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Network Rail slams "senselessly idiotic" cyclists crossing in front of train; "Criminal of the year" uses angle grinder on...magistrates' court bike rack; What's a gravel pump?; No bikes for YoBikes; Good driving; E3; New tech + more on the live blog

It's Friday and Dan Alexander will be taking you through to the weekend on the live blog...
26 March 2021, 16:55
Network Rail video of "senselessly idiotic" cyclists crossing in front of train

Network Rail has warned cyclists to enjoy the warmer weather responsibly and to respect red lights at level crossings...The video they called "shocking" shows two incidents. In the second, a group of four cyclists cross the tracks eight seconds before a train comes past. In both instances the lights were red and the train driver made an emergency stop. 

Rupert Lown, Network Rail's chief health and safety officer said: "The attitude of these adult cyclists in both incidents is deeply concerning. Every time someone strays onto the railway they are not only putting themselves at risk of serious, life-threatening injury, but they are presenting a danger to the driver and passengers of the approaching train as well. Trains can take a long time to stop, from full speed it can even be a full kilometre, and this highly stressful scenario can have a profound impact on the driver’s mental health."

Inspector Jon Pine of British Transport Police added: "In nearly twenty years of policing I have seen few examples of such senselessly idiotic behaviour on a level crossing.  These cyclists clearly had absolutely no regard for their own safety or that of others – and I speak from experience when I say we could have easily been dealing with the catastrophic consequences."

What do we reckon?

26 March 2021, 16:44
SRAM offers larger Red eTap AXS chainrings
SRAM Red eTap AXS chainrings

SRAM is now offering Red eTap AXS chainrings in much larger sizes than previously, allowing you to get the same setup as pro riders have been using.

When Red eTap AXS was launched a couple of years ago, it offered a radical new approach to gearing. There were three cassette options: 10-26, 10-28, and 10-33. And there were three chainset options: 46/33, 48/35, and 50/37.

However, SRAM’s pro riders have been using larger chainrings. Here’s the Trek Madone belonging to Jasper Stuyven of Trek-Segafredo, for example. Those chainrings are clearly larger than 50/37.

UCI rules say that equipment used in the pro peloton must be available to the public – either currently or soon – so the SRAM Red AXS power meter kit is now available in 52/39, 54/41 and 56/43 options. You get the chainrings and the integrated power meter, but not the cranks – you’ll need to buy those separately.

On the other hand, you do get the dual-mount SRAM Red eTap AXS front derailleur that’s required for using these chainring combinations.

The UK price is £1,160.

26 March 2021, 16:23
Kasper Asgreen wins E3 Saxo Bank Classic

Deceuninck-Quick-Step hit back with a near flawless performance at E3 Saxo Bank Classic, finally finding a way to beat Mathieu van der Poel and Wout van Aert. Kasper Asgreen got the win with a late attack from a front group with three Quick-Step riders after Van Aert had faded on the final climb. 

The win was well-deserved for the Dane who had been solo at the front of the race for 54km before being caught 13km from the finish in Harelbeke. After a short rest he launched again at 3km to go as the chase behind stalled. In the sprint for second, Asgreen's teammate Florian Sénéchal beat Van der Poel to seal a memorable one-two.

26 March 2021, 15:41
Final call for Drink At Your Desk Live! with Ben Foster

It's that time of the week, you've nearly made it...the weekend awaits. Kick-off your Friday by grabbing a cold one, if you haven't already, and putting your feet up for the first epsidoe of our new series...Drink At Your Desk Live! Watford and former England goalie Ben Foster is our first guest and we'll be going live at half five on our YouTube channel and Facebook page.

26 March 2021, 15:09
What's a gravel pump?

Plenty of interest in our Lezyne gravel-specific pump story this morning so we thought we'd round up some of the best comments asking the big questions...

On Facebook, Wayne Bond and Gordon Stewart wanted to know if it uses gravel-specific air...while Andy Stevenson said: "Oh my word. We’ll be getting gravel-specific water bottles and spanners next."

A couple of other readers told us to save the April Fools gags until next week...

You can read all about it here but Lezyne says the Gravel Floor Drive series promises fast, accurate inflation for mid-volume tyres. And, yes, it does work on non-gravel bikes too...

26 March 2021, 14:20
New barriers in action at E3
26 March 2021, 13:56
How cycling infrastructure can help make streets safer for women
cyclists 2.PNG

Kate Jelly wrote a blog in today's Guardian explaining how cycling could be one important aspect of making streets safer for women. In the aftermath of Sarah Everard's murder, Jelly was disappointed but unsurprised to hear men suggesting she had made a poor decision to walk home alone.

She writes: "Cycling does not eliminate the risk of harassment or violence for women, but it at least gives more personal control over route, speed and time of travel, and removes some of the vulnerability that comes with walking or being trapped in a dangerous situation on public transport or in a taxi."

The key, Jelly suggests, is to make sure we build more supportive cycling infrastructure such as segregated, well-lit bike lanes to facilitate women's journeys. She also pointed out some data from the Netherlands and Copenhagen where 55 per cent of bicycle journeys are made by women, in comparison to data from the 2019 Sustrans Bike Life survey which found that 76 per cent of women in the UK never cycle and only 9 per cent of women cycle frequently.

"It goes without saying that public space will not be truly safe for women without a much broader reckoning with the gendered power structures and inequalities that constrain our lives. But investing in infrastructure that affords women greater control over their own safety and mobility – in a society that simultaneously denies them these and blames them for not protecting themselves – would be a good start," Jelly concludes.

26 March 2021, 12:48
No bikes for YoBikes

 YoBike's dockless cycle hire scheme in Bristol has folded. The website has been deleted but the app is still available to download and customers across Bristol, including a certain road.cc editor, have been asking if they can get money out their accounts. The scheme launched in 2017, cost £1 per hour to use and cycles only needed to be left in designated locations rather than being docked as is the case with Santander Cycles and some other cycle hire projects. However, there were signs the operators were struggling when YoBikes pulled out of Southampton in 2019 less than a year after launching and discarded yellow bike are now a familiar sight in Bristol too. 

26 March 2021, 12:01
Bora-hansgrohe out of E3 Saxo Bank Classic after British rider Matt Walls tests positive for Covid

Bora-hansgrohe will be missing from today's action in Flanders after British rider Matt Walls tested positive for Covid. The result was confirmed by a second positive test. The rest of the team's riders were given PCR tests yesterday and despite them all coming back negative, the Belgian Cycling Federation has not allowed the team to start. 

E3 got underway just over half an hour ago with the riders rolling towards a challenging mini-Flanders ahead of the big one next weekend and is the latest instalment in the Mathieu van der Poel vs Wout van Aert rivalry.

26 March 2021, 11:29
Tech news: SunGod limited edition Canyon dhb glasses; Le Col Spring Summer Collection; Hutchinson tubeless accessories
Canyon dhb SunGod limited edition

SunGod has launched a new limited edition model of their Velans performance sunglasses which will be used by British Continental team Canyon dhb SunGod this season. There are only 100 pairs available and each set features the team logo as a laser lens engraving and team design pouch. Using the 8KO lens technology, the glasses can claim to be some of the strongest and lightest out there. Sound good? Max Stedman of Canyon dhb SunGod can vouch for their quality. He said: "It’s really exciting to get another great British brand onboard. Last year was obviously not ideal for so many reasons, but to look forward to the 2021 race calendar with a set of glasses which offer such optimal optical clarity, really gives me confidence."

Le Col's Spring Summer Collection is also now available featuring a revamped Hors Categorie collection with a nod to the brand's UK heritage. The promotional photos for the collection mix iconic foreign locations such as the French Alps and Stelvio Pass with foggy Kent hillsides and the South East coast. In a year without the opportunity to take our riding abroad, Le Col says they hope to inspire riders to make the most of what we have here in the UK...The revamped Hors Categorie bib shorts are Le Col's top of the line offering and have been tailored with a new cut for 2021.

Le Col SS Collection 2021

Hutchinson has a new range of accessories to simplify the installation, maintenance and repair of going tubeless. With rim tape, 60ml sealant injector syringe, tyre levers and double-ended plug kit, Hutchinson think they have everything you need in one place...

Hutchinson tubeless accessories

 

26 March 2021, 10:30
"Criminal of the year" caught on camera using angle grinder on...Westminster Magistrates' Court bike rack

The adjective 'brazen' gets used a lot in bike theft stories, in fact, just this Tuesday I described a gang of bike thieves on this very live blog using the word...This guy takes it to a whole new level, using an angle grinder to cut through a bike lock on the Westminster Magistrates' Court bike rack...Maybe it's his and he's just lost the key?

The video found its way to the Stolen Bikes in London Facebook page where one person compared it to a Balls of Steel episode...Renata Guimarães added: "Shocking, isn't it? They know no one is doing anything so they get away with murder..."

I have my doubts, but perhaps this man will get to see the inside of the court on his next visit.

26 March 2021, 10:04
V&A boss mugged by "very impressive" bicycle bandit
Nicholas Coleridge (Creative Commons BY-SA 3.0)

The V&A Museum's chairman Nicholas Coleridge was on the receiving end of some London bike crime last week, when he was mugged by a "very impressive" youth on a bike near Royal Hospital Chelsea. Despite the inconvenience, Coleridge couldn't help praising the offender who "turned around with a look of triumph and glee before pedalling through a red light towards Pimlico".

"He was very impressive — a swerve of his bike, a punch of the temple and the snatching of the mobile. I was talking on the phone and standing by the kerb to try and get a better line on the mobile when he swooped past and punched me on the side of the head and my iPhone was whisked from my hand," he told the MailOnline.

I've never heard someone describe a hoodie as "synthetic", but apparently that's what the mugger was wearing...Perhaps that's what working at the V&A does to you...

In a shocking twist the MailOnline article didn't have any anti-cyclist comments, instead the regulars blamed Coleridge for using his phone in public...Not even a snide red light jumping comment. What's the world coming to?

Will Judge Rinder get his day in court?  

26 March 2021, 09:50
Some good driving

We highlight all the near misses and bad driving clips, so here's some good driving for your Friday morning... 

26 March 2021, 08:43
Freebikes4kids charity hit by break in at Newport storage facility

 Puffa Jones' Freebikes4kids charity does so much good work bringing everyone and anyone the joy of riding a bike. On Christmas Eve, Mike's great work got picked up on the live blog when the Newport bike mechanic stepped in to gift free bikes to anyone who'd lost Christmas presents in the floods.

Sadly, this week a storage unit at the Oscar Side Business Park, which a local businessman lets the charity use for free, was broken into and three bikes stolen...The bikes were ready to be donated and were a B'Twin (minus the seatpost) and a pair of Carreras.

Sharing the bad news on Twitter, Mike wrote: "Sadly the Freebikes4kids cycle storage unit in Newport was broken into last night. These bikes were to be gifted for free to children in need; we’re lucky they didn’t take more. I am sorry for the damage to Matt’s property – he offered the project this space free of charge because he is a community-minded person. He doesn’t deserve this!"

Matt Stanton owns the storage unit and says the offenders caused hundreds of pounds in damage. "It’s so horrible," he said. "I go around collecting the bikes and these people go and break in, cause hundreds of pounds in damage, then ride off again. I give this storage to charity, free of charge, to help them. Yet some people come and cause damage, take away bikes, and go through everything else. It’s a violation. I’m worried hoping they won’t return."

The South Wales Argus shared some better news, saying that Gwent Police have arrested a 33-year-old man in connection with the theft.

Dan joined road.cc as live blog editor last year. He has previously written 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 exploring the south of England.

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