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“Despite my dislike of cyclists, that’s shocking”: Farming community divided over “arrogant, entitled” farmer spraying camping cyclist with slurry; Mark Cavendish confirmed for final Tour de France; No fish for unlucky British pro + more on the live blog

The Tour de France starts this week. I repeat, the Tour de France starts this week. And Ryan Mallon’s here to get the countdown underway with all the latest cycling news and views on the live blog. As long as he can contain his excitement, of course…

SUMMARY

24 June 2024, 08:08
2021 Rapha x Snow Peak camping
“Despite my dislike of cyclists, that’s shocking”: Farming community divided over “arrogant, entitled” farmer spraying camping cyclist with slurry in “downright nasty” video

Forget the national championships (though I promise I’ll get onto that far more pleasant topic in a moment), the most talked-about cycling-related video of the weekend featured a charity touring cyclist, a disproportionate irate farmer, and a s**t-tonne of, well, s**t.

In case you were actually out on your bike, or watching some world-class cyclists near you this weekend, here’s a quick recap of the whole sorry debacle, which one Devon-based farmer thought would be a great idea to share in the national press (we’ve got a full story with more detail coming soon).

On Friday, the Sun published an interview with Jack Bellamy, who earlier that week had filmed himself spotting a cyclist camped in a tent near a hedge in one of his fields.

In the clip, 29-year-old Jack narrates that “I tell you what, these ***** will set up anywhere,” before turning around and driving towards the cyclist, telling him to “have a bit of this”, and spraying slurry at him, his tent, and his bike for 15 long, terribly smelly seconds.

“He never said a word. He couldn’t really argue with that,” the clearly pleasant farmer told the Sun. “They come up from the towns and think they can do what they want.”

According to some on social media, the cyclist subject to the wall of excrement early in the morning is currently undertaking a self-supported charity ride across the length of Britain, camping out and avoiding hotels in a bid to raise as much money as possible for Cancer Research following his wife’s death from the disease last year.

And while the clip has unleashed unbridled euphoria among the more devoutly anti-cycling elements of social media, it appears to have – somewhat surprisingly, depending on your viewpoint – divided the farming community.

Here’s a selection of some of the comments we’ve seen on the Farming Forum.

“Whilst the farmer’s frustration is probably valid, I’m not sure that his reaction and possible assault in respect of a civil matter is doing farming any favours.”

“Horrible, horrible, thing to do and the height of ignorance on the part of the farmer. Forget about ‘wider implications for the farming industry’ or any of that aul pish, that was downright nasty.”

“If it’d been a whole load of itinerant campers barbecuing and littering in the middle of the field maybe... but one bloke tight up against the hedge, just bunked up for the night obviously trying to be as unobtrusive as possible. Think that’s harsh, bordering on cruel. I mean to pause the tractor deliberately, the lad’s an arrogant entitled git who should know better.”

“Despite my dislike for cyclists, that’s shocking. If I employed him he’d be looking for another job.”

> How to wild camp responsibly with OS Maps and Cycling UK

“What possible harm could he be doing in a freshly cut field tucked right up against the hedge? I’m sure he was only there for one night and moved on. Some folk really get too wound up about stuff. Go up and have a chat with him, see where he’s from he could be from, abroad even. We are regularly getting the cows in and a cyclist comes along from Netherlands etc, it’s really cool chatting to them and they always love seeing what we are up to.”

“Pretty grim and quite sad behaviour from the tractor driver, no doubt he got his quota of social media laugh emojis for the day. Karma is a funny thing, hopefully his victim isn't his future dentist, surgeon, or county court judge.”

“Some farmers are miserable. I think it’s good to see people out enjoying the countryside, if he was camping in my field I would have stopped and had a chat with him, he could have been doing a charity bike ride or something.”

“Cyclist was in the wrong, so ask him politely to move. Zero empathy from the tractor driver. He could be charged with assault I am sure (while trespass is a civil offence). Tractor driver is a twit.”

bowthorpe camping pic

> Too posh to bush: bikepacking (with a tent) on the Isle of Wight

However, other members of the Farming Forum weren’t quite as supportive of the cyclist’s right to not be sprayed with slurry.

“What if the bloke had told the guy to leave and he was refusing?” one asked (though, as others on the forum noted, it’s pretty clear by the video that no such discussion took place before the slurry was unloaded).

“If someone started trying to camp in my drive or garden you can bet I’d be less than enthused about it. It’s someone's property. I don’t care if it's a 200 acre field of rewilded grassland no one ever lays eyes on or a £9.5 million 18 hole golf course. The principle is the same. One has to have respect for private property.”

Of course, the poor bike covered in slurry doesn’t count as private property, I imagine?

24 June 2024, 15:39
Slurry-spouting farmer turns up at British national road race championships, on the hunt for more victims

Oh wait, it’s just Tim Declercq – no cause for alarm…

24 June 2024, 16:01
EF Education-EasyPost rider sacked for transporting human growth hormone was targeted as part of anti-doping investigation, UCI confirms

In an update to the story that emerged late on Friday night, Andrea Piccolo – the rider sacked by EF Education-EasyPost after he was caught trying to bring human growth hormone into Italy – was the centre of a targeted anti-doping investigation which led to his arrest.

23-year-old Piccolo, who led the 2023 Vuelta for one day and finished fourth on stage six of this year’s Giro d’Italia, was stopped by authorities on Friday while attempting to return to Italy after training in Colombia.

He was found to be in possession of human growth hormone, the drug at the centre of Miguel Ángel López’s recent four-year ban, and immediately fired by EF, who said they would “cooperate fully with any investigation into the matter, and we encourage Andrea to be open and truthful with anti-doping authorities”.

Andrea Piccolo ( Zac Williams/SWpix.com)

(Zac Williams/SWpix.com)

On Saturday, the UCI then issued a brief statement confirming that the search conducted on Piccolo was “the result of an investigation led by the International Testing Agency (ITA) and its close collaboration with the National Anti-Doping Organisation of Italy (NADO Italia) and Italian law enforcement authorities (NAS Carabinieri).

“The UCI welcomes this collaboration and will assess any further action that may be necessary in this respect.”

According to Escape Collective, EF boss Jonathan Vaughters said the team had no knowledge of the investigation, but that it had shared general concerns with the UCI after they suspended Piccolo without pay in March for taking a sleeping aid (albeit a legal one) that was not approved by the team.

Despite claiming that they did not terminate the Italian’s contract at that time due to legal reasons related to the UCI’s employment rules, EF nevertheless picked Piccolo for the Giro, which he abandoned on stage 19, his last for the American squad.

The news comes as another blow for EF, whose foundation as Slipstream in 2007 was based on championing clean sport and providing redemption for reformed dopers in a particularly murky period of cycling’s history, a stance which has since been shaken by historical accusations of doping for many of their riders, Matt White’s sacking for referring a rider to soon-to-be-banned ex-US Postal doctor Luis Garcia del Moral in 2011, and Tom Danielson’s four-year ban for testosterone in 2015.

24 June 2024, 15:02
Josh Tarling, 2024 British national time trial championships (British Cycling)
Tom Pidcock, Josh Tarling, Stevie Williams, and Fred Wright named in Team GB Olympic road race squad, as first wave of selections for Paris named

Monday’s squad selection bonanza continues, but this time we’re moving away – briefly – anyway from the Tour and focusing instead on the Olympics, as the British Olympic Association announced the first wave of riders selected for the Games in Paris.

With the riders set to take on a punchy city centre course in Paris, the men’s road race squad is full of firepower and features Tom Pidcock (who was also named in the mountain biking squad alongside debutant Charlie Aldridge), Josh Tarling, Stevie Williams, and Fred Wright.

European and British TT champion Tarling, meanwhile, will be one of GB’s big medal hopes in the time trial, where he’ll be joined by his Ineos colleague and newly crowned national road race champion Ethan Hayter.

Dan Bigham

On the track, Dan Bigham – the aero brains behind Denmark’s silver medal winning display in Tokyo – will be making his Olympic team pursuit debut on the boards (and in British colours, too), where he’ll be joined by Hayter, Charlie Tanfield, Ethan Vernon, and Ollie Wood.

World sprint champion Emma Finucane also headlines a strong women’s sprint outfit containing Sophie Capwell and Katy Marchant, while Jack Carlin, Ed Lowe, and Hamish Turnbull make up the men’s team.

Emma Finucane celebrates winning the women’s sprint at the 2023 UCI world track championships, Glasgow (Will Palmer/SWpix.com)

 (Will Palmer/SWpix.com)

Ella Maclean-Howell and Evie Richards form the women’s mountain bike line-up, while the other six squads, part of the biggest cycling delegation Britain has ever sent to an Olympic Games, will be named over the next two weeks.

“I am delighted for each and every one of the riders we have announced today to represent Team GB in Paris and have no doubt that they will make the nation proud over the 18 days of cycling competition in Paris,” GB’s cycling performance director Stephen Park said.

“This group includes four previous Olympic medallists, with Tom Pidcock, Ethan Hayter, Katy Marchant, and Jack Carlin all looking to get themselves on the podium once again, while on the other side of the coin I’m proud once again of our work to support and nurture the best of British talent through our performance pathway, and to see 10 debutants announced as part of the squad today.

“We’re blessed with an incredibly talented, passionate and hungry squad of riders, and we are now fully focused on supporting their final preparations so that they can be at their very best come Paris.”

24 June 2024, 14:34
Cycle path campaigners call on election candidates to “lay their cards on the table” and support safe cycle and pedestrian route project

Candidates standing for election in East Lothian have been urged to help end a 20-year fight to finally install a safe, four-mile cycle and pedestrian route between Gullane and Drem, which forms the basis of one of the longest-running disputes in modern Scottish legal history.

The route between Gullane, which lies east of Edinburgh on the Firth of Forth, and Drem will enable cyclists, pedestrians, and families to avoid the busy B1345 main road – where a cyclist smashed into a car’s rear windscreen after its driver slammed on the brakes in a fit of road rage in 2020 – but the path’s completion has been consistently blocked due to it proving impossible to obtain the necessary permissions from landowners.

Drem, East Lothian (Google Maps)

> Motorist who deliberately slammed on brakes, causing cyclist to smash through car’s rear windscreen, jailed for 14 months

However, 20 years into their campaign, local activists say they are optimistic that pressure from election candidates could lead, finally, to the path’s completion.

“To confront the climate emergency, immediate action is necessary. We have asked candidates to lay their cards on the table, to detail specific actions they will take to help ensure the completion of the eco-friendly Drem-Gullane pathway,” Drem-Gullane Path Campaign spokesperson Iain V Monk said in a statement.

“Our campaign has attracted considerable support from residents and the business community. That's why it is essential to provide families and visitors with a healthy alternative that enables safe travel between the villages.

“The path will connect Drem railway station with the coast, improving the county’s network of green routes.”

“I live in Gullane and work as a nurse at East Lothian Community Hospital,” local cyclist Suzi Irvine added.

“I like to cycle to work, but feel so unsafe on the main road. This path would give me a safe route for part of the journey to work. It is important to increase the number of people who choose to walk and cycle in East Lothian, but what puts people off is that they feel scared on the dangerous B1345.”

Gullane Village - Licensed CC BY-SA 2.0 by Mary and Angue Hogg

> Cycling and the General Election: Do the UK’s political parties care about cycling and active travel? We take a deep dive into the 2024 manifestos

Meanwhile, Gullane resident Chris Holme said: “The community has been campaigning for this vital path for 20 years. In that time the last section of the road into Drem has become even more dangerous. What it needs now is strong political leadership to make it happen… for everyone’s benefit.”

“We are keen to see all Lothian East election candidates announce their support for this campaign to make certain the four-mile Drem-Gullane path is finally completed,” Cycling UK’s Scott Runciman said in support of the campaign’s latest call for action.

“The Drem-Gullane Path Campaign has been running for years, and in that time, we could have dramatically improved the safety, health, and environment of the local community. But it’s not too late. With the backing of candidates now, we can highlight how important this issue is to local people and put pressure on local government to make a change that benefits everyone.”

24 June 2024, 13:51
2021 Tour de France Ben O'Connor AG2R BMC TeamMachine SLR01 Pauline Ballet - 1
Ben O’Connor to miss Tour de France to care for new baby, as Sam Bennett prepares for first Tour de France in four years for Decathlon AG2R

Yet more Tour team news, as Ben O’Connor, the tempestuous Netflix star, confirmed he will miss this year’s race to provide extra care and support for his new daughter, who was born two weeks ago.

After a frustrating, under par Tour last year (captured in all its maddening glory on ‘Unchained), O’Connor has finished in the top five of every stage race he’s entered in 2024, culminating in fourth overall at the Giro d’Italia last month.

But with baby Josephine arriving in the interim, O’Connor has opted out of following in the wheel tracks of Tadej Pogačar and Geraint Thomas by attempting the Giro-Tour double, and will instead sit out a race he has taken part in every year since joining Decathlon-AG2R in 2021, when he won a stage and finished fourth on GC.

Ben O'Connor Instagram story

“No Tour de France this year for me!” O’Connor wrote in an Instagram story. “Our family has just had baby Josephine into our [lives], and we are still in Barcelona to help support her with extra care.

“This, along with the fact I haven’t been home for longer than one week since the Giro d’Italia, and having also had an intense start to the year, it’s a clear choice to make. I’ll see you all there next year.”

Of course, next year will almost certainly see O’Connor line up at the Tour in the colours of Jayco-AlUla, a development which, if you’re to believe Unchained’s dramatised approach to the sport, will be a welcome one for AG2R’s management…

Meanwhile, in O’Connor’s absence, Decathlon will be hoping for success in the mountains with Austrian climber Felix Gall, while in the sprints all eyes will be on the Sam Bennett, the Irish sprinter roaring back to form this season after a few injury and internal team politics-laden years, and making his first appearance at the Tour since 2020, when he won two stages and the green jersey.

Now, another Tour like that would go down very nicely, Sam…

24 June 2024, 13:27
Cycling-themed Euros jokes, Scotland edition

Last week, the internet gleefully compared England manager Gareth Southgate’s tactical style to that a helmet-wearing Peloton user.

Now, it’s Scotland’s turn to face the wrath of the cycling/football crossover meme:

24 June 2024, 11:56
So Tom, how did you prepare for the Tour de France?

While many were trying to win a jazzy new national champ’s jersey in time for the Tour, and some were holed away somewhere, fine tuning their preparation to within an inch of its life, Tom Pidcock spent the weekend getting ready for cycling’s biggest race in the most Tom Pidcock way imaginable…

By turning up at the short track event at the UCI MTB World Series in Crans-Montana on Saturday, clipping out at the start-line, crashing in the first lap, falling to dead last, before ripping through the field to secure a stunning, ridiculously impressive win.

The Olympic champion then followed that display up with an even more imperious one yesterday at the longer cross-country race – his last competitive outing on the mountain bike before he defends his XCO title at the Olympics – beating Switzerland’s Mathias Fluckiger by over a minute.

Now that’s proper Tour prep.

24 June 2024, 12:17
Dogs on podiums, I repeat, dogs on podiums… in rainbow jerseys!

Now, this is the Monday lunchtime cycling content we all want to see:

Not only is Pidcock cementing his claim as cycling’s most rounded all-rounder, he’s also aiming for Adam Yates’ current position as the canine lover’s favourite. Over to you, Adam…

24 June 2024, 10:32
How unlucky can one man be? Lewis Askey pipped to British national title by Ethan Hayter, before heading to chippy – only to be told there’s no fish left
Lewis Askey ponders his order outside fish and chip shop after British nationals in Saltburn (Anna Mac)

They say cycling can be cruel, cruel sport sometimes. And nobody was more aware of that fact yesterday than Lewis Askey.

At the end of a swelteringly hot British national road race championships in Saltburn-by-the-Sea, the 23-year-old Groupama-FDJ pro launched a blistering attack at the foot of the course’s agonising final climb – only to be overhauled by Ethan Hayter just as the road flattened, in what could prove a vital confidence boost for the 25-year-old after a patchy season.

Meanwhile, Askey, the national crit champion from earlier in the week, was forced to settle for second.

And if that wasn’t enough heartbreak for one day, Askey was then spotted heading over to a nearby fish and chip shop for a nutritional post-race meal (well, it is the British nationals after all), before carefully deliberating over his order – only to be told once he went inside that there was no more fish left!

Nightmare.

This is worse than when Thibaut Pinot had to abandon the 2019 Tour de France…

24 June 2024, 11:13
Carlos Rodriquez wins stage eight, 2023 Tour of Britain (Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com)
Egan Bernal, Carlos Rodríguez, Tom Pidcock, and Geraint Thomas all included in front-loaded Ineos Grenadiers Tour de France squad

The Tour squad announcements are coming thick and fast today, with the Ineos Grenadiers joining Astana in naming their eight-rider line-up for cycling’s biggest race (which, I remind you, is just five days away. Eek).

But while Astana’s squad has one goal and one goal only – to secure win no. 35 for a certain Sir Cavendish – the Ineos have instead continued their slightly directionless trend of recent years by opting for a front-loaded, three or four-pronged approach (including two former Tour winners), in a bid to reignite a team that dominated cycling’s biggest race throughout the 2010s, but which has struggled for success in recent years.

Egan Bernal, 2024 Liège-Bastogne-Liège (A.S.O./Gaëtan Flamme)

(A.S.O./Gaëtan Flamme)

2019 Tour winner Egan Bernal, whose steady rise back to the top of the sport following his horrific training crash last year has featured a string of top overall placings in the big week-long stage races this year, will spearhead the British team’s GC challenge alongside Carlos Rodríguez, a fifth place finisher at last year’s Tour, whose impressive 2024 has included the overall at the Tour de Romandie and stage wins at the Tour of the Basque Country and the Critérium du Dauphiné.

Meanwhile, 2018 Tour champion Geraint Thomas is set to take part in his 13th and what could very well be his final ever Grande Boucle, off the back of a third-place finish at the Giro d’Italia, over ten minutes down on a rampant Tadej Pogačar.

Tom Pidcock, 2024 Amstel Gold Race (Zac Williams/SWpix.com)

(Zac Williams/SWpix.com)

Meanwhile, despite long being tipped as a possible GC contender, Amstel Gold winner Tom Pidcock appears to be targeting stage wins and a possible early stint in yellow during the tough opening stages in Italy. The 24-year-old – who was in flying form on his mountain bike at the weekend – will be joined by fellow Brit Ben Turner, starting his second Tour.

Ineos’ leadership quartet will be supported by the experience of Jonathan Castroviejo, Laurens De Plus, and Michal Kwiatkowski.

Geraint Thomas, stage 15, 2024 Giro d’Italia (Zac Williams/SWpix.com)

(Zac Williams/SWpix.com)

“Can’t quite believe I am starting my 13th Tour de France, let’s hope it’s a lucky one!” Thomas said in a statement today.

 “I didn’t know how I would feel after the Giro and getting back to training as I have never done the Giro-Tour double before, but it’s been a solid block and the legs are feeling pretty good.

 “It's going to be a super competitive and hard race, but we’ve got a super strong team with plenty of experience and Carlos is clearly on the up this season. Personally, I am looking forward to racing with a bit less pressure and more freedom to mix it up and try to get really stuck in.”

24 June 2024, 10:55
The Queen of Saltburn Bank strikes again

Pfeiffer Georgi really likes Saltburn Bank, doesn’t she? In an almost frame-by-frame repeat of her national title win last year, the classics star rocketed up the seaside town’s steep finishing ramp to easily secure her second consecutive British champ’s jersey, the third of her career so far, ahead of the in-form Anna Henderson.

Let’s take in that scorching attack – which is becoming something of a habit – one more time this Monday morning:

If they have any more national road races in Saltburn over the next decade, they might have to rename that climb Georgi Bank…

24 June 2024, 10:13
“This dude was bike touring – and he was assaulted by someone who calls themselves a custodian of the land”

As I said earlier, this whole ‘cyclist covered in slurry’ story has garnered quite the reaction over the weekend.

And after digging into the rather balanced thoughts of the farming community, what do Right to Roam campaigners – those who believe in the freedom to wander in open countryside – think?  

Over on Twitter, environmental lecturer and Right to Roam campaigner Lewis Winks said: “Consider this – you’re on a bike tour, alone but free. Exhausted after many miles on the road, scouting spots to sleep before continuing the next day. After an hour you opt for a discreet field edge.

“You wake up early and begin packing up, then this happens. Truly unjustifiable.”

In a thread exploring the matter in detail, Winks continued: “Lots of support for the cyclist assaulted with slurry, but many take the farmer’s side. Ignoring the more deranged replies, most are: Landowner is defending his land; Cyclist should have planned better; People cause damage/litter etc.

“Let’s unpick these a little. Firstly, trespass is a civil offence – despite the best efforts of the dying Tory government. It’s a matter between the landowner and the trespasser, provided there are no aggravating circumstances. Common assault, however, is a criminal offence.”

Winks then shared the Met Police’s stance on “camping without permission”, which recommends that landowners “talk to the people occupying your land and ask them to leave, if you feel safe to do that”, and reminds them that “you could find yourself guilty of several criminal offences if you forcibly attempt to remove them or their property.”

“Dialogue is the best course of action,” says Winks. “The rights of landowners are vast and sacrosanct in the UK – and far outweigh their legal responsibilities to people or nature. Including their own land which too often is also subject to abuse. Crying trespass distracts from the imbalance between rights and responsibilities.

“The rights of people – particularly those wishing to access land – on the other hand, are wildly lacking. Yet, we have a bedrock of historic and customary rights which have not entirely been swept away by property law. The civil attitude to trespass is in part an admission of this. Just west of where this incident took place is Dartmoor, where historic customs were written into bylaws in 1985, protecting wild camping; placing into stark contrast the farmer’s response.

“Secondly, on the notion of planning ‘better’,” he continued, “I’d wager that the majority of those with this view have never undertaken a long-distance expedition. If they had they'd realise that part of what it means ‘to plan’ is to prepare for the unexpected, to expect to change plans.

“I’d also bet that most of these detractors have not experienced wild camping and the feeling of freeing oneself from constraints of expensive, rigid, and scarce campsites in the UK. Elsewhere, such as in France, there are much better – more dependable networks of municipal campsites, but here it’s a nightmare trying to plan a trip based on private campgrounds which require booking ahead – and they’re often expensive and shite.

“Plus, of course, the sheer joy of waking up on your own with the golden light of a solstice sunrise, kettle on the boil, and on the road before the town wakes up, carefully leaving no trace of you being there. As for ‘you should have asked for permission’... just try finding out who owns the land in England while at a desk, let alone while on the road.

“And – to those who say ‘what about litter’. Our crisis is one of disconnection, it’s a lack of access to nature (not the opposite) which is unravelling our ability to know the land.”

Winks concluded: “This dude was bike touring – camping in a discreet spot, rising early, packing up in the golden opening of the day.

“And he was assaulted by someone who calls themselves a custodian of the land.”

Quite…

24 June 2024, 09:37
2023 Tour de France Mark Cavendish (ASO/Pauline Ballet)
Project 35 is on! Mark Cavendish confirmed as part of Astana Tour de France squad

Well it’s hardly a surprise, considering Astana have built their whole season around trying to ensure that Mark Cavendish makes Tour de France history in the light blue colours of the Kazakh squad, but this morning the Manx Missile’s place at his final ever Tour, and his last attempt to secure stage win no. 35, was confirmed.

(Which is great news for us, because otherwise our recent feature on Sir Cav’s top 10 Tour stage wins would swiftly have been made redundant.)

> Mark Cavendish’s top 10 greatest Tour de France stage wins

As he aims for that record-breaking win, Sir Cav’s Astana carefully put together lead-out train will consist of Cees Bol and new recruits Michael Mørkøv and Davide Ballerini, who helped guide the 39-year-old to those four comeback wins in Quick-Step colours at the 2021 Tour.

Possible GC contender Alexey Lutsenko, along with Yevgeniy Fedorov, Harold Tejada, and Michele Gazzoli, will also be lining up alongside Cavendish in Florence on Saturday.

Oh, the countdown is well and truly underway now…

24 June 2024, 09:25
And… we’re back!
road.cc testcard website down technical error

You may have noticed that the live blog, and the whole of road.cc in fact, had gone missing for a while there this morning.

And no, we just weren’t all having an extended coffee break (though we certainly took advantage of the hiatus to sneak in an extra latte), it was more a case of the Monday morning technical gremlins wreaking havoc across our sites.

But everything’s up again and working fine (fingers crossed!), so our normal slurry-covered service can now resume…

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.

Add new comment

56 comments

Avatar
SimoninSpalding | 3 weeks ago
6 likes

For the love of [insert chosen diety, imaginary friend or soap character] do not go anywhere near The Farming Forum. It makes conspiracy theorist subreddits seem rational and well balanced!

Avatar
Andrewbanshee replied to SimoninSpalding | 3 weeks ago
0 likes

Some farmers really are thick as pìg sh1t

Avatar
john_smith | 3 weeks ago
7 likes

"Despite my dislike of cyclists"

As if it's the most normal thing in the world. Weirdo.

Avatar
mdavidford | 3 weeks ago
8 likes

Petty quibble of the day:

'Sir Mark' or 'Sir Mark Cavendish' - fine.

'Sir Cavendish' - No!

 

Avatar
pockstone replied to mdavidford | 3 weeks ago
2 likes

Sir Cav!

Avatar
mdavidford replied to pockstone | 3 weeks ago
4 likes

pockstone wrote:

Sir Cav!

I'll allow it, on the basis that 'Cav' is a full [nick]name.

Avatar
john_smith replied to mdavidford | 3 weeks ago
1 like

Yup. Perfectly acceptable, I think, like Sir Wiggo.

Avatar
Hirsute | 3 weeks ago
10 likes

I sense a bit of image manipulation

//pbs.twimg.com/media/GQ1zzC-WEAAFh5Q?format=jpg&name=small)

Avatar
chrisonabike replied to Hirsute | 3 weeks ago
5 likes

Oh!  I know what you did there!  Did it orginally say "Drivers: please note, you are about to drive over a prole"?

OTOH I can see a bus and some white vans, so perhaps that isn't the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea there?

Avatar
john_smith replied to chrisonabike | 3 weeks ago
0 likes

Or in those awful times before our glorious brexit maybe even: You are about to drive over a Pole.

Avatar
Global Nomad | 3 weeks ago
2 likes

here's hoping Pidcock doesnt get his new dog fans running up to him in the middle of a race.....

Avatar
Rendel Harris | 3 weeks ago
7 likes

Farmer Palmer Get Orrf Moi Land wrote:

“They’ve got no knowledge of the countryside at all. They probably think food grows on a plant or something.”

Well don't I feel the foolish townie now, just had a very nice lettuce, tomato and cucumber sandwich with wholemeal bread and an olive-oil based spread for lunch and I thought that my food had indeed exclusively grown on plants...

I guess macho farmer Jack believes food isn't "real man" food unless it was once sentient and you've killed it?

Avatar
john_smith replied to Rendel Harris | 3 weeks ago
1 like

"Olive-oil base spread" sounds a bit dubious. Did you check the ingredients?

Avatar
didsthewinegeek | 3 weeks ago
10 likes

Does Road CC have this gentleman's funding page so that something positive might come out of it? I would gladly contribute, having lost my father to Cancer some 16 years ago.

Avatar
mdavidford | 3 weeks ago
11 likes

road.cc wrote:

And while the clip has unleashed unbridled euphoria among the more devoutly anti-cycling elements of social media, it appears to have – somewhat surprisingly, depending on your viewpoint – divided the farming community.

Almost as though there are decent people and sociopathic [birdsong]s in all walks of life. Who knew?

Avatar
JLasTSR | 3 weeks ago
4 likes

Totally unreasonable to cover him in muck. Stupid thing to have done.
If you want to camp on someone's field, wood etc. ask them if it is OK before you do it. If someone camped in your garden without asking you might be a bit nonplussed.
Over the years we have had hundreds camp in a field, all sorts of scouts, tourists, tourers. All of whom asked if they could.
I would be upset if anyone just assumed they can just pitch a tent anywhere they please. If I am upset that is probably not as important as the bull being upset who will be in one of the fields with his herd.

Years ago when I was at Long Ashton Research Station we would have all of these plots of trial crops. We would quite often have to do ask people not to walk through the field, or have a picnic in the middle of a trial. Which probably did little damage at some times of the year and a little bit at others that could perhaps skew results. However we did ask them to go, not cover them in muck.

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wycombewheeler replied to JLasTSR | 3 weeks ago
13 likes

JLasTSR wrote:

Totally unreasonable to cover him in muck. Stupid thing to have done. If you want to camp on someone's field, wood etc. ask them if it is OK before you do it. If someone camped in your garden without asking you might be a bit nonplussed.

I might be non plussed, but I certainly wouldn't srpay them with shit.

Of course it's very obvious which house a garden belongs to, with a field it's much less obvious. The farm house could be miles away, and how can we know where the limts of one farm end the the next farm begin?

All that aside apparently if a cyclist films a driver using a phone (criminal offence) and reports them to the police they are a "vigilante". But if a farmer catches someone on their field (not a crimnal offence) and assaults them, the word vigilante does not even come up. 

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JLasTSR replied to wycombewheeler | 3 weeks ago
3 likes

I agree spraying them with muck was unreasonable and a stupid thing to do. I even said it.

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Andrewbanshee replied to wycombewheeler | 3 weeks ago
2 likes

Indeed a field can be associated to a farm that is completely out of sight. I have lived in a fair few northern counties and surrounded by fields. All have multiple trails which the farmer has to accept so it shouldn't too much of a shock to see someone at times.
This is assault of course and unfortunately the twator driver has provided evidence that anyone can use to issue a complaint to the police.

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The_Ewan replied to JLasTSR | 3 weeks ago
9 likes

JLasTSR wrote:

If you want to camp on someone's field, wood etc. ask them if it is OK before you do it.

That's plainly impossible for a random field in a way that it's not for a typical garden. Or as Lewis Winks  was quoted in the piece as saying:

Quote:

As for ‘you should have asked for permission’... just try finding out who owns the land in England while at a desk, let alone while on the road.

'Just ask' sounds terribly reasonable, but it effectively amounts to exactly the same as 'just don't do it at all, ever' in practice.

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JLasTSR replied to The_Ewan | 3 weeks ago
3 likes

Farms generally have a shed, a yard, a house, and possibly a tractor in the yard. Stop there and ask if there is a field you can camp in. They will almost certainly say yes. Don't just go onto someone else's property without asking and expect them to be particularly happy about it. I agree if you want to go in a particular field that is trickier to work out who it belongs to, but then I would say you ask at the farm first and let them suggest where you can camp.

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The_Ewan replied to JLasTSR | 3 weeks ago
17 likes

JLasTSR wrote:

Farms generally have a shed, a yard, a house, and possibly a tractor in the yard

In the fifties, maybe. A modern arable farm is likely to cover a large area, be worked by people that don't live on site, and owned by someone who doesn't live anywhere nearby at all. The pretty stone farmhouse you might be able to see has been sold off and its residents really do just have a garden.

What you, and the farmer in this case, need to embrace is the idea that people doing things that don't cause you any harm or trouble at all are not a problem, and you don't need a solution.

You can just leave them be.

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JLasTSR replied to The_Ewan | 3 weeks ago
1 like

Wow you genuinely think it ok not to ask first. Of course farms cover large areas, not every farmhouse has a farm, and generally 1 man can work up to a 1000 acres. It is your duty if you want to stay on that land to ask first. It is not that you are not causing harm, you may or may not be, you might not know that you were disturbing the last known Dartford warbler nest in that region, or the other way round the farmer had just sprayed the field with a chemical that was also an irritant and in four hours it will be fine but not when you turned up.

Sorry but you cannot just wander onto private property without asking. It is simply the wrong way of going about things. I am sorry if you find it an inconvenience but you have to know this is the right way to go about it.

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chrisonabike replied to JLasTSR | 3 weeks ago
3 likes

JLasTSR wrote:

Sorry but you cannot just wander onto private property without asking. It is simply the wrong way of going about things. I am sorry if you find it an inconvenience but you have to know this is the right way to go about it.

Except in Scotland (including camping).  But it still doesn't hurt to ask especially if you propose stopping there for the night.  Indeed it's very sensible in many places and can be to your own benefit.

I've heard you're unlikely to get bothered in a graveyard, although that could also cause consternation to nearby people.

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giff77 replied to chrisonabike | 3 weeks ago
3 likes

When we used to do hillwalking a lot more  we would make a point of stopping at the estate manager and ask. He would often show us good places to stop off at. Areas to avoid due to deer etc. and highlight the better bothy's on the estate. Sometimes he would offer a cup of tea before we would head further in. Became increasingly more difficult as estates started to be bought up by folk from overseas or from dare I say it England as none of these new owners were familiar with the nuances of Highland hospitality and the whole freedom to roam. Even if contact wasn't made and paths were crossed the same advice would be tendered. 

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The_Ewan replied to JLasTSR | 3 weeks ago
4 likes

JLasTSR wrote:

Sorry but you cannot just wander onto private property without asking.

We already have footpaths and bridleways and various other rights of way that allow people to access 'private property without asking' and they work mostly OK. Wider rights-to-roam exist in a bunch of places and work mostly OK too. We should have that in England and it would also work mostly OK.

You can imagine up some worst case catastrophes for anything, but the common case for people camping on a field margin is that they'll do no-one any harm at all.

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JLasTSR replied to The_Ewan | 3 weeks ago
0 likes

We are moving in that direction but even so when you are doing something exceptional it can be sensible to ask. I can remember walking across the yard at work at 3am for an early start and a rifle round went past me from god knows where and what it was fired at I am not sure I think it was fired from probably a quarter mile away at something. Scared the living daylights out of me. Stupid to assume nobody about at that time so safe to fire where you might not normally but sort of understandable.

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Backladder replied to JLasTSR | 3 weeks ago
2 likes

JLasTSR wrote:

I can remember walking across the yard at work at 3am for an early start and a rifle round went past me from god knows where and what it was fired at I am not sure I think it was fired from probably a quarter mile away at something. Scared the living daylights out of me.

Glad you were ok but I'm not sure you can equate camping in random spots with shooting at random spots.

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JLasTSR replied to Backladder | 3 weeks ago
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Er if a stray round is flying across a field through a yard where someone knows people might be and misses me by about a foot through sheer chance then if you happen to camp with slope behind you you could be where someone who shoots considers there is a safe backdrop. Otherwise you are right and it should never be dangerous. Take last week someone was banging away at something I think targets, presumably with a night sight, I was walking the dogs as I was on the track to the house as we're the dogs so I was confident we would be fine.
I don't want a rifle for just this reason actually it was my father who first said this and I agree with him, there are just too many people some of whom are where you don't expect them to be.

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Andrewbanshee replied to The_Ewan | 3 weeks ago
0 likes

Agree wholeheartedly

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