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All political parties (except the Conservatives) agree “children’s safety should be prioritised over motorists’ convenience”; Cycling with pets advice branded “just cruel”; Anti-cycling seagulls; Bike Path Near Miss of the Day + more on the live blog

It’s Tuesday and Ryan Mallon – who, like Dan yesterday, is also daydreaming of riding his bike now it’s finally stopped raining – is back with more cycling news and views on the live blog

SUMMARY

23 April 2024, 11:42
Children cycling in pop-up lane (YouTube)
“We need to ensure that every child can walk or cycle to school safely”: All political parties – except the Conservatives – agree “children’s safety should be prioritised over the convenience of motorists” on “red-rated” road network, families say

Following recent reports of “dangerous” and “aggressive” driving by motorists on a School Street in Cambridge – where volunteers have claimed they have been abused and driven at for operating a portable barrier restricting access to the road – a group of concerned families have surveyed city council candidates on how they plan to prioritise road safety for children and “ensure that every child and family can walk or cycle to school safely”.

According to the Cambridgeshire Parents for Sustainable Travel group, all Labour, Liberal Democrat, and Green candidates standing at the upcoming city council elections agreed that “children’s safety should be prioritised over the convenience of motorists”.

Norfolk Street 'School Street' outside St Matthew's Primary School

> "It's there to protect children going to school": Parents raise alarm about "aggressive drivers" putting kids in danger by ignoring School Street

A recent report by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority found that Cambridgeshire County Council is currently “red rated” against their targets to reduce deaths and serious injuries on the roads.

Those candidates also agreed with the group that school streets, along with safer footways, cycleways, and crossings should be prioritised over space for cars in order to create safe routes for children cycling and walking to nurseries and schools.

Questions on pavement parking bans and increasing the number of 20mph roads, meanwhile, received “near unanimous” support from the three parties, with only one response provided against each of those measures (with the group adding that in both cases, the candidate in question “indicated support for the measure in some circumstances, but was unwilling to indicate general support without specific caveats”).

However, the survey failed to receive a response from any of the Conservative Party candidates, despite the group sending “repeated emails and social media messages”.

> School bike racks destroyed by speeding, out-of-control motorist, as pupils and teachers stage protest demanding introduction of 20mph limit

“Walking or wheeling to school is good for kids’ physical and mental health, their social life, and for developing independence, yet many families are cut off from this opportunity by poor quality or non-existent cycle lanes, narrow dangerous pavements, and streets crowded with cars,” Peter Griffin, from Cambridgeshire Families for Sustainable Travel, said.

“We want politicians across Cambridgeshire to empower families to choose healthier travel options by making their streets safer, but they are currently falling short of their own targets. This election is a chance to hold our representatives to account on this.”

The group’s Sara Lightowlers added: “It’s encouraging to see from the responses that all of the candidates who responded were hugely supportive of keeping our streets safe for kids. We need to see those pledges turned into action.”

23 April 2024, 08:07
Green Party councillor publishes “useful, fun” advice on cycling with pets – sending motorists into “Daily Mail meltdown”, as drivers brand guidance “bonkers” and “just cruel”

Over the past few years, cycling-related news in Oxford has tended to be of the more sobering, depressing, grim, or downright anger-inducing variety.

So, it was refreshing to see a light-hearted column pop up in the Oxford Mail this week by local city councillor Emily Kerr, who offered some useful advice for cyclists looking to get around by bike with their pets.

Inspired by a constituent who was looking to get back on their bike and take their elderly dog with them, and with a little help from arguably the most famous cyclist/pet duo around, Travis and Sigrid, Green Party councillor Kerr advised cyclists on the best methods of transporting your pet by bike (such as trailers, cargo bikes or, for your smaller pets, baskets).

Travis and Sigrid

> 'Police' scold cyclist riding with pet cat in basket for not wearing a helmet after moped rider knocks them off bike

“Other recommendations from experienced pet riders include: introducing your pet gradually, bringing supplies (water, treats), making the carrier comfortable (e.g. with blankets), making sure you’ve checked the weight limit,” Kerr wrote.

“Ultimately your choice depends on budget and what’s right for your pet. But what’s sure is that pets of all shapes and sizes love the wind in their fur and riding with their owners.”

Following the article’s publication, Kerr described it as “probably my favourite column I’ve ever written”.

However, somewhat inevitably (damn you, internet!), others weren’t as impressed by the Green politician’s “fun” tips for taking your puppy for a spin.

“Bonkers advice for Oxford cyclists with pets from bonkers Green councillor,” one Twitter user, with an, ahem, interesting timeline, wrote.

“It’s reassuring to see the Greens have their fingers firmly on the pulse of Oxford life,” added Ox, while Gerald described cycling with a pet as “just cruel”.

“Who needs to cycle with their pets attached?” another asked. “Attention seekers that’s who.”

“How about get off your bike and walk your pets,” one Oxford Mail reader helpfully suggested in the comments section (not that cycling was touted in the article as a replacement for walking, of course), while others described the guidance as “moronic” and “unhinged”.

Which seems a bit over the top, if we’re honest.

Dog in bike basket (copyright Simon MacMichael)

Meanwhile, Colin – who no doubt transports his pets by car – noted that “dogs need exercise”.

And that’s before we get onto the horrible, misogynistic comments directed at the Oxford councillor…

Thankfully, not everyone was up in arms over a light-hearted advice column in a local paper.

“I don’t get it,” Ginger Leftie Cyclist said in the paper’s comments section in reference to the article’s odd backlash. “Old ladies used to put their pooches in their shopper bike baskets when I was a kid, it wasn’t an uncommon sight. It’s not like it’s a new thing.”

They continued: “All these people seem to be doing it without incident, just like they have been for decades before, I really don’t think you need to do all this pearl-clutching about it.

“Get upset about all the kids getting killed by speeding drivers if you want something to have a Daily Mail meltdown about.”

And others, meanwhile, were more than happy to share photos and videos of their own pets having a grand old time getting about by bike…

So, so cruel…

23 April 2024, 15:43
Tudor Pro Cycling’s Maikel Zijlaard takes first WorldTour victory of his career at Tour de Romandie prologue

Explosively short time trials on tight, twisting courses can certainly throw up surprises, even at the highest level of cycling, and so it proved today at the Tour de Romandie, where Tudor Pro Cycling’s Maikel Zijlaard took the biggest win of his career on the race’s opening 2.3km prologue around the streets of Payerne.

The 24-year-old Dutchman beat Cameron Scott and a sharp-looking Julian Alaphilippe by just two seconds to take his maiden WorldTour triumph. Fair play, fella.

Meanwhile, Ilan van Wilder, Enric Mas, and the ever-improving Lenny Martinez fared best of the big GC favourites, though with just 30 seconds separating the entire field, it’s fair to say the Tour de Romandie remains wide open.

23 April 2024, 15:13
Wout’s back on the road
23 April 2024, 14:42
Ethan Hayter, Tour de Romandie 2024 (Eurosport)
Ethan Hayter’s Romandie prologue derailed by lockup on corner

A former prologue winner at the Tour de Romandie (as well as two other stages and two points classifications at the Swiss stage race), Ethan Hayter entered today’s ludicrously short 2.3km opening time trial through the tight and twisting streets of Payerne as one of the big favourites.

However, the Ineos Grenadiers rider – having opted for the road bike, instead of his time trial machine for what was essentially a sprint effort – appeared to be pushing it a bit too hard in the corners from the beginning, losing a bit of control on one before completely overshooting the next one, locking up the wheels and almost hitting the barriers.

And with no room for any kind of error on such a short course, that was game over for the 25-year-old British rider, who rolled across the line way down on current leader Maikel Zijlaard.

“I felt a bit flat from the start if I’m honest,” Hayter said immediately after finishing his short and sharp effort.

“I didn’t get one corner right, then the next one I went really wide. But it’s a prologue, you know. I don’t mind the corners, but 2km is quite short! But it’s going to suit some guys. I’d have preferred to go with the TT bike.”

23 April 2024, 14:28
Shimano suffers huge fall in sales, down a quarter in first months of 2024 amid continued bike industry troubles

Shimano has reported another significant fall in sales figures, with net sales down 22.6 per cent in the first quarter of 2024 amid predictions its annual sales in Europe could contract by more than £170 million this year.

2022 Dauphine - Ineos Grenadiers Pinarello Dogma F 2

Read more: > Shimano suffers huge fall in sales, down a quarter in first months of 2024 amid continued bike industry troubles

23 April 2024, 13:59
2024 front light quarter aero handlebar Moon Rigel Pro Specialized logo
Specialized announces “unprecedented” sale event, with discounts of up to 50 per cent off on bikes, clothing, and accessories

This isn’t your typical seasonal DFS sale…

In something of an unusual move for the bike giant, Specialized has announced an “extraordinary” sale event, starting this week, promising discounts of up to 50 per cent off on a selection of bikes, equipment, and clothing.

Specialized sale, April 2024

While you won’t find any S-Works sitting with a big red sticker on them, the “unprecedented” sale – which may or may not have anything to do with the cycling industry’s ongoing overstock issues – includes mountain bikes like the Strumpjumper, Tero X and Levo e-bikes, gravel bikes, as well as helmets, shoes, and a range of kit.

Bargain-hunting riders can visit Specialized.com or visit their local Spesh retailer to take advantage of some hefty savings, with the bike brand saying “supplies are limited”.

Now excuse me, but I think I’ll spend the rest of the afternoon browsing…

23 April 2024, 13:43
Your Bike Hates You, #239

Oh dear God…

23 April 2024, 12:57
Giovanni Lonardi (eventually) wins chaotic – and controversial – sprint at Tour of Turkey after Bora-Hansgrohe’s Danny van Poppel disqualified for cutting off the Italian

On stage three of the Tour of Turkey this afternoon in Marmaris (where, incidentally, my wife once spent a week with her friends back in her student days), Bora-Hansgrohe’s decision to give lead-out maestro Danny van Poppel a break from team duties appeared to have dividends – at least for a few minutes – as the Dutchman launched at the right moment to beat Polti Kometa’s Giovanni Lonardi in a messy, chaotic sprint.

However, Van Poppel’s clear deviation from the left-hand side of the road to the barriers on the right – which Eurosport commentator Brian Smith noted may have been caused by the organisers’ rather bizarre decision to place a sweeping bend 200m from the finish, spitting some riders out onto the other side of the road – saw the Bora sprinter block Lonardi’s line and squeeze him into the barriers, causing the Italian to wave his arms in frustration as Van Poppel somewhat tentatively celebrated.

Lonardi’s finish line protest, in what is becoming an increasingly common trend in cycling, was always going to mean that Van Poppel’s sprint would be analysed by the commissaires’ VAR team.

And around 20 minutes later (and you thought football’s video-aided decision making was slow), the jury decided to relegate Van Poppel to 81st and award the win – certainly the biggest of his career so far – to 27-year-old Lonardi.

All the drama in Turkey, then. Perhaps next time the race visits Marmaris, the organisers could place the finish line on that massive long straight road through the tourist town, rather than randomly on a bend. Is that too much to ask?

23 April 2024, 12:19
Has the new SRAM Red AXS leaked again?
New SRAM Red AXS is leaked - images by @opaisdociclismo - April 2024

> Best look yet at (what we think is) SRAM’s new 2024 top-end road groupset

This updated SRAM Red groupset has had more leaks than a Welsh allotment…

23 April 2024, 10:54
The weather at the Tour de Romandie (or the Tour de Snowmandie) looks fun

The Tour de Romandie, one of the biggest grand tour warm-up races on the calendar, gets underway this afternoon with a classic, flat-out 2.3km prologue time trial in Payerne.

And while the Swiss stage race is known for its grim weather in the mountains, it looks especially wintery this year, judging by this photo taken at the Jayco-AlUla team hotel this morning:

Tour de Romandie? More like Tour de Snowmandie, am I right?

I’ll get my coat. Because goodness knows, I’ll need it with that weather…

23 April 2024, 11:16
‘You know what’s ruining the lovely sea view? That one mostly transparent bike shed, that’s what. The rows and rows of parked cars are fine, of course’
23 April 2024, 09:52
Near Miss of the Day, beautiful cycle path edition

This morning, Norway-based Scot Stuart Baillie decided to give us a glimpse into a horrific, dystopian future where cycling infrastructure is safe, smooth, and quite frankly lovely – and where the greatest danger you’d encounter is some eejit on a bike overtaking on a blind bend and nearly hitting you:

Stuart, who lives in Stavanger, is also no stranger to the much greater threat posed by Norwegian drivers, with one early instalment of our regular Near Miss of the Day series eliciting a far stronger reaction from the Scot than the disgruntled ‘hey!’ he directed at the obliviously overtaking cyclist this morning:

> Near Miss of the Day 72: Distracted driver on roundabout

Though of course, Stuart’s clip of one inconsiderate cyclist opened the Twitter floodgates for motorists to drone on about “shitty cyclists” and “knobs on two wheels”.

“First cyclist I've had any issue with in probably six months,” Stuart responded to more than one classic anti-cycling commenter.

“Drivers? That’s daily both then riding and driving.”

Beyond the anti-cycling bingo, the rest of us were too busy gawping at the lovely off-road infrastructure, variously described as “quality”, “very nice”, and “what cycling infrastructure should look like everywhere”.

“This makes me so angry,” said Canadian cyclist/TikToker/road.cc live blog star Chris Crond. “Yeah, that's a dick move but not that, seeing your infrastructure hurts my soul.

“Then the ones in my city are so cheaply made they fall apart within the first year of being built and are not looked after. They probably also ‘cost’ the same as yours.”

23 April 2024, 10:33
Meanwhile, in the UK

That rubbish in Norway isn’t cycling infrastructure, that’s cycling infrastructure… 

23 April 2024, 08:56
Those pesky anti-cycling seagulls are at it again…

We’ve got a rather niche edition of ‘Why don’t cyclists use the cycle lanes?’ this morning – because, as poor Dublin-based cyclist Kevin found out to his cost yesterday, a notorious band of anti-cycling seagulls appear to be targeting the city’s painted bike lanes with clinical precision…

What a shot. And what an advert for the Insta360, if we’re honest. I’ve already watched that clip ten times.

Though in all seriousness, if this trend of anti-cycling seagulls (they must be spending too much time on Twitter, even with the bird logo disappearing) makes it across the Irish Sea, it’ll be very interesting to see what side former Worcester MP Alan Amos – who last month called for a clampdown on “dangerous and selfish” cyclists and “vicious” gulls in the town centre – takes…

Now that’s the culture war we’ve all been waiting for.

23 April 2024, 09:27
“I never realised how much I’d miss the dance now that it’s turned into a full-on brawl”

In his latest must-read opinion piece (no, it’s not about cycling with pets), VecchioJo looks back fondly on the times when potholes were things to be avoided, rather than taking up the majority of the tarmac on his regular stomping ground…

pothole 3 - VecchioJo

> Remember when you knew where the potholes were? Nowadays, cycling on British roads is a constant, crater-ridden skirmish

Ryan joined road.cc in December 2021 and since then has kept the site’s readers and listeners informed and enthralled (well at least occasionally) on news, the live blog, and the road.cc Podcast. After boarding a wrong bus at the world championships and ruining a good pair of jeans at the cyclocross, he now serves as road.cc’s senior news writer. Before his foray into cycling journalism, he wallowed in the equally pitiless world of academia, where he wrote a book about Victorian politics and droned on about cycling and bikes to classes of bored students (while taking every chance he could get to talk about cycling in print or on the radio). He can be found riding his bike very slowly around the narrow, scenic country lanes of Co. Down.

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23 comments

Avatar
arckuk | 1 month ago
0 likes

I enjoyed this guy I captured with his hound on New Oxford Street a few years ago. 

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BIRMINGHAMisaDUMP | 1 month ago
2 likes

That Norwegian infrastructure OMG.  

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chrisonabike replied to BIRMINGHAMisaDUMP | 1 month ago
1 like

Hellish! Barely used, clearly dangerous, slowing competent cyclists down while pandering to the clueless, a serious threat to pedestrians, won't you think of those with disabilities ... Obviously they'd be better off cycling on the road - saving everyone else the cost of subsidising their hobby.

Mind you that looks like "the easy places" - it's what is built in existing urban areas and junctions which is the test.

Avatar
IanMK | 1 month ago
4 likes

Personally, before posting negatively on the pet story I would want to know how many pets are killed or hurt in cars because they weren't properly restrained. I would suspect, given the numbers, that might be the bigger issue. I guess that's not how the internet works.

Avatar
hawkinspeter replied to IanMK | 1 month ago
2 likes

IanMK wrote:

Personally, before posting negatively on the pet story I would want to know how many pets are killed or hurt in cars because they weren't properly restrained. I would suspect, given the numbers, that might be the bigger issue. I guess that's not how the internet works.

There was that particularly horrible case where some old bloke ended up dragging his dog behind his car

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-somerset-67701524

Avatar
don simon fbpe | 1 month ago
1 like

Quote:

“Who needs to cycle with their pets attached?” another asked. “Attention seekers that’s who.”

None of your business, mate.

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MichaelWinnerRIP | 1 month ago
3 likes

Italian tourist and pussycat in Portugal.

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KDee | 1 month ago
1 like

"Strumpjumper"...sounds like a euphemism for something else 🤔

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chrisonabike | 1 month ago
9 likes

road.cc wrote:

All political parties (except the Conservatives) agree “children’s safety should be prioritised over motorists’ convenience”

Clickbait!  That should say:

Candidates for all political parties (except the Conservatives) (only in Cambridge) agree “children’s safety should be prioritised over motorists’ convenience” given that they haven't been elected yet, haven't put together a detailed plan on how they might achieve that, the national parties haven't suddently changed priorities and no-one with a loud voice has popped up to say "but my business relies on the Ferraris parking outside / delivery trucks getting past the school / everyone being able to drive at 40mph+ because ambulances"

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andystow | 1 month ago
10 likes

This was a 20 mile day, and she ran with my bike for about three miles of it. The trailer enabled me to take her further than she could walk or run, or sometimes was just a bail-out if I was over-ambitious about what she could do.

She would let me know when she wanted to get in the trailer.

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Secret_squirrel | 1 month ago
8 likes

Misleading headline about all political parties wanting to put school kids ahead of motorists. 
 

Should read "But then they will bottle it when it comes to the crunch"

See Labour in Wales and Newcastle for 2 examples  

Others are equally bad.

 

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webbierwrex replied to Secret_squirrel | 1 month ago
10 likes

Absolutely my thought, title could equally read "Politicians willing to lie in election campeign to gain votes". 

 I am sure they do care, and I am sure on paper they believe it, but will the stand up to a vocal few who have an outsized impact? 

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Hirsute | 1 month ago
1 like

No mention of how not to turn up sweaty as the end of the journey. Tsk, tsk Emily.

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carlosdsanchez | 1 month ago
7 likes

Nice easy way to get to the beach for a walk - just have to make sure she doesn't see any squirrels. 

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chrisonabike replied to carlosdsanchez | 1 month ago
5 likes

carlosdsanchez wrote:

[...]just have to make sure she doesn't see any squirrels. 

I know how she feels...

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hawkinspeter replied to carlosdsanchez | 1 month ago
5 likes

carlosdsanchez wrote:

Nice easy way to get to the beach for a walk - just have to make sure she doesn't see any squirrels. 

Race you there!

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daviddamoore | 1 month ago
0 likes

Make sure you secure your carrier...

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OldRidgeback | 1 month ago
2 likes

Hmm, some useful advice for carrying pets on bikes. But my whippet would never, ever want to go on my bike. We did try a few times, but no....

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chrisonabike replied to OldRidgeback | 1 month ago
2 likes

Definitely pet-specific.  A friend bought a child trailer to take their dog with them to work etc.  Dog was interested but was young and very lively - they'd happily jump in but could not be persuaded to stay there for more than a second.

On the plus side I got a free trailer!

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OldRidgeback replied to chrisonabike | 1 month ago
3 likes

We tried my whippet in a trailer. He hated it. Even with a treat placed inside, he'd sneak in, eat it and then zoom out pronto.

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chrisonabike | 1 month ago
0 likes

When I lived about a mile from the vets I used to take the cats there in a cat carrier on the bike.

I can't say they were exactly thrilled ... but then they were getting into a plastic box and going to the vet!  I did it once or twice in a car and they also weren't thrilled - maybe even less.

Careful cycling / trip planning advised of course - no-one wants a bumpy ride or to be in noisy traffic.

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chrisonabike | 1 month ago
4 likes

Cllr. Emily Kerr wrote:

Probably my favourite ever column I’ve written [...] Thanks to [...] everyone on here who gave me useful advice and pointers.

But she was only asking for advice, not the full package?

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the little onion | 1 month ago
3 likes

How can we mention dogs and cyclists without mentioning Demi Vollering?

 

https://www.instagram.com/reel/Cd_hZ0qFyxS/?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y%3D 

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