Next year's Tour Prologue
— Crown Green Bowler (29) (@29Crown) June 22, 2022
Forget Florence, a 5.5 metre bike lane time trial as part of a Lancashire grand depart – that’s what the people want…
Or maybe we could pitch the bleak beauty of this Highlands ‘cycle route’ to ASO?
— 𝙾𝚟𝚎𝚛𝚕𝚊𝚗𝚍𝚎𝚛 (@overlandertheb1) June 22, 2022
Micro-TTs – that’s the future of bike racing right there.
Ineos Grenadiers are partnering with Eliud Kipchoge to set up a cycling academy at the marathon world record holder’s training centre in Kaptagat, Kenya.
Kipchoge, a double Olympic champion who became the first man ever to run a sub-two hour marathon as part of the Ineos 1.59 Challenge in 2019, hopes the expansion of his centre to include cycling will allow Kenya to identify and develop a generation of cyclists similar to the country’s world-class distance runners.
“I'm proud that we are expanding our Kaptagat based training camp from a purely athletics focussed training camp towards a wider kind of sports academy,” Kipchoge said.
“The Ineos Eliud Kipchoge Cycling Academy is a very natural fit with great potential to enable our young talented cyclists to make the next steps towards the top level of cycling."
Ineos Grenadier’s team principal, and the chemicals company’s director of sport, Dave Brailsford said: “This is a significant and exciting development in world cycling - it has the power to drive lasting change by developing new riders from Africa.
“We all know the talent is there – we’ve seen it this year with Biniam Girmay’s history-making successes at the Giro d’Italia and Gent-Wevelgem, and I saw it first-hand in the inspiring young athletes I met in Kaptagat.
“Their passion, dedication and love of sport is a perfect fit with the INEOS Grenadiers’ spirit of giving it all to race and be your best. Together I believe we can achieve something unique and important for cycling in Kenya, Africa, and the sport itself.”
The new cycling academy will be overseen by Valentijn Trouw, who has 30 years of experience managing and nurturing Kenyan athletes.
Two of Trouw’s athletes, Susan Chepkemei and former world indoor 1,500m champion Abeba Argawi, have tested positive for banned substances, though in both instances their bans were either reduced or struck off completely.
Kipchoge himself has never tested positive or been implicated in any wrongdoing. In 2016, he welcomed a new anti-doping law which allowed the country’s athletes to compete in that year’s Olympic Games, after Kenya missed two WADA-imposed deadlines to establish a funded anti-doping agency which complied with the world anti-doping code.
Despite 40 Kenyan athletes testing positive for performance enhancing drugs between 2012 and 2016, Kipchoge insisted that most of his compatriots were competing clean.
“I invite you guys to Kenya, come to our training camp, see our sessions,” he told journalists at the time. “You will see that people are working hard.”
Move over, Breaking Away and A Sunday in Hell.
This clip from the Lancashire Post, showing pensioner Irene Prescott trying out a new cycle lane outside her home in Longridge, has already shot straight towards the top of road.cc’s list of favourite cycling films.
It has everything you want really: a stupidly short bike lane (measuring approximately 5.5 metres), impeccable comic timing from Irene (“It wasn’t as tiring as I thought it was going to be”), and some brilliant unintentional gaffes (Irene wearing her helmet backwards throughout the video while also trying to pump up her tyres without taking the dust cap off).
And to cap it all off, a motorist decides to test out Lancashire’s shortest cycle lane just as Irene enjoys her well-deserved cuppa:
The Facebook comments were, as ever, a joy to behold. While most users simply enjoyed Irene’s comic stylings and unique two-wheeled fashion sense, some thought her approach to riding her bike would “promote unsafe behaviour” and others pointed out that the five-metre lane would make the junction safer for cyclists.
Dave, however, hit the nail on the head: “Some poor buggers in the council had to fill in thousands of forms to do this...”
But what does Irene herself think of the new pocket-sized bike lane?
“I thought it was a bit strange myself,” the 76-year-old told the Lancashire Post.
“One day we woke up and were quite surprised to see this cycle lane in front of the house. We were all a bit gobsmacked. I don’t really think there’s a need for it. I just can’t understand it.
“It’s just a bit silly I think just to put a short one like that. There’s room for a cycle lane but not like that one. I just want it to be all the way along. It’s common sense.”
Irene’s partner Steve, however, thinks the new lane “hasn’t done any harm”, while making it easier for him to get out of his drive.
Charlie Edwards, Lancashire County Council’s cabinet member for highways and transport, defended the lane, pointing out it “replaces an area of hatched markings which were previously at the same location and, by narrowing the road width for vehicles, encourages drivers approaching from Longridge to slow down as they enter the junction, as well as offering increased protection for cyclists.
“While I agree that this may not be a long cycle lane, sometimes it’s the smaller improvements we can make to junctions that have as much of an effect on everyone’s journeys as installing miles of cycle paths on country roads.”
It’s the little things that count, after all.
The new Longridge lane (or should that be Shortridge? Alright, I’ll stop now) is a monster compared to some of the UK’s other offerings, such as this 3.9m one in Wolverhampton or Leeds' classic merry-go-round right into a puddle:
— Andrew Hutchinson (@AndyHutchYPN) May 19, 2022
Although this absolute whopper in Stroud, Gloucester, unveiled in 2015, may just have the beating of them all, totalling a massive 2.4 metres (or one whole pedal stroke…):
In Amsterdam they built a new school on this road, which had no cycling infrastructure, so they have made the road one way for cars and are currently constructing a bidirectional cycle track so children can safely cycle to school. Before image from Google and the street today pic.twitter.com/2nJ2epvRKc
— Hackney Cyclist (@Hackneycyclist) June 21, 2022
Compare this to the dreadful plans from Hackney Council for Downham Road, which also has a school on it, who want to make cycling even more unsafe by narrowing the road, rather than providing safe cycle tracks, forcing primary school children off the road altogether. pic.twitter.com/qbSXyaJbnt
— Hackney Cyclist (@Hackneycyclist) June 21, 2022
Now this is what you call a cycling holiday.
Ultra-distance cyclist Craig is currently in the middle of a mammoth week-long trek between Greece and what he hopes will be his final destination, the Netherlands.
He’s attempting to break the Guinness World Record for the most countries visited in seven days by bike. The record currently stands at 15 – if Craig makes it all the way to the Netherlands, he’ll have passed through 22 countries (he has to make it to Italy at least to break the record).
“The distance I am planning to cover is just about 2900km om paper (1800 miles) which means I am planning to cover 410km/256 miles per 24 hours,” Craig told us.
“I am doing this self-supported, carrying everything I need along with me on my bike. I'm hoping it will make for a great adventure.”
As well as his world record attempt, Craig is also raising funds for the housing and homelessness charity Shelter.
“It occurred to me that I have decided to voluntarily sleep in the cheapest hotels and rough all week, so I thought it would be nice to try to raise some money for those who have no choice in where they sleep next week,” he says.
You can donate on Craig’s JustGiving page.
You can also keep tabs on the adventure cyclist’s progress on this tracking site, which tell us that he’s currently close to Hungary’s border with Austria, on his way north to Slovakia.
Craig's hopefully record-breaking ride was almost over as soon as it started, however, as his Di2 decided to call it quits during the flight to Greece and his new valve core snapped soon after he arrived, leaving the rider with no wheels or gears before he’d even cycled a mile.
Fortunately, a local mechanic was on hand to save the day and – quite literally – keep the show on the road, allowing Craig to set off from Greece as planned on Sunday morning. Phew...
#TrainStrikes are causing major delays throughout the UK.
Not to Claire though.
— Mycle (@MyMycle) June 20, 2022
E-bike brand Mycle (from what I gather, not an homage to the infamous ‘No Bycles’ message featured on the blog last month) are offering a £100 discount on all their electric bikes to commuters affected by this week’s national rail strikes.
To take advantage of the voucher scheme, you just need to email Mycle (enquiries [at] mycle.co.uk">enquiries [at] mycle.co.uk) with a photo or screenshot of any rail ticket from June, up to yesterday, and they’ll send you a discount code.
— Roads Policing Unit (@MerPolTraffic) June 20, 2022
Merseyside Police later released a statement confirming that the driver was arrested “on suspicion of failing to provide a specimen for analysis, failing to co-operate with a preliminary test, possession of a controlled drug of Class A (cocaine) and using a vehicle without third party insurance. He is currently in custody.”
But at least he didn’t spill too much of his beer…
No one cycles in #Sheffield, it’s too hilly. Why should we waste our council tax paying for infrastructure that no one will use.
Sheffield #cyclists - hold my beer.
— CyclingInASkirt (@CyclingInASkirt) June 19, 2022
Roughly 1,000 cyclists took over the streets of Sheffield on Sunday for Dom Whiting’s latest two wheeled rave.
“It's all about bringing people together,” the pedalling DJ told the BBC.
“Everyone seems to take it in and embraces it. It's very rare we have motorists who get annoyed by it.
“It's just crazy, always brings a smile to people's faces and Sheffield has quite a big bike scene.
“It's quite surreal. I can't see the end of the line, everyone is always having it and there's smiles for as far as the eye can see.”
The local tram network wasn’t as chuffed with Whiting’s biking beats, however, blaming delays in the city centre on “some sort of disruptive demonstration of pedestrians and cyclist”…
Tram services are suffering delays at various location in the city centre are due some sort of disruptive demonstration of pedestrians and cyclist.
— Stagecoach Supertram (@SCSupertram) June 19, 2022
Last night in High Park #TorontoPolice were out radar gunning cyclists. They did this armed & adorned with thin blue line patches. A day before the Chief is set to issue an apology for disproportionate use of force and strip searches against Black Torontonians, anti-Black racism. pic.twitter.com/FUZWyByyRQ
— The Biking Lawyer (Dave Shellnutt) (@TheBikingLawyer) June 15, 2022
A Toronto-based personal injury lawyer and cycling advocate has criticised what he says is a “targeted campaign” by police officers to catch speeding cyclists in the city’s parks.
Police were spotted earlier this week using radar guns in the Canadian city’s High Park, a popular haunt for cyclists who ride through it to avoid the busy – and often dangerous – bike lanes in the area.
David Shellnut is one of a number of Toronto cyclists critical of the campaign, in place since at least the summer of 2020, which the lawyer argues is a waste of resources, citing the police’s own data on injuries caused by cyclists compared to drivers to support his case.
1 of nearly 17,000 Killed or Seriously Injured (KSI) collisions since 2006 per Toronto police database have been in High Park. None in main loop so popular with people on bikes. This effort is at best a distraction to making our streets safer for all road users. h/t: @dereklind https://t.co/lv3I1iDunB pic.twitter.com/MF07y3OK2m
— MWCC (@midweekcycling) June 16, 2022
“A friend of mine [was] going through the park on his way to work and [was given] a $120 ticket,” Shellnut told blogTO.
“The next week, he was biking in the bike lane adjacent to the park — he likes the park to keep safe — so he's like, ‘I guess I'll just go on the bike lane next to it,’ and gets hit by a right-turning driver who fails to yield the right of way and smashes his collarbone.
“The driver gets less of a ticket than my client did for speeding on his 70s Raleigh in High Park.”
Shellnut continued: “People are getting killed on the street next to [the park]. It does not make a lick of sense what they're trying to do.
“If your guys every year have to ask for another $25 million and resources are tight, what are they doing spending money on things that aren't actually a problem? There are no stats to back up what they're doing.”
It’s interesting how it’s always about “the best use of limited policing resources” and somehow policing cyclists was high on that list?
— Brian 🇺🇦 (@Bravado_5) June 15, 2022
The lawyer also told the website that cyclists, especially those from a minority background, were made to feel “sort of uncomfortable, terrorised” by the constant police presence – and the use of a gun-like object – in the park. Last week, Toronto’s Chief of Police issued an apology after a recent study found that racial profiling and discrimination is a systemic issue within the police force.
Shellnut acknowledged that pedestrians can “get a little unnerved when a cyclist blows by in the park. I'm sure that happens, and I'm not discounting anybody's feelings or experiences, but [seeking] solutions to those problems”, one of which is a possible dedicated morning slot for cyclists in the park to ride to work quickly and safely.
"Just because we have a billion-dollar hammer doesn't mean every problem is a nail,” he said.
I'm hearing the police at out at High Park again. Sorry to ruin your day. Careful riders.
— The Biking Lawyer (Dave Shellnutt) (@TheBikingLawyer) June 21, 2022
A Toronto Police spokesperson defended the anti-speeding campaign in the park, claiming that it is being carried out “in response to concerns and to help keep the community safe.”
“Members have been working with City by-law officers by stopping vehicles and cyclists witnessed speeding or committing offences such as failing to stop at stop signs. Police officers and by-law officers educate the driver or rider on their behaviour.
“These members situate themselves at stop signs at various locations in the park. This has served as an educational piece for cyclists being advised of the HTA infractions they could face as well as the inherent dangers of going too fast. Toronto Police Auxiliary Officers have also been detailed to patrol the park as well.
“This has been welcomed by the local community as well those visiting the park.”
Ryan joined road.cc 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.