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Anti-LTN Tory accused of hypocrisy over support for al fresco dining scheme; TikTok star in hot water for riding with pet dog strapped on his back; Polite bike thief told where to go; Jeremy Vine vs cabby; TTs back on next month + more on the live blog

It's Wednesday and Dan Alexander is here to take you through the middle of the week on the live blog...
24 February 2021, 17:18
Teams revealed for inaugural women's Paris-Roubaix
24 February 2021, 16:54
Giro d'Italia route announced

After several flase starts, the Giro d'Italia route has been released. Eyes were immediately drawn to another summit finish at the fearsome Zoncolan and a mountain stage featuring gravel roads and a finish up a ski slope...Insert jokes about Primož Roglič...

The route stays in the north and centre of Italy, avoiding the south completely and has the usual foray into the high mountains. After an opening day TT in Turin, stage six sees the first summit finish of the race. There are more gravel roads on stage 11, before the Zoncolan comes on stage 14. Stage 15 takes the riders out of Italy for a day of racing in neighbouring Slovenia ahead of the first of two stages in the final week at serious altitude.

Stage 16 takes in the triple-header of Passo Fedaia, Pordoi and Giau, all north of 2,000m. The race ends with a battle royale mountain stage before one final time trial in Milan. Roll on May...

24 February 2021, 16:12
Anti-LTN Tory accused of hypocrisy over support for al fresco dining scheme

Tony Devenish made a name for himself on this site before Christmas when he stood on Kensington High Street to film a video with Conservative MP Felicity Buchan calling for the bike lane is ripped out. The London Assembly Member for Hammersmith & Fulham, Kensington & Chelsea and Westminster has also raised concerns about LTNs in the past and shared an article claiming that the schemes direct traffic from affluent areas to poorer neighbourhoods.

Today he has been accused of hypocrisy for praising Westminster Council's announcement that they'll be running an al fresco dining scheme from April 12. The scheme will allow businesses to move seating and tables into closed roads to continue to serve customers throughout the summer months. 

Adam Tranter suggested "the manufactured culture war appears to have a hidden clause that you can close roads for eating."

24 February 2021, 15:39
Appeal to find stolen van

Mick Ives' van was stolen from the driveway of his house some time between 11:45am and 7pm on Sunday February 21. Mick uses the van to support Coventry cycling team, Team Jewson M.I.Racing and it has Jewson branding on both sides. It's a blue Ford transit 350L with registration plate BL67 BZY. Any sightings or information should be directed to Warwickshire Police on 02476 483432 quoting the crime investigation number 23/6355/21.

24 February 2021, 14:47
Count down the days: Cycling Time Trials back in action on March 29
time trial club tt - 1.JPG

Some good news on the horizon for any competitive types reading this. Cycling Time Trials are resuming their Type A (open) and Type B (club) events in England on 29 March, barring any changes to the government roadmap of course. For full info on what the roadmap means for cycling, check out our comprehensive review of Boris Johnson's announcement...

24 February 2021, 14:31
Sam Bennett wins sprint stage at UAE Tour

Excuse the late UAE Tour update. I was out on the roads this lunchtime riding considerably slower than today's stage winner Sam Bennett. The Irishman bagged his first of the season from a bunch sprint ahead of Jumbo-Visma's David Dekker and Lotto Soudal's Caleb Ewan. It was a much quieter day in the saddle for the peloton compared to Sunday's sprint stage with no crosswind dramas. Hopefully, RTÉ will pick up on Bennett's victory. On Monday the Irish broadcaster said Bennett went another stage without challenging. That stage was an individual time trial... Yesterday they said Bennett failed to pick up any points...It was a summit finish...I guess today it'll be a shock win for Bennett in the sprint. 

24 February 2021, 13:44
TikTok star accused of "abuse" for cycling with pet dog on his back

TikTok star Brodie That Dood has 1.4 million followers on the platform but faced a social media backlash after posting a video of him riding his sharp-looking Trek while carrying his dog on his back. Citics have said it's abuse and puts his dog in danger, others wanted to know why he wasn't wearing a helmet?

Karlito Sanchez commented: "Good cyclists still fall, aren’t you afraid to hurt your fluffy boy?" Makeyaownhustle called it the "dumbest thing I've seen today."

Jaminlou got straight to the point with his reply: "What an excuse. This is psychopathic. Putting your dog in unreasonable danger. Abuser." Justagirlwithideas added: "This looks so unsafe. You aren’t wearing your helmet and what happens if you crash or someone hits you... your dog can’t protect herself/himself. It’s your responsibility to do that. This is cute but I am worried about your dog."

In a reply video, the social media star doubled down, using Britney Spears' 'Oops!...I did it again' to hit back at the comments...

24 February 2021, 12:04
"Devastated" family of Tony Parsons appeal for information over cyclist's death
Anthony Parsons (picture via Police Scotland).PNG

Tony Parsons' family say they were "devastated" by the news that the cyclist's body was found three years after he went missing and have appealed for anyone with information to come forward. Two men were arrested in connection with his disappearance at the start of the year but have since been released. 

Parsons went missing during a charity bike ride in September 2017 and was last seen outside the Bridge of Orchy Hotel at around 23:30. He continued south on the A82 but there were no further sightings. His remains were found in a remote area near the A82 in January 2021 and Police have distributed flyers and posters in nearby Tyndrum. In a statement issued through Police Scotland, the cyclist's son Mike said the last three years had been "incredibly hard".

"We always hoped there would be a positive outcome and have now been left devastated by my dad's death," he said. "I know we cannot get closure until we find out who did this and why it happened, so I would ask anyone who may have even the smallest piece of information to please speak to the police and help us get the answers and closure we need."

24 February 2021, 11:52
Proposals received for Hammersmith ferry service
Hammersmith Bridge (copyright Simon MacMichael)

City Cruises and Uber Boat by Thames Clippers have submitted their proposals to Transport for London for operating a ferry service to transport cyclists and pedestrians across the Thames while Hammersmith Bridge is repaired. The service is expected to carry around 800 passengers an hour and will run from 06:00-22:00 on weekdays, with an off-peak service at weekends. Fares are expected to match buses from £1.55.

The news comes as TfL says it is working with other members of the Hammersmith Bridge Taskforce to agree a long-term solution for reopening the bridge to road users. £16.7 million has been spent by TfL on investigations, feasibility, design monitoring and early works. A further £4 million has been committed to repair work.

24 February 2021, 10:54
Pair get £900 fine for cycling in town centre
grimsby town centre - wikimedia commons

Two people caught cycling in Grimsby town centre have been fined more than £450 each by North East Lincolnshire Council. The Lincolnite reports they appeared in court after failing to pay fines for cycling in a pedestrianised area of Victoria Street. Their £100 fixed penalty notice was bumped up to a £200 fine, £226 costs and £34 victim surcharge.

More than 40 people have been prosecuted for cycling in a prohibited zone since the council announced a crackdown on anti-social behaviour in the area in November. Councillor Ron Shepherd said: "We will fine you if you put other people at risk by cycling in Grimsby’s pedestrian zone. Those who choose not to pay the £100 fixed penalty notice, find themselves facing a larger bill in court. I’m grateful to the courts for supporting our stance.

“Shoppers, businesses and people working in the town centre often complain about nuisance cycling in the town centre. There’s no need to cycle in the pedestrian area – Bethlehem Street and Osborne Street are literally a few metres away and run parallel to it."

24 February 2021, 10:05
"Boss, can I get this bike?": Polite bike thief wearing face mask told where to go

It was nice of this would-be thief to ask before trying to nab a bike...Adhering to Covid regs too by wearing a face mask, what a stand-up young person...

The person who sent this video suggested the thief tries stealing a bike they can reach the pedals on next time...Approaching the cyclist, the child asks where he's from to get him to stop before a fairly uncommitted effort at getting the bike. "Nah, you're alright," before riding away at a leisurely pace adds to the comedy scene.

"If only he had cleats and was 6'3 he could have ridden it. Oh and knew what fixed is! He would have crashed it five meters away," our cyclist joked. He added that he saw the child with a group of adults who shouted to him before the youngster was sent in moments later...

24 February 2021, 09:32
Campaign to save disused railways for future active travel routes
Jaapston Bridge (Credit Allan Ogg)

More than 10,000 people have signed a petition objecting to Highways England's plans to demolish 100 disused railway bridges. Campaigners say the bridges could form future rail or active travel routes. Highways England intends to demolish up to 480 between now and 2030 with 115 bridges and tunnels already marked for phase one of the project. 

An appraisal by The HRE Group, an alliance of engineers, cycling campaigners and greenway developers, found that roughly a third of the structures are already proposed for reuse as new cycle paths, reopened railways or heritage lines. Further information obtained through Freedom of Information Acts found that 55 (48%) of the bridges have not failed their assessments and 24 (21%) are regarded as fit for purpose.

Gordon Masterton is chair of the Institution of Civil Engineers' Panel for Historical Engineering Works. He explained that the bridges and tunnels could play a key part in transitioning to a greener future. "Disused railways offer unique opportunities; many have already been repurposed through iconic active travel routes, enjoyed by millions of people every year," Masterton said. "The value of existing infrastructure must be recognised as we evolve to greener modes of transport. Walking and cycling greatly benefit our health, wellbeing and the environment, and we need to build on the uptake seen during the first lockdown by creating more safe space."

24 February 2021, 08:35
Jeremy Vine gives black cab driver benefit of the doubt

Jeremy Vine's left this one up to us to decide if the taxi driver was in the wrong here. Clearly the broadcaster had right of way, although it sounds like he has some sympathy for the driver considering the road Jeremy came out of is one-way, except for the cycle lane which had roadworks. On the other hand, Vine also showed a picture of the sign telling drivers to give way to oncoming cyclists... certainly not the worst London cycling clip he's shared...Two weeks ago he shared this clip of a driver blaring his horn as he passed, only to get stopped at the next set of lights...Or how about the motorist driving in the Hyde Park cycle lane...

Some have even suggested that Jeremy was in the wrong for cycling up a one-way street when the cycle lane is closed. That point has been rebutted by Vine who says the sign in the video shows the lane is still open...Have a watch, have a read and make your own minds up...

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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