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Latest viral bike theft video as angle grinder used to snatch locked bicycle in seconds; Tour of Flanders organiser hails "record-breaking crowds", but urges "zero tolerance" for "individuals" who "ruin the image of the sport" + more on the live blog

Dan Alexander and Adwitiya are on duty for your midweek round-up of all the news, reaction and more across the world of cycling this Wednesday
03 April 2024, 08:01
Latest viral bike theft video as angle grinder used to snatch locked bicycle in seconds

This is how quickly a bike thief was able to remove a lock with an angle grinder on Redchurch Street in Shoreditch, in London, last night, the footage since widely shared across social media by the 'London & UK Street News' account...

It'll be a familiar scene for those of you who have read reports on this website of seemingly endless similar incidents in recent years, and shows the shocking ease with which many bikes can be taken. In total, the clip lasts just 12 seconds, from the point it starts to when the thief has mounted the stolen bicycle and rides off.

Angle grinder bike thief, London April 2024 (@CrimeLdn/X)
Angle grinder bike thief, London April 2024 (@CrimeLdn/X)

A second post that caught our eye last night came from Evening Standard assistant news editor Tom Davidson and showed his angle grinder-damaged lock, with the caption: "After two attempted angle grinder thefts in less than five months (both stopped by Litelok), might I suggest Met Police put some 'trap' bikes outside Tooting Broadway station?"

Bait bikes are a popular topic at the minute due to the resounding success that City of London Police had using one in a recently reported case that saw officers bring down a bike theft gang (and recover £130,000 worth of stolen bikes) in a single shift, after tracking a bike they had left locked at a theft hotspot with the intention of following to its destination once it was stolen.

> Cycling UK hails "clever" policing after bait bicycle used to track down £130,000 bike theft gang in one shift

"I was just shocked," Detective Constable Matt Cooper said of the operation. "We had tracked one stolen bike to a plant hire business in East London — and found about 60 more. Bikes in the office, bikes in the toilet, bikes hanging up on rails, bikes stacked up everywhere. There was about £130,000 worth. It was hard to take in."

In total, 11 people have now been sentenced for their role in the thefts, City of London Police explaining that reported bicycle thefts in the part of the city referred to as the Square Mile fell from 68 per month at the height of the gang's spree in August 2020 to just seven in January 2021.

03 April 2024, 16:38
Campaigners urge politicians to stop dragging cyclists into “phoney culture wars” – after Tory mayoral candidate claims “virtue signalling” bike lanes are causing “havoc”
Cyclists in London (image: Tomek Baginski on Unsplash)

The London Cycling Campaign has urged the capital’s mayoral candidates to stop trying to make Londoners “fearful” of cycling and to avoid dragging people who ride bikes into “phoney culture wars” – just a few weeks after Conservative hopeful Susan Hall claimed “virtue signalling” cycle lanes were causing “havoc” and gridlock for motorists.

> Campaigners urge politicians to stop dragging cyclists into “phoney culture wars” – after Tory mayoral candidate claims “virtue signalling” bike lanes are causing “havoc”

03 April 2024, 16:12
It's confirmed: F1-style chicane to show up at Paris-Roubaix to "limit the risk of crashes on the cobbles"

After it was announced yesterday that the organisers of the Hell of the North were planning to make it a tad safer for the riders, it's now been confirmed that F1-style chicanes will be added to the course, just before the pavé section in an attempt to slow down the pace of the peloton and reduce the chances of crashes.

> “The riders are a little on edge”: Paris-Roubaix organisers considering adding F1-style chicanes to slow riders entering Arenberg Forest, after calls from riders’ union to increase safety

The Paris-Roubaix account posted on Twitter: "For safety reasons and following a request from @cpacycling, the Paris-Roubaix organisation is modifying the approach to the Trouée d'Arenberg. The route will take a chicane just before the entrance to the sector in order to slow the speed at which the riders enter the sector and limit the risk of crashes on the cobbles."

03 April 2024, 15:43
It's not an April Fools: Airbag bib shorts for cyclists are “a potential game-changer for safety”, says inventor
SID Sport Innovation Design slef-inflating bibshorts - 1

Could cycling shorts with an airbag bib section that inflates automatically in the event of a crash be about to hit the road? You think this is a late April Fools’ Day post, don’t you? Nope, this is a design that has already gone through prototyping with the aim of promoting safety, with field testing planned for this summer.

> Airbag bib shorts for cyclists are “a potential game-changer for safety”, says inventor

03 April 2024, 15:25
Cyclists slam driver for trying to ridicule countryside group ride by saying they have “no jobs apart from dressing up as amusing yokels and bumkins”

I don’t know about you, but honestly whenever I see these sort of dash cam videos, the first emotion in my body is a palpitating sense of dread that the driver is going to do something very silly and stupid and cause unspeakable harm to the cyclists. Remember that shocking footage from earlier this year in which a 77-year-old Florida motorist drives through an entire group ride, severely injuring the cyclists?

> "Come pedal in our shoes for a day and see what we experience": Cyclists urge safety action after driver smashes into group ride in shocking collision

But thankfully it’s not one of those days, yet you can always count on them to share the footage for cheap engagement as rage bait.

Alas, I thought we were past the point of angry drivers cursing cyclists for riding two abreast. As cycling lawyer at Leigh Day Solicitors Rory McCarron replied: “Would you really want to be overtaking a group of cyclists when approaching a junction here? If they were single file, it would take longer to overtake and therefore good positioning here by the cyclists to prevent a dangerous overtake happening.”

Another Twitter user commented: “I know I’m old-fashioned, but doesn’t the Highway Code stipulate single file?” However, the person who posted the video didn’t seem too amused with the occurrence this morning, writing: “I am a mere observer. In other news, I am planning two journeys today to pick up things I could have delivered by 09:00 tomorrow morning.”

03 April 2024, 14:23
You thought the Koppenberg was bad, wait until Paris-Roubaix...

I see sinister omens on the horizon for this weekend's Paris-Roubaix.

> Carnage on the Koppenberg: A gallery

If you thought the scenes at the Koppenberg on last weekend's Ronde van Vlaanderen, with the greasy, wet cobbles demolishing the best of riders and forcing almost the entire peloton (except the eventual victor Mathieu van der Poel and a few others) to get off the bike and drag their bikes up the hill, with some CXers like Tim Merlier even choosing to shoulder the bike, I would suggest you close your eyes for these sections of the Hell of the North.

Fine line between road and cyclocross and all that...

03 April 2024, 14:14
"Imagine if a cyclist did this": Jeremy Vine shares picture of a car lodged into a house window

Golly, a BBC presenter is picking on local news for not reporting on yet another driving carnage incident!

Not to be too harsh on Mr Vine, he's done his fair share of cycling and road safety campaigning, the latest being posting a picture of a car that's somehow been driven over the porch and into the window of a house at Twickenham, just a few miles from his own home.

"Imagine if a bicycle did this," wrote Vine. "There would be *Questions in Parliament, *Calls for a new law to restrict bicycle speeds, *The prosecution and jailing of the rider, *Demands for a curfew on cycling."

Vine later clarified that when he wrote not "on local news", he meant broadcast, not local news website, to which some have replied: "Should every car crash be on live broadcast?" I guess that's another debate for another day perhaps...

03 April 2024, 13:27
Manchester City fans slammed for “constantly blocking” cycle lane outside Etihad Stadium, as council says it “shares cyclists’ frustration” with illegal parking
Vehicles blocking cycle lane outside Etihad Stadium on Manchester City matchdays (Martin Degnan)

Manchester City Council has reminded motorists and coach drivers attending Manchester City football matches that illegal parking “is not acceptable in any set of circumstances”, after a local cyclist shared videos and images of vehicles “constantly blocking” a protected cycle lane outside the Treble winners’ Etihad Stadium on matchdays.

> Manchester City fans slammed for “constantly blocking” cycle lane outside Etihad Stadium, as council says it “shares cyclists’ frustration” with illegal parking

03 April 2024, 12:44
Meanwhile, at a race in Brazil...

I know sports photographers are a dedicated bunch, and especially for sports like bike and car racing, it can turn risky and dangerous in the blink of an instant. But even then, this seems a bit over-the-top to get your prized shot.

Proper heart in mouth moment that...

03 April 2024, 11:50
More bike theft woes — election campaigning edition
03 April 2024, 10:54
Peter Sagan back on the bike following heart surgeries

Strava tells us Wout van Aert went for a walk this morning, his first 'activity' since last week's hell. Three-time world champion Peter Sagan is also on the recovery trail...

"Quick update everybody! It's time to go in the saddle for my first training ride after my surgery a couple of weeks ago," Sagan wrote on social media. "Once again, many thanks for all the messages of support I received from all over the world. You guys rock!!"

He was diagnosed with a cardiac arrhythmia in February and underwent an ablation procedure, however, having returned to training in March, it was discovered that a second procedure would be required, further interrupting the 34-year-old's Olympic Games mountain bike prep.

While Wout and Sagan are up and out, there's still no word on when this live blogger will make his return proper from a bank holiday-shattering bout of flu, I know that's the recovery news everyone's waiting for... more updates when we have them...

03 April 2024, 09:47
Can you imagine a bike like this winning Paris-Roubaix today? Check out the Colnago C40 Gold Limited Edition

If you were on the night shift...

Colnago C40 - 1 (1) (1)

> Check out the Colnago C40 Gold Limited Edition 

19mm tyres for the cobbles... ouch...

03 April 2024, 08:44
Tour of Flanders organiser hails "record-breaking crowds", but urges "zero tolerance" for "individuals" who "ruin the image of the sport"
2024 Tour of Flanders crowd (Zac Williams/SWpix.com)

[Zac Williams/SWpix.com]

The CEO of Flanders Classics, Tomas Van Den Spiegel, has shared some reflections on this year's Tour of Flanders and revealed that, despite its Easter Sunday slot and home favourite Wout van Aert's absence, there were "record-breaking crowds again", with "50,000 more people" on the Oude Kwaremont, an "all-time high" for the race.

2024 Tour of Flanders crowd (Zac Williams/SWpix.com)

"We all have to keep educating fans about safety," he continued. "A race convoy moves at high speed and no fan should be on the road when it passes. Behind the 40 kilometres of barriers or next to the road, period. Fandom in cycling is about passion and positivism, not about touching the integrity of the riders. Zero tolerance is the only way forward. We can not have individuals ruin the image of the sport."

Van Den Spiegel believed the race was evidence the 2024 route offered a "safer and more dynamic flow", but accepted "the Koppenberg might need to be managed differently in the future" in light of the chaos seen on Sunday.

Koppenberg, 2024 Tour of Flanders (Zac Williams/SWpix.com)

"The combo of the sportive on Saturday, suppliers, fans and race vehicles using the cobbled side and the late rain made it hard to ride for the men," he said. "By the time the women passed, the mud film had been washed away. There is always a Plan B, which was also discussed during the race, but changing the course last minute would have had security consequences for both convoys and fans. The safest solution for everyone was to keep it in.

"Overall we look back at a successful weekend. We witnessed greatness in the men's race and as always a super exciting women's race."

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.

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30 comments

Avatar
don simon fbpe | 2 weeks ago
0 likes

Brazilian photographer did the right thing, after possibly doing the wrong thing, he didn't move. The whys and whats of being there in the first place are possibly down to the organisation, if that was an official photographer. But let the riders decide the evasive course of action, as happened there.

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stonojnr | 2 weeks ago
2 likes

Won't slowing the riders to get onto Arenberg simply create bigger bunches of riders ?

and its the bigger bunches that struggle most without crashing because they can't pick the ideal line and are left reacting to everyone else.

Also unless its an airfence i cant imagine adding extra hazards to crash into really helps anyone

If riders don't want to crash on the cobbles, it's upto them to judge how fast they want to ride it imo, that's ultimately the skill riding them.

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eburtthebike | 2 weeks ago
2 likes

The opinion of anyone who can't spell bumpkin is hardly worthy of consideration.

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stonojnr replied to eburtthebike | 2 weeks ago
0 likes

I suspect entirely deliberately on their part, sadly

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eburtthebike | 2 weeks ago
4 likes

It's not an April Fools: Airbag bib shorts

Oh yes it is.

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marmotte27 replied to eburtthebike | 2 weeks ago
0 likes

It's January February March... Fools.

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mitsky | 2 weeks ago
8 likes

Regarding the illegal parking at Man City...

Call the Tyre Extinguishers.

The annoyance and delay, in refilling all 4 tyres, to all the passengers will hopefully make them and the drivers think twice next time.
It would certainly hurt more than a miniscule fine.

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Moist von Lipwig | 2 weeks ago
1 like

So whats the security measures that may help parking in public?  pop the quick link and remove or wrap the chain round the stay?   Twist and secure the bars 90 degrees?  In the hope it becomes less nickable.

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stonojnr replied to Moist von Lipwig | 2 weeks ago
6 likes

I've seen people just take bits off bikes left like that, they'll take the wheels or the saddle etc.

I don't think I'd leave my bike anywhere in public in London unless I wanted rid of it.

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OnYerBike replied to Moist von Lipwig | 2 weeks ago
2 likes

I would suggest one of the angle grinder-resistant locks available is the least faff option. These include the Litelok X1 (as shown above), Hiplok D1000 or the new Abus Granit Super Extreme 2500. I have the Litelok as the cheapest (but still not cheap) and lightest (but still not light) option of those.

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Sriracha replied to Moist von Lipwig | 2 weeks ago
2 likes

I'd attach a small padlock around the chain. I doubt the perpetrator would spot it. But when they attempt to cycle away it's going to derail or jam the chain. At best they could scoot the bike. At that point I think they'd give up.

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Mr Hoopdriver replied to Sriracha | 2 weeks ago
1 like

Sriracha wrote:

I'd attach a small padlock around the chain. I doubt the perpetrator would spot it. But when they attempt to cycle away it's going to derail or jam the chain. At best they could scoot the bike. At that point I think they'd give up.

If it's a disc braked bike, a small padlock through the rotor will be just as effective.  You can buy fluorescent coloured locks for motorcycles - fluorescent just in case you forget sad

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Paul J replied to Moist von Lipwig | 2 weeks ago
2 likes

Get a bike that has near no resale value. So a) much less likely to be stolen by professional thieves b) if/when it is, cheap to replace.

Get some ancient race frame second-hand and convert it to fixed-gear. Give it the most awful blotchy spray paint paint-job you can.

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brooksby replied to Paul J | 2 weeks ago
1 like

Paul J wrote:

Get a bike that has near no resale value. So a) much less likely to be stolen by professional thieves b) if/when it is, cheap to replace. Get some ancient race frame second-hand and convert it to fixed-gear. Give it the most awful blotchy spray paint paint-job you can.

I suspect every bike has a resale value, even if that resale value is simply £10 toward the thief's next wrap (drugs or food).

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Paul J replied to brooksby | 2 weeks ago
2 likes
brooksby wrote:

I suspect every bike has a resale value, even if that resale value is simply £10 toward the thief's next wrap (drugs or food).

Sure, but it's like any environment with predators - you'd don't need to make yourself completely uncatchable, just less of an easy/juicy target than the rest of the herd. A thief /could/ still go for your rat bike, however it's more likely he'll go down the street to the next mountain or road bike.

My sister used to use cheapish MTBs (Halfords BSO type things) to cycle around the town she lived in. And they /kept/ getting stolen. I told her to just get an ancient, cheap, second hand road bike. She did.

It didn't get stolen. Plus, it was _much_ more efficient to cycle than newer BSOs, and had actual mud guards.

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lio replied to Moist von Lipwig | 2 weeks ago
0 likes

There's a few videos online of people riding off on "roped" bait bikes with predictable consiquences once they get up to speed.  I wonder how long it would take the angle grinder dirtbags to figure that one out...

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Steve K | 2 weeks ago
5 likes

A good advert for the Litelok that.

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cyclisto replied to Steve K | 2 weeks ago
1 like

To be honest, I didn't know the brand and have been googling it now for 10mins, seems really impressive.

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marmotte27 replied to cyclisto | 2 weeks ago
1 like
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Hirsute | 2 weeks ago
3 likes

Keyboard warriors were out in force - they would have taken the thief down.

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hawkinspeter | 2 weeks ago
8 likes

Bait bikes are the way to tackle bike thefts - it just needs commitment from the rozzers.

Incidentally, this reminds me - what's happening with the See.Sense Knowhere bike tracker that I KickStarted?

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ROOTminus1 replied to hawkinspeter | 2 weeks ago
0 likes

I would never condone violence, but do we need to wait for official police sanctioned bait bikes, or could someone Mark Rober it?
An aftermarket e-bike battery might make the bike more of a honeypot and provide power for some novel booby-traps.

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chrisonabike replied to ROOTminus1 | 2 weeks ago
4 likes

Somehow I suspect it will be far more of a problem for you than any potential theif - especially as the odds of them getting any approach from the law are nearly zero.

Unfortunately you might find that the police took more of an interest in you setting traps than they did in e.g. nail traps left on bike paths and tracks.  (Hopefully they do actually investigate more rigourously where people have left wire strung across to catch people as that could easily be fatal...)

So we seem to be stuck.  However, I do note the existence of things like this:

Skunk Lock - but is it legal?

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hawkinspeter replied to ROOTminus1 | 2 weeks ago
0 likes

ROOTminus1 wrote:

I would never condone violence, but do we need to wait for official police sanctioned bait bikes, or could someone Mark Rober it? An aftermarket e-bike battery might make the bike more of a honeypot and provide power for some novel booby-traps.

As chrisonabike says, the police don't take kindly to booby-traps (it would be vigilantism). There's also the problem that you'd be locking the bike in a public space, so you'd need to be accurate with who gets targetted by the trap - a glitter bomb might annoy any bystanders.

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Flintshire Boy replied to ROOTminus1 | 2 weeks ago
0 likes

.

Says he, condoning violence!

.

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andystow replied to Flintshire Boy | 2 weeks ago
0 likes

Flintshire Boy wrote:

.

Says he, condoning violence!

.

A glitter bomb hardly qualifies as violence.

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IanGlasgow replied to hawkinspeter | 2 weeks ago
1 like

hawkinspeter wrote:

Bait bikes are the way to tackle bike thefts - it just needs commitment from the rozzers.

Incidentally, this reminds me - what's happening with the See.Sense Knowhere bike tracker that I KickStarted?

I think you have as much chance of getting that as I have of getting the ITrakit I backed.
I'm glad I bought a Vodafone Curve Bike tracker when they were flogging them off for £10

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hawkinspeter replied to IanGlasgow | 2 weeks ago
0 likes

IanGlasgow wrote:

I think you have as much chance of getting that as I have of getting the ITrakit I backed.

I'm glad I bought a Vodafone Curve Bike tracker when they were flogging them off for £10

I'd put my chances as very slightly higher as See.Sense are still trading and they did post an update about 6 months ago.

I try to avoid any electronic-based KickStarters now, though I did go for the Nitecore mini electric pump: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/nitecore/ebp10mini

Nitecore do seem to be a bit more professional with their products and they've got a specific shipping date of April 20th, so I hope I haven't been ripped off again.

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wtjs replied to hawkinspeter | 2 weeks ago
0 likes

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