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Cyclist despairs as Amazon van driver takes cycle lane shortcut before parking on pavement; "Felt like a monkey humping a cricket ball": Richie Porte tries swimming; A magical road for your cycling bucket list; Fake website warning + more on the live blog

It's Thursday and Dan Alexander is in the hot seat for all your live blog needs...
24 November 2022, 10:37
Cyclist despairs as Amazon van driver takes cycle lane shortcut before parking on pavement

Perhaps we need more of these... 

A cyclist in Dublin found their journey along one of the city's cycle lanes blocked by an Amazon delivery driver who'd "have attempted to drive in to the building if the door had been a little wider"...

We'll get in touch with Amazon to see if this sort of behaviour flies with them, but from our first glance we'd say there might be three separate issues here:

1. The conduct of individual road users.

2. The suitability of certain vehicles for making deliveries. Should we wonder why hulking great vans are the vehicle of choice for delivering parcels? I guess you can shove more drop offs in a larger vehicle, but shouldn't it matter how they arrive on our doorsteps?

3. Without making excuses... the Christmas period is nearing and with the explosion of online shopping since lockdown, is there too much pressure on delivery drivers?

Anyway that's enough of my ranting...(feel free to continue it or chip in with your own thoughts in the comments)... is the standard of driving from couriers, in your experience, generally better, worse or similar to other road users?

In the meantime here's some extra reading courtesy of eBikeTips... Amazon aiming for a million e-cargo bike deliveries a year from new London micro-mobility hub. 

24 November 2022, 17:45
The results are in...
Poll result 24/11/22


24 November 2022, 16:56
Pollution AND traffic down in surrounding areas to London LTNs, research shows
Crystal Palace LTN (YouTube)

More LTN news as promised...

The BBC has reported research from Imperial College London which shows a reduction in pollution and traffic in three LTNs in Islington and their surrounding boundary roads.

The study found that concentrations of nitrogen dioxide fell by 5.7 per cent within the LTNs and by just under 9 per cent on their boundaries, compared to the control sites.

It also showed that traffic dropped by half within the area covered by the schemes, and by 13 per cent at the boundaries.

A spokesperson for Sustrans said the research shows "the fundamental benefit low-traffic neighbourhoods can have in improving air quality for communities".

"This should be considered alongside the role LTNs play in creating safer spaces for children, increasing footfall for local businesses, and providing an opportunity for people to travel actively instead of being car-dependent," the comment continued.

"However, we must remember that for these schemes to be successful and for everyone, community consultation is essential throughout the planning, delivery and review process. Just as with this research, further evaluation should be a constant, to make sure it continues to work for everyone.

"We should be aiming to replace our car use with walking, wheeling and cycling as a priority, as it is the number of cars on the roads that is the greatest threat to our environment, whilst our overuse of them is unaffordable for our health and wallets."

24 November 2022, 15:55
"Ignore false claims and bad journalism – most LTNs do reduce traffic"
LTN planters

As a few of you have pointed out in the comments and by email the Guardian had the following piece by Boris Johnson's former No.10 transport adviser Andrew Gilligan in today's paper...

> Ignore false claims and bad journalism – most LTNs do reduce traffic

Well worth a read, but a few lines worth highlighting from the off:

"I'm starting to wonder if anyone is ever going to make an honest argument against cycling and walking infrastructure again."

Addressing an article in the Times recently that claimed "councils that implemented LTNs during the pandemic have seen bigger increases in car use than boroughs that did not"... Gilligan responded...again, some highlights...

Oxford LTN (Oxford City Council)

"The article cites no evidence, again perhaps because the evidence says something quite different."

"The article gets one thing right: overall average bus speeds across London have indeed fallen. But here’s what it leaves out. That decline is largely due to huge drops in outer boroughs with no meaningful bike infrastructure at all. Bromley and Havering, for instance, have seen bus speeds fall by up to 6.3% since 2013."

"It is very telling that opponents so often have to mislead to make their case. But that doesn't mean it's not effective. And if left unchallenged, it can enter the political bloodstream.

"So what active travel now needs is a network of people to scrutinise, swiftly unpick and publicly rebut false claims and bad journalism – and to complain to the offenders, who tend to be the same few people. That has been rather effective in reducing propaganda campaigns on other subjects, and making news outlets think twice before publishing slanted stories. How about it, folks?"

More on LTNs in a second...

24 November 2022, 15:37
If the World Cup was pro cycling... (Belgium 1-0 Canada)
Belgium v Canada World Cup as pro cycling (Procyclingstats)

I'm going to level with you, I'm having a tough job finding Portugal vs Ghana, Uruguay vs South Korea or Cameroon vs Switzerland despite Procyclingstats' best help...

24 November 2022, 15:20
Wout van Aert targets a "big fish" in 2023

Like me walking to the chippy, Wout van Aert is after a big fish, turns out me and him are quite similar after all...

Admittedly Wout's doesn't come with mushy peas, chips and gravy... unless they've changed the prizes at Roubaix or Flanders without telling us.

Tour de France 2022 stage 5 Wout van Aert (Pauline_Ballet)

[📷:  ASO/Pauline Ballet]

"Maybe next year I will collect fewer top 10 places, but I will catch that big fish," Van Aert said of his chances in 2023 before stressing a big victory for new arrival and reigning Roubaix champ Dylan van Baarle would matter just as much as one of his own.

2022 Paris-Roubaix Pinarello Dogma F Dylan van Baarle - 4.jpeg

[📷: Zac Williams/]

"It's just important that someone from our team wins," he continued. "That may sound a bit corny, but that’s just the way it is. A team can never be too strong and I am really looking forward to racing together with him. I think we are very complementary."

And the team's whole classics line-up spent this week in Flanders plotting the 2023 battleplan...

24 November 2022, 15:11
Nearly more swimming content...

Just don't take Richie Porte's advice, Simon...

24 November 2022, 14:38
Is putting your bike upside down a crime? (POLL)

Liam and Jamie have a few people rattled because of this still from their real-world wheel test...

> Are expensive carbon road bike wheels worth the money?

Thankfully someone's written a piece on this for us before (check the author for a plot twist)...

> Is putting your bike upside down wrong? 

At the time that was written 67 per cent of you said there's nothing wrong with it, but people clearly change their mind on things as time passes... so it's time for another poll!

Create a Poll

24 November 2022, 12:56
Hundreds pay respects to Brian Robinson

Full story: "Without Brian Robinson, there's no Bradley Wiggins or Mark Cavendish": Hundreds pay their respects at funeral of pioneering British cyclist 

24 November 2022, 12:31
"Felt like a monkey humping a cricket ball": Richie Porte tries swimming

This is up there with Elisa Longho Borghini's exasperated "after that, I don't know what there is. Probably only death" having seen Mathieu van der Poel eating spaghetti with ketchup in my hierarchy of pro cyclist quotes...


Richie Porte has tried swimming to attack the post-retirement dad bod... from the description I'm not sure it went very well...

"Felt like a monkey humping a cricket ball"

Cheers for that image, Richie...

24 November 2022, 09:28
DMR warns of fraudulent website using its logo
24 November 2022, 09:04
Another magical road for your cycling bucket list

As if we needed another excuse to go ride our bikes in France...

Well, now we have one. Introducing the Grotte du Mas d'Azil in the Ariège in France. The cave carved by the Arize River has a road through it and has even hosted the Tour de France...

The nearest city is Toulouse and it's around 30km west of Foix...

Grotte du Mas d'Azil (Google Maps)

As a rule for research if a road has a profile on the Dangerous Roads website, it's usually going to be fairly interesting, with a few hairpins or novelty features. The site doesn't seem to take into account the main danger of cycling on roads... I'll let you work that one out... so anywhere deemed too dangerous for many to drive may well even end up safer.

Anyway, tangent over, this one doesn't seem too bad by Dangerous Roads' usual fare of South American dirt track mountain passes, and is instead just 420m long with a decent surface, lighting throughout and a 30km/h speed limit. Apparently it's also the only cave in Europe that can be crossed by car, we assume there's at least a couple more that can be done by bike...

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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