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Motorbike rider hits pensioner, so Twitter blames cyclists; Delivery cyclists jump red lights to avoid losing income, says Deliveroo rider; Jordan Peterson on LTNs; New year, same train bike storage woes; Estonian pro hit by driver + more on the live blog

Happy New Year everyone! As the last, forgotten Quality Street sits forlornly in the corner of the tin, Ryan Mallon’s back to blow away the cobwebs with the first live blog of 2023
03 January 2023, 12:58
Motorbike rider hits pensioner – so Twitter blames cyclists, naturally

Is it too early for a quick game of anti-cycling bingo?

2023 may only be in its infancy, but that hasn’t stopped the usual anti-cycling brigade on social media readying their by-now worn and tattered bingo cards, markers, and balls.

This week’s game comes courtesy of a clip that shows the potential hazards associated with the controversial and oft discussed but otherwise legal act of filtering.

But – and here’s the twist – the video posted to Twitter rather clearly depicts a collision between an elderly pedestrian and a motorcyclist, not a cyclist.

However, proving they’ll stop at nothing (including recognising the bleedingly obvious or actually watching the clip before ferociously typing away their hot takes) in order to bash cyclists, our dedicated bingo callers just couldn’t resist the first opportunity of 2023:

Bonus points for those veterans bringing up the Highway Code, road tax, and cycling IDs: 

What time is it? I give up already…

03 January 2023, 17:14
2023 Ribble Gravel 725 outdoor  - 1
No, Ribble is not going bust

You may have noticed a few rumblings on social media in recent days, claiming that bike manufacturer Ribble was on the verge of being struck off.

According to documents shared on Instagram and Twitter, Companies House has told Ribble’s holding company, Cyclesport North Limited, that “unless cause is shown to the contrary, the Company will be struck off the register and dissolved not less than two months from the date shown above [3 January 2023]”.

However, when contacted by for comment, Ribble said that the notice was simply due to a delay in the company filing its accounts with Companies House.

“Due to the availability of our auditors to complete their work on the 2021 accounts, there has been a delay in filing the accounts with Companies House,” Ribble told us.

“The 2021 accounts will be filed shortly and will show strong progression on the previous year.”

Well, that’s that cleared up then.

03 January 2023, 16:01
Wout van Aert, Dublin UCI Cyclocross World Cup 2022 (Alex Whitehead/
“This situation is not healthy”: Cyclocross legend Sven Nys worried about Van Aert and Van der Poel’s high appearance fees, as three-time world champion Zdeněk Štybar says he raced “for free” over Christmas

Wout van Aert and Mathieu van der Poel’s long-held status as the two undisputed stars of cyclocross was underlined during today’s epic, to-and-fro tussle at the latest round of the X2O Badkamers Trophy in Herentals.

Despite – SPOILER ALERT (yes, we’ve had complaints) – the race’s rather anticlimactic finale, as a very late rear wheel puncture denied Van Aert a potential hometown triumph, with Van der Poel sheepishly taking what was still a thoroughly deserved win, this afternoon showcased the very best of a rivalry that has defined an era both on the ‘cross field and on the road.

However, some within the cyclocross scene have begun to express concerns about the duo’s hegemony over the sport, and the vast sums they are currently making in appearance fees, which two-time world champion Sven Nys claims has created a potentially unhealthy and unsustainable situation for the sport.

2022 Mathieu van der Poel Canyon Inflite CF SLX - Gaetan Flamme, Sportpic Agency ( - 1

Gaetan Flamme, Sportpic Agency

According to Het Nieuwsblad, Van der Poel is said to command a fee of €15,000 for a major race, while Van Aert can be paid up to €20,000. The third member of the ‘cross Big Three, world champion Tom Pidcock, can secure an appearance fee of €8,000 from race organisers.

However, several cyclocross riders have complained to the Belgian press about the apparent inequality within the sport, arguing that, while they understood the reasons behind Van der Poel and Van Aert’s top earnings, if the current situation continued many pros would not be able to carry on racing at the highest level.

Zdeněk Štybar, a three-time world cyclocross champion who joined Team Jayco-AlUla from Quick Step earlier this week, told Het Nieuwsblad that he raced the recent Azencross race in Loenhout, won by Van Aert, for free after the organisers told him that there was no money left in the kitty.

Specialized CRX Stybar_DSC08976

“I’m at the start here for free”, the 37-year-old Czech classics star said. “Apparently there was no more budget. But I do this for the love of the sport and because it is good preparation for the road season.”

One rider anonymously told the Belgian paper that there would be only ten riders left competing on the cyclocross circuit if the distribution of appearance money continued to be weighted so heavily towards a select few of the sport’s biggest names.

One of the biggest ‘cross stars of the 2000s and early 2010s – the era before WVA and MVDP – Sven Nys agreed with these concerns, and argued that some of the money should be kept aside for “real crossers”.

Cyclo-cross world champion Sven Nys at Koppenberg 2013 (CC licensed on Flickr by Alain Dutilleul)

“This situation is not healthy,” the two-time world champion said. “I know that many guys have been at the start for free in recent weeks and will continue to be.

“We urgently need to put our heads together to brainstorm where we want to go with our sport. Because I’m afraid it can’t go on like this.”

While some commentators have noted that the big three’s earnings reflect the added publicity they generate for cyclocross, Tomas Van Den Spiegel, of race organiser Flanders Classics, has warned against overestimating the Van der Poel and Van Aert effect on ticket sales and the popularity of the sport.

"Their presence makes a difference, but you shouldn't overestimate it either,” Van Den Spiegel told Sporza over Christmas.

“We notice a 10 to 20 percent difference in ticket sales, no more than that. People love this sport anyway.”

03 January 2023, 15:11
Groan… Tour de France launches its “first ever digital collection”

In another edition of ‘Thing we wish were left behind in 2022’, Tour de France organisers ASO have announced that they are launching the race’s “first ever digital collection”, featuring “21 collectible stages”.

Ugh… Didn’t we just go through all this a few weeks ago with Velon?

> Velon launches “cycling’s first fan universe” – and yes, it involves cryptocurrency

Anyway, apparently the whole thing is based around a 21-day-long series of “online quests” (ASO’s words, not mine), starting on 9 January, which will allow fans who have signed up to the Discord community to take part in a range of quizzes and social media challenges, to accumulate points and win stages (which are essentially virtual medals).

According to ASO, “at the end of the quest period and thanks to the web3 technology on which these collectibles are based, you will be able to exchange, sell and acquire missing stages directly to other members of the community.”

Ah, our good friend, web3, we meet again. The Tour organisers say the digital collectibles will be hosted through the blockchain technology Polygon, which apparently – though every blockchain merchant is coming out with this kind of line these days – is “particularly well-reputed for its very limited energy consumption”. Whatever you say…

Tour de France digital collection

However, there is one actual, real-life aspect of all this virtual nonsense which could be very exciting. 21 ‘unique’ virtual badges are available for each stage (these will be black, not bronze), and whoever owns them will gain access to a VIP experience, such as travelling in a staff car, at the Tour de France itself.

The bronze badges will also give users the opportunity to win some other, presumably less exciting perks.

I’m sure this kind of competition could have been arranged without all of the blockchain, NFT, and web3 stuff tacked on, but hey, it is cycling after all.

03 January 2023, 14:27
Tom Pidcock misses cyclocross showdown with Mathieu van der Poel and Wout van Aert due to injuries sustained in spectacular New Year’s Day crash

Wout van Aert and Mathieu van der Poel are currently going toe-to-toe in today’s X2O Badkamers Trofee race in Herentals, the latest instalment in their scintillating festive campaign.

However, the third member of the ‘cross Big Three™, world champion Tom Pidcock, has been forced to pull out of today’s muddy action, which comes just two days after his spectacular crash during the GP Sven Nys on New Year’s Day, which left the Ineos Grenadiers rider with a nasty cut and bruising on his left leg.

> Tom Pidcock flies over barriers in “stupid crash” while leading cyclocross race 

“I’ve ridden the bike after the crash but I’m not quite ready to race today,” Pidcock said in a statement earlier today.

 “I’ve had a good block of races this festive period so there are plenty of positives to be taken from it. Now is a good time to draw a line and reset.”

The 23-year-old also confirmed on Sunday that he will not defend his rainbow jersey at next month’s cyclocross worlds in Hoogerheide, in favour of focusing on the spring classics on the road.

03 January 2023, 13:51
Reader reaction: Your lunchtime thoughts on delivery cyclists, bike storage on trains, and that “idiot” Jordan Peterson

There’s so much going on in the comments section today, you’d almost think it was the first live blog of the year or something…

First up, on the subject of red light jumping delivery riders, reader sapperadam wrote:

Delivery cyclists breaking the rules of the road to get their deliveries done quicker is not news.  Delivery van drivers do exactly the same thing.  The problem is not cyclists, and neither really is it the van driver's fault.  It's the time pressures put on the staff doing the deliveries that encourages this behaviour.

But the management don't care about that because they're not the ones who will get it in the neck.  They only care about the bottom line and gig working in any kind of delivery field should be outlawed. 

The big thing though, is that a Deliveroo or Uber Eats cyclist breaking the rules doesn't risk too much, whereas a van driver doing so, risks much, much more.  And there are quite a few reports of accidents involving such vehicles including some fatalities.  Whereas if there was less pressure on the drivers (and riders), they would be less likely to break the rules and therefore less likely to be in an accident.

GWR bike storage (One Woman Two Wheels, Twitter)

The train user’s critique of GWR’s “crap” bike storage facilities has sparked a lengthy debate in the comments, with ShutTheFrontDawes, who has been “pretty pleased by the cycle spaces offered on GWR trains” in recent years, writing: “I'm not sure why the Twitter post is trying to criticise people for filling up the bike space. It's for luggage too. The sign is right there in the photo! Oh no! The bike and luggage space is being used for *gasps* luggage!! Better complain!”

Rendel Harris, however, argued that “the point the poster was trying to make was not criticising people for (legitimately, as you point out) using the shared space for their luggage; they were criticising the train company for making the space bikes and luggage instead of bikes only.

“They could easily take out a couple of seats to make enough room for that luggage and leave space for bikes, but that would cut it into the profit margin.”

“There's nowhere else that the bikes are allowed to be stored,” hawkinpeter added. “So if the bike space is filled, then you'd either have to stand with your bike by the doorways (and hope the staff don't kick you off the train) or get the next train. Luggage is allowed to be stored anywhere, even on the seats.”

Finally, the little onion had this to say about everybody’s favourite Canadian controversialist weighing in on the LTN debate:

Peterson says: ‘idiot tyrannical bureaucrats can decide by fiat where you're "allowed" to drive is perhaps the worst imaginable perversion of that idea’.

So how do the roads get put their in the first place? Doesn't that come down to "idiot tyrannical bureaucrats" deciding that this might be a place where people might be allowed to drive (and walk/cycle/wheel etc)? But somehow tweaking that initial decision is now tyranny?

The man is an idiot.

03 January 2023, 12:17
“When you put everything into that one effort”: Zwift user loses a shoe

Mark, from the Zwift Riders Facebook group, certainly put some effort into this morning’s spin on the turbo:

Zwift rider loses a shoe (Zwift Riders, Facebook)

Although to be fair, the same thing happened to my old school shoes on the way home from a funeral last month…

03 January 2023, 11:53
Jordan Peterson weighs in on LTNs and traffic restrictions (and it’s every bit as insightful as you’d expect it to be)

It was only a matter of time before Jordan Peterson popped up like a bad smell on the live blog.

On New Year’s Eve, the outspoken right-wing academic and media personality took some time off from banging on about the ‘crisis of masculinity’, political correctness, and post-modern neo-Marxists studying anthropology to turn his attention to the next big state-sanctioned conspiracy threatening to… errrr, make our day-to-day lives a more pleasant experience:

Let’s just say Peterson’s latest tirade has gone down as well as expected…

03 January 2023, 11:14
Madis Mihkels, 2021 junior road world championships (Alex Whitehead/
Estonian pro suffers “deep” back wound after being struck by motorist during training ride

Intermarché-Circus-Wanty’s 19-year-old Madis Mihkels received hospital treatment for a “deep cut” in his back after being struck by a motorist while training near his hometown of Tartu, Estonian, yesterday.

Mihkels, who turned pro with Intermarché at the start of 2023 after racing for the team as a stagiaire since August, finished fourth at last year’s U23 world championships road race in Wollongong, before taking a strong sixth at the Gran Piemonte in October, behind leading WorldTour riders Iván García Cortina, Matej Mohorič, and Alberto Bettiol.

According to a social media post from the Belgian squad this morning, Mihkels suffered a “deep cut wound in his back”, which required stitches, after being hit by the driver. However, fortunately the 19-year-old doesn’t appear to have suffered any more serious injuries or broken any bones in the collision. 

“Madis will focus on healing as we wish him a smooth and complete recovery soon,” Intermarché wrote.

03 January 2023, 10:26
New year, same “usual crap from greedy train companies”

It may be the first live blog of 2023, but that doesn’t mean we can’t roll out an old favourite…

The inflammatory issue of bikes, space, and trains (at least if you’re editor Jack) is, of course, one we’ve covered frequently on the site, from Cycling UK’s dismissal of London North Eastern Railway’s storage provision in October 2019 as “downright dangerous” to editor Jack Sexty’s rather blunt critique of GWR’s offering on a special edition of the live blog later that month.

Come on GWR, it’s 2023, sort it out…

03 January 2023, 09:54
Happy New Year from Frankie

This April will mark six years since the tragic death of 2011 Giro d’Italia winner Michele Scarponi, who was killed in a collision involving a lorry driver in April 2017.

So it was nice to start the new year by learning that the Italian’s favourite training partner, the blue and yellow macaw Frankie, is still a big Astana fan:

03 January 2023, 09:01
Most delivery cyclists jump red lights and ride on pavement to avoid losing income, says Deliveroo rider

Last month on the Podcast, we interviewed British ultra-distance cycling legend – and food delivery rider – Steve Abraham, who shared some rather scathing thoughts about Deliveroo and the online company’s relationship with its riders.

Steve, who works as a food courier in Milton Keynes, discussed with editor Jack the advantages and drawbacks of delivering for firms such as Deliveroo and Uber Eats, where drivers and riders are engaged as independent contractors and paid by the number of jobs they do, rather than being taken on as employees, with all the benefits that would entail, such as a minimum wage and holiday and sick pay.

> “You're just collateral” — Ultra-cycling legend Steve Abraham on Deliveroo and the gig economy

“If you want to work for a good company and have a good, steady income… don’t work for Deliveroo,” Steve said.

“Deliveroo and all the app companies, they’re rotten, dirty businesses. They’re out to make money by sitting around doing nothing, that’s what they are. Alright, they’re technology people, that’s just written a computer programme to make money for them, that’s the whole idea.

“And you’re just collateral – they need you to operate, if you stop working, they don’t care about you. They’re not looking out for you. They pretend to, but they don’t care about you. They’re not good companies to work for… I just like the job.”


Another issue associated with delivering food by bike for massive app-based companies not mentioned by Steve is the pressure placed on cyclists to make money by completing as many deliveries as possible in one shift.

This pressure, according to one Edinburgh-based Deliveroo rider, can result in couriers breaking several traffic laws, such as jumping red lights and riding on pavements (or, as we’ve seen plenty of times on, riding on the motorway), just to make ends meet.

“I do not have any issue with laws, and as a recreational club cyclist, I feel some obligation to not give cyclists a bad name and fuel anti-cyclist attitudes held by many motorists. Riding for Deliveroo, I have the opposite mindset,” the cyclist told the Scotsman.

> Pro triathlete and Ironman champ Joe Skipper turns Deliveroo cyclist

“If every road law was to be followed, it could easily add five minutes to a delivery, which would cut my income by 20 percent.

“My normal ‘Roo’ daytime income averages £10-12 per hour. To reduce that by 20 percent is therefore not realistic. Most Roo cyclists will, like me, not follow all road laws.

“A delivery rider will have a different attitude to the rules from a recreational cyclist. I don’t think most care about the law or what anyone else’s opinion of their cycling is. In 99 percent of breaches, no third party suffers any kind of inconvenience.”

face mask - deliveroo x cambridge face mask 3.PNG

> New study suggests high injury rate in food delivery cyclists is under-reported

The cyclist continued: “Running a red light can be exceptionally dangerous, particularly taking an amber gamble just as lights are changing to red. There are, however, numerous times when there are no cars in sight and riding through a red light is safe and has zero effect on any other party. If the light is on the green man and there are no pedestrians, there is again no impact on anyone.

“Other than being safer than riding up a one-way street the wrong way, I will use the pavement to avoid cobbles, especially when wet. Cobbles in many parts of Edinburgh are not properly maintained, very uneven and rather unsafe.

“Breaking a lot of rules will, I have no doubt at all, be a safer alternative. It will enable distances to be shortened and some major busy and dangerous junctions avoided all together. The downside would be the rider may put themselves at more risk.

“If the police were able to force delivery riders to follow every rule, many I imagine would pack it in.”

Ryan joined 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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