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Video of "busiest cycle path in the Netherlands" goes viral, where "private cars are not allowed"... and there's "no congestion"; Police Scotland called out for "incorrect" cycling advice; Magistrate resigns over 20mph speed limits + more on the live blog

Dan Alexander is here for all the all the news, reaction and more on this Wednesday's road.cc live blog, your one-stop shop for everything that's happening in the world of cycling today...

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25 October 2023, 15:24
Video of "busiest cycle path in the Netherlands" goes viral, where "private cars are not allowed"... and there's "no congestion"

Would be fascinated to see some stats on cycle clothing, helmets etc... just people getting around town by a convenient mode of transport, no dramas...

We're not too sure on the numbers behind if it is the Netherlands' busiest cycle path, some think rivals in Amsterdam or Groningen might have something to say about that, but what we do know is this video has been viewed more than 100,000 times this week thanks to two posts by the Dutch Cycling Embassy (a great Twitter follow for admiring a country that does cycling properly) and city planner Brent Toderian.

It even prompted a close-up angle...

And the 21-hour timelapse (if you've got plenty of viewing time on your hands)...

And as Debbie MacColl commented in reply, "Just imagine if all those people were in a car rather than a bike. It would be just like a UK city or town."

25 October 2023, 15:17
BIG Zwift update! Watch our first ride on 19km of new roads in Watopia
25 October 2023, 15:09
The Italian Job? Turin to give Mark Cavendish the first of eight record-breaking chances at 2024 Tour de France (+ video of route)
25 October 2023, 13:44
Conservation group's fear plan to surface path for wheelchair access will create "hostile environment" and "encourage faster cyclists"

 A conservation group dedicated to protecting and supporting The Parkland Walk, the longest linear nature reserve in London, four kilometres between Muswell Hill and Finsbury Park, has expressed concerns about a Haringey Council consultation about resurfacing the off-road route with a hard surface to improve accessibility.

The Friends of Parkland Walk group says the "overwhelming majority" do not want the path, the chair Cathy Meeus warning that "all it will do is encourage faster cyclists", Ham & High reports.

"They'll make it accessible for one small group of vulnerable people but make it a hostile environment for young people, old people who are less mobile, dog walkers, the visually impaired and deaf community," she said.

"Will they honour the consultation and not make changes? We want the council to remember this is an official nature reserve, not a cycle route."

The group's website also warns that "a smooth path will facilitate high-speed cycling" that "could become considerably worse as e-bikes become more common".

At the consultation stage the council said there had been "misinformation and scaremongering" around the project, stressing it is an "absolute fundamental" that the surfacing will not create a 'cycle superhighway'.

However, the conservation group points to Sustrans' involvement, as one of four organisations invited to help manage the project, as a further problem sparking cycle route fears. 

In reply, the council said Sustrans is "suitably qualified" and that "the council will follow this project through to its conclusion, which will be to agree a suitable resurfacing material and identify accessibility improvements in line with the co-production process that we have started."

"At this point, there is a blank canvas that will be developed, based on local community input and involvement," the council stated.

25 October 2023, 13:11
"I'm not going to do it": Magistrate steps down... would rather quit than enforce 20mph speed limits
20mph sign (CC licensed by EdinburghGreens via Flickr)

A magistrate in Wrexham has resigned, saying he feels "uneasy" about fining drivers and handing out penalty points for speeding offences in new 20mph zones.

The BBC reports former police officer and councillor Nick Colbourne quit after 18 years in the role, questioning the fairness of the speed limits, claiming that "if an idiot is going to drive through somewhere at 60mph, they're going to do it whether the speed limit is 20 or 30".

> "Far more pleasant for walkers and cyclists": 20mph speed limit analysis hailed "astonishing", with drivers' journeys just 45 seconds longer

Apparently missing the fact that not all road incidents are caused by 60mph "idiots", but also by people travelling at the speed limit who will abide with the new limits, Mr Colbourne said punishing motorists made him "uneasy".

"If you get 12 points, you're looking at a six-month ban under the totting up scheme," he said. "We all accept 20mph outside schools, but I don't think blanket coverage across Wales was the answer."

> Confusion as driver blames 20mph zone for preventing her overtaking cyclists... despite them riding at the speed limit

The magistrate admitted that he had been considering stepping down, but 20mph speed limits were the final straw and that courts were sometimes facing 60-70 motoring cases a day.

25 October 2023, 11:53
Will you ride L'Etape in 2024?

It's Tour de France route announcement day! Simon will have something up on that shortly, but as a teaser here's L'Etape's route for 2024...

Perhaps the biggest one-day sportive in the world, thousands of riders will take on this full stage of the Tour de France a few weeks before the pros. Stage 20 has been picked this year. Not the final stage before Paris because as we've all heard by now... the race isn't finishing in the French capital because of the Olympics and will end in Nice (with a time trial) instead. This quadruple ascent monster will be the final mountain stage and has been picked for L'Etape.

But have they picked the wrong stage?

'What's stage 19?' I hear you cry... just the small matter of this...

Registration opens next Tuesday (31 October) at 4pm.

25 October 2023, 11:27
Study: One quarter of crashes on US roads linked to phone misuse
Driver using handheld mobile phone (image licensed CC BY 2.0 by DPP Law on Flickr)

[CC BY 2.0 by DPP Law/ Flickr]

New analysis of mobile phone data, reported by Bicycle Network and undertaken by mobile phone and GPS monitoring company Zendrive, concluded that more than one quarter of crashes on US roads are linked to phone misuse. The website also reports that number has risen by nine per cent compared with the same period in the previous year.

"We examined the number of phone use occurrences per trip for both collision and non-collision trips. The data revealed that, on average, drivers engaged in phone use about six times during a collision trip," Zendrive explained.

"Almost half of the drivers (45.8 per cent) involved in collisions used their phones at least once during their trip. Similarly, over 40 per cent of collision trips per month had rapid acceleration events, while all events – speeding, rapid acceleration, and phone use – are trending upwards month over month. 

"These worsening behaviours are ultimately leading to more collisions, which further underscores the severity of the distracted driving epidemic."

Between January and May 2022, 19.2 per cent of collisions involved mobile phone use by the driver in the 15-second window before the crash. This year, that figure had risen to 28.4 per cent.

"Education and advocacy campaigns should continue to highlight the importance of safe driving practices, encouraging drivers to put their phones away while on the road," Zendrive said. "Additionally, tech companies and insurers can play a vital role in curbing distracted driving by implementing features that discourage phone usage while driving."

25 October 2023, 11:09
Bike industry turmoil: Shimano says global cycling market remains "weak" as segment sales fall by a quarter – and worse to come?
25 October 2023, 09:26
Less controversial? Demi Vollering wins the Women's Vélo d'Or

think this one's going to be a bit more straightforward...

Demi Vollering's 2023 was about as good as it gets (some of these aside: From Coppi to Van Vleuten: Cycling's greatest ever seasons). The SD Worx superstar won *deep breath* Strade Bianche, Dwars door Vlaanderen, Amstel, Flèche Wallonne, Liège–Bastogne–Liège, two Vuelta stages (and may well have 'deserved' to have won that overall), the Dutch national champs road race, Tour de France Femmes and Romandie. Solid...

Vollering's teammate Lotte Kopecky's season wasn't bad either... Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, Flanders, two national championship titles, a Tour stage, six days in yellow, the green jersey, World Championships road race. Exceptional, but Vollering levels of exceptional?

It wouldn't be a cyclist of the year discussion without Annemiek van Vleuten of course, just La Vuelta and the Giro (plus two stage wins) in her final year in the peloton.

25 October 2023, 09:15
POLL: Best male cyclist of 2023?

QuizMaker

Any complaints at Sepp Kuss' omission can be forwarded to the comments section...

25 October 2023, 08:45
Mathieu van der Poel? Tadej Pogačar? Questions asked as Vingegaard wins best male cyclist award for 2023

Jonas Vingegaard the best male cyclist of 2023? This one has caused a fair bit of discussion... the more fan-friendly achievements and riding style of Tadej Pogačar and Mathieu van der Poel beaten by the dominant, crushing efficiency of the Tour de France winner.

I'd say Van der Poel's done more than enough in 2023 to earn the title: Milan–San Remo, Paris-Roubaix, World Championships, that's a titanic hat-trick, although admittedly facilitated by 'off' periods like at the Tour de France where we barely saw the watt-smashing Dutchman away from Jasper Philipsen's leadout.

Mathieu van der Poel wins the 2023 world road race championships, Glasgow (Alex Broadway/SWpix.com)

[Alex Broadway/SWpix.com] 

The case for Tadej Pogačar, the sheer weight of victories, 17 in all. Flanders, Amstel, Flèche Wallonne, Lombardia, two stages of the Tour, Paris-Nice, but he was of course beaten comprehensively by Vingegaard at the big one.

Tadej Pogacar wins 2023 Il Lombardia (picture credit LaPresse/RCS Sport)

[LaPresse/RCS Sport]

In comparison, Vingegaard's 2023 had more victories than I expected, 16, including the Tour de France, Dauphiné, Itzulia Basque, a Tour stage win, two Vuelta stages, and multiple more week-long stage race stage victories. 

2023 Vingegaard yellow Tour de France bike pic A.S.O Pauline Ballet

[ASO/ Pauline Ballet]

A few thoughts from fans on L'Équipe's post...

"I like how everyone is saying Pogi because he won more one day races but when it came to racing Jonas straight up in by far the biggest season race over 21 straight stages he got destroyed by over seven minutes."

"MvdP and Pogacar had better season."

2023 Tour de France Vingegaard Cervelo R5 Zac Williams-SWpix.com - 1.jpeg

[Zac Williams/SWpix.com]

"The whole season should be taken into account, not just the Tour de France. But the fact that L'Équipe and the Tour are both French says it all." (TOUR DE FRANCE IS FRENCH SHOCKER... who knew?)

"Everyone knows that Jonas could have won two Grand Tours if he wanted to — so well deserved — but MvdP is a strong contender."

Get in the comments with your thoughts, I'm interested to see where you lot stand...

 I might have to dust off the poll machine for this one...

25 October 2023, 08:37
"It is with a heavy heart that we inform the passing of Mark Groeneveld": 20-year-old pro cyclist dies after race

Mark Groeneveld, a 20-year-old pro cyclist from the Netherlands, died after the Hong Kong Cyclothon in the early hours of Monday, his team has announced. Groeneveld suffered a mechanical during the race, Noordhollands Dagblad reporting that he collapsed while out in public, Canadian XSpeed United saying the circumstances are "under investigation" but "preliminary information suggests it may have been due to a heart attack".

"Mark was an incredible individual and a cherished member of our team. He had a remarkable spirit, always ready to lend a hand behind the scenes with his infectious smile and warm-hearted nature," the team said in a tribute. 

"His presence brightened our days, and he will be deeply missed by all who had the privilege to know him. Take care of yourselves and each other during this trying time. With heartfelt condolences, Mark will never be forgotten by us."

25 October 2023, 07:59
"The police don't know the Highway Code?": Police Scotland called out for "incorrect" and "contradictory" cycling advice

Anyone remember the days before social media? The days before weekly live blogs about police forces putting their foot in it. It's Police Scotland today. Or should I say last week, but this one has only just come to our attention, the fallout and reaction still rolling on to last night, so technically this week I guess. 

Much-criticised social media advice from public authority that should know better, reveal yourself...

It's the third and fifth points that are getting the most attention here (although it is also the prime time of year for telling vulnerable road users to 'be seen', rather than addressing the root cause of road danger, but that's a matter for another day)...

So, what does the Highway Code actually say?

Rule 61:

Cycle Routes and Other Facilities. Cycle lanes are marked by a white line (which may be broken) along the carriageway (see Rule 140). Use facilities such as cycle lanes and tracks, advanced stop lines and toucan crossings (see Rules 62 and 73) where they make your journey safer and easier. This will depend on your experience and skills and the situation at the time. While such facilities are provided for reasons of safety, cyclists may exercise their judgement and are not obliged to use them.  

Rule 67:

When cycling on the road, only pass to the left of large vehicles when they are stationary or slow moving and you should proceed with caution as the driver may not be able to see you. Be particularly careful on the approach to junctions or where a large vehicle could change lanes to the left. 

Hmmm if you were hoping for a testing game of spot the difference I think you might be a bit disappointed...

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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83 comments

Avatar
Paul J replied to Jimmy Ray Will | 5 months ago
1 like

I'm not anti-vax, but it is undoubtedly true - given numerous well-done analyses by experience and reputable researchers of large data-sets - that the 2 most widely administered covid vaccines can cause heart issues above background rates in under 40s. It is well established that these issues occur at the highest rates in young males - Moderna being the highest. It is also well established that young, healthy males were at no noticeable risk of covid.

It must be noted that these studies are based on observational data. Such data is, unfortunately, lower quality than RCT data. We do not have RCT data because these vaccines were fast-tracked through the regulatory processes and then most populations in western countries were heavily coerced into taking them. As a result, ability to do further RCTs in cohorts like, say, young people, is quite limited as nearly all the population has already had the medication.

I am not trying to cause an argument here. I'm just stating what I think are well established facts, or obvious consequences thereof in the case of the very last claim. If they sit uncomfortably with some readers, it is - I would say - because on reflection these were not good acts/policies to have carried out (wrt younger cohorts most obviously - even "back then").

That this has given fuel to "anti-vaxxers" is the inevitable result. A number of eminent people warned about that risk before those policies were enacted, when the kites were being flown, and they were not heeded.

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Secret_squirrel replied to Paul J | 5 months ago
8 likes

And yet you spout anti-vax tropes and dont provide any quantification of risks and highlight one (Vaccination risk) whilst downplaying another (Covid damage risk) without providing relative magnitudes between them.

You are an anti-vaxxer and I claim my £5.

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S13SFC replied to Paul J | 5 months ago
8 likes

In simple terms, fuck off.

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Car Delenda Est replied to Paul J | 5 months ago
1 like

Yah I'm strongly pro-vax but very suspicious and concerned (young asymptomatic male who experienced post-Moderna pericarditis) of the ones that haven't gone through the proper process.
Vaccines are medicines, that need testing, not a Messiah to be blindly followed: it's like we've already forgot the lessons of thalidomide.

Very disappointed in the comments that don't realise the burden of proof lies on the pharmaceutical companies to prove their medicine works as intended, not on us to prove it doesn't.

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hawkinspeter replied to Car Delenda Est | 5 months ago
4 likes

Car Delenda Est wrote:

Yah I'm strongly pro-vax but very suspicious and concerned (young asymptomatic male who experienced post-Moderna pericarditis) of the ones that haven't gone through the proper process. Vaccines are medicines, that need testing, not a Messiah to be blindly followed: it's like we've already forgot the lessons of thalidomide. Very disappointed in the comments that don't realise the burden of proof lies on the pharmaceutical companies to prove their medicine works as intended, not on us to prove it doesn't.

The COVID vaccines were tested though - the speed of development made it seem like they were skipping safety procedures, but they instead skipped the waiting parts of getting the results and regulatory approval. The first vaccines were developed early in 2020 due to having the genetic makeup of SARS-CoV-2 and decades of previous research on coronaviruses. They also used the research into HIV vaccines so they could call upon a toolkit of safe weapons against various viruses - almost like assembling LEGO (probably a bit more complicated though).

We have learned lessons from Thalidomide and safety/testing protocols have been vastly improved since then. As I understand it, the big problem with Thalidomide was that they didn't test it on pregnant animals before testing it on pregnant humans. When they did test it on pregnant rats and rabbits, they found foetus deformities.

Ultimately, as with a lot of health issues, it boils down to the statistics - are you more likely to encounter problems with catching COVID or encounter side effects of the vaccines. The rate of lingering side effects (i.e. not just a sore arm or feeling a bit tired for a week) for the vaccines have been very low, so there's a very strong case for getting the protective effect as SARS-CoV-2 likes to go on an organ rampage and obviously can cause serious illness and death.

You're right that the burden of proof of safety lies with the pharmaceutical companies and that's exactly what happened.

Avatar
Oldfatgit | 5 months ago
4 likes

The lead in to the ASL is a bit of a tricky one as it is open to individual rider risk assessment.

A lot depends on the traffic in front of me -
1. if its mainly cars and if I can get 'safely' (as in intact, up-right and still alive) to the ASL.
2. if there are trucks, busses and very large panel vans (such as the hi-topped, long-wheelbased ones that are almost but not quite 7.5tonners (you know the ones)), that depends on what my spidey senses tell me.

For both 1 and 2 above, how long the light has been red for is a primary deciding factor in if I attempt to move up or not. If it's just changed to red, then I'm likely to move up.
If I'm not sure, or its been red for a while, then I'm more likely to stay put.

For 2 above, if the light has just turned red, then I'll move up on the off-side of the vehile, unless there is an empty lane to the nearside. I'll move right up the ASL box and try to make eye contact with the driver so they know I am there. I might attempt to sign to the driver my intentions - especially if the lane is a combiend straigh-ahead/turn lane, so they have an idea of where I am going. This can have mixed reception, however, I get more thumbs up and smiles than shrugs of indifference and diliberate looks away (yes, I know they could be humouring me, but it shows that they have *seen* me).

At any time, I will not sit alongside a bus, truck or large panel van on the inside, and would pass them on the offside, rather than the nearside unless there is a clear empty lane on the nearside.

 

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brooksby | 5 months ago
2 likes

Has anyone seen the Jeremy Vine video yet where Jason Donovan nearly gets taken out by a TfL bus?

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Hirsute replied to brooksby | 5 months ago
2 likes

Do we have to watch it and report back so you don't have to watch the overlays ?

Awful driving.

At one point one of them says 'great helmet' but don't say 'you should wear it properly then'.

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brooksby replied to Hirsute | 5 months ago
1 like

Hirsute wrote:

Do we have to watch it and report back so you don't have to watch the overlays ?

yes

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HoarseMann replied to brooksby | 5 months ago
2 likes

JV waves the bus driver past and JD stops pedalling whilst pulling over to the kerb!

The bus driver should have ignored them both and just held back, but they didn't really help the situation having a chummy chat in the middle of a junction.

Now there's nothing wrong with having a chat with someone else on a bike. It's actually one of the nice things about active travel, the sort of interactions with other people that would never happen when driving. Proper cycling infrastructure would make this a totally safe thing to do. It's perhaps not the best idea on a dark, wet, congested road though.

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hawkinspeter replied to brooksby | 5 months ago
13 likes

brooksby wrote:

Has anyone seen the Jeremy Vine video yet where Jason Donovan nearly gets taken out by a TfL bus?

Avatar
Steve K replied to hawkinspeter | 5 months ago
2 likes
hawkinspeter wrote:

brooksby wrote:

Has anyone seen the Jeremy Vine video yet where Jason Donovan nearly gets taken out by a TfL bus?

You may want one of those after stocking up here.

Avatar
Miller | 5 months ago
1 like

The Ghostface Killah is the current best grand tour rider, I think it's fair to say, but he doesn't feature at all outside a few stage races unlike Pogi and MvdP so he's not an all-rounder like they are. 

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Patrick9-32 replied to Miller | 5 months ago
3 likes

With the unstoppable domestique team of the RZA, the GZA, Ol Dirty Bastard, Inspectah Deck and Method Man how could anyone come close to the performance of the Ghostface, no one could be iller. 

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Jimmy Ray Will replied to Miller | 5 months ago
0 likes

I think the point is that in stage races, which are indeed his priority, he features very heavily in every single one. 

 

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mark1a | 5 months ago
0 likes

TdF route reveal today...

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the little onion | 5 months ago
12 likes

I'm shocked, simply shocked , to discover that the police don't understand basic road laws or the Highway Code, as they apply to cyclists 

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HoldingOn replied to the little onion | 5 months ago
4 likes

Quote:

Never pass between the vehicle and kerb

I am glad road.cc included that paragraph from the HWC. I remember reading it, but still have a little doubting voice when I pass between kerb and queue of vehicles.

Does it feel like Police Social Media is sometimes run like it is a punishment for an officer?
"Right Dave, you blasted your sirens at an 8 year old for not wearing a helmet, so you gotta handle X today"

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the little onion replied to HoldingOn | 5 months ago
3 likes

My annoyance at this social media stuff is not just the (incorrect and dangerous) signal it sends to drivers, but more importantly how it shows up police knowledge and action. The officer that posted this may be the one that attends to you once someone has driven into you as you cycle along. And they will find a way to explain why it is your fault, irrespective of circumstances or law.

 

With regards who posts this, I'm not sure who handles social media. I do know that often cycle camera video submissions are viewed not by specialist officers, but by 'regular' officers who are on desk duty that week, perhaps because of an injury sustained that week. So more like your regular neighbourhood cop than a traffic cop.

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stonojnr replied to the little onion | 5 months ago
0 likes

I'd like to think officers aren't routinely employed to post stuff on social media, and its just some back office staff working for the police pr team, doing that classic they think it sounds right, so it must be, that we get hit with by drivers daily.

Doesn't mean the police aren't as badly informed, see the recent WMP stop, just not sure we can blame them directly for the tweets.

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Hirsute replied to stonojnr | 5 months ago
1 like

The only one I have seen comment is surrey police where the sgt was a traffic cop and had to defend himself by stating he tweets in his on time.

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stonojnr replied to Hirsute | 5 months ago
0 likes

I've seen individual coppers with twitter accounts, which as you say they do on their own time,that's fair enough, and they rarely make a mistake like this on law or the HC, but the main police force accounts, got to be somekind of clerical staff, hasn't it ?

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Morgoth985 replied to stonojnr | 5 months ago
0 likes

Maybe not but it hardly matters if they're all as badly informed as each other.

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