Support road.cc

Like this site? Help us to make it better.

news

"Wear a helmet!" Halfords advises... because a tree branch might fall on your head; Brian Robinson tributes; What does this week's Transport Secretary mean for cycling?; Coolest thing you can do on a bike?; Metaverse cycling + more on the live blog

It's been a long time... Dan Alexander has been trusted with the live blog keyboard for the rest of the week... apologies in advance.....
26 October 2022, 16:29
That's all for today...

Same time and place tomorrow, folks...

On the eve before the 2023 route is announced in Paris, I'll leave you with one final tribute to a legend who made British cycling history at the Tour de France...

> Britain's first Tour de France stage winner Brian Robinson dies, aged 91 

26 October 2022, 16:13
Are children learning to ride bikes later?
black mountain kids bikes poll pic - may 2020.PNG

Merlin Cycles has sent us some research suggesting that the average age at which a child learns to ride a bike has increased by nearly half a year compared with the 1980s.

Sadly there isn't any info on the sample size, but it has got us thinking — as more than a few of you are probably in the midst of, or have recently taught your kid(s) the joy of cycling — what age did they learn?

According to Merlin, whilst the average age was 5.1 years old in the 80s, it is now up to 5.5 years old. Hardly a big deal, I hear you cry, and I wouldn't disagree with you...anyway, it seemed like a nice discussion topic...

I think this is this the part where I'm meant to blame TikTok, the metaverse and all things behind a screen? 

If you are in the market for your kid's first bike then check out our handy guide to know exactly what to look for and a few suggestions of the best children's bikes out there...

26 October 2022, 14:54
Totally unremarkable commuter hack bike

Wonder what this chap would be riding if he turned up for a club run? If you're not aware just how high-end this ride is, let's just say I'd be rather worried about dropping bubble tea on my bike if it happened to be a Colnago C68 with Lightweight Obermayer wheels...  

If you fancy a bike for hacking round town with a bubble tea that will cost a little less, you can always check out our guide to the best commuter bikes

26 October 2022, 14:46
Ride envy — add this one to your bucket list

Sea views, coffee, challenging climbs, ice cream and cake. Here's Jamie's 'A few hours around the Gower', a coffee ride to make you jealous...

coffeeandridewithkomoot-Jamie

> A few hours around the Gower: Jamie's coffee & ride on the stunning South Wales coastline

26 October 2022, 14:29
"Pioneer. Trailblazer. Legend": Tributes to Brian Robinson

> Britain's first Tour de France stage winner Brian Robinson dies, aged 91 

road.cc reader Kendalred added: "I had the pleasure of being at a small vintage bike talk in our town a few years ago where Brian was the guest speaker — he seemed a genuinely good bloke, full of witty anecdotes and opinions! Sad news, but a life well and truly lived. Au revior Brian."

26 October 2022, 13:45
UCI Track Champions League joins the metaverse

Right, let's see if this makes any sense...

Warner Bros. Discovery Sports and Infinite Reality have partnered "to offer a new and revolutionary way for audiences to engage with their favourite sports", starting with a "unique metaverse experience during the upcoming UCI Track Champions League".

Other than press release talk we can't actually decipher what this means in non-metaverse real-word terms...maybe that will become apparent closer to the time.

For now, we'll just have to take the word of John Acunto, CEO of Infinite Reality Inc, who says it is the "beginning of connecting amazing content with their audiences in unique and immersive ways. We can’t wait to see the fans' excitement while engaging with UCI Track Champions League and bringing them closer to the sport they love in a totally new and revolutionary way."

That explains that then...

26 October 2022, 13:16
"For me it's a bit of a stress release": F1 star Valtteri Bottas talks life on two wheels

Shout-out to kil0ran for the heads-up about this one...

Valtteri Bottas has spoken to the BBC about his love of cycling, gravel racing and all things outdoors. The Finn's two-wheeled adventures have caught our eye before, not least warming up for the Melbourne Grand Prix with a 30km/h spin and training with a certain Lance Armstrong.

Valtteri Bottas Lance Armstrong (Image: Valtteri Bottas/Twitter Strava)

> Canyon partners with F1 star Valtteri Bottas

Anyway, back to today's interview...

Bottas told the BBC: "For me it's a bit of a stress release. I can go to places that are quite remote, I can go to explore and almost leave any stress or F1-related things behind me when I get on my bike.

"For me it's mentally really important. I love nature and I love clean air, pure water, nice scenery — the less people you can see the better when I disconnect."

Acknowledging the contradiction between his personal and professional life, Bottas does show some self-awareness, accepting he has made a vast personal fortune out of a sport which creates an estimated 256,000 tonnes of carbon equivalent waste each season... not that pro cycling can act holier than holy on that front...

"I've definitely seen climate change in Finland — already the summer and winter is turning more in extremes. Already from my childhood to now I can see a difference. Being in F1, there's quite a big push to be greener — it took a while, but finally people are taking it seriously. Teams and organisations are really putting effort into it.

"In the end it's all about making simple choices, like if you go to work or to the supermarket; do you take your V8 car or bike? Simple things.

"My daily commute to school, even if it was snowing or raining or whatever, was by bike. For me it was a normal commute, so I didn't find it that hard — I got used to it and the wet weather."

2022 Valtteri Bottas gravel event

Bottas has set up his own gravel race in Finland, starting next year. "Gravel racing is something that's been really rapidly growing, getting more and more popular especially in the United States," he said.

"I did my first gravel race last year in Steamboat Springs — SBT GRVL [near Denver, Colorado]. Most people go mountain biking and road cycling, but it just gives you the opportunity to explore a bit more — get on roads without any traffic or without any people. That's the pretty cool thing about it."

26 October 2022, 13:09
We have a winner...

Winner of the coolest thing to do on a bike competition goes to Brooksby...

I never learnt to do any of those cool things, so I'll suggest that one of the coolest things you can do while riding a bike is — just? — riding a bike

That works for us. 

26 October 2022, 11:32
Do THIS to avoid getting scammed

26 October 2022, 10:39
"Wear a helmet!" Halfords advises... because a tree branch might fall on your head

First thing's first, I'll save you your comment asking: why we're doing the helmet 'debate' again? You're bored of it, I'm bored of it. Fair enough.

With that said, we thought we probably should share the reaction to Halfords, the UK's largest cycling retailer, posting this story to its 63,000 followers and advising riders that they "strongly recommend" wearing one... apparently... in case a tree branch falls on your head?

Is that a strong recommendation to purchase one on display at Halfords for £39.99 perhaps? 

Now, I don't want to straw man Halfords' post too badly... they definitely don't believe falling tree branches are the sole reason cyclists should wear a lid. But hey, it's fun to point out the clunkiness on display, and the amusing lack of perception that someone could well be taking the piss out of your post...

Exhibit A:

No nibble on this unfortunately...

*Helmet debate disclaimer*

Now for the replies questioning Halfords' lack of evidence... you can't say I didn't warn you...

Right, that's enough of that. Wear a helmet if you want to. If you don't, don't. Onwards...

26 October 2022, 10:31
Bianchi's new Oltre 'Air Deflector' tech is not UCI legal
2023 Bianchi Oltre RC head tube - 1 (1).jpeg

Well, well, well. Some big tech news this morning...

> Bianchi's new Oltre 'Air Deflector' tech is not UCI legal

At least it looks good...*sarcasm klaxon*...

26 October 2022, 10:25
So... what's the coolest thing you can do on a bike?

Some early suggestions from the comments...

mctrials23: "The correct answer has always be a sick skid."

 ShutTheFrontDawes: "Coolest thing: track stand. Bonus points for doing it on a freewheel."

Patrick9-32: "I think the coolest thing is the MTB parents who have the tiny pedals and saddle setup on the top tube in front of them so their kid gets to feel the trails with them. Looks so much fun and I wish it had been a thing when I was tiny."

eburtthebike: "Ride through a fridge and run over Boris?"

Car Delenda Est: "Rolling dismount with no handlebar, the holy grail."

alexuk: "The coolest thing you can do on a bike? ...Make it home alive."

26 October 2022, 09:40
Family announces death of pioneering British cyclist Brian Robinson

Robinson was the first British rider to complete the Tour de France, and the first Brit to win a stage, but also a much-loved figure within the British racing scene, as evident from the glowing tributes rolling in this morning...

More to follow...

26 October 2022, 08:17
What does this week's Transport Secretary mean for cycling then?

Introducing your seventh Conservative Transport Secretary since 2010... 

We've had Hammond, Greening, McLoughlin, Grayling, Shapps, Trevelyan, and now Harper, who said he was "delighted" to have been appointed to the role by Rishi Sunak.

"Transport affects us all, and I can't wait to tackle the challenges we face so we can deliver for communities across our United Kingdom," the typically empty appointment statement read.

According to They Work For You, Harper — the MP for the Forest of Dean since 2005 — has generally voted for lower taxes on fuel for motor vehicles, almost always voted against greater public control of bus services, generally voted against a publicly owned railway system, consistently voted against slowing the rise in rail fares and almost always voted for higher taxes on plane tickets.

Make of that what you will...

Anyway, here's the obligatory snap on a bike. That's a pretty pristine white shirt for off-roading...

26 October 2022, 07:49
What's the coolest thing you can do on a bike?

Welcome back to the live blog... 

We're starting today by talking cool cycling skills... and fair enough, the rolling dismount is up there... but I'm sure we've got a few suggestions of our own...

As a kid, riding with no hands was always the ultimate, right? Then with that 'trick' in the bag my attention turned to those balance wizards who didn't unclip at the lights, trackstanding their way to the top of the coolness rankings. Once I've worked out how to trackstand (for more than two seconds) I'll tell you what comes next...

So, what is the coolest thing you can do on a bike? I'm sure Danny MacAskill has some suggestions...

There was a shout-out for the cargo bike backflip...

And cyclocross...

But what about casually pulling your bottle for a sip before a no hands transfer of shades onto helmet while everyone else is blowing out their back door up a climb? That's up there... but maybe I'm just weird...and/or very uncool...

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.

Add new comment

25 comments

Avatar
mattw | 1 year ago
0 likes

Hah. What an interesting mix of posts.

Branches are the main reason I wear a helmet when I do. Not for falling branches,  but for protecting my bonce from branches still on trees and bushes, overhanging trails.

The literally coolest thing is surely bike bog snorkelling, as practised by the lady who headed up the Covid vaccine development effort.

I'd say Harper looks half and half. Maintaining rail privatisation is excellent, given how successful it has been overall. Some adjustments needed, but relatively minor. How he does for cycling remains to be seen; he can't be more twattish than Grant Shapps - it's not possible.

Avatar
Rendel Harris replied to mattw | 1 year ago
2 likes

mattw wrote:

Maintaining rail privatisation is excellent, given how successful it has been overall.

Sarcasm, right? Please say it's sarcasm. After having to take Network Rail back into public ownership and the utter farce of the virtual collapse of the franchise system, you can't really say that seriously?

Avatar
NOtotheEU replied to Rendel Harris | 1 year ago
1 like

In defence of privatisation, the trains are now painted in lots of different pretty colours and . . . . . . well there must be lots of other benefits that I just can't think of right now.

Avatar
ktache replied to NOtotheEU | 1 year ago
0 likes

And they get to change the colours of those trains every few years, even though they are all owned by completely different leasing companies.

And different uniforms for the staff too...

Avatar
BIRMINGHAMisaDUMP | 1 year ago
2 likes

Coincidentally - four weeks ago a large branch fell from a tree and hit me as I was cycling to work. I fractured three ribs and it bloody hurt. I was wearing a helmet and if the branch had hit me on the head I would have been very glad that I was. The chances of being hit by a falling branch are millions to one. But it happened to me in the city. 

Avatar
KDee | 1 year ago
1 like

Just wondering how many weeks a year Valterri Bottas spends at his Finnish lake house when he's either not in Monaco or somewhere else for a Grand Prix weekend..."both weekends I was home this year the weather was awful!"

Avatar
eburtthebike | 1 year ago
3 likes

The Halfords branch helmet thing reminds me of the incident about ten years ago when a young Oxford University rower was struck on the head by an oar, immediately and cynically seized on by Headway to promote cycle helmets.

Avatar
andystow | 1 year ago
2 likes

Was this story covered here at all? The perpetrator seems like a particularly nasty piece of work who will only be stopped with a long custodial sentence.

https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/cyclist-paralysed-waist-do...

Avatar
eburtthebike replied to andystow | 1 year ago
2 likes

andystow wrote:

Was this story covered here at all? The perpetrator seems like a particularly nasty piece of work who will only be stopped with a long custodial sentence.

https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/cyclist-paralysed-waist-do...

"He has 21 previous convictions for 47 offences beginning when he was a youth and including multiple aggravated taking of vehicles, thefts from vehicles, fraud, driving while disqualified, dangerous driving, handling stolen goods, offences of violence, criminal damage, being concerned in the production of cannabis, and possession of drugs."

And

"With a one third discount for his guilty pleas Thomas was sentenced to nine years in prison. He will serve two-thirds of that sentence in custody before being released on licence to serve the remainder in the community. The defendant was further disqualified from driving."

Avatar
RoubaixCube replied to eburtthebike | 1 year ago
2 likes

good  job that judge. Gave that young ruffian exactly what he needed. A driving disqualification. That will teach him to obey the law!

Avatar
IanMSpencer | 1 year ago
3 likes

Try parsing this sign seen today in Kingsbury Water Park:

"NO CYCLING DOGS ON LEADS"

Avatar
eburtthebike replied to IanMSpencer | 1 year ago
2 likes

IanMSpencer wrote:

Try parsing this sign seen today in Kingsbury Water Park: "NO CYCLING DOGS ON LEADS"

Well, they won't be arresting too many of them will they?

Reminds me of the sign in our local dump, sorry, recycling centre:

"Children must be kept in vehicles"

I didn't have a child with me, so I had to ask if I was allowed in.

Avatar
KDee replied to IanMSpencer | 1 year ago
5 likes

I always keep my dog on a lead when he's cycling. Otherwise he just buggers off into the distance! 

Avatar
kil0ran | 1 year ago
1 like

Tiffany Cromwell's bloke at it again - gravel racing reaches the BBC no less...

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/63381665

Avatar
Awavey replied to kil0ran | 1 year ago
1 like

Hes actually part of the Canyon family now and they posted his favourite gravel ride on Komoot https://www.canyon.com/en-gb/blog-content/pr/valtteri-bottas-q-and-a/b14...

Avatar
brooksby | 1 year ago
5 likes

I never learned to do any of those cool things, so I'll suggest that one of the coolest things you can do while riding a bike is - just? - riding a bike  4

Avatar
Pyro Tim | 1 year ago
0 likes

Anything on a BMX is the coolest thing on a bike. 

Avatar
Secret_squirrel | 1 year ago
1 like

Not sure Cross is the coolest thing you can do on a bike.  Isnt it Road and MTB's nerdy cousin?  Though admittedly it does lead to some pretty cool riders emerging.

(Ducks and Covers)

Avatar
mctrials23 | 1 year ago
3 likes

The correct answer has always be a sick skid. 

Avatar
ShutTheFrontDawes | 1 year ago
2 likes

Coolest thing: track stand. Bonus points for doing it on a freewheel.

Avatar
Patrick9-32 | 1 year ago
3 likes

I think the coolest thing is the MTB parents who have the tiny pedals and saddle setup on the top tube in front of them so their kid gets to feel the trails with them. Looks so much fun and I wish it had been a thing when I was tiny. 

Avatar
eburtthebike | 1 year ago
6 likes

"What's the coolest thing you can do on a bike?"

Ride through a fridge and run over Boris?
 

Avatar
Car Delenda Est | 1 year ago
1 like

Rolling dismount with no handlebar, the holy grail.

Avatar
alexuk | 1 year ago
17 likes

The coolest thing you can do on a bike? ...make it home alive.

Avatar
Cyclo1964 replied to alexuk | 1 year ago
0 likes

Amen !

 

Latest Comments