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Jumbo-Visma sprinter crashes into ravine; Simon Cowell vows to wear a helmet after second fall; Must. Not. Wait. For. Bike; Highway Code sensibleness; ECHELONS; Are you a lentil-munching barista?; Team Qhubeka continues; FOI data + more on the live blog

Don't worry, Ryan is back on the live blog tomorrow...for now you'll have to put up with Dan Alexander bringing you Thursday's...
03 February 2022, 16:21
Jumbo-Visma sprinter David Dekker crashes into ravine, thankfully emerges unhurt

Frightening moment here for Dutch sprinter David Dekker whose chances of winning the second stage of Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana ended with him scrambling out a ravine, having overshot a corner on a descent. Dekker was one of the pre-stage favourites for the day eventually won by compatriot Fabio Jakobsen. 

David Dekker crash (Eurosport/GCN)

The 24-year-old celebrated his birthday yesterday, but found himself heading straight down a ravine with 10km to go on today's stage. Thankfully the TV pictures soon showed him back on the road, ready to remount his bike shortly after.

David Dekker crash (Eurosport/GCN)

Jumbo-Visma then confirmed Dekker was back on his bike.

Jakobsen continued his fine return since a bad crash of his own at the Tour of Poland in 2020, winning the second stage of the race easily. The win suggests Jakobsen is well on track to fulfilling his touted pre-season role as Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl's fast man for the Tour de France. It remains to be seen if a certain Manx Missile can do anything to change that...

03 February 2022, 15:23
Must. Not. Wait. For. Person. On. Bike...
03 February 2022, 14:51
Hampshire councillor says budgeting for cycling improvements is not "money well spent"
Portsmouth harbour (CC BY-SA 2.0 Ronald Saunders:Flickr)

The News in Portsmouth reports an outspoken councillor is vocally opposing council plans to invest millions into cycling infrastructure. Conservative member for Purbrook and States South, Cllr Gary Hughes said the council's money would be better spent elsewhere after officials announced a £10 million budget for cycling improvements.

Cllr Hughes said: "I would contend that the money we're getting is not being spent wisely. We're using 10 per cent of our budget on cycling when only one per cent of people actually cycle regularly. Think of what we could do with £10m spent elsewhere on highways for the people of Hampshire. When we have such a small budget I don't believe that £10m is money well spent."

Hughes was opposed by other members, including his own party's councillor Nick Adams-King, who argued "saying we shouldn't do something isn't the right approach".

"I'm not sure about the figure that only one per cent of people cycle either," he said.

03 February 2022, 14:11
Wonder if any Everton players have called on Mr Loophole's services since Frank's appointment?

If you've no idea what we're talking about: Prosecution of football star Frank Lampard filmed by CyclingMikey using mobile phone while driving dropped, CPS confirms 

03 February 2022, 12:48
Amy Pieters "stable but not good" more than month on from training crash
Amy Pieters (licensed CC BY SA 4.0 by Nicola on Wikimedia Commons)

Dutch road race national champion Amy Pieters is "breathing independently" but "currently not conscious", according to SD Worx's manager Danny Stam. Stam told Cycling Weekly there is "not very much difference" from the news we heard before that Pieters remains in a coma following a crash in training on December 23.

"The situation is still stable but not good," Stam updated. "Amy is still in a deep coma and until now there are not so many improvements. Only when she wakes up can there be a prognosis for how she will be in the future. 

"First she needs to wake up. It is a difficult time for everyone. I think for the parents and the boyfriend it’s the hardest time. For the moment, I’d love to tell you more but we don’t know anymore, but that is for everybody a pity. We hope [for] the best, that’s the only thing we can say at this point."

03 February 2022, 12:16
West Yorkshire Police FOI request analysis: Motorists submit more videos, but cyclists are better judge of what constitutes a driving offence

 Some interesting Freedom of Information request data here, showing that perhaps unsurprisingly considering the respective numbers of road users, motorists in West Yorkshire submitted more than twice as many videos than cyclists between August 2020 and December 2021.

But when it comes to videos submitted leading to penalty points or a fine, videos by cyclists were significantly more likely to lead to action. 34 per cent of cyclists submissions resulted in action, compared to just 1.8 per cent of motorists', 29 per cent of pedestrian submissions led to points and/or a fine.

What do you make of this? As expected? Surprised cyclists' videos seem to be acted upon fairly often?

03 February 2022, 12:04
Team Qhubeka moving forward in 2022
2021 Tour de France Team Qhubeka NextHash Burberry - 1

Team Qhubeka NextHash might have folded as a WorldTour squad at the end of last season, but the team is continuing under the Team Qhubeka banner, it has been announced. The team will ride at UCI Continental level, and have managed to keep hold of Nicholas Dlamini, the South African pro who competed at last year's Tour de France.

Doug Ryder stays on as principle, and says the goal remains the same — changing lives through bicycles.

"We will continue to move forwards," he said in a team press release. "Changing people's lives, providing hope, opportunity and mobility. Our team is about performance and racing, but it is equally about upliftment and community."

03 February 2022, 11:14
In contrast to the previous post...are you a lentil-munching barista?

I don't eat lentils and rarely drink coffee...am I even a cyclist?  

03 February 2022, 11:06
Highway Code changes spark wave of bad publicity about cycling. But it is good for everyone, particularly motorists
Highway Code.PNG

Dr Paul Arnell has written a column for The Scotsman addressing the "wave of criticism" of cycling and the Highway Code changes...

In it he questions why some portions of the media choose to continue to peddle anti-cycling lines, while ignoring "the simple fact that increased cycling benefits everyone."

It might make slightly easier reading than some of the opinion pieces we shared on road.cc last week...

Dr Arnell concludes that: "The changes to the Highway Code reflect the simple fact that all road users must compromise. It is not a matter of us and them, drivers against cyclists. It is a simple fact that increased cycling benefits everyone."

03 February 2022, 10:58
ECHELONS (+ don't be like Bob at the pub)
03 February 2022, 10:40
"I'm a bit of a nutter": Simon Cowell vows to wear a helmet after second crash

Simon Cowell has spoken about his second e-bike crash in 18 months, and promised to wear a helmet in future...(no promises were made about arm or knee pads, though)...

The reality TV mogul broke his arm, suffered facial cuts and sustained a suspected concussion after falling off an e-bike near his west London home...18 months ago Cowell broke his back after a crash in Malibu.

Speaking to MailOnline, Cowell said he'd definitely be donning a helmet next time..."I'm a bit of a nutter. I'll definitely wear a helmet next time," he said. "I'm OK. I'm feeling much better thank you. It happened just round the corner."

A workman renovating a house nearby told the online news outlet: "He nearly bumped into me the other day. You often see him racing about on his bike although I must admit I haven't seen him on it for a few days. Now I know why. 

"He dashes round the corner without stopping and he's never wearing a helmet. The roads can get very busy round here so he's taking a bit of a chance. You'd have thought he would have learned his lesson after what happened before."

A source added: "Simon has been warned many times to wear a helmet but he doesn’t always take it on board."

Keep 'racing' around, Simon. That helmet will keep you out of hospital for good...(maybe)...

03 February 2022, 08:52
"Bicycles deliver the freedom that car commercials promise"

In the same way banks only ever seem to do adverts of friendly branch staff waving at children, car advertisers love to fall back on the classic adventure ad. Cue scenes of a sparkly new motor (not a dot of dirt anywhere) traversing an epic mountain landscape to a vista where a couple inevitably starts a campfire while watching the sun set.

In the summer, Toyota went one step further and snapped a £27,000 adventure model next to a £70 bike that could be bought from Walmart, with the caption 'Our Ideal Adventure'.

More positively, on the car ad topic, new legislation in France means car adverts will have to promote cycling and walking, as the Macron Government ups attempts to encourage people to swap four wheels for a pedal-powered two.

We're biased, obviously. But I'm sure this quote we spotted this morning may resonate with a few of you...

It's why so many of us were attracted to taking up cycling in the first place: exploring new places, a sense of freedom etc. Ernest Hemmingway famously said, "It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up hills and coast down them"...

Where's your next adventure going to be? A new route this weekend? A long-awaited summer adventure? Give us some inspiration in the comments...

Dan is the road.cc news editor and has spent the past four years writing stories and features, as well as (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. Having previously written about nearly every other sport under the sun for the Express, and the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for the Non-League Paper, Dan joined road.cc in 2020. Come the weekend you'll find him labouring up a hill, probably with a mouth full of jelly babies, or making a bonk-induced trip to a south of England petrol station... in search of more jelly babies.

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61 comments

Avatar
Bungle_52 | 2 years ago
10 likes

Re Portsmouth cycling infrastructure

"Cllr Hughes said: "I would contend that the money we're getting is not being spent wisely. We're using 10 per cent of our budget on cycling when only one per cent of people actually cycle regularly. Think of what we could do with £10m spent elsewhere on highways for the people of Hampshire. When we have such a small budget I don't believe that £10m is money well spent.""

Surely if only 1% cycle a great deal needs to be done to get more people on a bike so may be more than 10% is needed.

"spent elsewhere on highways." Does he mean more road space for cars which will increase damage to the environment and fill up in a very short space of time. This is the approach Gloucestershire have taken.

https://www.gloucestershirelive.co.uk/news/gloucester-news/anger-cycle-p...

and

https://www.gloucestershirelive.co.uk/news/cheltenham-news/gloucestershi...

Avatar
chrisonabike replied to Bungle_52 | 2 years ago
6 likes

Spot on. "spent elsewhere on highways." = No money for cycling -> because no-one cycles -> because there's insufficent safe space -> because it's taken up by "highways" infra -> because we added extra roads and lanes -> because the old ones were crowded with motor vehicles -> because no-one cycles.

Therefore we must spend this money on motor infra for motorists.

Avatar
WilfForrow replied to Bungle_52 | 2 years ago
6 likes

This is the letter we sent to The News in Portsmouth:

If there’s a row over Hampshire’s £10m cycling improvement budget (The News, 3-Feb), it’s over how out of touch Havant’s Councillor Gary Hughes is.  

If he thinks cycling is only 1% around Purbrook and Stakes South, it’s because for years, all the road investment has been for cars - we spend billions on spaces “for cars” every year.

It’s way, way up wherever we’ve invested in safe, easy and pleasant cycle paths.  And that cuts road traffic, parking and congestion for everyone else:  If kids and adults can cycle safely to school, work , shops or the park instead of being driven, they’ll all be healthier, happier, and it would reduce traffic congestion for those who need to drive (rather than those who are forced to drive because no safe, viable alternative has been provided) 

According to YouGov, 77% of Brits support local measures to encourage cycling and walking.  51% say they would then cycle more.  What if 51% of local journeys were by bike?  Less traffic, less air pollution, less noise and healthier neighbourhoods.

Which is a better investment - one roundabout that shaves a few seconds off a journey (only for 2 years or so), but encourages more vehicular traffic, or a few miles of high quality cycle path network, enabling that alternative?  Cycle paths cost peanuts in comparison, and last longer.

At least it reminds us that it’s mostly local councils that pay for local roads of Council tax, not Vehicle Excise Duty (or ‘road tax’) which goes straight to the government: people who cycle and leave their car at home (or don’t own a car at all) pay MORE than their share.  

Shame the accompanying photo showed a lone sports cyclist on the road - next time can we see lots of smiling kids and parents, in normal clothes, cycling independently to school and to the shops, in their own safe space, instead of being delivered by Chelsea tractor?

Avatar
brooksby | 2 years ago
5 likes

Quote:

Must. Not. Wait. For. Person. On. Bike...

You know, I was sure that they had updated the Highway Code so as to provide guidance on how to deal with a situation/incident like that... 

Avatar
Hirsute replied to brooksby | 2 years ago
0 likes

That one looks very familiar - unless it is the junction that is familiar.

Avatar
eburtthebike replied to brooksby | 2 years ago
4 likes

brooksby wrote:

Quote:

Must. Not. Wait. For. Person. On. Bike...

You know, I was sure that they had updated the Highway Code so as to provide guidance on how to deal with a situation/incident like that... 

Maybe we need a literacy test for drivers; if they can't read the HC, how can they follow it?

Avatar
vthejk | 2 years ago
0 likes

How is Simon Cowell not going to break an arm if he wears a helmet next time? Or is he a 'bit of a nutter' because he thought he could crash without wearing a helmet, and no one might criticise him?

'Cos that is, truly, nuts.

Avatar
Brightspark replied to vthejk | 2 years ago
0 likes

"Because wearing a helmet reduces your chance of having an accident by 80%."

Advice from BHIT. The same wording formed the official advice from UK Gov until 2010 when there was a consultation into the effectivness of helmets and if they should be mandatory. The result was a change in the wording of the advice that was hidden in a leaflet that was released just after the election without any press release.

Avatar
eburtthebike replied to Brightspark | 2 years ago
1 like

I'm fairly familiar with the BS of BHIT, but I haven't heard that particularly noxious statement before; have you got a reference for it?

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giff77 replied to Brightspark | 2 years ago
0 likes

So not only will it protect your head. It actually subliminally communicates to motorists to not drive through you. That's amazing. 

Avatar
Steve K replied to giff77 | 2 years ago
2 likes

I appreciate the evidence is disputed, but if anything doesn't the evidence show that wearing a helmet increases your chance of having an accident?

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giff77 replied to Steve K | 2 years ago
1 like

Most of the folk I know who have unfortunately been hit. All have been wearing a helmet. So there is some substance to your point. 

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Pyro Tim | 2 years ago
13 likes

I like a dhansak, even a dahl. Sometimes even lentils in a veg stew. However, I'm no veggie, let alone vegan. I do drink coffee, but don't know how to use those machines, so not a barista. I'm also not a green, and not completely anti car. I'm more anti dickhead, and if that means making safe spaces to keep away from them, then all the better

Avatar
TriTaxMan replied to Pyro Tim | 2 years ago
9 likes

Pyro Tim wrote:

I like a dhansak, even a dahl. Sometimes even lentils in a veg stew. However, I'm no veggie, let alone vegan. I do drink coffee, but don't know how to use those machines, so not a barista. I'm also not a green, and not completely anti car. I'm more anti dickhead, and if that means making safe spaces to keep away from them, then all the better

I agree with you on the anti-car position.  I think the vast majority of people who post on here are not anti-car just against idiots who will risk our lives to save a few seconds.  

Avatar
Rendel Harris replied to TriTaxMan | 2 years ago
7 likes

There is one - can you guess? - who is on record as stating that the motorcar is "humanity's greatest achievement." Mind you they have also stated that Donald Trump is "the greatest President in the history of the world" so they may be a dick or desperate troll or both...

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IanMSpencer | 2 years ago
6 likes

Next time you get a "but cyclists" give them a link to this video... https://youtu.be/qDQEkByp9OM UK dodgy motorists. It's a quick fire collection of UK driving - the sort you see on a daily basis. Remember that this is only a small selection of incidents as most drivers don't have cameras. Having been addicted to Russian car crash videos in the past, I hadn't realised that the British had upped their game to compete (though there aren't quite as many driving straight into oncoming lorry on snowy road incidents). If cyclists rode like drivers drive, Mr Loophole might have more of a point.

Avatar
alchemilla replied to IanMSpencer | 2 years ago
2 likes

IanMSpencer wrote:

Next time you get a "but cyclists" give them a link to this video... https://youtu.be/qDQEkByp9OM UK dodgy motorists. It's a quick fire collection of UK driving - the sort you see on a daily basis. Remember that this is only a small selection of incidents as most drivers don't have cameras. Having been addicted to Russian car crash videos in the past, I hadn't realised that the British had upped their game to compete (though there aren't quite as many driving straight into oncoming lorry on snowy road incidents). If cyclists rode like drivers drive, Mr Loophole might have more of a point.

Only got through half of that compilation before I'd heard enough 'F...ing Hells' to last me a while.  Seemed to be shot by the same man saying the same magic phrase every time.  A lot of the shots were the fault of the motorist with the camera travelling too fast, failing to read the road ahead and making a situation out of an otherwise normal road manoeuvre.  

Avatar
slappop | 2 years ago
4 likes

An elderly man with a pattern of falling probably needs to consider whether it's time for assisted living. A helmet isn't really going to cut it.

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HoarseMann replied to slappop | 2 years ago
9 likes

Bit harsh. I'd say it's more a case of Briton Lacks Talent.

Avatar
Daveyraveygravey replied to HoarseMann | 2 years ago
2 likes

HoarseMann wrote:

Bit harsh. I'd say it's more a case of Briton Lacks Talent.

Ah, but he is a bit of a nutter

Avatar
hawkinspeter | 2 years ago
2 likes

Pffffffft! Lentils?

Some of us are more interested in low carbon cuisine: https://www.utilitycentre.co.uk/forget-lentils-low-carbon-cuisine-is-all-about-squirrel-lasagne/

//www.utilitycentre.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/forget-lentils-low-carbon-cuisine-is-all-about-squirrel-lasagne.jpg)

Avatar
chrisonabike replied to hawkinspeter | 2 years ago
1 like

Acorn arrabiata?  Chestnut cannelloni?

Avatar
hawkinspeter replied to chrisonabike | 2 years ago
2 likes

chrisonatrike wrote:

Acorn arrabiata?  Chestnut cannelloni?

https://www.realtree.com/timber-2-table-wild-game-recipes/squirrel-and-mushrooms-in-cream-sauce

  • 2 large or 3 small squirrels, pressure cooked according to your cooker’s instructions, with meat picked from the bone and shredded into small pieces
  • 6 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced, I used chanterelles
  • 4 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 large shallot, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 pint of heavy cream
  • ½ cup sour cream, divided
  • ½ cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon fresh basil, diced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh Italian flat leafed parsley, diced
Avatar
mdavidford replied to hawkinspeter | 2 years ago
5 likes

hawkinspeter wrote:
  • 2 large or 3 small squirrels, pressure cooked according to your cooker’s instructions

Do most pressure cookers come with instructions for cooking squirrel?

Avatar
hawkinspeter replied to mdavidford | 2 years ago
19 likes

mdavidford wrote:

Do most pressure cookers come with instructions for cooking squirrel?

I was going to write some brief instructions, but I started off with arranging the squirrels in height from tallest to shortest. Then I realised I was just critter sizing.

Avatar
stomec replied to hawkinspeter | 2 years ago
6 likes

hawkinspeter wrote:

mdavidford wrote:

Do most pressure cookers come with instructions for cooking squirrel?

I was going to write some brief instructions, but I started off with arranging the squirrels in height from tallest to shortest. Then I realised I was just critter sizing.

I always hope people will avoid bad squirrel jokes, but drey never do. 

Avatar
hawkinspeter replied to stomec | 2 years ago
3 likes

stomec wrote:

I always hope people will avoid bad squirrel jokes, but drey never do. 

Nowadays, everybody wanna talk
Like they got something to say
But nothing comes out when they move their lips
Just a bunch of gibberish

Avatar
mdavidford replied to hawkinspeter | 2 years ago
6 likes

hawkinspeter wrote:

mdavidford wrote:

Do most pressure cookers come with instructions for cooking squirrel?

I was going to write some brief instructions, but I started off with arranging the squirrels in height from tallest to shortest. Then I realised I was just critter sizing.

Personally, I woodchuck them in any old how.

Avatar
Captain Badger replied to hawkinspeter | 2 years ago
3 likes

hawkinspeter wrote:

.....

https://www.realtree.com/timber-2-table-wild-game-recipes/squirrel-and-mushrooms-in-cream-sauce

  • 2 large or 3 small squirrels, pressure cooked according to your cooker’s instructions, with meat picked from the bone and shredded into small pieces
  • ......

Avatar
Steve K replied to hawkinspeter | 2 years ago
0 likes

hawkinspeter wrote:

Pffffffft! Lentils?

Some of us are more interested in low carbon cuisine: https://www.utilitycentre.co.uk/forget-lentils-low-carbon-cuisine-is-all-about-squirrel-lasagne/

//www.utilitycentre.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/forget-lentils-low-carbon-cuisine-is-all-about-squirrel-lasagne.jpg)

I had no idea squirrels were canabalistic.

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