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"Meanwhile, in the Netherlands": Cyclists react to police "safety" advice to man and granddaughter, 8, stopped for cycling without helmets; Dan Martin's bike industry musings; Lime warns vandals after hire bikes dumped in river + more on the live blog

The week is underway! Dan Alexander here to keep things ticking along with your Tuesday live blog
24 October 2023, 07:58
"Meanwhile, in the Netherlands": Cyclists react to police "safety" advice to man and granddaughter, 8, stopped for cycling without helmets

If you missed it last night...

West Midlands Police officers pull over cyclist and 8-year-old granddaughter for riding without helmets (@FrankleyMan/Twitter)

> Cyclist and granddaughter, 8, stopped for helmet "safety" advice by police who "sounded their sirens" and pulled pair over "because it's dangerous"

We thought we'd start today's live blog with some reaction, given the 200+ comments it's received across the website, Facebook and Twitter/X. Unsurprisingly, plenty of people have plenty to say on the matter.

In the interest of balance, it's at this point I should probably point out we got plenty of comments to the effect of "So?" or supporting the stopping of cyclists for helmet advice, admittedly some of these comments came from accounts with football club crests as their profile picture, many of them from people who otherwise would not comment or view anything on road.cc, but I guess the point is that some people did not see anything wrong with the officers' approach and West Midlands Police's subsequent statement.

Skipping back to the road.cc comments now, perhaps most importantly from HoldingOn... "I really hope Joe can encourage his granddaughter back onto her bike. A 12.5 mile cycle is a fantastic effort at 8 years old!"

OldRidgeback: "I saw this on Twitter. I think it's a terrible approach by the police. They'd be better focusing on bad driving."

Pub bike: "It seems like WMP like all other forces in the UK have given up policing motorists (if they ever did) because it is too difficult/can't be bothered/too many loopholes in the law/insert excuse here etc. and now solely focus on warning victims about the possible impact of criminal behaviour.

"This is the same as putting up those ridiculous signs on residential streets saying 'Thieves operate in his area', which really should say 'Police don't operate around these parts'."

Another Twitter reply raised the point officers will do this "while ignoring illegal windscreen tints, illegal number plates, speeding, dangerous driving etc." which is interesting considering West Midlands Police's press releases and communication to the media which we have covered on this website since the summer.

For context, multiple cyclists and pedestrians were killed in hit-and-runs during May, the situation so grim West Midlands Walking and Cycling Commissioner Adam Tranter called for an urgent meeting with the region's mayor Andy Street, the Police and Crime Commissioner, West Midlands Police, and other relevant figures.

> Calls for urgent action to "turn the tide on aggressive driving in Birmingham" after two cyclists killed in hit-and-runs

Those incidents also came in the month after it was revealed that of 286 camera footage close pass submissions from cyclists in 2022... only one resulted in prosecution.

So, since the early summer we've heard plenty from the force's press department about the steps it is taking to address the issues, firstly admitting the need to review how video reports are managed, and subsequently expanding its Traffic Investigations Unit.

Then, in August, the force boasted of a crackdown on dangerous driving, called Operation Triton, the meeting arranged by Mr Tranter apparently agreeing on the need for tougher measures, with the cited aim to "target the most dangerous drivers" with "relentless enforcement of the rules of the road".

West Midlands Police operation June 2023 (Twitter)

And even as recently as Sunday, we ran a story on West Midlands Police celebrating the improved action on footage submitted by road users, saying "action taken against hundreds of careless and dangerous drivers", the force thanking the public for 640 video submissions in September of alleged dangerous or careless driving, of which 416 (65 per cent) resulted in "action", from warning letters to court appearances and fines.

As one comment under yesterday's story summarised: "Just when West Midlands Police were once again starting to look like a shining example of how to deal with cyclists safety for other forces to copy after a few years of backsliding..."

24 October 2023, 16:07
Esports World Championships competitor suspended following positive anti-doping test
2023 UCI Esports world championships

Bike racing has come a long way over the years... 

A 40-year-old who competed in the 2023 UCI Esports World Championships has been provisionally suspended following a positive test for banned substance Stanozolol. The test was carried out on Luca Zanasca by NADO Italia and found the rider, who finished 57th at the event, had the banned steroid and its metabolites in his system.

> Is Zwift racing 'cleaner' than pro road racing? Dissecting the furore around cheating in virtual cycling

Last December, Cycling South Africa suspended Zwift racer Eddy Hoole after he was found to have hacked his data to facilitate a stunning win in a qualifying event for the 2023 UCI eSports World Championships. Hoole was banned for six months and sacked by his team.

Back in 2019 too, British rider Cameron Jeffers was fined, banned and stripped of his British Cycling eRacing national championship after the governing body deemed Jeffers to have committed an offence of "unethical and unsporting" conduct by racing on a 'Tron' bike he had not earned in the game.

Imagine getting in a time machine and reading that paragraph out to the Tour peloton of yesteryear...

24 October 2023, 14:39
Driver who crashed into group ride, causing two cyclists life-changing injuries, handed community order
Statue of Justice, Old Bailey (licensed CC BY 2.0 on Flickr by Ronnie Macdonald).jpg

A motorist who drove through a 'Give Way' sign and crashed into a group of cyclists who were on a club ride with Dundee Wheelers, leaving two of them with life-changing injuries, has been handed a community order and banned from driving after admitting two counts of causing serious injury through careless driving.

Full story...

> Driver who crashed into group ride, causing two cyclists life-changing injuries, handed community order

24 October 2023, 13:38
Dorset Police appeal for information after woman cycling in park bitten by bulldog following argument
Bournemouth park incident (Bournemouth Police)

[Dorset Police]

Police in Bournemouth are appealing for information after a woman was bitten by a dog, believed to be a bulldog, in a park after an argument broke out when the a man and woman shouted at the cyclist's daughter for riding her bike too close to their dog.

As the two parties argued it is alleged that the dog "bit the woman" on her leg, causing bruising, the Daily Echo reports.

Bournemouth park incident (Bournemouth Police)

[Dorset Police]

The victim say the man walking the dog also tried to hit her with a dog lead during the incident in Meyrick Park at around 10am on Monday 28 August. 

"We are now issuing an image of a man that we are keen to speak to," police community support investigator Chris Evans said. "I would ask anyone who recognises him to please get in contact with Dorset Police as we are keen to establish the full circumstances of what happened.

"Anyone with information is asked to contact Dorset Police at www.dorset.police.uk or by calling 101, quoting occurrence number 55230136100. Alternatively, independent charity Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously online at Crimestoppers-uk.org or by calling Freephone 0800 555 111."

24 October 2023, 12:27
Cyclists banned from riding bikes in centre of French city Lille over complaints about "influx of bicycles"
24 October 2023, 11:08
Carlos Rodríguez transfer saga concludes... Tour de France fifth-place finisher and stage winner stays with Ineos Grenadiers
2023 Tour de France Carlos Rodriguez Ineos Grenadiers © SWpix.com (t-a Photography Hub Ltd) - 1

Carlos Rodríguez, the Spanish climber who won the Morzine stage of the Tour de France, ending the race in Paris fifth on GC before finishing the season with a Tour of Britain stage win, will stay with Ineos Grenadiers until the end of 2027.

> The pain doesn't end at the finish line... Carlos Rodríguez taken out by broadcast crew after Tour de France stage

That news comes after a year of transfer speculation, Movistar's team boss Sebastián Unzué in August suggesting that the rider had signed a pre-contract with the Spanish outfit, and even going as far as to suggest Ineos could owe his team compensation should Rodríguez go back on it.

Perhaps we haven't heard the last of this one...

24 October 2023, 10:25
Cycling mythbusting: Nobody cycles when it rains + you can't carry six mini fridges by bike

Seems London has just a few cycling commuters these days...

But it's raining? Nobody cycles when it's raining... wait a minute... those traffic lights are red! Nobody stops at red lights...

 For part two of our mythbusting mission we're tackling that often heard checkmate from those who question the value of the bicycle, I'm sure you've heard it before too... 'you can't carry six mini fridges by bike'... I know, can't bring up cycling anywhere without having that one rammed back at you. Well, fear it no longer because as it turns out, yes, yes you can carry six mini fridges by bike... (if you've got the right one)...

24 October 2023, 10:03
Meanwhile in the Netherlands... Part 2...

'You'll wish you were wearing a helmet if an asteroid hits earth and wipes you all out...'

24 October 2023, 09:40
"All Lime e-bikes are fitted with GPS tracking technology and we also have an on-the-ground team of foot patrols": Lime warns vandals after hire bikes dumped in river
Lime bike on a pavement (Unsplash)

Bike hire operator Lime launched its new scheme in Derby back in April, in partnership with Derby City Council, the bikes already popular and a regular sight in cities such as London and Paris. However, as Derby Live reports, the scheme has been hit with vandalism issues, "many" of the original fleet needing repaired.

Last week, a photo did the rounds of a couple of Lime's bikes dumped in the River Derwent, an apparently "regular occurrence".

In response, Lime has said its GPS technology lets staff monitor how bikes are parked and used, with the operator saying it will punish those who mistreat the service.

> "Targeted enforcement" to tackle significant rise in hire bike vandalism, Transport for Greater Manchester warns

"Since launching our e-bike scheme in Derby six months ago, we've seen residents take over 8,000 sustainable and affordable trips with Lime," the company said. "We continue to work in close partnership with the council to encourage the transition away from cars towards sustainable travel alternatives.

"The vehicle reported to us on October 5 was retrieved by our local operations team. Members of the public should report any such incidents of vandalism to us, and we commit to moving any obstructive vehicles within a short time frame. All Lime e-bikes are fitted with GPS tracking technology and we also have an on-the-ground team of foot patrols to monitor local areas.

"We ask all riders to park their bikes in a way that is mindful of other road users and future riders, and those that repeatedly park obstructively outside of the designated parking bays are warned, followed by fines or a ban from Lime's service."

24 October 2023, 09:19
Dan Martin's bike industry musings

This after yesterday's news...

> Latest blow for Wiggle Chain Reaction as parent company closes US offices and prepares insolvency filings 

24 October 2023, 08:48
Insta360 X3 Review

Dan joined road.cc 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 road.cc, 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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25 comments

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BIRMINGHAMisaDUMP | 4 months ago
2 likes

All those cyclists in the rain are in the City of London. The City has done some progressive public realm changes over the past decade that has enabled more cycling and made it safer for pedestrians. Bank used to be awful, for example. It's much better now. 

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Hirsute | 4 months ago
3 likes

The first night cycle for a while. What an arms race lighting has become. I'm not sure I really stand out anymore regardless of what lights I use.

Road safety campaigns need to catch up with these modern headlamps, as  I can't see it makes any difference what I wear.

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Hirsute | 4 months ago
5 likes

The sun was in my eyes !

Full video here https://twitter.com/ataafe/status/1716584082405265828

 

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BalladOfStruth replied to Hirsute | 4 months ago
5 likes

You can see the flashing red light reflected off the back wheel, so the cyclist was visible. The driver didn't appear to be looking down/away, so what was going on there? Fundamentally unfit to be driving.

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The Larger Cyclist replied to Hirsute | 4 months ago
1 like

Looks like the driver didn't get out.....or at least not for a while

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Hirsute | 4 months ago
5 likes

Nurse the screens !

//pbs.twimg.com/media/F9I-N38XEAAMIei?format=jpg&name=small)

(not sure where this is)

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Rendel Harris replied to Hirsute | 4 months ago
4 likes

It's from Simon Rhodes, a driving instructor based in Westhoughton, Bolton, and he said it is his local High Street.

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chrisonabike | 4 months ago
2 likes

RE: Meanwhile in the Netherlands... Part 2...

Well that proves it.  Those cycle-nazis have taken the place back to before the stone age.

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HoldingOn | 4 months ago
2 likes

It still amazes me - look at all those cyclists!

I saw two other cyclists this morning and thought to myself "excellent! lots more people out cycling, even with the bad weather"

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Hirsute replied to HoldingOn | 4 months ago
6 likes

“ITS a cONspiRAcy, the PHoto is ObVIouSly sTaGeD”

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HoldingOn replied to Hirsute | 4 months ago
11 likes

"Hello ChatGPT, can you create me a video of sustainable, cheap transport around a city, in the rain, please.
oh and make sure SteveK isn't in it"

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HoldingOn replied to HoldingOn | 4 months ago
2 likes

It was positively manic this morning - THREE of us all in one place!

Better still - these aren't the same two cyclists I saw yesterday.

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Patrick9-32 | 4 months ago
2 likes

I was thinking the same thing as Dan the other day. CRC/Wiggle killed off a lot of local bike shops, when they go who is going to refill that void? Will we see a resurgence of the LBC or will we just have another online retailer take over? 

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Velovoyeur replied to Patrick9-32 | 4 months ago
6 likes

Was it Wiggle/CRC that killed off the LBCs? Or was it customers who bought from wherever was cheapest? Retail of bicycles and accessories comes with additional costs such as skilled staff, heating, premises and rates etc. Having worked in a bike shop, there were loads of instances when I would try to sell an article to a customer only to recieve the response 'I need to think about it'. The next time I saw the customer they were wearing or using the aforementioned article which they had bought on-line. The customer had gone where was cheapest but failed to acknowledge the cost of my time, expertise & guidance and the fact that they could touch/feel/see the article. How many shops have gone out of business because they were providing good retail service to customers who did not recognise the cost of that service and subsequently bought on line?

Where I worked, customers regularly asked if we would price match the on-line retailers. In an attempt to retain their custom we would - even though we knew our margin was non-existent

I really hope that people realise that local retail does cost a little bit more but also you get a superb service as a result of that slighlty higher price.

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hawkinspeter replied to Velovoyeur | 4 months ago
2 likes

I'd rather buy from a large online supplier as they tend to have a much bigger choice. Often an LBS will have agreements with just a few companies and so they'll only have products from those particular brands whereas I'd rather see all the available options.

I'd say that an LBS is serving a slightly different market than online suppliers as they're great for cyclists who don't necessarily know their way round bikes and the terminology, but those of us who do our own tinkering are better served with the bigger choice that only big online suppliers can provide.

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chrisonabike replied to hawkinspeter | 4 months ago
0 likes

Depends - one of my LBS is pretty good at being able to source parts online when asked.  They'll also receive and hold stuff - very useful when delivery companies have a habit of throwing stuff in the main entrance of the flats and running away, or getting some random to sign for stuff...

Obviously if I and others didn't give them any business but only used them as a post office they'd probably not be doing that though!

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Rik Mayals unde... replied to hawkinspeter | 4 months ago
1 like

I would disagree. If you have a decent local bike shop, they will always endeavour to get stuff in for you to look at. I maintain all my bikes myself and whilst I could buy all my parts online, I prefer to order it all from the local shop. We would all be much worse off if they disappeared from the high street. 

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hawkinspeter replied to Rik Mayals underpants | 4 months ago
0 likes

Biker Phil wrote:

I would disagree. If you have a decent local bike shop, they will always endeavour to get stuff in for you to look at. I maintain all my bikes myself and whilst I could buy all my parts online, I prefer to order it all from the local shop. We would all be much worse off if they disappeared from the high street. 

I agree with what you're saying, but I find it so much more convenient to do some idle window-shopping online. When I suddenly need to source some new Shimano Ultegra cranks, then an LBS would be able to get them, but it's quicker for me to order it directly from a supplier and it saves a couple of journeys to the LBS. For me, the LBS is just acting as a middle man as I'm not looking for advice (though maybe I should as I keep buying Shimano cranks) and it's less convenient for me as well as being more expensive.

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wycombewheeler replied to Velovoyeur | 4 months ago
1 like

Velovoyeur wrote:

Was it Wiggle/CRC that killed off the LBCs? Or was it customers who bought from wherever was cheapest?

I would say it's the manufacturers/distributors who sell stuff to online retailers cheaper than the sell to LBSs. Often the complain from the LBS is that they have to pay more than the wiggle price to buy said component, that can't be right. How can they possibly compete when the suppleirs are giving them such an uneven playing field.

Any LBS knows the key profit centre has to be maintenance, which cannot be beaten by online suppliers. MY LBS is always busy in the workshop with at least 4 mechanics working there.

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Patrick9-32 replied to Velovoyeur | 4 months ago
2 likes

While its true that it is customers who chose where to shop based on price, its disingenuous to pretend that it wasn't a deliberate and thought through policy on the part of Wiggle/CRC to undercut the LBS and force them out of the market. They sold a lot of products at 0 margin or even losses to make shopping anywhere else an unreasonable proposition for end consumers and to deliberately crush their competition through superior size and funding (Funding which has now been pulled out from under them). Often the CRC price on Shimano parts used to be cheaper than the price bike manufacturers would pay for the parts when buying in bulk, I assume CRC were relying on the other parts and accessories people would order alongside the drivetrain parts to actually give them any profit at all. 

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Rik Mayals unde... replied to Velovoyeur | 4 months ago
1 like

You're completely correct.  My local bike shop has the same issues, the huge online businesses sell items at less than he can buy them from the wholesalers. Many times he has had to resort to buying parts from them when building a bike if he wants to make profit from the sale. Many people expect him to price match online businesses which don't have the same overheads, and if he did so would be selling at a loss. 
He also gets tired of people coming to see him with parts they've bought online and expect him to fit them for free, or very little cost. I remember one person who brought some stuff in to be fitted then complained about being charged for the fitting, arguing that it had only taken him 15 minutes to fit them. They don't seem to realise where he gets the money to pay the electric, heating, rates etc, and how he affords to have one of the most comprehensively equipped workshops in the area. Unbelievably, some people expect to come in to his shop and take his valuable time up asking for advice on the best components to buy, then go and buy them online. 

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hawkinspeter replied to Rik Mayals underpants | 4 months ago
0 likes

Biker Phil wrote:

You're completely correct.  My local bike shop has the same issues, the huge online businesses sell items at less than he can buy them from the wholesalers. Many times he has had to resort to buying parts from them when building a bike if he wants to make profit from the sale. Many people expect him to price match online businesses which don't have the same overheads, and if he did so would be selling at a loss. 
He also gets tired of people coming to see him with parts they've bought online and expect him to fit them for free, or very little cost. I remember one person who brought some stuff in to be fitted then complained about being charged for the fitting, arguing that it had only taken him 15 minutes to fit them. They don't seem to realise where he gets the money to pay the electric, heating, rates etc, and how he affords to have one of the most comprehensively equipped workshops in the area. Unbelievably, some people expect to come in to his shop and take his valuable time up asking for advice on the best components to buy, then go and buy them online. 

I have had my LBS fit some parts that I bought online and they were happy to do so. It wasn't entirely intentional as I'd bought the replacements and intended to fit them myself but struggled to do it (some Prime wheel bearings and a Di2 cable IIRC), so I got them to do a general service and checked if they wanted to use my parts or fit their own. I expect them to charge enough for their time for it to be worthwhile, especially when they might not be able to buy parts with enough discount to make much profit on them.

It certainly doesn't sound fair for people to just use them for info and then spend money elsewhere - those people should post questions online for that kind of thing or read the comments here. However, I'd guess that bike shops make the majority of their money from commuters and cyclists that don't know their way round a bike (e.g. bring the bike in to fix a puncture), so competing against online parts suppliers might not be the best tactic.

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peted76 | 4 months ago
0 likes

I'd love one of those Insta 360 cameras, they look so cool.. BUT I have a go pro which I don't use so it goes in the 'maybe one day I'll get one' list of things. It could get promoted to the 'I must get one of those' list if I ever decide I really should get a occasional commute to work camera and sell the stupid go-pro which I've never gotten on with due to the clunky desktop software and hungry mobile app. 

 

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Miller replied to peted76 | 4 months ago
1 like

peted76 wrote:

I'd love one of those Insta 360 cameras, they look so cool.. BUT I have a go pro which I don't use so it goes in the 'maybe one day I'll get one' list of things. It could get promoted to the 'I must get one of those' list if I ever decide I really should get a occasional commute to work camera and sell the stupid go-pro which I've never gotten on with due to the clunky desktop software and hungry mobile app. 

If you're averse to clunky desktop s/w and a hungry mobile app I have news for you: you'll find exactly the same issues with Insta360 if not more so. 

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peted76 replied to Miller | 4 months ago
2 likes

Miller wrote:

peted76 wrote:

I'd love one of those Insta 360 cameras, they look so cool.. BUT I have a go pro which I don't use so it goes in the 'maybe one day I'll get one' list of things. It could get promoted to the 'I must get one of those' list if I ever decide I really should get a occasional commute to work camera and sell the stupid go-pro which I've never gotten on with due to the clunky desktop software and hungry mobile app. 

If you're averse to clunky desktop s/w and a hungry mobile app I have news for you: you'll find exactly the same issues with Insta360 if not more so. 

Away with you and your pesky logic! 

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