You may have seen our latest story about the Dorset bike lane causing a stir amongst motorists for being "too wide". Former BBC radio presenter turned YouTube ranter and Katie Hopkins support act, (tickets still available for the Blackpool shows if you really want to give your family a Christmas to forget) Alex Belfield, also saw the news and took a break from spouting about just about every other issue in Britain to give his self-proclaimed 'Voice of Reason'...
Strap yourselves in for this one...during his three-and-a-half minute video, Belfield says, "I have come to the conclusion as there are now roads that are basically for cyclists, with one little lane for cars in the middle, it is simply too dangerous now for cyclists and e-scooterists. We must ban them for their own safety.
In the rest of the rant which Laurence Fox might have been proud of, Belfield came to the questionable conclusion that, "To save the planet and them it is best that they go."
Apparently cyclists' "Supercilious nature is out of control, they're now demanding that we rip up roads and put in 10ft f****** cycle lanes...who signed this off? We've lost our minds. The cycle lanes are now bigger than the road lanes. You've got two wheels. We are this big with our diesels. We need more room or you're going to be in danger."
All a bit ridiculous until you realise Belfield's channel has 350,000 subscribers...
All Blacks captain Sam Whitelock, head trainer Nic Gill and assistant coach Brad Mooar are making the most of their enforced isolation on return from touring Europe during the autumn internationals. The trio are midway through a 24-hour cycling distance challenge to raise money for bowel cancer prevention in memory of former team logistics manager Kevin "Chalky" Carr who died from pancreatic cancer in 2018.
Gill told Stuff NZ they want to beat the current record of 755km cycled in 24 hours. At the halfway point they had ridden 425km, well on track to beat the world record. We'll see if they break the record later this evening...
Cycling UK has released an in-depth address in response to Transport for London's heavily criticised 'See their side' road safety advert. The full response is well worth a read and can be viewed here...
But for a taster, here's what Cycling UK's head of campaigns and advocacy, Duncan Dollimore had to say...
The Highway Code will soon introduce a hierarchy of responsibility, but this and other changes need to be communicated, and we’re still seeing road safety films with fudged 'share the road' messaging that doesn’t reflect the changes coming in.
I’m a huge supporter of TfL’s Vision Zero ambition to eradicate deaths and serious injuries from London’s roads, and I haven’t taken any pleasure in criticising this film, but if the new Code is going to lead to a cultural change on our roads, and improvement in road safety, the messaging in road safety awareness materials needs to be based on better research around who presents the greatest risk, and better targeted.
The lead responsibility for communicating the changes to The Code of course rests with the government, and the Department for Transport’s THINK team. I hope they’ve set aside sufficient budget, over a significant period of time, and are honest about the implications of the changes rather than fudge them in generic 'share the road' messaging.
After all, the changes to The Code have legal implications the day they come in, so the public are entitled to expect that the messaging is accurate, even of they don’t like it, rather than watered down to please everyone.
One quick edit and Tom Flood made this alternative to 'See their side'...an improvement? Tom commented on the original ad saying it had missed the point completely, "Once again we are asking the prey to be empathetic towards their predator."
"I am 100% behind finding commonalities and working to reach across the aisle to move forward, but this constant framing of a shared responsibility is a key part of the problem and what we've already been doing for far too long.
"If the goal is to save lives then there might be some uncomfortable moments for the driver (who takes the lives) but hopefully there can be alliances. But far too often the actual goal is to avoid making the driver uncomfortable which of course compromises the saving lives part."
And here we are...
Quick edit. pic.twitter.com/IjwaWpCmOy
— Tom Flood (@tomflood1) November 26, 2021
A pleasure pushing the pedals again⛰☀️🤩 pic.twitter.com/xsn5UmkFxU
— Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (@CUttrupLudwig) November 25, 2021
The weather's going to be a bit too wintery for our liking this weekend. That s word has even been mentioned...
No such problems for two of the big name pros of the women's WorldTour: Annemiek van Vleuten and Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig, who are off making their first preparations for 2022. As I look out my window at the grey skies and rain being blown sideways, I know where I'd rather be...
Now if only a pro team were willing to jet us all off to Gran Canaria...
Recharged the batteries at Gran Canaria! One of my favorite winter destinations with bike and I had the best company I could wish for. I still walk longer distances with crutches but I can ride my bike with the help of a special soft saddle. pic.twitter.com/vh6mVagPpk
— Annemiek van Vleuten (@AvVleuten) November 26, 2021
Ah well, I'm sure Sunday morning won't be too bad. Let me take a quick look at that weather forecast...ah, feels like -3 and 24mph gusts from the north west. Fantastic.
Even the Blackpool police got involved (on bikes of course!) although they didn't seem too happy...
Skip to 11:50 if you want to see that particular interaction...but Dom Whiting gave us the lowdown of how it went...
Policeman: CONTROL YOUR CROWD
Dom Whiting: SORRY WHAT?!
A tactical right turn and a cheeky turn of pace left 'PC turn it down' back at the rear of the peloton...
— Cycle Advocacy Network - South East England (@CANSEEngland) November 25, 2021
As promised it's time for some of your thoughts on TfL's road safety disasterpiece...and there were more than a few to choose from. Let's start here...
Like a teacher telling a bully and their victim to “stop fighting”
— that's Bumpo money (@angryaboutbikes) November 25, 2021
Over on Facebook, Kevin Blackburn commented: "One (the driver) has a little fright, the other (cyclist) is nearly killed - how is this equivalent?"
George Charalambides said: "What the ad-maker fails to understand, is the difference between a cyclist’s natural fight or flight response caused by the huge amounts of adrenaline released when they’re about to be hit by a 1.5 tonne car, vs the nuisance anger of a protected car driver. We all know that most drivers are not concerned about the well being of cyclists as they perceive them as obstacles to their path, just like other vehicles, not as vulnerable fellow citizens, around which extra care is warranted." Agree?
joe9090 had a go at summarising..."Hey shouty cyclists, stop shouting at us drivers, don't you see we are sorry we didn't see you? There was sun and shit and I was trying to drink my Costa while quickly checking Whatsapp! Have a heart you bastards!"
Quiff commented: "I agree that this video deliberately obfuscates the incident itself to focus on how the protagonists deal with the aftermath. That's all well and good, but in order to have a meaningful impact on road safety, we can't just be nicer to each other after near misses, we need to 'see their side' in order to avoid incidents arising in the first place. E.g. by thinking 'if I was that cyclist, how much space would I want to be given'. However, there is still the false equivalence point, and this looks uncomfortably out of step with the upcoming Highway Code changes to introduce a hierarchy of responsibility."
Not all the replies were completely against the message however...
MattieKempy said: "Hmmm. A bit of both. Shouting at a driver who has just nearly killed you is an entirely understandable reaction, but I've had the most profitable conversations with almost-killers when I've been calm, polite and dispassionate. So I see both sides of the coin."
We've closed for Black Friday as we're not comfortable with what it represents, instead, we're going on a bike ride for coffee and cake. #BoycottBlackFriday #BlackFriday #islabikes pic.twitter.com/pnpn180Wbn
— Islabikes (@Islabikes) November 26, 2021
If you do want all the Black Friday materialism head over to our special live blog dedicated to finding you the best deals...
British Hour Record holder Dan Bigham is committed to giving the world record another shot next year, and he told Cycling Weekly he is only seven watts off breaking it. Bigham's first attempt wouldn't have counted, even if he'd surpassed Victor Campenaerts' distance, as he rides for Continental team Ribble-Weldtite and is therefore not automatically in the the UCI testing pool.
However, using the success in Switzerland, Bigham has attracted new sponsors and is keen to give the outright distance a crack in 2022. "I’m not naïve enough to think that I’m better than Filippo Ganna, so whenever he says he’s going for it, that’s my deadline for my own attempt," Bigham told Cycling Weekly.
"In power terms, I only need seven extra watts. I can put seven watts more in, or save seven watts with better drag, improved aerodynamics and efficiency. Or I could do three-and-a-half watts each. How I split those seven watts doesn’t matter. I have an idea where I can make those gains, but it’s not easy.
"I have a few things that I couldn’t access or couldn’t do in the last time frame. A bit more training, six to nine months of progression, a few little tweaks here and there, and I’ll get closer to it."
A driver has already destroyed the cycle parking frame on Knight's Hill installed days ago right next to where hundreds of Julians primary children walk every day pic.twitter.com/Ys4SvK4DWU
— Ed Davie (@EdDavie) November 25, 2021
Must be retaliation for that time a cyclist not wearing hi-vis or a helmet took out an entire car park while jumping a red light on the pavement.
The road.cc Podcast is back for another episode...
On the dozenth episode... why was cycling and walking not even on the main agenda at COP26? Carlton Reid talks to Simon about the recent UN climate summit.
You can listen here if you need a distraction to get you through Friday...
Some people are good at controlling a bike, aren't they? Bas Keep-s on delivering the goods and has released the follow up to his 2017 urban BMX adventure Walls...it's creatively named More Walls and will have you questioning what's possible on two wheels.
"You don’t need to travel far to discover amazing riding spots in this country - obviously travel has been restricted anyway, but MORE WALLS is about showcasing these spots around the UK," the super talented trickster explained.
In the edit, Bas visits locations around Birmingham, Northampton, and Brighton, including car parks, abandoned factories and busy roads, making doing silly things on your bike look all too easy...
— Geraint Thomas (@GeraintThomas86) November 26, 2021
Is G back home in Wales or still in Monaco? Hard to say from the clear blue skies and inviting seaside vistas. The hashtag suggests Wales, but with views like that you could quite easily be pootling along the French Riviera. On Wednesday he was still in Monaco, sharing pics of a pastry-filled cafe stop with Michael Valgren, Wout Poels and Luke Rowe. We're assuming that was Monaco...maybe he's taken the lads to the homeland for some winter miles?
Get your votes in...Wales or Monaco?
If you haven't already seen it Transport for London's 'See their side' road safety ad is well worth a watch...but be warned, you almost certainly won't like what you see...
It's been a day since the video dropped and the criticism, disbelief and outrage continues to roll in. Not least from Robert Wright, the Financial Times' social policy correspondent who slammed it "quite extraordinarily, outrageously poor".
This is quite extraordinarily, outrageously poor, @TfL. It's absolutely at the heart of the problem that drivers think their being scared by nearly killing someone is on the same moral plain as being scared by nearly being killed. https://t.co/frsJUPJ6YO
— Robert Wright (@RKWinvisibleman) November 25, 2021
He continued his dismantling of the clip..."Let's be perfectly clear. There's no moral obligation on me to calm myself and be nice if someone's come close to killing me. I have no responsibility to ask if a driver who's close-passed me and come that close is OK.
"This nonsense has real-world consequences. Drivers nod and go, 'Yes, cyclists should be nicer'. They drive just as badly then also get cross we're upset about it. This advert will make London's roads more dangerous. It should never be shown again. TfL should never commission another advert from VCCP if they think this appropriate. Adverts should address squarely the people who cause the danger —invulnerable people in high-powered boxes.
"The 'Are you alright?' question reminds me of when a negligent driver knocked me off my bike in February 2009. I told him I was calling the police. He said, 'But I'll lose my job'. I said, 'You have to understand you've just knocked me off my bicycle into the street. My sympathy is limited'.
"TfL and VCCP presumably think I should have seen it from his point of view. He needn't have worried. He faced zero real consequences that I know of." That noise at the end was a mic hitting the floor...
Others shared screenshots of their complaints to the Advertising Standards Agency. Another reply added: "I won't be watching this with the sound on as I suspect my blood would boil and escape as steam through my ears."
We'll round-up some of your plentiful reaction too in a bit...
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.