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BBC accused of bias over helmet campaign on Crimewatch Roadshow; Tour de France BLM gesture "embarrassing", says Wiggins; Cargo bike "best thing we ever bought", says Jason Kenny; "I'm not dead", says baffled bike shop owner + more on the live blog

Welcome to Monday's live blog. Jack Sexty is in charge as we kick off the week, with Simon MacMichael taking over later this evening...
21 September 2020, 16:26
This week's helmet row: BBC face backlash for segment featuring guest campaigning for mandatory cycle helmets on Crimewatch Roadshow

The BBC are facing questions over their impartiality policy, after a discussion about mandatory helmet use on episode 11 of the Crimewatch Roadshow that aired this morning. 

Around 15 minutes into the episode, a segment is introduced from a police training centre near Bristol, in which an officer talks about bike theft and how the public can better protect their bikes from thieves. Around three and a half minutes later, the subject suddenly shifts to cycling accidents and the risk of injury, introducing 'former detective' David Baker who is campaigning to make helmets compulsory after suffering a serious accident. 

As Baker shows the presenter Rav Wilding a campaign poster from Headway, featuring the slogan 'protect your melon' and an image of a smashed watermelon alongside a helmeted one, Wilding says: "It’s very very simple, but very very clear what you are getting across there, the fact that if you put this helmet on, you will protect your own melon.”

“A really really powerful image and a great campaign.”

In his article on the programme for Forbes, Carlton Reid claims that the segment breached the BBC's impartiality guidelines, because Wilding was "editorialising" by backing the Headway campaign and failing to challenge Baker's calls for mandatory helmet use. Reid and Wilding exchanged messages on Twitter, with Reid saying that he had made an official complaint. 

Earlier this week, Chris Boardman was criticised for not wearing a helmet in a segment on cycling in lockdown during ITV4's Tour de France coverage. Following the social media backlash, Boardman said: "I’m so sad that riding a bike looking like this is so upsetting to people. It’s happening just a few hundred miles from us, and I think it’s quite wonderful."

21 September 2020, 16:06
"It just captured everything that is wrong with the way we should be travelling": Cumbria's bicycle mayor slams parked cars on cycle routes and calls for "sea change" in how roads are used
richard ingham  - via barrow borough council.PNG

Richard Ingham, who has served as Cumbria's bicycle mayor for a year, made his comments after claiming that Botchergate, one of the main routes into Carlisle city centre, is unsafe for cyclists, caused by cars parked in the cycle lane and heavy congestion. 

Mr Ingham told News and Star: "It's double yellow lines and there's a cycle lane there - though the lane itself is substandard. 

"Practically every parking rule in the Highway Code is being broken, and they get broken every single day.

"There's a lack of consideration among some road users. We need to remember that it's not my road, it's our road.

"It just captured everything that is wrong with the way we should be travelling. It showed why we can't travel more actively." 

He also pointed out that there had been 11 cyclist and 42 pedestrian casualties on this road alone between 2015-2019, saying his 'heart would be in his mouth' if his children were cycling on the road.

Making a wider point about the need for travel habits to change in the UK, Mr Ingham added: "There is no option but to change the way we travel.

"Switching to what you would call 'active modes' of transport, such as cycling and walking, would provide the answer to so many of the nation's problems.

"We're an unfit nation as a whole; obesity is a rising issue; but also, overuse of the car is also contributing to worse air quality in our streets. We know what sort of damage that does to people, particularly children."

21 September 2020, 17:09
"Preliminary investigation" reportedly opened into doping at the 2020 Tour de France

Following the news that Nairo Quintana's hotel room was raided by police during the final week of the Tour de France, a wider investigation is about to take place according to the AFP news agency in France - will this affect standings as the investigation unravels?

21 September 2020, 16:22
Slightly more affordable new kicks from the Italians
21 September 2020, 15:50
Cyclist falls into river in Murcia
river segura - via wikimedia commons.PNG

The 60-year-old cyclist reportedly fell into the River Segura in Molina, Murcia accidentally, suffering trauma to the head. Euro Weekly report that the man managed to pull himself out with the help of others, before he was taken to a local hospital nearby. 

21 September 2020, 14:11
Thief sold a £5,000 bike for £70
Bike thief

34-year-old Robert Bielby crept into a house in Wordsworth Street in east Hull and stole two bicycles, one worth £5,000 and the other £3,000... and after selling the more expensive bike for just £70, it turns out that Bielby believed the bikes belonged to his brother, who was a lodger at the property and owed him around £120.

Hull Live report that the actual owners of the bikes discovered they were gone the same evening and called the police, then managed to track down the person who had bought the £5,000 bike for £70 on Facebook. 

Prosecuting barrister Paul Genney said: “The defendant was arrested and when interviewed by police he told them he took them because his brother owed him £120 and didn’t realise the value of the bikes, thinking they belonged to his brother.”

Daffyd Enoch QC said Bielby was “quite lucky” to be sentenced for theft instead of burglary, as he was given a three month suspended prison sentence and ten days of rehabilitation activity. 

21 September 2020, 14:00
"I'm not dead", says West Yorkshire bike shop owner after bizarre rumours of his demise circulate in local area

A number of Kendell Cycles customers have been left looking like they've seen a ghost recently, after rumours circulating around the town of Castleford led some to believe that its owner Gary Proud was dead... only for them to be greeted by Mr Proud when they popped into the shop to offer their condolences to his wife. 

Mr Proud told the Pontefract and Castleford Express: "I had an old school buddy come in recently who thought I’d died, and on the same day we had somebody from Squires come in. My brother was speaking to someone and even they were saying it’s a shame about the bloke in the bike shop!

“I’m finding it quite funny but I think it’s upsetting people now. I have no idea where it came from. It seems to have gathered pace and it’s getting a bit disturbing.

“People are coming into the shop to see my wife and then see me, and look like they’ve seen a ghost.

“I don’t want to make light of it because a lot of people have died from Covid-19 but I have to laugh."

The very much alive 58-year-old has run Kendell Cycles for more than 40 years, and was an elite cyclist in his youth. He is also the current captain of Featherstone Road Club. 

21 September 2020, 12:24
Jason Kenny praises the Tern GSD as the best thing his family have ever bought

It was certainly good enough for Dave Atkinson in his review of the original Tern GSD over on our sister site eBikeTips, calling it "the most useful bike I’ve ever ridden"... and now this e-cargo machine has got a multiple Olympic gold medal-winning seal of approval from Jason and Laura Kenny. 

Originally posted to Laura's Instagram account and shared by Coventry's bicycle mayor Adam Tranter, the senior Kennys are riding the GSD while their son Albie scoots along on a balance bike beside them on a bridleway.

The caption says: "This week is European Mobility Week. It's time to change the way you move. This week I challenge you to go to work while working out!" 

21 September 2020, 10:40
"The worst display of solidarity I've ever seen at the Tour de France": Bradley Wiggins labels BLM recognition from Tour organisers "embarrassing"
bradley wiggins blm comments - via instagram.PNG

The 2012 Tour de France winner has made his feelings known on the Tour's alleged lack of support for the Black Lives Matter movement, in a short video clip uploaded to his Instagram account

Wiggins said: "That was the worst display of solidarity I've ever seen at the Tour de France. Embarrassing. 

"They can come up with something a bit better than that. All a bit late in the day as well."

As mentioned further down the page, the only public display in support of BLM at the Tour de France came on stage 21, as some riders chose to wear masks with 'Black Lives Matter' written on them in pen. This was reportedly organised by B&B Hotels–Vital Concept rider Kevin Reza, with the official Tour de France Twitter account sharing a photo, but otherwise contributing nothing towards the cause. 

Sir Bradley himself was accused of "casual racism" two weeks ago, when he said live on Eurosport that Irishman Sam Bennett could almost be 'considered British'. Sean Kelly was not amused, telling Wiggins that "you're not going to claim him".  Wiggins then appeared to mock Kelly's accent, saying: "We spoke to him [Bennett] at the Vuelta last year when he came on our show, and at least we can understand what he’s saying. We can’t really understand what you’re saying Sean, can we?”

21 September 2020, 10:08
Pogacar's 'supporting role' went well then

As spotted by Eurosport and GCN presenter Dan Lloyd, it was thought Pogacar would be rocking up to the 2020 Tour de France in support of Fabio Aru... as it happens Aru capitulated on stage 9, and the rest was history. 

There was someone who got their predictions right - albeit with a fair bit more hindsight than news reporters had in 2019 - with Chris Froome telling ITV how he believed that Roglic was likely to "tail off" at the pointy end of the race. It's almost like winning the thing four times has given him some extra expert insight...

21 September 2020, 09:29
Sam Bennett comments on photo of Bennett congratulating Bennett while Bennett is on screen

The Irishman added another layer to this observation from 'Cycling out of context', after he was congratulated on his green jersey victory by Jumbo-Visma's George Bennett. 

21 September 2020, 08:51
"Not good enough": Tour de France organisers slammed over lack of action on racial equality, as riders organise their own show of support for the Black Lives Matter movement

While the Black Lives Matter movement has been arguably the biggest story of 2020 other than the pandemic, cycling has been noticeably quiet on the issue of racial equality compared to other sports; and as cycling clearly has a lack of diversity in the peloton, with Kevin Reza being the only black rider at this year's Tour de France, some are disappointed that the organisers haven't gone further to highlight the issues.  

As it turns out, it's thought a handful of riders themselves decided to wear masks with the Black Lives Matter slogan on before stage 21 yesterday, with no official backing from the organisers other than the above Tweet sent out yesterday. The tweet also attracted some unsavoury comments as you'll see above, further demonstrating how the sport's diversity problem trickles down to its fans. 

What steps do you think need to be taken to attract more diversity in professional cycling? Thoughts in the comments as always... 

Arriving at 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 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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