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“This is why cyclists ride in the middle of the road”; ‘You can’t criticise my driving, you’re riding a bike’: Strange things motorists say to cyclists; Amazon’s cargo cycles reaction; Edinburgh cyclists take over North Bridge + more on the live blog

It’s Tuesday and, before everyone heads off to watch the football, Ryan Mallon’s here with all the latest cycling news and views on the second live blog of the week
29 November 2022, 08:59
“This is why cyclists ride in the middle of the road”: Cyclist points out dangers of riding too close to parked cars – but drivers say it’s “your responsibility to anticipate hazards”

We can debate the use of ‘road’ and ‘lane’ until the cows come home, but the below video – flagged in the comments section of yesterday’s live blog by road.cc reader IanMSpencer – neatly illustrates why, despite the views of armchair experts on Twitter (and even some police officers), it’s often best to avoid the left-hand side of the lane as a cyclist… especially when the road in question is lined with parked cars:

Inevitably, CyclingInASkirt’s post was almost immediately derailed by Twitter users leaping to the defence of the motorist – and, unsurprisingly, completely missing the point about anticipating hazards by riding in the middle of the lane that the cyclist, you know, was obviously making (or maybe it was just obvious to people who have actually ridden bikes on the road?):

One Twitter user, missing the mark as spectacularly as Cristiano Ronaldo failing to connect with an incoming cross (and with the same misplaced confidence), also wrote: “Car is well lit. Sees cyclist and stops. She still whines about it. These people are radicalised anti-car extremists.”

> Monday moaning: Why don't cyclists stick to the left of the lane?

Another particularly savvy motorist – as part of some desperate attempt to excuse a stranger’s driving as ideal – even tweeted that it is the cyclist’s “responsibility to anticipate hazards”:

Which is what CyclingInASkirt was doing of course (I’m getting dizzy)…

While road.cc reader Ian and a few others astutely pointed out that, maybe, just maybe, drivers should try to avoid creating hazards – while also adhering to the Highway Code:

Ian added that it was interesting “that a commenter could think that it is reasonable for drivers to drive hazardously, and a that cyclist is responsible for dealing with it.”

Same time tomorrow, folks?

29 November 2022, 10:21
‘You can’t criticise my driving, you’re riding a bike’, and other strange things motorists say to cyclists

This morning’s startling piece of ‘logic’ from a young Belfast driver got me thinking: What’s the oddest, most irrational thing a motorist has said to you while on your bike?

Let us know in the comments!

29 November 2022, 16:52
Irrational Drivers: Greatest Hits

Judging by the response in the comments and on social media, it seems that most of us have been on the end of some, shall we say, interesting remarks from motorists down the years.

Here’s a selection of some of the best (and most illogical) ones from the comments section and Twitter:

IanMSpencer: BMW turned right from a side turning across my path and then ABS'd hard to a stop to avoid hitting a bus which had been at the stop and I took a tumble (partly self-inflicted due to not anticipating the rather obvious need to stop being fixated on avoiding his rear door and bumper). His response: "Didn't you see me pull out?"

Steve K: I turned right at a roundabout and a car coming from the left almost drove into me.  He then close passed me at a pinch point and shouted "give way to the right on a roundabout", which was exactly what he'd just failed to do.

JustTryingToGet: I think the weirdest thing a motorist has said [screamed] to me was an old boy going ballistic because I didn't have mirrors on my bike. He was puce, clearly he genuinely thought this was a legal requirement.

Funniest was a bloke who shouted at me that cyclists never stop at red lights... whilst I was stopped at a red light.

Rendel Harris: Had very similar from a police officer two weeks ago: I was riding down the Mall just as they were reopening it for traffic after the changing of the guard, I came to the lights by Saint James's Palace and stopped as they were on red.

A cycle policeman who was riding down the road telling pedestrians to get back on the pavement called out, "Cyclist, the road's still closed, you can go through that red light." I shouted back, "Thank you!"

Then as I got moving again he said, "Cyclists never bloody stop normally, why start now?"

FrankH: "You're riding in the middle of the road!"

This was said to me by a man in a small, Fiesta sized van, while he was driving on the other side of the road and I was riding about a metre from the verge.

Awavey: Guy in a small builders’ truck driving towards me on my side of the road, I was prime in my lane, so we stopped and he said to me "you need to be on your side of the road, I just saved your life by not hitting you". Ok buddy whatever you think.

29 November 2022, 17:17
Ouch…

And on that note… Have a great evening everyone! 

29 November 2022, 16:08
Set your alarms for Sunday afternoon

The World Cup clash everyone’s really been waiting for this month…

29 November 2022, 15:37
Danny MacAskill’s Postcard from San Francisco

Everyone’s favourite Skye-born two wheeled trickster Danny MacAskill is back, almost two years on from his last edit, with another tea break’s worth of jaw-dropping stunts, this time around San Francisco.

While the film features all the big San Fran hitters – the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, Chinatown – my favourite stunt has to be one on the tennis net, just because it feels like something a fourth year would try (and fail) to do before Double Maths on a Friday afternoon…

“Postcards from San Francisco is a true passion project of mine, it reflects pure hard riding that no practice prepares you for,” the Red Bull-sponsored trials rider, who broke his kneecap while filming five years ago, said in a statement announcing the film.

“Some of these stunts have taken over 300 tries to land perfectly, but I’m stronger than ever and will always thrive to push the boundaries of the sport to create progression.”

29 November 2022, 14:59
Emily Bridges - screenshot via ITV
“Cycling is part of who I am,” says Emily Bridges

Emily Bridges, the cyclist at the centre of a media storm earlier this year concerning the participation of trans women in sport, says it is still her dream to represent Wales in international competition.

Bridges, the subject of tonight’s ITV Cymru Wales documentary ‘Race To Be Me’ (which will air at 9.30pm, shortly after the final whistle of Wales’ World Cup tie with England), told ITV News that it would be “a dream” to race for her country at the Commonwealth Games.

The 21-year-old, who came out as trans in 2020, was barred from making her competitive debut in women’s racing at the National Omnium Championships in March of this year by the UCI, which meant she was unable to meet the criteria to be eligible for a spot on the Welsh squad at this summer’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

“I’m so incredibly proud to be Welsh,” Bridges told ITV. “This is who I am. I am a Welsh trans woman.

“Yma O Hyd is a song that means so much to me and I know it means a lot to so many Welsh people about still being here throughout everything.

“I love Wales and it’s a dream to be in that Welsh jersey in the Commonwealth Games.”

> Emily Bridges says Boris Johnson’s comments on transgender athletes led to threats of physical violence against her

Reflecting on the very public reaction to her aborted attempt to compete at the National Omnium Championships – which even led British Cycling to suspend its transgender and non-binary participation policy, with the deadline for a new policy set for spring 2023 – Bridges said: “I’m aware I have other traits and attributes to other female riders, but they aren’t so widely different that it makes competition unfair.

“What you are trying to root out is such an overwhelming difference and a reduction of testosterone creates a fair playing field.

“I’ve had all the opportunities to leave cycling, but I’ve never wanted to. It’s just part of who I am.”

She continued: “This journey has been a very wild ride. I’ve had the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. Realistically, I wouldn’t change anything for the world.

“I love my body now. For the first time ever, I feel comfortable with who I am. I’m still here.”

‘Race To Be Me’ will be broadcast tonight on ITV Cymru Wales at 9.30pm.

29 November 2022, 14:29
Trek-Segafredo tease kit launch – and Mr Bean’s involved, apparently

It’s the most wonderful time of the year… No, not Christmas – it’s almost new kit reveal season!

On Thursday Trek-Segafredo will be the first WorldTour team to pull the trigger on their 2023 threads (so, according to that timescale, EF-EasyPost will unveil their new look sometime in 2037), with Mr Bean, oddly enough, making a cameo appearance alongside Giulio Ciccone in the team’s teaser clip:

29 November 2022, 14:10
“I will not accept that it’s a highly dangerous road”: Statements that precede unfortunate events

An absolute classic from the ITN archives here:

29 November 2022, 13:14
To bell or not to bell, that is the question…
Cyclists and bells (Facebook)

There have been some other cracking submissions over on Facebook to our ‘Weird utterances directed at cyclists’ competition, where the lucky winner will get to spend a day being blissfully ignored by carefully passing motorists (if only, eh?).

“‘Why don’t you pull into the gaps between the parked cars to allow motorists to pass?’ must rank as one of the stupidest comments,” says Martin Pearce. Of course, as we saw on the blog this morning, a line of parked cars always represents a safe haven for cyclists…

Meanwhile, Colin Davis wrote: “A van driver pulled up and stopped in front of our Sunday club run (about eight people riding two abreast) and said, ‘You made it really difficult for me to overtake on that blind bend’”.

And yes, apparently he really did say “blind bend”…

29 November 2022, 12:48
Female ultra-cyclist forced to abandon Cairo to Cape Town attempt after suffering seizure two days into ride

South African ultra-cyclist Tegan Phillips has been forced to abandon her attempt to become the first woman to ride solo between Cairo and Cape Town after she suffered a seizure and was hospitalised two days into her epic trip.

30-year-old Phillips, whose cycling-related comic strips you may recognise, had been planning her ground-breaking cross-continent trek – the overall record for which was set by Scottish round-the-world cyclist Mark Beaumont in 2015 – for over two years, but was forced to pull the plug after experiencing a health scare after riding just over 300km.

“This was *not* the plan,” she wrote on Instagram after returning home to South Africa earlier this month.

“Last week Tuesday morning, I finally left Cairo by bike. Two years of obsessive planning and training and research and saving up and fundraising had culminated in that moment, and I couldn’t have been more excited and proud.

“Last week Wednesday night, I was rushed to ICU after losing my speech and had a seizure at the hospital doors. The next 24 hours do not exist in my memory and were a super scary time for the team, who were unwaveringly practical and wonderful and brave.”

Phillips says that her collapse was apparently caused by a sudden fall in her salt levels, though the reasons behind such a drop remain unclear.

“Naturally, I feel like a complete idiot,” she continued. “Everybody has been so kind, but it would be weird if I wasn’t racking my brain trying to figure out how this didn’t come up in any of my training rides, including the long hot unsupported rides in the Arizona desert, as such a *big* red flag.

“It’s possible that I had a low-grade infection, or hadn’t eaten enough, or or or — obviously I wish I could go back and change whatever it was.”

In another Instagram post from earlier this week, the South African ultra-cyclist said that she has already started to plan, by undergoing health tests as well as exploring the budget and logistical concerns, a fresh attempt at the record in 2023 or, as Phillips herself put it, “finding a responsible way to not give up”.

She continued: “With the blessings of the Adventure Gods and medical professionals, we will be back in February to start again, and to face whatever more obstacles might be on our path, with big smiles.”

29 November 2022, 11:58
“A blight on the community”: Prolific bike thief jailed for 12 months

A prolific bike thief in Worthing, branded a “blight on the community” by local police, has been jailed for 12 months.

48-year-old Dean Haggerty, captured in the below CCTV footage using bolt cutters to brazenly nick a locked bike in broad daylight outside a local leisure centre, was convicted of stealing six bikes, worth between £300 and £1,200, as well as damaging another bike and stealing alcohol, bank cards, DVDs, tobacco, bedding, and toiletries from June to September this year.

Following Haggerty’s sentencing at Lewes Crown Court earlier this month, Sussex Police’s Sharon Sawyer, of the Adur and Worthing Neighbourhood Policing Team (NPT), said: “Haggerty has been a blight on the community for many, many months, and this is evidenced by his persistent offending.

“We work with the public, local authorities and the business community to prevent and detect incidents of theft, and I’d like to personally thank everyone who has assisted in our investigation to bring Haggerty to justice.

“It was imperative that we gathered as much evidence as possible – including statements from victims and witnesses, and clear CCTV footage – to present a case to the Crown Prosecution Service.”

She continued: “Bike thefts have been a particular issue in Worthing this past year, and this case provides some reassurance that one of those thieves has been locked up.

“We are mindful of the emotional and financial impact of these offences on victims, and I would encourage any victims or witnesses of crimes to continue to report it to us.

“Our officers regularly patrol the town, including the areas identified as theft ‘hot spots’, and the more intelligence we can build up, the more likely we are to catch criminals and hopefully return the stolen bikes to their rightful owners – especially if they are logged with Bike Register.”

29 November 2022, 11:30
Tracklife
29 November 2022, 10:59
I saw the future of multinational e-commerce, and its name is, err… cargo cycles?

While many cyclists have welcomed Amazon’s move to micromobility – covered in detail last week on road.cc’s sister site ebiketips – others weren’t quite as impressed:

Announcing the expansion of their e-cargo bike delivery scheme in Manchester and London last week, Amazon’s UK Country Manager John Boumphrey said: “These new hubs will not only bring our customers more electric-powered deliveries, but also support local authorities looking for ways to reduce congestion and find alternative transportation methods.

“We look forward to expanding our e-cargo bike fleet further in the coming months.”

29 November 2022, 09:45
“Being on bikes makes people smile”: Edinburgh cyclists take over North Bridge

Now, this is very cool:

But, as we’ve already established on the live blog this morning, there’s always one…

Boom.

Ryan joined road.cc as a news writer in December 2021. He has written about cycling and some ball-centric sports for various websites, newspapers, magazines and radio. Before returning to writing about cycling full-time, he completed a PhD in History and published a book and numerous academic articles on religion and politics in Victorian Britain and Ireland (though he remained committed to boring his university colleagues and students with endless cycling trivia). He can be found riding his bike very slowly through the Dromara Hills of Co. Down.

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