Today I’ve launched another round of Fix Your Bike vouchers- 150,000- to help you get your bike fixed this Spring 🚲🛠
Here I am, talking about how I repaired my bike and what I love about cycling in my local area 👇 pic.twitter.com/b0zDaJo8EE
— Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP (@grantshapps) March 30, 2021
It's become clear over the last year or so that certain members of the Cabinet are partial to the odd photo/video op to further their cause... and the latest release of 150,000 Fix Your Bike vouchers afforded the Secretary of State for Transport his opportunity to take centre stage.
We're introduced to Shapps kneeling next to a knackered Baracuda bike, which he admits is in "a bit of a state"... yet in the next frame, Shapps' bike has turned into a slightly less battered white, red and black Probike hybrid. He says he "just changed" the front brake caliper, put some oil on the chain and changed an inner tube and he's good to go. Revealing himself to be a pretty handy mechanic, perhaps it'll be Shapps himself who will be repairing your bike if you're lucky enough to have nabbed one of the £50 vouchers.
We then see our man set off (helmetless) and then in the next frame skid to a stop (helmet on) to deliver his outro. Shapps says he doesn't wear Lycra, and just "grabs the helmet" (or helment according to the subtitles) when he goes for a ride.
Not all of his words and actions are questionable, however, with Shapps outlining some worthy reasons to choose bike: ..."Active transport, getting on a bike from A to B doesn't just get you there, it's also of course great for people's health, it's something we want to see continue in the future."
And that concludes our snap late night analysis of this clip, which we've taken roughly seven minutes to write in tribute to how long we reckon Shapps' team took to edit and slap it on his Twitter page.
CyclingMikey captured two rule-breaking drivers, one angry passenger, one of the drivers mounting the pavement, one ungraceful retreat and a grateful law-abiding driver all in a five-minute clip...Worthy of a BAFTA, his latest YouTube video shows him stopping a corner cutting cabbie at the infamous Gandalf Corner. Some shouting and another driver trying to cut the line causes a scene, before the second motorist and cab's passenger jump out for a word and a jostle.
The passenger didn't seem best pleased that the whole confrontation is on camera and quickly got back in the taxi, only for the driver to have to reverse back to the point in the queue they could have passed five minutes ago...
Both drivers paid for and completed a driver course to avoid being prosecuted. One of CyclingMikey's last run-ins with a black cab driver ended with a £280 fine, £115 in costs and five penalty points...
The Platzhirsch 3D-printed e-bike beat 18,000 submissions to win the Red Dot Award for best Bicycle Design. It is the second time the work of Sebastian Meinecke has earned a Red Dot Award after his Stadtfuchs won the Product Design Best of the Best in 2019. The Platzhirsch, 3D-printed in Magdeburg, benefits from a partnership with MAHLE ebikemotion who provided the electric components. It can produce 40Nm of torque at the rear wheel and has a discreetly hidden battery in the down tube with an 80km range.
— Sam Bennett (@Sammmy_Be) March 28, 2021
Sam Bennett put his Gent-Wevelgem sick day down to overeating. Funnily enough that's what I put my bad days on the bike down to as well. It also gives you another reason to stuff yourself at the cafe knowing you've got a handy excuse for later on...
The Irishman said he was so preoccupied with making sure he didn't bonk during the 250km race that he overate.
"I went a bit too much into the red and although I managed to hang in, I paid for this later as my legs were full of lactic acid," Bennett explained."I also made a mistake, as I ate a lot during the race so I didn't want to run out of fuel, but I overdid it and had too much in my stomach inside the final hour of racing, which everybody could see when I threw up.
"Because of this and the effort I put in during the day, it just happened and I ended up going from one extreme to another, as after this I was completely empty and had no more energy left."
Giant Group saw sales rise across all its companies in the US, Europe and China along with a net profit increase of 47 per cent in 2020. Interestingly, the brand says that e-bikes now account for 26 per cent of all their revenues.
"Giant foresees as more consumers are choosing bicycle and e-bike as a means of transportation, leisure and sports, bicycles and e-bikes will become a part of the new lifestyle post-pandemic," Giant explained.
They foresee sales growth continuing into 2021 too with the pandemic playing a big part in changing people's lifestyle and transport choices. "This pandemic has certainly changed the way of living and there is a huge shift in people's awareness on health and fitness.
"In addition, there is a continuous push from governments across different nations to reduce carbon footprint by encouraging people to use bicycles or e-bikes, increasing investments in establishing bicycle related infrastructures and offering bicycle purchase subsidizes, therefore, Giant foresees the demand will continue to exceed supply."
In tribute to one of the finest pieces of British culture and the fact we could be in the Med with our temperatures today, help us settle an age-old question....Is it too hot today? Are you feeling like Julian or Davide Ballerini?
Ballerini represents a rider from Norway riding in 17 degrees.
Alaphilippe represents a rider from southern Spain riding in 17 degrees.
— La Flamme Rouge (@laflammerouge16) March 30, 2021
Water, sun cream and all that good stuff if you're out and about today...We've waited all winter for some nice weather.
But don't just look after yourself. The turn of the seasons is a great time to take a look at your bike and get all that harsh winter riding cleaned up. It'll stop excessive wear to your components and get everything looking shiny and ready for a summer in the lanes...
Maybe I'm getting ahead of myself with April not yet here, but why not plan ahead and take a look at our buyer's guide of the best summer cycling jerseys for beating the heat?
All readers from warmer climates can stop rolling their eyes now.
Matteo De Bonis (Vini Zabù) currently suspended by the UCI for the use of EPO.
— La Flamme Rouge (@laflammerouge16) March 30, 2021
Vini Zabù–Brado–KTM's Italian pro Matteo De Bonis has tested positive for EPO in an out-of-competition test in February. The rider has been provisionally suspended in a case which may have implications for the Giro d'Italia as it's the team's second adverse analytical finding in 12 months.
Matteo Spreafico tested positive for osterine during last year's Giro and the team has be automatically suspended for 15 to 45 days after today's news. The Giro, which Vini Zabù are due to take part in, starts in Turin in 39 days...Will Androni Giocattoli–Sidermec and Gianni Savio be getting a late call up?
Both the team and rider's suspensions have been referred to the UCI's Disciplinary Commission.
🎙️ @PhilippeGilbert: "We took the time to analyse everything there was to discuss and we came to the conclusion that it is a lack of mental and physical freshness. I think it is due to all the work I did after my crash at the Tour de France last year."https://t.co/HyICsXPxzw
— Lotto Soudal (@Lotto_Soudal) March 29, 2021
Lotto-Soudal have announced their star rider and five-time Monument winner Philippe Gilbert won't be racing at the Tour of Flanders this weekend. Gilbert won the race in 2017 but hasn't reached his usual best this season and "will take a period of necessary rest, both physically and mentally" before the Ardennes Classics later in April.
"We decided with the team that I would take a period of rest now because it is not going well at all," Gilbert explained. "It’s been a few weeks now that things haven’t been going well. We took the time to analyse everything there was to discuss and we came to the conclusion that it is a lack of mental and physical freshness.
"I think it is due to all the work I did after my crash at the Tour de France last year. I am still human. I put in a lot of work, without any decent rest really, because during the weeks off the bike. When you find yourself in this stage, the only way to let your body work naturally, is to give it some rest."
British Cycling asked cyclists to treat 15-person group rides as a maximum not a target now that the lockdown rules have eased slightly. British Cycling-affiliated clubs can go out with up to 15 riders, with the rule of six in play elsewhere. We're interested to hear about your plans, especially having heard concerns 15-person rides might be mistaken for rule breaking by those not in the know...
Most of you said you'd stick to riding on your ones for now.
— Robert Cyubahiro McKenna (@RobCyubahiro) January 8, 2021
Rwanda is bidding to be the first African country to host cycling's World Championships, with an inspection team from the UCI expected to visit in May. The East African country faces competition from Morocco for the 2025 championships. This year's rainbow bands will be won in Flanders before Australia in 2022, Glasgow 2023 and Switzerland in 2024.
Rwandan Cycling Federation president Abdallah Murenzi said he is keen to meet with the UCI's technical team to persuade them Rwanda is a suitable host. "A technical team from UCI is expected in Rwanda in May to assess whether what we presented in the document of submission are the same as what is on ground," he told New Times Sport. "We have received positive feedback about our bid, but that won’t be enough for us to win the bid because we still face competition from Morocco. What the inspection team will observe during their field visit will decide who wins the bid."
So, so lovely. Meanwhile in Wandsworth, this is one of the LTNs that they cancelled and this was our normal evening traffic. pic.twitter.com/AFaZYXv3mX
— Sasha Brendon 💙 (@SashaBGood) March 29, 2021
Heavy traffic and congestion in your area? Step one: blame low traffic neighbourhoods. Step two: get low traffic neighbourhoods removed. Step three: return to traffic-free, empty streets...Oh, hang on a second...
Some scenes from Wandsworth last night where an LTN scheme was removed after complaints. Wandsworth Labour active travel and transport cabinet speaker, Jo Rigby, commented on the video saying: "'‘Open our roads’ they demanded. Chances are that every single one of these drivers signed a petition to end the LTNs."
One local disputed Rigby's claim, arguing that the problem is that, "that particular road was narrowed last year which was not reversed. As a local driver, I have been stuck here too and believe that is the reason for the build up, nothing to do with LTNs."
However, as Steve Morgan pointed out: "Reason for the build up is the cars. The cars that are blocking the road for...other cars. If the road has been narrowed and some parked cars have blocked the road. Then the reason is...cars."
By contrast, elsewhere in London...
Just a reminder that the London Fields Low Traffic Neighbourhood was implemented on 9 September 2020.
As of today it has been in place for 6 months and two weeks.pic.twitter.com/rAGOyl3yVw
— London Fields #LTN (@enjoyLDNfields) March 29, 2021
Dan joined road.cc as live blog editor last year. He has previously written 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 a keen cyclist ever since and spends his weekends exploring the south of England on two wheels.