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Police pull over cyclist for using pavement — but did he do anything wrong?; Cyclists! Mind the pole: More cutting-edge infra; Shouldn't have gone to Specsavers; Dropper post chat; Golf club lane; Khan urges Londoners to cycle + more on the live blog

Have we teleported to summer? Not by the looks of the feels like temperatures next week (sorry to burst the bubble)...anyway, Dan Alexander is here for your Wednesday live blog, don't panic if he goes missing during those toasty midday temperatures.....
23 March 2022, 16:21
Road Rash: A Google Maps Street View original drama
23 March 2022, 16:13
Photo finish and mountain-top finish: What happened in the world of pro racing this afternoon?
De Panne photo finish (GCN Eurosport)

Here's how close Dylan Groenewegen was to winning Brugge-De Panne moments ago...Belgian Tim Merlier got the win byt the narrowest of margins. Cav never contested the finish having been quite far back in the group in the closing kilometres.

Over in Catalunya, Ben O'Connor won the summit finish at La Molina, attacking solo on the final climb, before holding off the bunch to take the race lead. Simon Yates was the first GC favourite to fall out of contention and looked to be suffering more than simply just a dose of bad legs. Promising Spanish rider Juan Ayuso was second on the stage, with Nairo Quintana third.

Away from the TV cameras Ethan Hayter sprinted to victory on the second stage of Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali. It was a 1-3 for Ineos Grenadiers and Britain too, with Ben Tulett third.

23 March 2022, 15:53
Belgian infra so good even the pros use it
De Panne (GCN Eurosport)

Alternatively that's a footpath and our not-so-friendly copper is waiting at the end to hand out a notepad full of tickets...

23 March 2022, 15:45
Some of your thoughts on pavement cyclist getting pulled over by the cops — did he do anything wrong?

In the comments Rendel Harris made a decent point about this one..."I suspect the problem is that the light was red when he mounted the pavement; even though he may (and I see no reason to doubt it) have been thinking of his own safety and the convenience of drivers, what the police are seeing is a cyclist coming up to a red light and bypassing it by riding up on the pavement.

"Had he waited for the light to turn green and then (as I do on occasions) pulled onto the pavement and waved the traffic behind past the police would have got a far more positive visual and I suspect wouldn't have pulled him."

AlsoSomniloquism reckons the speed might have something to do with the action too: "I suspect if the cyclist had initialy moderated his speed down to about the pace he was doing at the end, he might have been 'let off'." 

I'd agree the optics of the situation matter here. Would the police really pull him over if he'd done as Rendel suggests? You'd hope not...

23 March 2022, 15:14
Sir Chris Hoy predicts Scottish mega World Championships will be the "biggest cycling event ever seen"
Sir Chris Hoy testing his own bikes

Sir Chris Hoy has been announced as an ambassadoe for the first ever combined UCI World Championships, to be held in Scotland next year. It will be the first time all 13 of the UCI's disciplines will be brought together to one championships.

"Not only will it be the biggest cycling event ever seen, it is a unique opportunity to unite the global cycling family and to showcase the incredible breadth of our sport," Hoy told The National.

"The only time [the different disciplines usually mix] would be the Olympics and even then it’s just mountain biking, BMX, track and road. You’ve also got the para-athletes all competing at the same time and indoor cycling with all its different disciplines which is quite a niche thing. I’ve seen little clips of it and it almost looks like a different sport entirely on two wheels.

"But now they’re going to feel part of this bigger cycling family. It’s going to bring all the cycling communities together so it’s going to be such a big deal to win a world title next year. Of course it’s always important but this will be the one you want to win, the first combined championships."

23 March 2022, 15:09
Danny MacAskill's back

23 March 2022, 12:25
Police pull over cyclist for using pavement — but did he do anything wrong?

The Highway Code is extremely clear about cycling on the pavement: 'Rule 64: You MUST NOT cycle on a pavement'. That's informed by the Highway Act:

If any person shall wilfully ride upon any footpath or causeway by the side of any road made or set apart for the use or accommodation of foot passengers [...] every person so offending in any of the cases aforesaid shall for each and every such offence forfeit and pay any sum not exceeding over and above the damages occasioned thereby.

So, legally at least, the answer to our question 'did he do anything wrong?' is clear — by the letter of the law, yes.

But many have expressed sympathy for this rider, saying it was all a bit 'damned if you do, damned if you don't'...

Stay on the road and you'll have a string of irate drivers crawling behind as you pass through the roadworks. That's assuming you can even make it to the other end without the light turning green and sending oncoming traffic your way. Use the pavement...well, that didn't end well here...

These lane closures with temporary lights are far from ideal for those on two wheels, and, from personal experience often leave me weaving past cones, onto the closed lane, to let motorists through before sprinting to make it through in time...maybe we should all just be more assertive and use the lane as normal?

In this case the rider didn't even have the option to cross onto the closed side due to the barriers, leaving them with the pavement predicament. Do you get out of the way of traffic by using the footway? Legally, no. But I'm sure more than a few of us would have done the exact same thing here...

What do we reckon?

23 March 2022, 11:57
New bags from Zéfal
2022 Zéfal Urban BackPack

Zéfal has some new bags out, including the 27-litre Urban Backpack for "daily cycling trips". It features an attachment to be carried on a rear rack and can fit a 15-inch laptop. Zéfal says it is "durable and practical" and has plenty of storage options including exterior front pocket with a waterproof zip. The straps allow users to carry a D-lock and there is an elastic rain cover stored under the bag.

The Urban Backpack costs €99.95.

Zéfal also has an Urban Messenger bag with 11-litres of storage space, which will also fit a 15-inch laptop, and has been designed for use on and off the bike. Slightly smaller (and lighter) than the backpack, the obvious drawback is less storage space. But that's only a drawback if you need an extra 16L of storage.

2022 Zéfal Urban Messenger Front

The Urban Messenger is slightly cheaper too, costing €69.95.

23 March 2022, 11:17
100 days to go...

100 days to go until the start of the Tour...

More importantly that means the next 100 days will be filled with classics, cobbles, Ardennes, stage races, pink jerseys, Italian mountains and more... 

23 March 2022, 11:02
Pro riders talk dropper posts: Are they here to stay?
Matej Mohoric after winning 2022 Milan-San Remo photo credit @Sprintcycling @TeamBahrainVictorious

Matej Mohorič's Bahrain Victorious teammate Jack Haig isn't so sure dropper posts will catch on and become a regular sight in the pro peloton, despite the Slovenian's dropper-assisted daredevil Poggio descent helping him win Milan-San Remo.

Matej Mohoric dropper post close-up photo credit @Sprintcycling @TeamBahrainVictorious

"They're awesome... for mountain biking," Haig told Cycling Weekly. "I have one on all of my mountain bikes and I think they revolutionised mountain biking, but I think for road cycling there are not many races that have a situation like Milan-San Remo where the race can be won on a downhill, so I’m not sure you’ll start seeing many people use them in many races.

> UCI confirms Matej Mohorič’s Milan-San Remo-winning dropper post is within rules

"There are certain scenarios, like the weekend, where it’s beneficial but I’m not sure you'll start seeing it on every bike."

Astana-Qazaqstan's Joe Dombrowski took a break from Fire in the Booth prep to agree with Haig: "Personally I’m not sure I’d use one. It’d maybe be interesting to try in training and see how it feels. Maybe for a brief downhill section it’s faster, but I don’t think… I feel like you’d have to lower the saddle for it to have a significant impact on the descent, it’s not something you’d pedal around with for very long."

23 March 2022, 10:55
Ever wondered how Dutch golfers carry their clubs?

I'd pay good money to see this suggested at the AGM at Kingsknowe Golf Club in Edinburgh...

Last month, members started a petition urging the council to remove a recently installed cycle lane on the Lanark Road – so golfers can park their cars on it.

23 March 2022, 10:34
Mayor Sadiq Khan urges Londoners to cycle as high air pollution warning issued

Sadiq Khan has urged Londoners to "please look after each other by walking, cycling, avoiding unnecessary car trips" as a high air pollution warning has been issued for the capital for the first time since August 2020.

The Mayor warned London is "importing pollution from the continent" alongside a build-up of local emissions, with forecasts showing the capital could see sustained import of particles on Wednesday.

The alert will be in place until Thursday at the earliest. Khan has warned of a crisis of "filthy air and gridlocked roads" unless London's car usage is reduced.

Zack Polanski, chair of the London Assembly environment committee, said: "We now have high pollution alerts and warnings, but we cannot just wring our hands and say to vulnerable people avoid going outside.

"It is unacceptable for anyone to fear going outside."

23 March 2022, 10:21
On the theme of obstacle course cycle lanes...remember this classic?

This morning's lane--splitting pole reminded us of this classic of the genre...dubbed the Danny MacAskill lane after the bike-bending skills required to use it...

Another bad bike lane (@geoffallard/Twitter)

 As in today's case, we're led to believe the offending box is to be removed as part of the construction. Until then? Good luck...

You may have seen yesterday's story about the group of cyclists in the French city of Lyon who are so fed up with drivers parking badly, they've launched a competition to find the worst-parked car in their city...with bonus points for those in cycle lanes...

Who will win the Garé comme une merde? (That's parked like crap to you or I)...

23 March 2022, 10:10
Shouldn't have gone to Specsavers...

CCTV footage from Friday night shows the moment a driver reversed into an opticians in Swansea. The jokes write themselves...

23 March 2022, 09:00
Cyclists! Mind the pole: More cutting-edge infra

What a pol-arising cycle lane this is...

Council bosses say the route is yet to officially open, and the pole, present for temporary overhead lighting, will be sent packing in due course. By due course I mean next year when the entire development is completed.

Local cyclists on the other hand are a tiny bit baffled by the obstacle, and called for more "joined up thinking" between the local authority and lane users. Fair enough.

The bidirectional Leith Walk bike lane is part of the Trams to Newhaven extension project in the Scottish capital, with the pole sending riders off the cycleway and onto the adjacent pavement, something Ian Maxwell from Spokes says is "disappointing".

"We are disappointed with the way that the design seems to be making some very obvious blunders, it’s just not sensible," he said.

"The design of cycle routes is well-established and we’re very surprised the people that are doing this haven’t followed suit. There does seem to be a way of thinking that is very much along the lines of a tram route taking precedence and everything else following.

"We are seeing a fundamental shift in the way people in Edinburgh travel. I’m optimistic about the future because there are some quite nicely designed spaces, but at times it still seems a bit hit and miss."

A City of Edinburgh Council spokesperson told Edinburgh Live the temporary poles are absolutely necessary...

"Temporary poles provide necessary street lighting during construction and will be removed once the route is complete, as has always been planned. Overhead line poles will provide light in the permanent scheme but they are one of the last things to go in as part of the construction programme.

“The cycle lane is not yet open as the scheme is still under construction, and there is clear signage to notify the public of this."

Dan joined in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.

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