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Philip Pullman's "damn fools" rant about cyclists without lights or hi-vis; Dan Martin's Brexit ballache; Nine points and hefty fine for close pass shocker; Cyclist calls 30-second timeout on driver; Pelé-ton & Virgil van Bike + more on the live blog

Happy Friday! It's grey and miserable where Dan Alexander is this morning...perhaps the live blog will brighten things up...
29 October 2021, 15:48
Who will be crowned national hill climb champ?

Sunday's a big day in the world of hill climbing. Arguably, the biggest day. It's hill climb national championships day. This short film will get you in the mood for some suffering. Liam informs me he'll be there, battling up Winnats Pass considerably slower than the best. In fact, he went as far as to say that if he wins we can freely accuse him of nefarious practice...I'll be on the sofa with my feet up.

Andrew Feather is the reigning champ. Somebody Liam knows well from our 'bike or rider' vid...answering the all-important question: just how bad a bike would Andrew need to be riding for Liam to beat him up a climb?

29 October 2021, 15:46
Sandy skills

A post shared by Toon Aerts (@toonaerts)

29 October 2021, 15:41 on the ground at IWGB protest about cuts to London cycle training budget
IGWB protest (image: Simon MacMichael)

Simon was on the ground at IWGB Cycling Instructors Branch's protest ride today against the cuts to London's cycle training budget. We'll have a full story about it up on site over the weekend...

29 October 2021, 14:33
Philip Pullman's "damn fools" rant about cyclists without lights or hi-vis

Philip Pullman writes something that gets people talking. Cool. Philip Pullman writes something about cycling that gets people talking. Now we're listening...

His target? Cyclists in Oxford "speeding" about at night without lights or hi-vis. Cycling commentator and writer Ned Boulting challenged the author's statement, saying: "I get how this might have annoyed you. But, please think twice about this kind of tweet. Unless you are a regular cyclists, you may not be aware of the levels of aggression we encounter day in and day out, not just on platforms such as this, but actually on the roads.

Before then apologising for sounding "sanctimonious" and accepting the author had "every right" to raise the point.

Plenty, of course, raised the point that lights and hi-vis are often used as a stick to beat cyclists when there are other more significant factors affecting safety...

Some agreed with the author however...

Others, like news editor Simon, just wanted to deliver the goods...

29 October 2021, 14:07
"I feel good, although not great, but I don't have to yet": Alex Dowsett arrives in Mexico ahead of Hour Record attempt
Dowsett Hour (YouTube)

Alex Dowsett is having another crack at the Hour Record. In 2015, he held the record briefly before Sir Bradley Wiggins, and then Victor Campenaerts, bested his distance. Dowsett's attempt is scheduled for November 3 and is happening at high altitude in Mexico at Aguascalientes's velodrome — the same venue used by Campenaerts in 2019.

"I feel good, although there is no super feeling yet, but I should only be super within a week. That will come when I have processed the journey and am fully acclimatized. I'm good for it," Dowsett said. 

"We've already done some four-minute tests and we're also testing tire pressures."

Dowsett's attempt will be broadcast by the BBC and on his YouTube channel at 4pm next Wednesday.

29 October 2021, 13:52
Dan Martin's Brexit ballache...but finally gets old team kit sent off to deserving charities

Three trips to the post office later and Mrs Martin can hopefully finally breathe a sigh of relief...all that old team kit is gone. Post-retirement, the two-time Monument winner put the call out on Twitter for suggestions about where he could send the pile of team kit at his gaff and was inundated with helpful replies. Let's hope that paperwork was alright...

29 October 2021, 13:22
The real crime...

Romanian police have recovered the Italian team's stolen bikes, including Filippo Ganna's gold Pinarello. One reader wasn't so sure who the real bad guys are...hasn't that poor Pinarello been through enough?

> Romanian police recover Italian team bikes stolen from UCI Track Cycling World Championships

29 October 2021, 11:14
"One of the worst reports we've received": Nine points and heavy fine for close pass shocker

Avon and Somerset Roads Policing Unit called this close pass "one of the worst reports we've received". The driver appeared at court this week and received nine points, a £660 fine, as well as a £66 surcharge and £110 costs.

Despite the severity of the punishment, some asked if it went far enough...

Others pointed out the driver of the red car in front also overtook on solid white lines ahead of the oncoming vehicle...

Avon and Somerset Police urged cyclists to report incidents via their website. Here's some more of the reaction...

Richard Chambers said: "I assume the red car before the really really close pass also received points on their license? They also overtook too close and over a solid white line."

29 October 2021, 11:29
Bontrager's new "do-it-all" helmet
2021 Bontrager Circuit WaveCel

Bontrager has released its new Circuit WaveCel “do-it-all” helmet with an aerodynamic profile as well as Blendr magnetic mounts for attaching a GoPro and daytime running lights. “With premium features and a comfort-focused fit, plus a 5-star rating from Virginia Tech’s third-party testing facility, the Circuit WaveCel is at home from the tarmac to trail, bike path to bike park,” says Trek. What’s more, it is made with 50% post-consumer recycled EPS foam.

The new Circuit includes WaveCel technology which is a collapsible cellular structure that lines the inside of the helmet. “It’s designed to be more effective than traditional foam helmets in protecting heads from injuries caused by certain cycling accidents,” says Trek.

Versatility is also covered with the helmet’s mount. “The magnetic connection makes light installation simple, stays secure through rough and fast riding, and is tested for breakaway forces to make sure accessories detach in the event of a crash,” says Trek.

29 October 2021, 10:41
The footballer cycling puns are rolling in...

Bobonabike, Chrisonatrike and roboito, take a bow! Virgil van Bike, Saddle-o Mane, Carbon Robben and Donny van der Bike. Very strong work...let me chuck Kurt Zoom-a and Rim (brake) Cahill into the mix...

Here's some more cycle-ball for your entertainment...

EDIT: Stop the count. We have a winner...Peléton! mdavidford, take the acclaim of the entire live blog... 

29 October 2021, 08:35
"I decided that he should face consequences": Fantastically petty New York cyclist shouts 30-second time out for dangerous driver...before wishing them a nice day

This one's from last week, but too good not to share. The pettiness of it all, loud and proud counting, delaying his own journey, topped off by the cheerful "have a nice day"...tremendous. There's almost certainly a serious point behind it about cyclists having to protect themselves from serious injury on the road, but we're just going to enjoy it for the theatrical value...

Dan Miller owned up to this display of road karma, explaining: "Hey, this was actually me. So just before the video begins, I was riding in the bike lane, with the car to my left. The car, either not knowing I was there or not caring, made a right turn directly into my path and I had to jam on the breaks. It was dangerous and shitty driving.

"I yelled and hollered and both of us had to come to a stop. At that point, I decided that he should face consequences, so he got a thirty-second time out."

His efforts didn't go unrewarded either. Bike Lane Uprising, the app allowing cyclists to easily report drivers parked in cycle lanes, has a new hero...

29 October 2021, 09:14
Chris Boardman preps for COP26
29 October 2021, 07:44
Cycle-ball: Football on a bike...time for your best/worst footballer cycling puns

Who'd be good at this? Jimmy Floyd Saddlebaink, Harry Chain, Chainy Vardy, Ashley Roll, Wheelo Ferdinand...cut me some slack, it's early.

29 October 2021, 07:16
Bike thief removes glass pane to raid apartment storage

We cover a lot of bike thefts here at, it's an unfortunate reality of owning a bicycle — someone somewhere will nick it if they can. However, rarely are they this organised, committed and professional...

Vancouver Police are investigating after a bike thief was caught on CCTV raiding the bike storage facility of an apartment building by removing a glass pane from the door. Building manager Ovidiu Mihuti told Global News the thief used suction cups to remove the panels, before using bolt cutters to remove six expensive bikes, believed to have been singled out.

The building manager believes it was a multi-day operation, involving a group of offenders who scouted the scene twice in the week before the raid. One man then returned early on Monday morning to complete the break in.

"It was on the night between Sunday and Monday," Mihuti said. "They came without masks, they came without gloves or anything. Just tools and that’s all. I have no idea what’s the mentality of it."

> “It makes you feel powerless” – victims in UK's bike theft capital share their frustrations

Closer to home, Met Police yesterday recovered a £50,000 haul of stolen bikes. The force says six owners have been reunited with their bikes, some worth up to £6,500.

Dan joined 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, 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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