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Cyclist 'nearly decapitated' by pallet-spilling driver; Barriers removed on bike lane... because drivers kept crashing into them; Study coming on Kensington cycle lane; G launches cycling club; Derbyshire cops 'road tax' gaffe + more on the live blog

Jack Sexty will be manning your live blog today for old time's sake, bringing you plenty of cycling-related news while trying not to make too many spellin mistaykes along the way...
23 December 2020, 16:34
Derbyshire Police make 'road tax' gaffe

The problem arose when Pompey Cyclist asked the force to edit a section on their website that says the public can 'report a vehicle that doesn't have road tax'. They replied: "Good afternoon, Road Tax is still valid, even when cars have nil charge they are still required to apply for it." 

Some weren't very pleased with the reply - but we understand that Derbyshire Police are now going to rectify the error. 

23 December 2020, 15:44
Geraint Thomas has launched his own cycling club
Geraint Thomas at 2020 Giro d'Italia presentation (picture credit LaPresse, RCS Sport).JPG

G says "everyone is welcome" in his new club, called GTCC, and is asking for those interested to submit their ideas for what makes a great cycling club. A Tour de France winner ain't a bad start... you can find out more on the club's Facebook group here

23 December 2020, 12:29
Concrete barriers removed on Boston cycle lane... because drivers kept crashing into them

If you thought the reasons given for removing the some London cycle routes were bad, Boston in the US has gone one better by taking away protective cycle lane barriers because some drivers were apparently drifted towards and hitting them. 

The Boston Globe reports that the cycle lane, on a stretch of Massachusetts Avenue, had concrete slab barriers installed in November following the death of a cyclist who was killed by a tractor-trailer driver; however the barriers had led to a rise in car crashes according to the Boston Transportation Department. 

While many on social media expressed anger and bemusement at the decision, Becca Wolfson, executive director of the Boston Cyclists Union, commented: “We can’t focus on individual behaviour. It doesn’t mean it’s allowable behaviour, but it means the system has to change in a way that stops that behaviour."

Wolfson suggested that instead of the low-lying barriers, they should be quickly replaced with a "vertical element such as flex posts to better capture drivers' attention"... pretty much exactly like the wands ripped up on Kensington High Street earlier this month... 

23 December 2020, 13:49
Anger over sentence for man convicted of assaulting two cyclists in Richmond Park
richmond park no cycling - via royal parks police.PNG

Royal Parks Police tweeted that 60-year-old Stephen Diaz was yesterday found guilty of common assault against two cyclists in London's Richmond Park back in April. His received a conditional discharge and £600 costs at Wimbledon Magistrates Court yesterday, and numerous people have now expressed disappointment and anger at the sentence. 

Royal Parks Police explained why the trial was delayed but refused to comment on the sentence, adding: "The delay in the trial at court was due to the backlog at the courts because of COVID. The incident was as a result of a confrontation between two cyclists and two pedestrians on the road going from Sheen Cross to The Royal Ballet School.

"It would not be appropriate that we pass comment on the sentence handed down, it is a decision for the courts."

23 December 2020, 12:52
Festive 500 in a day - and Matt Page sets off on mammoth 500km challenge at midnight

Rather him than me, but our man will be setting off at midnight to attempt to polish off Rapha's festive distance challenge before Christmas day begins. Take a look at his bike and gear check above, read more about the challenge here and follow the live tracker tomorrow here

23 December 2020, 09:31
Mystery surrounds shocking viral video showing a driver 'almost decapitating' a cyclist then knocking over a pedestrian with loose pallets

The video, which first surfaced on Facebook and has now gone viral, shows the driver of a tow truck carrying a dangerously loaded pile of wooden pallets. With a plank of wood hanging off the left side, at 0:17 into the clip the plank comes inches away from hitting a cyclist. At 0:57 a piece of wood and a pallet falls off the van, knocking over a pedestrian, with the driver seemingly oblivious. 

Some people on social media criticised the cameraman for appearing to see the funny side and not attempting to stop the driver; however another clip shows the driver and passenger approach the driver of the truck further along the road.

With the driver's number plate clearly visible, we hear one of the men tell the truck driver that he "twatted" the pedestrian with the fallen wood. The truck driver appears to reply: "Oh right mate." 

It's not clear when the footage was filmed, who filmed it, or how serious the pedestrian's injuries were. We've contacted Greater Manchester Police for comment. 

23 December 2020, 12:01
Just how blocked is Kensington High Street's inside lane? Coventry's bicycle mayor to publish results showing how often the former segregated cycle lane is blocked by vehicles

Adam Tranter says he has used Google’s AI platform "to monitor what % of time the space, previously occupied by a cycle lane carrying thousands of people per day, is blocked by parked vehicles" on the former segregated cycle route on Kensington High Street. He has invited his Twitter followers to guess the percentage, with guesses ranging from 66% (Jeremy Vine's bet) through to 95%. 

The sad sight of this well-used former segregated cycle lane being blocked by vehicles for large portions of the day has become the subject of a tongue-in-cheek Twitter account, originally called 'Is the white BMW in the RBKC cycle lane still there?', but now named in tribute to a white van that regularly blocks the route instead. The account admin says they are "looking forward" to the results of the study, and is still posting daily updates.  

23 December 2020, 11:44
The Transcontinental Race set to go ahead in 2021 with revised route
Fiona Kolbinger Transcontinental day 1_Credit for

A race manual for the eighth edition of the self-supported epic now exists, detailing route changes and some alterations to the way the event is run to ensure it is Covid-secure. 

The TCR organisers say in the manual: "It remains difficult to predict exactly what the summer of 2021 may look like; given the recent fluctuations in cases of COVID-19 and lockdowns in some countries over the past months. It is clear
that a complete ‘return to normal’ is not imminent and we shall all have to continue to manage the health and safety of ourselves, our loved ones and the most vulnerable in our society as best we can.

We must attempt to balance our personal freedom with mitigating the spread of the virus and protecting the most vulnerable in our communities. The news regarding vaccines is encouraging and, as difficult as it is to predict, we may expect leisure travel to be possible in July 2021 with requirements to quarantine, vaccine and/or present negative COVID-19 test results at borders/prior to travel.

"It is important that TCRNo8 riders consider the probability of time constraints and additional expense incurred by travel during COVID-19 when making any travel arrangements."

It's thought that the finish will be in Thessaloniki instead of Burgas, and the predicted start date is 27th July 2021, departing from Brest. If all goes to planned, the 2021 winner should roll in almost exactly two years after Fiona Kolbinger arrived at the finish line, having dominated the race which was also her first ever ultra-distance cycling event. 

23 December 2020, 10:24
Just a dude, choppin' wood with his 'e-tree trimmer'

A post shared by Justin Loretz (@mtbgenie)

With the wood that's up for the chop secured on a pallet far more carefully than a certain truck driver's in the shocking video below, this cunning fella has repurposed his Husqvarna e-bike and turned it into a useable saw (the original footage appeared on the Swedish brand's Instagram story). Bet you never saw that coming... 

23 December 2020, 09:29
"Why don't you use the cycle lane?" Because there's a lorry parked in it

Another day, another blocked bike lane... and another reason to link to this feature

23 December 2020, 09:19
Covid-19 has "got" Luke Rowe

The Ineos rider joins the unfortunate (and quite long) list of pro cyclists who have caught coronavirus in 2020, with Rowe appearing to confirm via the tweet above that he has tested positive. 

One of the first to test positive was Fernando Gaviria at the UAE Tour back in February, and the Colombian then caught it again in October. He'll be relieved to find out that the entire UAE Team Emirates squad are likely be the first on the World Tour to be vaccinated against the disease, with the team's owner Mauro Gianetti telling Gazzetta dello Sport earlier this month: "In January we want to vaccinate the entire team, the riders and all staff members."

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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