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Rural groups say ‘Get orf our land’ for your exercise; Monster Zwift rides keeping Brailsford fit in lockdown; Bikes "the new toilet paper”; UCI signs up to save planet; Govt accused of "gaslighting" over car-free street claims; + more on the live blog

Welcome to Wednesday's live blog, with Jack Sexty in charge and Simon MacMichael adding some pearls of wisdom later this evening...
22 April 2020, 19:10
'Get orf our land' - rural groups urge government to tell people to stay away

Perhaps unwittingly channelling the Viz comic character Farmer Palmer - catchphrase 'Get orf moi land' - a coalition of countryside campaign groups are urging the government not to allow anyone who doesn't live there to travel to rural areas for their exercise.

While not aimed directly at cyclists – which is nice, given that people in some villages around the country have been erecting unauthorised signs telling people on bikes to stay away – the National Rural Crime Network says it has received "hundreds of concerned messages a day" from rural residents about people travelling to the country to undertake their permitted exercise during the lockdown.

In the letter to Justice Secretary Robert Buckland, the National Rural Crime Network, the Countryside Alliance, the National Farmers' Union, and the Country Land and Business Association, say that current guidance allowing people to drive to a place of exercise will "encourage even more people to carry out unnecessarily long journeys".

Last week, the Crown Prosecution Service outlined what was considered a “reasonable excuse” to leave the home, including, in terms of outdoor exercise, “driving to countryside and walking (where far more time is spent walking than driving).”

You can read the letter in full here.


22 April 2020, 12:36
Dave Brailsford keeping super fit in lockdown
dave brailsford on strava april 2020.PNG

Anyone who follows Brailsford on Strava will be aware that pre-lockdown he often held his own with the Ineos riders on training camps, and his latest Zwift workout is mighty impressive stuff for a 56-year-old.

He's known to swear by a low carb diet regime and low cadence riding for strength-building - as he revealed in a detailed comment on Strava a while ago - and appears to have built up impressive fitness again after recovering from an operation to treat prostate cancer last summer. 

On the ride above, Brailsford held a weighted average power of 267 watts for just over an hour with a virtual speed of 40.5km/h... could you keep up?

22 April 2020, 14:04
Hackney Councillor says government are "gaslighting us" by claiming to have made it easier to introduce car-free streets

Councillor Jon Burke referred to a BBC article with the headline "Coronavirus: Banning cars made easier to aid social distancing"... and according to Councillor Burke, something clearly doesn't add up. 

He says that the Department for Transport's claims that councils can cut 'red tape' governing temporary road closures - allowing them to implement car-free streets in a matter of days rather than months or years - are essentially untrue. Councillor Burke continued in his thread: 

"I'm both embarrassed and apologetic that I've had Hackney Council officers waste precious time exploring this when the DfT is clearly gaslighting us. We live in a completely car-dominated society and are led by a Government that wants to keep it that way. Absolutely infuriating.

"This in no way diminishes Hackney Council's desire to humanise our streets and reallocate road space for the benefit of all, but it does mean the Gov't won't let us implement temporary filters to improve road safety & social distancing during a public health and speeding crisis."

22 April 2020, 15:00
Shower's Pass inviting us to 'Explore the Indoors'

The cycling apparel brand want your 30 second videos showing creative use of their products indoors, such as the examples in the video above such as 'cycling to work' and using gloves to stick icing on cakes. 

The comp runs until 1st May and the winner gets a Shower's Pass shopping spree - more details on how to enter here

22 April 2020, 14:37
UCI signs UN's Sports for Climate Action Framework for Earth Day
Earth Day Flag - via wkimedia commons

As part of its ongoing efforts "to promote cycling as one of the world’s most environmentally friendly sports", the UCI have signed the Sports for Climate Action Framework which brings together more than 100 international federations from various sports to tackle climate change. 

In doing so, the UCI say they have committed to "reducing overall climate impact, educating for climate action, promoting sustainable and responsible consumption and advocating for climate action through communication."

The ever-busy Chis Boardman, who is also a UCI Advocacy & Mass Participation Commission member on top of his numerous other responsibilities. commented: “I applaud the UCI for signing the UN Sport for Climate Action Framework as part of their commitment to greening the sport we love. Their recognition that cycling and active travel is part of the solution to the climate crisis – and their clear commitment to advocate for it – is very encouraging and something I am working hard to deliver in Greater Manchester. I look forward to working with the UCI to make their sustainability programme a success for the sport and for society.”

22 April 2020, 14:24
Meanwhile, in Paris: 650km of cycle network, introduced from May 11th

If Councillor Jon Burke's accusations are correct, we've a way to go in England then...

22 April 2020, 12:56
Zwift announces 'Tour For All', their biggest charity event yet, to support Médecins Sans Frontières in pandemic response
zwift tour for all

Zwift have announced a four-week long series to raise funds for Médecins Sans   Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) and their COVID-19 Crisis Fund.

Cyclists, runners and triathletes are all invited to join in the fun from the 4th to 30th May, and Zwift themselves will also be making a $125,000 donation to MSF. They say that once 250,000 people from Zwift’s global community have completed at least one Tour For All event, they will donate another $125,000. 

Zwift CEO Eric Min said: “Over recent months, the world has been turned upside down and I think we are all adjusting to a new normal.

“We’re in a unique position to bring together a global community and unite behind one cause, raising money for those who are helping to keep us safe. MSF is responding to the COVID-19 emergency in multiple ways - caring for patients, offering health education and mental health support, and providing training for vital infection control measures in health facilities around the world. I invite our global community to join us in supporting these lifesaving efforts. Of course, let’s have some fun along the way!”

More info on joining the rides here. ​

22 April 2020, 11:19
"Bikes the new toilet paper" UK: online retailer puts prices back to RRP to ease sales while Evans deliveries taking up to 18 days
bike box

There seems to be a surge in demand for bikes across the globe, as numerous UK retailers we've been in touch with are also struggling to keep up with orders. 

One anonymous online retailer tells us they've taken the unprecedented step of reversing discounts on bikes and reverting back to recommended retail price in an effort to slow sales. Another bike brand says they are "flat out" trying to keep up with demand and they've seen a huge increase in sales for all genres of bike, while another says they are seeing 'Black Friday levels' of sales. 

Meanwhile, as well as reopening nine stores Evans Cycles have announced via social media that it will now take up to 18 days for a bike to be delivered. In the replies, a customer has claimed that Evans have yet to put this information on their checkout page - a full story will follow on this later today. 

22 April 2020, 12:41
Schoolboy cycling ten miles a day inspired by Captain Tom Moore

99-year-old Captain Moore has raised over £28 million for NHS Charities Together, and inspired by the feat 5-year-old Rudy Price from Solihull is cycling ten miles a day to raise more funds for the NHS. He's raised over £2,000 in less than a week, you can donate to the cause here

22 April 2020, 12:49
Russian track cycling champ Alexandra Goncharova banned for four years
Aleksandra Goncharova - wikipedia

The Russian Anti-Doping Agency’s press service says that Goncharova - who was also the Russian Road Race champion in 2019 - will have her suspension applied retrospectively as of 9th September 2019 for violating anti-doping rules. 

22 April 2020, 12:23
Brailsford calls for modernisation of cycling calendar, but admits if one event could happen it should the Tour de France
dave brailsford ineos 2020

Speaking to BBC Radio 4, the Team Ineos manager said that for cycling to move forward it must modernise and not be so reliant on one race, something that the coronavirus pandemic has brutally exposed: 

"Everyone would see the benefits of having a more robust structure", said Brailsford.

"It would allow people to plan medium-to-long term, rather than planning short-term and, just for some, survival on a short-term basis.

"That would be a very big game changer. Modernising the business model going forward would be wise for everybody."

Brailsford also told Sporza that he would like to see solidarity between teams and mutual support, and says that if the whole 2020 season is cancelled then "everyone would be under pressure."​

22 April 2020, 12:10
People buying bikes be like...

22 April 2020, 11:33
Evans reopen nine stores "to support key workers"
Evans Cycles Leeds Station (01).JPG

Evans has announced it will reopen nine further stores, which means 18 are fully open and a further four in Maidenhead, Brighton, Cardiff and Milton Keynes are doing appointments for collections. 

Evans say they have provided hundreds of free bike MOTs to key workers and will now be able to offer the service across more of their stores:

"As a transport provider, bicycle shops are listed as essential retailers on the Government’s official guidance. Strict safety measures have been introduced to the re-opened stores, including limiting how many customers can enter at any given time, marking out ‘2 metre zones’ throughout the shop floor and eradicating touchpoints within the payment process", say Evans. 

The Evans Cycles stores currently open are:

Notting Hill
Kings Cross
Sutton Coldfield

22 April 2020, 09:45
Going out for a ride? Do as Kevin Keegan doesn't, warns the BBC

Spotting this classic Superstars clips on Twitter has sparked a huge reminiscing session on the Skype convo amongst my 'wiser' colleagues... do you remember watching at the time? 

It's also worth noting that it's probably not a good idea to emulate Mr Keegan if you find yourself as manager of the England national football team, or if you're asked to calmly state your opinion on comments made by a rival manager in the closing stages of a Premier League season... 

22 April 2020, 08:57
Are bikes the new toilet paper? The manager of Giant in Sydney says so

It appears the notion of N+1 is finally reaching the masses, as The Guardian report that in Australia retailers are struggling to keep up with demand... in fact Grant Kaplan, manager of the Giant store in Sydney's central business district, has described bikes as "the new toilet paper" as Australians rush to get a new steed so they can keep fit during the lockdown:

“We can’t keep up with sales. Literally the phone is ringing nonstop", says Kaplan. 

One employee says Saturday takings have gone up from $10,000 to $40,000 in the last two weekends, and if anything the shop is understaffed. 

Similar reports have been made from numerous bike shops in the UK, and there has also been a huge boom in sales of turbo trainers. All this talk of bikes and toilets kind of remind us of this classic from the Viz archive, which the magazine claim may just come in handy during a loo roll shortage... 

22 April 2020, 08:37
Edinburgh and Glasgow councils in talks with Sustrans for temporary cycle lanes and wider pavements during pandemic
Glasgow Univeristy (picture credit GoBike)

As we've already covered, numerous world cities are already implementing 'pop-up' cycling infrastructure for cycling while the roads have less motor traffic, and now Glasgow and Edinburgh could be about to give over more space for cycles. The plans are being discussed Scottish Government’s Transport Scotland agency and Sustrans, reports The Scotsman, as traffic has fell by 75% due to the lockdown. 

This 'redrawing' is actually planned for when the restrictions are eased, as social distancing is likely to continue for some time. In many cities, walkers are finding that they are forced to step into the road to avoid each other and ​​more people are cycling to get their daily exercise. Edinburgh City Council leader Adam McVey told The Scotsman: “We are actively considering ways to help people to safely walk and cycle, both in the present circumstances, and as things hopefully change in the coming months.

“Any new measures will be announced as early as possible. In the meantime, we are aware there are a number of pinch points across the city, and would ask everyone to show understanding and awareness of each other.”


Cycling UK praised the plans, and say they hope that other local authorities will follow suit: “As restrictions ease, it’s vital we help people to maintain their newly-formed healthy habits, and continue to experience the many benefits from being more active", said Cycling UK’s campaigns and policy manager for Scotland Jim Densham. 

22 April 2020, 08:22
Elite launch biodegradable water bottle
elite biodegradable water bottles new 2020.PNG

Elite say the new Jet bottle is manufactured with a plastic material that is treated with a special additive, making it possible to lower the time it takes for the bottle to decompose. A standard plastic product could take between 100-1000 years to decompose, whereas the Jet bottle can degrade in three months to five years, so they claim. 

All sizes are the standard 74mm diameter to fit any bottle cage, and it's available in four colours - you can get one here

22 April 2020, 08:12
It's Earth Day

Sustrans have marked Earth Day's 50th anniversary with the fact that cycling takes over a quater of a million cars off the road each day in 12 of the UK's major cities. 

22 April 2020, 08:09
The craziest prototype ever?

In answer to the question of whether Fignon would have fared better in that infamous closing time trial at the 1989 Tour on this bike... well it looks like it's only got one gear, so almost certainly no.  

22 April 2020, 12:46

Can't see the comments? Click here

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.  

Add new comment


eburtthebike | 4 years ago

The Countryside Alliance, the National Farmers' Union, and the Country Land and Business Association; possibly the biggest assembly of NIMBYs in the history of the universe.  With parks shut and many people without gardens living in close proximity to other people, they want to stop anyone not local from going out and enjoying a walk in the country.

The effects of this lockdown are beginning to show, with higher rates of domestic abuse and violence and mental problems, and we've barely started.  I dread to think how bad this is going to get if it lasts into the summer, but it's going to be bad, very bad.

Did I say NIMBYs?  Sorry, I meant selfish, inconsiderate bastards lacking in all empathy.

grumpyoldcyclist | 4 years ago

So let me get this straight, please correct me if I'm wrong. The residents are worried that cyclists are spreading the virus, so worried in fact, that they went and tried to stand next to them?

Words fail me........

David9694 replied to grumpyoldcyclist | 4 years ago

Maybe sacrifices have to be made? For cause and all that?

Captain Badger replied to David9694 | 4 years ago
1 like



Liam Cahill replied to Captain Badger | 4 years ago
1 like
brooksby replied to grumpyoldcyclist | 4 years ago
1 like

If the villagers are all so concerned that cyclists are bringing the virus from outside the village into the village...  Why is that villagers just popping to the nearest town or city to do their food shopping, or ordering online so a man with a van comes and delivers it to their door (presumably also coming from outside the village?), is fine...?

Captain Badger replied to brooksby | 4 years ago

Get outta here! You city folk with your flaaaashy ways and your.... fffffaaaacts and.... logic!

zero_trooper replied to brooksby | 4 years ago

Essential food for them is ok, essential exercise for others isn't.

There's a lot of hypocrisy going on during the lockdown (I live in a seaside village with a number of holiday homes).

eburtthebike | 4 years ago

Councillor Jon Burke for PM! 

Government of Boris the Liar gaslighting us, while announcing extra spending on roads; I for one am shocked to my very core.

pwake | 4 years ago
1 like

Looks like Fignon was toying with going for the Hour Record, probably as revenge on Moser for that incredibly dubious 1984 Giro victory!

The saddle with the aero fairing (Selle Italia?) did become a production item; I definitely remember Thierry Marie winning the TDF prologue one year with that type of saddle.

Gimpl | 4 years ago
1 like

I'm tearing up at the memory!

Superstars - David Vine's commentary - the summer of '76 and those tiny shorts we used to wear!!! 


Captain Badger replied to Gimpl | 4 years ago

Those shorts would be enough to make anyone tear up 

Gimpl replied to Captain Badger | 4 years ago

We were much slimmer in those days, you could get away with it 

Captain Badger replied to Gimpl | 4 years ago

Not sure I could...kiss

Butty replied to Gimpl | 4 years ago

Remeber Joop Zoetemelks performances, particularly only doing 1 bar dip in the gym! My father exclaimed at the time "I thought cyclists were meant to be fit!". It was not the sports finest moment.

As Keegan, it looked like something was loose on the front, or was his first time cycling in 20 years.

zero_trooper replied to Gimpl | 4 years ago

Brian Jacks!

Gimpl replied to zero_trooper | 4 years ago

The old slippy shoes!


Butty | 4 years ago

There was an uplifting and interesting news section on BBC News this morning that included Sir Boardman. A Dutch Uni has modelled that cyclists riding shoulder to shoulder offer minimal risk of spreading the plague than following behind. Hopefully this means that for months to come the Gov policy will allow cyclists to occupy the whole carriage width while excercising?

Sir Chris also chipped in with a very positive and diplomatic response about how good cycling is in the current unpleasantness

ktache | 4 years ago

People are panic buying bicycles now?

Or just an extra one, just in case?

brooksby replied to ktache | 4 years ago

ktache wrote:

People are panic buying bicycles now?

Or just an extra one, just in case?

n+1, my friend: n+1 

ktache replied to brooksby | 4 years ago

Prices up to RRP to "ease sales".


Philh68 replied to brooksby | 4 years ago

And in a few months time there will be flood of lightly used bicycles available to test our n+1 resolve… devil

zero_trooper replied to Philh68 | 4 years ago

I'm saving the pennies, I'm saving the pennies  1

Captain Badger replied to ktache | 4 years ago

I've bought three pallet loads, so that I can sell them off at a handsome profit when supply dries up.

David9694 replied to Captain Badger | 4 years ago

A tissue of lies. I'm going to tear you off a strip. 

Captain Badger replied to David9694 | 4 years ago
1 like

This is turning into a race to the bottom

Sriracha replied to ktache | 4 years ago

I heard sales were on a roll. Something like that.

Captain Badger replied to Sriracha | 4 years ago
1 like

They are finding it easy to "ply" their trade....

Sriracha replied to Captain Badger | 4 years ago

Bicycle sales have always gone in cycles

Captain Badger replied to Sriracha | 4 years ago

It's a business where it is easy to pedal your wears


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