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Met Police rider struck by driver's wing mirror during close pass op; Parking suspension shows space for infra; Forecast teases wet Paris-Roubaix; "I'm on a bike" man; Rise in bike thefts; Moose on the loose; Slow radio; Pain faces + more on the live blog

Dan Alexander is back from his holidays refreshed and ready to bring you the Wednesday live blog
29 September 2021, 16:33
Bike is Best drops another ad


29 September 2021, 15:23
You're not building anymore: MK Dons' plans for new training ground put on hold by objections from cycling officer
National Bowl Milton Keynes (Google StreetView)

MK Dons plans to move their training ground to the National Bowl have been pushed back after objections raised by the council's cycling officer. The League One side will have to rework plans to persuade the council to let them begin work on pitches for the first team.

MKCitizen reports the officer raised concerns about how the cycling club, which uses the Bowl as its home, would be moved in the interim. Works were due to begin before the end of the year, but the club withdrew its application following the objections.

A club statement explained they plan on resubmitting plans before the end of the year "which it is hoped can meet the expectations and ambitions of all the key stakeholders".

Two planning applications had been submitted to Milton Keynes Council, as part of a phased delivery of improvements to the Bowl, that would have allowed for the construction of first-team pitches and a temporary amenity building.

The Club considered this approach would have minimal impact on the various stakeholders across the site whilst allowing the First Team access to train at the Bowl as quickly as possible.

However, following objections raised by the Council’s Cycling Officer regarding the proposed interim alternate arrangements for the cycling club who are users of the facility, we were unfortunately left with no alternative but to withdraw both applications.

29 September 2021, 14:10
When you're late to work but there's a bike race on

I'm sure we had one of these at the Tour de Romandie earlier in the year. That day it was a local stopping the clock by riding under the finish line seconds before Rémi Cavagna zoomed past in the opposite it's someone in Belgium who really needs to get somewhere.

29 September 2021, 13:34
Met Police rider struck by driver's wing mirror during close pass op

Yesterday, the Met Cycle Safety Team was out on a close pass operation in Clapham, South London, when one of its plain clothes riders was struck on the elbow by a driver's wing mirror as they passed. Thankfully the rider was unhurt and the driver will be prosecuted for driving without due care and attention.

A few people joked the cops couldn't have been out for very long if they only had two close passes, but mainly the reaction was a mixture of unsurprised empathy and a touch of gratitude that the force is taking action on dangerous driving.

The story comes a week after Dame Sarah Storey, who earlier this month became GB's most successful Paralympian, joined South Yorkshire Police on a close pass operation. The ride along the A57 on a Friday afternoon led to 20 drivers being stopped for "advice purposes" from 110 overtakes.

Amusingly, Inspector Smith took more than just the satisfaction of a job well done from the operation...he joked he'd posted his best 20-minute power of the year trying to keep up with the 17-time gold medallist...

The Met launched its first close pass operation in 2017 and, at the time, insisted professional drivers and those who display particularly bad driving would be reported straight away, and not given roadside advice.

29 September 2021, 13:03
That guy singing "I don't need petrol, because I'm on a bike" at angry motorists now has a horse

"He runs on carrots, he runs on carrots. I don't need petrol, 'cause I'm on a horse." 

Amusing as some of you might have found the previous clip and this follow-up, we're hoping this wind-up merchant doesn't continue to milk it by doing e-scooter, skateboard or segway versions. That would just be flogging a dead horse... 

29 September 2021, 11:55
Dunwich Dynamo slow radio featured on BBC Radio 3
Dunwich Dynamo bikes on beach

A quick lunchtime shoutout to Alex Anderson and Marion Bettsworth who made it onto BBC Radio 3's slow radio feature on Sunday with a clip of audio recorded during the Dunwich Dynamo - a through-the-night 112-mile ride from Hackney to Dunwich on the Suffolk coast. You can listen to the soothing sound of freehubs and riders zooming past on the BBC Sounds website by following the link here.

29 September 2021, 11:28
Bike thefts in Scotland rise by nearly 20 per cent during lockdown
Bike lock

The number of bikes reported stolen in Scotland increased by 20 per cent during lockdown. Figures released to BBC Scotland showed that just one in 10 bike crimes is solved per year. Some other data showed that while bike crimes notified to Police Scotland fell from 6,056 in 2017/18 to 4,600 in 2019/20, that number jumped up again to 5,470 in 2020/21 - an 18 per cent increase on the year before.

Scotland's two biggest cities, Glasgow and Edinburgh, had 19 of the 20 worst council wards for reported bike crime. In Leith Walk, Edinburgh, the number of reported cycle thefts has more than doubled over the past five years, while in Govan, Glasgow, the number jumped from 69 in 2016/17 to 114 last year.

29 September 2021, 10:21
Parking suspension shows up 'no room for cycling infra' claim

The council cleaning this road in London showed its residents just how it might look without cars parked bumper to bumper...and how much room there could be for other things. The picture got people talking, not least the London Cycling Campaign who pointed out anyone claiming a shortage of road space might just be short of political will...

Another reply compared the picture to Japan, where on-street parking has been banned, barring some exceptions, since 1957...

Coshgirl said she'd sent the picture to the street's WhatsApp group with the message: "Never seen the street looking so lovely as it did this morning. Amazing how much space there is once you take away the cars..." No word on how that went down...

29 September 2021, 10:00
Moose on the loose
29 September 2021, 09:19
Newly crowned UCI world road race champion Elisa Balsamo to debut rainbow jersey at AJ Bell Women's Tour
Elisa Balsamo wins the World Championships in Leuven (SWpix via Women's Tour press release)

Newly crowned road race world champion Elisa Balsamo will make her first appearance since winning the rainbow jersey, at next week's AJ Bell Women's Tour here in the UK. The route has a strong south east feel to it, and isn't being broadcast live on TV, so to get a glimpse of the new champs in action you'll need to find your way to the roadside.

Stage one goes from Bicester to Banbury, stage two's a round trip starting and ending in Walsall. Stage three is an individual time trial in Atherstone, while stage four takes the peloton from Shoeburyness to Southend-on-Sea. Stage five is from Colchester to Clacton-on-Sea and the final stage starts in Haverhill and finishes in Felixstowe.

The race begins on Monday, and Balsamo could be joined on the startline by newly crowned TT world champ Ellen van Dijk. Former world champions Lizzie Deignan and Annemiek van Vleuten are both also on the provisional startlist.

29 September 2021, 08:48
Team Kirkley Cycles Hill Climb introduces 'Most Knackered Rider' award to reward best pain face
Kirkley Cycles Hill Climb 'Most Knackered Rider' award

To the uninitiated, a scene like the one above could be quite a worrying sight. Bodies strewn all over a grass verge, grown adults collapsed, possibly throwing up. However, in the hill climbing world, all that is pretty normal. Team Kirkley Cycles will be rewarding one 'lucky' rider at an upcoming event with a new most knackered rider award.

It's the brainchild of Ali McLean who was inspired by these photos he took at Allen Valley Velo's hill climb last Sunday..."There’s something particularly brutal about hill climbs and that was certainly reflected in the photos I took at the finish of AVV’s event. It was carnage," he said.

Kirkley's Hill Climb is on 10 October and will have a dedicated spotter at the finish line responsible for judging who is the event's most pain-ridden rider. The winner will pick up the top prize of a bike fit from CJ Performance Cycles. Now that's got to be worth burying yourself for.

Kirkley Cycles Hill Climb 'Most Knackered Rider' award


29 September 2021, 07:50
Early weather forecasts tease fans with wet Paris-Roubaix prediction
Roubaix weather forecast (BBC Weather)

Let the speculation begin! It's been 20 years since a wet Paris-Roubaix, which is quite a surprising statistic for a race traditionally held in April. But, the early whispers are that we could get some mud and slippery cobblestones for Sunday's October edition. That's the BBC's current forecast above - other forecasters are saying more rain, some are saying there'll be less... although one punter joked that if the BBC are going with that, it probably means it'll be 20 degrees and sunny...

For an explainer on why we're all praying for horrendous conditions, here's how the infamous Trouée d'Arenberg sector looked the last time we had a wet race...

Wet Roubaix Fever was at an all-time high yesterday when the initial predictions showed this...

 Some of the riders and all the mechanics will be pleased to see that no longer on the menu.

The inaugural women's edition this Saturday gives us a second chance at sludgy conditions. As things stand, Friday looks likely to see some heavy rainfall in the evening, but the majority of race day looks dry. However, there is a risk of light rain starting later on in the afternoon and into the evening to soften up the farm tracks nicely for the men the following day. Cross your fingers, do a rain dance, we're going to be checking forecasts a lot in the next few days.

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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