Support road.cc

Like this site? Help us to make it better.

news

“We all hate cyclists, but is violence the answer?” Aussie Daily Telegraph's inflammatory headline; Owen Jones takes on cycling Twitter; Design the USA’s new jersey – and get one free; Where do you store your bike?; I’m Cavendish! + more on the live blog

It’s Tuesday, the sun is shining, and Ryan Mallon is here with all the latest news and views on the live blog
22 March 2022, 17:55
Tuesday roundup: Owen Jones, the ‘Terrorgraph’, and Matej Mohorič at the Winter Olympics…

Before we all go off to enjoy this delightful evening, here’s a quick roundup of your reaction to some of the stories on the live blog today…

Plenty of you had your say on Owen Jones’ declaration that cycling is “overwhelmingly safe”:

Clearly Owen Jones doesn't realise that if you cycle every day in an urban area, you can easily see five hundred incidents which could be reported to the police and which should attract a FPN at the very least...

Which is why I find his "I cycle every day in London and have doone for 13 years" bizarre.

On my commute, it's about one a day I could report which is 500 over two years - the same as bugbrand.

He does cycle a lot though, he obviously decides that he must be at fault if a car close passes him, or he stays only on shared paths or other ways not to mingle. But even then, if he looked at each car he would see mobile use.

I agree with Owen Jones that cycling is an inherently safe activity, however it is because of people like Tom and Mike who keep it safe by getting the Police to remind drivers of their responsibilities. He reported 500 and supposedly the Police took action on 475 of them. So they obviously thought they were a danger in some way.

I think that the point Jones is missing is that, while cycling might be overwhelmingly safe, with 'only' 141 deaths in a year (and many more injured, but lets let that slide), for each of those pieces of bad driving that results in a death, there are hundreds more that didn't, but could have but for dumb luck. And you can't tell until it's too late which are the ones that will have a tragic ending.

On top of that, there are many more again where there's no, or limited, chance of a bad outcome, but they're indicative of driving habits that are likely to cause danger at other times, so need remediating or removing from the road. So the implication that the number of incidents that are worth reporting is of the same order as the number of deaths is entirely misguided.

 

On the subject of the Sydney Daily Telegraph’s ill-judged headline, road.cc contributor John Stevenson shared an article he wrote for Cyclingnews back in 2005, after a cyclist was killed in a hit-and-run in western Sydney.

And what did the Telegraph do that very week? They published an article headlined ‘Hell on Wheels’, describing cyclists as "idiots on two wheels", "two-wheel maniacs" and "dangerous". Of course.

You can read John’s article in full here

On a lighter note, Rendel Harris had this to say about bike storage:

When Mrs H and I first started cohabiting more than 20 years ago she wasn't the keen cyclist she is today and my suggestion that it would be nice if at least my best bike was allowed to live in the bedroom was vetoed with a firm, "This is a home, not a bike shop." Fast forward two decades and her ebike lives in the hall, her MTB in the conservatory and her road bike proudly hangs from the ceiling in the bedroom…

And finally, there were some top-notch additions to the cycling Spartacus game…

Tim Declercq:

Tim Declerq - tractor (live blog)

Matej Mohorič:

Skeleton

 

22 March 2022, 17:31
Road and mountain bikes the most valuable resellers on eBay

Ever looked at the old winter bike rusting away in the shed, and wondered how much it would fetch on eBay?

Well, the good people over at golfsupport.com (something to do with golf, I guess) conducted a study to work out which type of sports equipment had the highest resale value on the internet auction site.

Surprisingly, both racing and mountain bikes come out on top, both fetching a mean price of £200, ahead of rowing machines, treadmills and, of course, golf clubs.

Here’s the full top ten, and their mean resale prices:

1. Racing bike, £217.15

2. Mountain bike, £206.06

3. Rowing machine, £199.86

4. Treadmill, £164.91

5. Motorbike Racing suits, £105.40

6. Golf clubs, £82.42

7. American football helmet, £79.67

8. Gymnastics mat, £78.27

9. Motorbike racing helmets, £76.88

10. Ice hockey goalie equipment, £76.19

Now, point me in the direction of the £200 racing bikes…

22 March 2022, 17:18
Retired pro Dan Craven sets up new steel bike company based in his hometown Omaruru

39-year-old former pro Dan Craven has ventured into the bike business with his new company, Onguza, with the aim of producing hand-built, world-class, steel bikes from his hometown of Omaruru, Namibia.

Craven, who represented Namibia at the 2016 Olympics and rode for Rapha-Condor, Israel Cycling Academy and Europcar during his nine-year professional career, announced the news on his social media yesterday, which was Namibian Independence Day.

He had initially intended to launch the new bike at last year’s Tokyo Olympics, but had to withdraw from the road race after contracting Covid.

Craven said on Twitter: “It would be easy for me not to use my privilege, influence, and visibility for good. But if I don’t, why did I gain these things in the first place? Back in 2010, I had an idea. It has taken 12 years to realize, but it is finally happening and it’s time to share it with you.”

“Does the world really need another bicycle brand? No. But my hometown, Omaruru, does,” Craven added.

“Namibia is a country of talented makers stuck in low-value jobs. Many struggle to find work aside from farm labour. Building world-class steel bicycles is a high-value trade that matches the quality of their workmanship.”

Onguza’s steel bikes are built by Petrus Mufenge and Sakaria Nkolo, and will be made in small batches and shipped worldwide. The first drop is expected in April.

22 March 2022, 16:35
Kaden Groves win Volta a Catalunya (screenshot, via GCN)
Crashes, wind and drama in Catalunya, as Yates loses time - and three riders end up on the wrong side of the motorway...

If you’d only tuned in for the final kilometre of stage two of the Volta a Catalunya, you would be forgiven for thinking that you were watching a replay of yesterday’s race, as a rider each from BikeExchange-Jayco and Bahrain Victorious lunged at the line.

But instead of Michael Matthews and Sonny Colbrelli (who is currently in a stable condition in hospital after collapsing following yesterday’s stage), today’s finish was a battle between the sprinters Kaden Groves and Phil Bauhaus, with the Australian team once again coming out on top, as Groves shot off the German’s wheel in the final 50 metres to take the win from a reduced group.

In a day of crashes, mishaps and drama, it wasn’t all plain sailing for BikeExhange, as their leader Simon Yates shipped over 30 seconds after getting caught up in a crash just as the peloton began to split under pressure from Movistar and Cofidis inside the final 20 kilometres.

Ineos' Australian rider Richie Porte fared even worse, abandoning the race after feeling unwell and being dropped 60 kilometres from the finish.

In happier news, Trek-Segafredo’s Mattias Skjelmose recovered from his earlier off-road expedition to take an impressive tenth on the day, showing his sprinting chops are up there with his mountaineering skills.

Even more bizarrely, with 35 kilometres to go, Joe Dombrowski, Mikel Bizkarra and Cesare Benedetti were caught on the wrong side of the motorway (with oncoming cars passing them, only separated by cones), and were forced to jump over the central reservation to rejoin the race.

As Brian Smith said in commentary, Peter Sagan would have bunny hopped that…

Meanwhile, at the first stage of the Settimana Coppi e Bartali, Quick Step’s Mauro Schmid beat Ineos’ Irishman Eddie Dunbar in a two-up sprint after the pair broke away with 27 kilometres to go. Ethan Hayter beat Mathieu van der Poel into third in the reduced group sprint behind.

22 March 2022, 16:15
Now, there’s an idea…
22 March 2022, 15:53
“I’m fine! I’m fine, just give me a bike!” Mattias Skjelmose Jensen emerges unscathed from dramatic fall in Catalunya

Shades of Hinault here from the young Trek-Segafredo rider… and he still managed to make the front split!

22 March 2022, 15:20
Mathieu van der Poel on the Mur-de-Bretagne (Picture by Alex BroadwaySWpix.com)
Van der Poel aims to be pretty in pink in Italy

After impressing on his surprise, last-minute return at Milan-San Remo on Saturday, Mathieu van der Poel is aiming for more success in Italy this season.

The Dutchman told AD.nl that he hopes to take part in – and complete – both the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France this year.

“The Giro is definitely an option,” he said. “It's not 100 percent sure yet, but the combination of Giro and Tour is definitely in my head.”

With his eyes firmly set on the Giro’s punchy opening stage in Budapest, van der Poel added: “The first week is very attractive with a chance at the pink jersey. That is the main reason.”

The Alpecin-Fenix rider also confirmed that he would attempt to finish both grand tours, after pulling out of the Tour last year – after blowing the race apart for over a week – to prepare for the Tokyo Olympics.

“Actually, last year I wanted to finish the Tour. I have indicated to the team that I am not going to dismount again after ten days. I have the intention to finish the Giro and the Tour both this year.”

Van der Poel took to the start line of the five-stage Settimana Coppi e Bartali today, as he looks to build his racing form ahead of the classics, after recovering from a lingering back injury that delayed his start to the season.

If his third place in San Remo is anything to go by, MVDP’s classics rivals may be in for a rude awakening in April…

22 March 2022, 15:00
Women’s team NXTG by Experza joins forces with Quick Step-Alpha Vinyl

Controversial Quick Step-Alpha Vinyl boss Patrick Lefevere today confirmed his commitment to developing women’s cycling, as his team joins forces with NXTG by Experza.

The Dutch women’s team also announced the addition of AG Insurance as a title sponsor, with the squad now known as AG Insurance-NXTG. The team’s first race in its new livery will be on Thursday at the World Tour Classic Brugge-De Panne.

Lefevere, who infamously denounced women’s cycling as a charity case last September, confirmed his backing of the NXTG team in December when his recruitment agency Experza was brought on board as a sponsor.

The squad, which until now had focused on developing younger riders, hopes to move up to the World Tour for 2023, and will form part of an expanded structure of teams based around the men’s Quick Step squad.

Recent reports in the Belgian media suggest that the Tormans cyclocross team, home to junior world champion Zoe Bäckstedt, will also come under the Quick Step umbrella as continental feeder squad in the near future.

> Netflix Tour de France documentary could take sport "to next level" says Patrick Lefevere

NXTG’s manager and founder Natascha den Ouden today outlined her vision for the team under the new setup.

“When we turned into an elite women's team in 2019 after the U19 year, we continued to build on that basis. When you build a house, you don't start with a roof but with the foundations," she said.

“We aim to provide young female riders with a professional set-up where they can realise their dreams of being a professional cyclist.

“This dream started in 2019 with our first ever elite race at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and continues to grow every day and from tomorrow with AG Insurance and Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl by our side.

“Our philosophy is to work on the development of the next generation, the foundations, in women's cycling. We are firmly committed to creating a successful and sustainable sport with the solid support of AG Insurance.”

Speaking at the press event, Lefevere added: “As I have discussed when we first got involved with the NXTG team, we were looking to work with a women's team, to help from the ground up and build real foundations, and the project of Natascha is the perfect fit.

“During my time in cycling, we have a track record of working with young riders and helping them to develop. We will apply the same philosophy with this team, giving young, talented riders a clear and sustainable progression path under the spirit, the culture and philosophy that leads the day-by-day operations of the Wolfpack.

“It is a unique project within women's cycling, and we are very happy that AG Insurance shares our vision and we look forward to seeing our athletes and the team progress.”

22 March 2022, 14:16
Owen Jones takes on cycling Twitter

Two weeks ago, we reported that a cyclist was issued with a Notice of Intended Prosecution after holding up a van driver for nine whole seconds, while attempting to capture footage of a phone-using motorist. 

Well, that story has gained traction in the national press over the last couple of days. Mr Loophole himself, Nick Freeman, has even weighed in, praising the police for taking action against “vigilante cyclists”. 

The incident was also featured in a segment on Jeremy Vine’s Channel 5 show yesterday, where Guardian columnist and left-wing activist Owen Jones inadvertently initiated a backlash from cycling Twitter after referring to the helmet camera-wearing cyclists as “a snitch”:

After batting off a seemingly endless barrage of tweets criticising what he called a ‘light-hearted’ and ‘flippant’ comment, Jones questioned the attitudes exhibited by some cycling activists on Twitter, which he claimed could potentially deter people from taking to two wheels:

What do you think? Does Jones have a point?

22 March 2022, 12:50
Lachlan’s tour continues

In the early hours of yesterday morning, EF Education-EasyPost’s resident adventurer Lachlan Morton completed his 1,000km-plus trip from Munich to Poland’s border with Ukraine, after 42 hours of non-stop riding.

Morton’s latest epic ride was organised to raise funds for refugees fleeing Ukraine following Russia’s invasion over three weeks ago. 

He’s currently raised over £173,600, well above his initial goal of £40,000.

As well as raising funds, since arriving at the Korczowa-Krakovets border crossing yesterday, the Australian has trained with a group of teenagers who fled Ukraine and are currently being hosted by the Polish cycling federation, as well as paying a visit to his Ukrainian teammate Mark Padun’s former coach.

You can still donate to Morton’s ‘One Ride Away’ fundraiser here

22 March 2022, 12:11
Would the real Mark Cavendish please stand up?

On the subject of misleading captions, I’m not sure who signed off on this one for eyewear giant Oakley, or what that model told the photographer at the shoot…

In any case, it’s at least treated us to a round of cycling Twitter Spartacus:

Okay, that's enough for now...

The real Cav will be hoping he can continue his sparkling early-season form (which has seen him net prestigious wins at the UAE Tour and Milano-Torino) as he leads the all-powerful Quick Step-Alpha Vinyl sprint train at tomorrow’s Classic Brugge-De Panne.

The Manx Missile is aiming for his fourth win of the season after surprisingly getting the nod over teammate Fabio Jakobsen, who was originally scheduled to ride the windy Belgian one-day race.

Let’s just hope Oakley’s model doesn’t show up instead.

22 March 2022, 11:44
“We all hate cyclists, but is violence the answer?” Australian Daily Telegraph criticised for inflammatory headline after cyclist is attacked on the Gold Coast

Now that’s a headline that will grab your attention.

It’s also – predictably – drew the ire of cycling Twitter, who have described the headline as ‘irresponsible’, ‘disgusting’, and ‘hate speech’.

The article appeared yesterday in the Murdoch-owned Sydney Daily Telegraph, after a cyclist was brutally attacked and robbed at a busy junction on Australia’s Gold Coast.  

Cyclist attacked on Gold Coast

Police say the cyclist was hit in the head by an object thrown from a passing vehicle. When the cyclist approached what he believed to be the offending SUV, a passenger jumped out of the car before punching the cyclist and shoving him towards oncoming traffic.

The passenger then allegedly threw the cyclist’s bike at him before stealing his bag. The rider was left with minor injuries.

That shocking incident provided the context for Ann Wason Moore’s column, which was originally published in the Gold Coast Bulletin, also owned by News Corps, under the headline ‘Cyclists deserve safer roads and better protection, not an alleged punch in the head’. 

In the columnist’s defence, the article appears to be a much more nuanced appraisal of the need for safe cycling infrastructure than the inflammatory headline suggests.

Moore starts the article by writing: ‘The cycle of abuse never stops on Gold Coast roads, but our cyclists deserve better protection – not a punch in the head and definitely not to be robbed.’ Hard to argue with that.

However, because both versions of the column appear behind a paywall – and even if you want to subscribe, you must have an Australian postcode (believe me, we’ve tried) – the divisive and misleading headline is unfortunately all that many cyclists and motorists will read.   

22 March 2022, 11:19
Sick of the ‘cycling salsa’? Campaign encourages cyclists to share the awkward places they store their bikes
Clean Cities Campaign - awkward bike storage

The Clean Cities Campaign has launched a new initiative encouraging cyclists to share the weird and wacky places they store their bikes, in a bid to highlight the lack of secure bike hangars in London.

According to a Freedom of Information request, there are currently 60,715 people on a waiting list to hire a bike hangar across London’s 32 boroughs, a figure that has risen by 28 percent in the last six months.

With only 22,592 spaces available, you get the picture.

According to Transport for London’s analysis, more than half of Londoners view the lack of secure bike parking as a key deterrent to cycling in the city.

To highlight this lack of bike parking space the Clean Cities Campaign, a European coalition of organisations aiming to encourage cities to transition to zero-emission mobility, is encouraging cyclists to share images of their creative bike storage facilities on social media with the hashtag #ThisIsAwkward.

So far they’ve received images of bikes stored extremely close to beds (for extra comfort I assume?), precariously hung over a balcony, and even crammed next to a toilet.

The UK’s Head of the Clean Cities Campaign, Oliver Lord, said: “More than 60,000 Londoners are waiting for a bike hangar space - and that is just the people lucky to have the time and energy to put their name forward.

“If councillors want to help Londoners jump on a bike and use their car less then they have to make it as easy as possible. Forcing people to do the ‘cycle salsa’ at home isn’t just an inconvenience, it's utterly unfair given the abundance of space set aside for cars on our streets.

“By not delivering the secure bike parking we need, London’s councillors are failing residents who want to do the right thing and neglecting their duties to reduce air pollution, tackle the climate crisis and help prevent the 400 bike thefts that occur every week.”

So, who stores their bike in the most awkward – or more to the point, funny – place? Let us know in the comments!

22 March 2022, 09:51
Design the USA’s new cycling jersey – and receive one free kit for your trouble

As far as botched social media campaigns go, this is right up there.

Last night USA Cycling announced that it was giving ambitious bike-loving creatives the opportunity to design the country’s new member kit for 2022.

Sounds pretty cool, right? That’s until you see USA Cycling’s proposed compensation for the time, effort and skills of the successful designer – one, yes one, free kit. The kit that they designed… They get one of those. Yep.

Understandably, social media was not happy with this, and told USA Cycling so:

 Let’s just say, the ratios weren’t great (that’s how the kids speak nowadays, isn’t it?).

Faced with the first stirrings of a public backlash, USA Cycling swiftly prevented anyone else from replying to the tweet, while an Instagram post was also quickly deleted.

That hasn’t stopped people from criticising the governing body in the quote tweets, creatively using the kit design template to condemn USA Cycling’s apparently lax attitude towards labour rights:

Some took the opportunity to criticise the body’s reaction to anti-trans activists protesting at the national cyclocross championships in December: 

 While others just had a bit of fun with it:

I reckon Dave Zabriskie might be up for wearing that one… 

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.

Latest Comments