UAE Tour peloton and the Italy team had a certain Filippo Ganna to power them along).

Speaking of Italy’s gold medal-winning pursuiters, Bahrain-Victorious’ Jonathan Milan was heavily criticised after the stage for this aggressive shove on Ag2r Citroën's 21-year-old neo-pro Paul Lapeira, which almost caused a crash at the front of the bunch:

It’s slightly less chaotic today at the UAE Tour, where a severe headwind has slowed everything down to jogging pace – for yesterday’s stage winner Jasper Philipsen at least…

Jasper Philipsen - UAE Tour 2022 (via GCN)
21 February 2022, 11:43
Whitewater cycling

The future of off-road riding? 

21 February 2022, 11:38
"Paint isn't infrastructure": Does HGV close pass show the danger of unsegregated cycle lanes?

This close pass, captured by David Selby yesterday morning on a sodden A34 in Stockport, raises an important question concerning the future of cycling infrastructure – rather than protecting cyclists, do unsegregated bike lanes actually put them in more danger?

Here are some of the replies to David’s video on Twitter, with some users claiming that unprotected, painted lanes are a “contributory factor” to dangerous close passes:

What do you think? Does a simple lick of paint on the road actually invite motorists to overtake cyclists closer than they normally would, or is something always better than nothing when it comes to cycling infrastructure?

Incidentally, Stockport Council was awarded a grant in February 2020 to develop a business case to create a series of improvements along the A34. These proposals include the creation of a 5.6km segregated pedestrian and cycle route along the road.

The council has submitted its case to the Department of Transport, with a decision expected in the coming months. If funding is approved, the improvements will be carried out in phases between 2023 and 2026.

21 February 2022, 09:53
From Colnago to the Kippax: Pogačar reveals he’s a Man City fan

A post shared by Manchester City (@mancity) 

Festina, Puerto, Jiffy-gate… as cycling fans, we’re well used to our sporting heroes letting us down.

But even over a century of scandals wasn’t enough to prepare us for the shocking revelation published in L'Équipe over the weekend – Tadej Pogačar admitted that he’s a Manchester City fan.

I’ll let that sink in for a moment.

The two-time Tour de France winner told the French sports daily that watching the Premier League champions beat that other bastion of sporting integrity, Paris Saint-Germain, in a Champions League game in November was one of the highlights of his off-season, and that he even had breakfast with manager Pep Guardiola the following morning.

There are unconfirmed reports that the 23-year-old’s favourite footballer of all time is Nicky Weaver and that his earliest sporting memory is City’s penalty shootout win over Gillingham in the 1999 Second Division play-off final.

Or maybe he’s a blue because his UAE Team Emirates squad is sponsored by the same people who have bankrolled City’s success over the past decade and more. Yeah, that’s probably it.

Some on Twitter were less than impressed by Pog’s footballing allegiance:

 Of course, the Slovenian superstar isn’t the first cycling link with the blue half of Manchester. Former City boss Roberto Mancini, who guided the club to its first league title in 44 years in 2012, is a keen cyclist who counts Felice Gimondi, Francesco Moser and Marco Pantani among his heroes.

Dave Brailsford and Roberto Mancini (copyright Getty Images)

On a visit to the Manchester velodrome in 2012 Mancini, who rode a custom blue Prestigio to training three or four times a week, said that his players could learn a lot from Team GB’s cyclists. A few years ago the current Italy manager spoke at an event hosted by the Michele Scarponi Foundation, where he claimed that it’s safer to cycle around areas of Manchester than in Italy.

Pogačar, meanwhile, also told L'Équipe that he would like to win all five monuments one day (he’s already got Liege and Lombardia in the bag after last year’s annus mirabilis), and that he will target Paris-Roubaix “when I've got more to gain than to lose”.

For the moment, the Slovenian seems as relaxed as ever as he looks to defend his UAE Tour title this week…

21 February 2022, 08:46
Blowin’ in the Wind

With storms Eunice and Franklin battering the UK this weekend, many of us took the opportunity to reacquaint ourselves with the neglected turbo trainer (provided your power stayed on).

Not in the Netherlands, however, where some brave – or foolish – cyclists continued to ride their bikes outside, turning Utrecht University’s famous rainbow bike path into a game of Mario Kart.

Or maybe they were just getting in some training for next year’s Dutch Headwind Championships… 

Ryan joined as a news writer in December 2021. He has written about cycling and some ball-centric sports for various websites, newspapers, magazines and radio. Before returning to writing about cycling full-time, he completed a PhD in History and published a book and numerous academic articles on religion and politics in Victorian Britain and Ireland (though he remained committed to boring his university colleagues and students with endless cycling trivia). He can be found riding his bike very slowly through the Dromara Hills of Co. Down.

Add new comment


IanMSpencer | 1 year ago

Ah, bright lights in daytime. I know they work as I've been abused by motorists for annoying them for having flashing lights. Within reason, I'd rather make a motorist grumpy for the tediosity of having to acknowledge a cyclist exists on the road than have them pretend I am invisible.

Rendel Harris replied to IanMSpencer | 1 year ago

IanMSpencer wrote:

Ah, bright lights in daytime. I know they work as I've been abused by motorists for annoying them for having flashing lights.

On lowlight days I usually put a flashing red light on the back of my helmet, I was addressed a few months ago at traffic lights by the driver of a BMW Wankpanzer:

"Vat's illegal, vat is."

"What is?"

"Having flashin' lights like vat, what you fink you are, bleedin' police car or summink?"

"No, I'm actually a fire engine but it's my day off."

Seemed to confuse him somewhat.

IanMSpencer | 1 year ago

The trouble with bike lanes is that the dotted line looks like a lane marking and give the impression that they can be used to pass as closely as a car would pass another car or lorry in a lane - which is very close. The old HC had that ambiguous phrase - "Give cyclists as much room as you would a car" which, as plenty of drivers are happy to clip wing mirrors of parked cars, made me not very happy.

It probably needs a test case - should a motorist be prosecuted for failing to leave 1.5 metres passing a cyclist in a cycle lane. Clearly considering the logic of why 1.5 metres is chosen - enough room to wobble and fall off and not get sucked under a lorry - then the idea that a bit of magic paint fulfills the same function is nonsense. After all there is no mention of lane markings being a factor in the HC.

Perhaps our favourite motoring expert lawyer would fancy a bit of pro bono and try a prosecution for a change.

AidanR | 1 year ago

Lights in the daytime - why would I not have them on?

chrisonatrike replied to AidanR | 1 year ago

AidanR wrote:

Lights in the daytime - why would I not have them on?

Because you aren't a cynic?

AidanR replied to chrisonatrike | 1 year ago

I don't live in a jar?

chrisonatrike replied to AidanR | 1 year ago

Barrel on then!

IanMSpencer replied to chrisonatrike | 1 year ago

I'm disillusioned. All my life is thought of him like so, only more Greek of course.

chrisonatrike replied to IanMSpencer | 1 year ago
1 like

Looking at your picture it seems you're not disillusioned, just unenlightened. (Unenlanterned?)

Cycloid | 1 year ago

As has been noted "Paint is not Protection"

The question has already been answered in Rachel Aldred's Paper

"One of the most startling results was that infrastructure typically designated for cycling may put cyclists at increased risk. Painted cycle lanes and shared bus lanes tended to increase the likelihood of injury, compared to there being no such infrastructure."

The question becomes:-

Millions of pounds have been wasted on infrastructure that is not fit for purpose.
"What's going to be done about it?!


nniff | 1 year ago

Gazprom-Rusvelo out on thier own?  Sounds about right for their whole country - Ukraine, doping kids....

Mungecrundle | 1 year ago

A picture of my local cycle superhighway. It's actually narrower than the bars on my bike.

But look what happens when the paint runs out!

Cycloid replied to Mungecrundle | 1 year ago

You Lucky B*st*rd, I'd give anything for a bike lane like that.
Marvelous people the Romans


Captain Badger replied to Cycloid | 1 year ago

Cycloid wrote:

You Lucky B*st*rd, I'd give anything for a bike lane like that.
Marvelous people the Romans


Luxury. I dreeeam of cycling is gutter.

wtjs replied to Mungecrundle | 1 year ago

A picture of my local cycle superhighway

Pfff! Luxury!!

wtjs replied to wtjs | 1 year ago
1 like

A picture of my local cycle superhighway

Pfff! Luxury!!

This is what happens when the Lancashire police completely abandon cyclists and road legislation. This offence by a Traveller's Choice of Carnforth school bus driver on a pedestrian crossing shows that no Lancashire driver fears action by the Pathetic Police This is 4148 VZ

Kendalred replied to wtjs | 1 year ago
1 like

Ah yes, Travellers Choice. Been buzzed by those wankers quite a few times up here in South Lakes.

The Travellers Choice seems to be the choice to drive like a twat.

wtjs replied to Kendalred | 1 year ago

Travellers Choice seems to be the choice to drive like a twat

They haven't replied and I'm sure they won't. Nothing from The Filth yet, but I'm expecting the standard No-Action Action Letter, which doesn't commit them to anything at all

peted76 replied to Mungecrundle | 1 year ago

Mungecrundle wrote:

A picture of my local cycle superhighway. It's actually narrower than the bars on my bike. But look what happens when the paint runs out!

That is BRUTAL.. it should be illegal.

brooksby replied to Mungecrundle | 1 year ago

Clearly the driver of the blue car expected the cyclist *they had just passed* to vanish into thin air.  As you do...

GMBasix replied to Mungecrundle | 1 year ago

Mungecrundle wrote:

A picture of my local cycle superhighway. It's actually narrower than the bars on my bike. But look what happens when the paint runs out!

I wouldn't consider riding within that lane for a moment.  The absolute minimum I ride to (my idea of a modest secondary) is wheels on what used to be the whiote line.

Apart form anything, though, I'd fall off that road:  it's built on its side :-P

sean1 | 1 year ago

Quite a few studies have shown that painted cycling infrastructure either offers no safety benefit or can reduce safety.

e.g.  This study by Aldred & Adams

"Mandatory painted lanes did not lead to any risk reduction and advisory lanes (which motor vehicles are legally permitted to enter) increased injury odds by over 30%"


nniff replied to sean1 | 1 year ago

I rode down one today - the line is to the left of where i would usually ride, so i stayed to its right.  Dangerous thing.

carlosdsanchez | 1 year ago

Problem with these narrow painted lanes is that it gives motorists the idea that this is a sufficient space to give while overtaking a cyclist. I've frequently had HGV's and buses pass me at the point shown in the picture and there's not much you can do because they didn't go over the line...

Also, whilst in court  as a witness for a close pass on a different road about 10 miles away, the defendant used the width measurement from the cycle lane in the picture as justification that they'd left me enough room. Luckily the magistrate didn't agree and they were found guilty of driving without due care.

Bungle_52 replied to carlosdsanchez | 1 year ago

Can I just confirm that a motorist was convicted of driving without due care for a close pass? Which police force was it? Gloucestershire police say there is no offence of close passing.

carlosdsanchez replied to Bungle_52 | 1 year ago

Norfolk. There isn't a specific offence for close passing, they use due care which I believe is below careless driving. Haven't been regularly commuting since COVID, but between 2018 and 2020 I reported 116 incidents 61 got a notice of intended prosecution, 9 got a warning letter, 2 went to court, 2 got no further action and the rest I wasn't informed of the result. Basically from mid 2019 the team the reports were going to seemed to get a lot more organized and you'd get informed what action was being taken.

Bungle_52 replied to carlosdsanchez | 1 year ago

First of all well done and thank you for your efforts in making our roads safer for cyclists. Sounds like you are giving cycling mikey a good run for his money.

I guess I was asking if the only thing the motorist that got the driving wihout due care had done was to pass too close and if so how close and how fast. I'm relatively new to submitting and always get NFA unless I have to swerve or brake violently to avoid a collision and even then not always. See NMOTD 674. Just trying to get a feel for whether these responses from Gloucestershire are in line with other forces.

Awavey replied to Bungle_52 | 1 year ago

Careless driving is driving without due care and attention, it's the same offence aiui. But what Norfolk/Suffolk police (as it's one team that do these across both counties) might have considered prosecutable 2 or 3 years back probably isnt the case now for various reasons, and certainly one being it's taking nearly 2 years to bring even dangerous driving cases through the courts, careless driving isnt really high enough priority it feels currently.

So I dont think theyd have responded to NMOTD 674 in the way your Gloucestershire force did but I dont think theyd have prosecuted either, at best a warning letter though probably NFA, it's not one I'd have submitted.

On the Dashboard Camera submissions site for Suffolk and Norfolk theyve published all of last years stats now, only around 20% are prosecuted, whilst nearly 60% are just rejected as not meeting submission criteria.

Bungle_52 replied to Awavey | 1 year ago

Thanks for that information. Would you not have submitted 674 because you think that's acceptable driving, because it's low speed, because there was no collision or because you think the courts are too busy at the moment. I thought I was doing the right thing by submitting but now you've got me worried.

Awavey replied to Bungle_52 | 1 year ago

I'm certainly not saying it was acceptable driving, but those types of passes are so common that youd be submitting hundreds per week if you rode every day, and ime the police dont really take action on those, unless you are incredibly lucky. I only submit those where I feel I was at risk of harm/injury, it's always hard to judge sitting behind a monitor but it didnt feel like that was the case there. But dont be put off submitting, you'll gain knowledge even if the police NFA it and reach a level of what your force takes action with


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