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Highway Code changes, riding two abreast, road tax & all the greatest anti-cycling hits — "depressing" reaction to "vile" Countryfile section on cycle safety; Van der Poel's pizza; TT wheelies; Bike lane car park; Post-Giro blues + more on the live blog

The Giro is over...(how long until the Tour de France?)...Dan Alexander is back for the first of three road.cc live blogs this week before the long weekend...(thanks, Queenie!)
30 May 2022, 14:38
Highway Code changes, riding two abreast, road tax & all the greatest anti-cycling hits — "depressing" reaction to "vile" Countryfile section on cycle safety

Strap yourselves in for this one... Countryfile did cycling last night, with the segment on the BBC One show since being described as "vile", "disgraceful" and an "utter shitshow triggering anti-cycling hatred" by disgruntled viewers.

Conversely, the usual frothing section of social media reacted to the episode, which included an interview with the widow of a cyclist killed by a speeding driver, crying foul about January's Highway Code changes, two abreast riding and all the other anti-cycling bingo favourites...

Warning: none of the following is particularly pretty...

First things first, let's outline what was broadcast. Last night's episode featured a ten-minute segment on cycle safety as "Tom Heap investigates the increase in cycling deaths on our rural roads".

During the section he spoke with the widow of Anthony Satterthwaite — a cyclist killed in a collision with a driver speeding at 59mph on a 40mph country road (although presenter Heap narrated the incident as: "Anthony was hit by a car on a lane" before later outlining more details of the driver's wrongdoing).

The driver got a suspended sentence and during a segue (thanks, hirsute) to the next part of the report, Heap noted Anthony was one of nearly 100 cyclists killed on Britain's roads in 2018 before saying: "until the pandemic the number of cyclists killed on Britain's roads had been falling, but with the lockdown came a biking boom, and more cyclists meant more deaths".

The reporter then spoke to Dame Sarah Storey, Britain's most successful Paralympian and recently announced Greater Manchester active travel commissioner, and after hearing her call for reduced speed limits and greater vigilance from drivers, asked: "let's face it, cyclists can be occasionally dangerous and occasionally full of themselves as well, can't they?"

Heap's segment ended with driver vox pops in the Peak District, during which the Highway Code changes and two abreast riding were addressed in such glowing terms as "infuriating", "crazy" and "aggravating".

So, what did cyclists think of the segment?

And how about the usual suspects? Get your bingo cards ready...

My head hurts... 

30 May 2022, 16:20
Reader reaction

Almost 24 years on this planet and I've just found out it's a segue not a segway?! Next you'll be telling me it's not 'see I to I' or 'ends meat'... Journalists aren't as good as they used to be, are they? My own personal ramblings out the way, here's what you've been saying about Countryfile's chaotic cycling episode...

30 May 2022, 16:11
Peak road.cc
Peak road.cc comment

Well, I don't want to spoil anything, but boy do we have a story for you tomorrow morning...

Also would it be peak road.cc if it wasn't all captured on Jeremy Vine's 360-degree camera?

30 May 2022, 16:04
It was worth a try
30 May 2022, 14:11
Rapha: We believe that all athletes should have the opportunity to race

Rapha has joined the conversation under our link to the story about Emily Bridges' DIVA magazine interview... 

30 May 2022, 13:26
Post-race recovery done right 🍻
30 May 2022, 12:49
Why cyclists don't use the cycle lane #2,461

The why cyclists don't use the cycle lane series has been running for years...and shows no sign of slowing down. Today's edition comes from Brighton...

Adding to the "nothing says we're serious about active travel" theme, Finn said: "See also, trying to look serious about tackling climate change while sanctioning events that encourage people to drive old polluting cars to the beach just for fun whilst deliberately preventing people getting around in healthier ways."

> Monday moaning: Why don't cyclists use cycle lanes?

Time for some more why cyclists don't use the cycle lane specials...

Another bad bike lane (@geoffallard/Twitter)

> "This has UK written all over it": Another why cyclists don't use the cycle lane classic

A12 cycle lane (via Georgina Wilcox/Twitter)

> The 'why cyclists don't use cycle lanes' cycle lane

Cycle lane portaloo (Al Ó Baoighill Facebook)

> Plop-up cycle lane

30 May 2022, 10:55
When he's not eating pineapple pizza and popping wheelies on a TT bike...

My Monday morning brain initially thought Mathieu might be offering a quick mid-stage headset adjustment...not simply signing an autograph...

Tell me you're a cyclist without telling me you're a cyclist...

30 May 2022, 10:48
Yodel delivers almost half a million parcels by bike in the last six months

 UK courier Yodel has delivered 492,000 parcels by bike over the last six months, the company has revealed. The news, reported by 365 Retail, means Yodel has surpassed its previous year's record of 290,000, and hopes to hit 750,000 by the end of its financial year in July.

Yodel partnered with Urb-it, allowing couriers to deliver parcels via its e-cargo bike fleet, a partnership which was extended following a trial period and has expanded from just London to Glasgow, Bristol and Manchester as well. Birmingham, Liverpool and Edinburgh are touted as the scheme's next locations.

"We’re extremely proud of what we have achieved with meeting key targets in our drive to deliver a more sustainable service for the future," Mike Hancox, Yodel CEO said.

30 May 2022, 10:36
Fancy getting paid to ride your bike?

Gloucestershire County Council has unveiled an active travel scheme which will see cyclists offered cash rewards for playing a mobile game which will reportedly help improve local cycling infrastructure.

The council has teamed up with Finnish software start-up Crowdsorsa to collect crowdsourced data of the county's routes to survey the condition of infrastructure.

Cyclists are invited to record footage of cycle routes shown on the app (there are over 250 miles) which are covered with virtual fruit and berries. Each mile of the cycle route has around £2.50 worth of objects to collect.

Two abreast - cheltenham flyer tori and skardy 2

"The game encourages players to explore the county and keep fit, while also earning money in the process," a council spokesperson said.

"In a UK first, the council has teamed up with Finnish software startup, Crowdsorsa, to provide a crowdsourced data collection event to survey the condition of the county’s cycling infrastructure.

“The mobile game would allow riders to collect virtual fruits and berries worth money. These are collected by recording video footage of the cycle routes ridden.

“The survey will start at 10am on Thursday, 2 June, and anyone with a smartphone, bike and phone holder can take part.

“The game shows users over 250 miles of cycling routes on a map, all covered with virtual fruit and berries, and the more of these they collect – the more money they earn. Each mile of cycle route has around £2.50 worth of objects to collect.

“Anyone with a smartphone, a bike and a phone holder can take part in the survey.

“The Crowdsorsa mobile game can be downloaded for free from the App Store and Google Play. Within the app, there is a mission created for the Gloucestershire survey, which also features instructions for users."

30 May 2022, 10:09
Dan Martin out of retirement...according to this bookie

"Money back as a free bet if your rider has been retired for seven months and has no chance of even being on the startline..."

30 May 2022, 09:45
"Three years later and RideLondon is back": Plenty of RideLondon positivity

We suspect there could be some bingo and TalkRADIO frothing about RideLondon appearing on the blog later...soooo, in the meantime let's concentrate on the positives...

It wasn't just about the sportive either. The final stage of the RideLondon Classique, the women's WorldTour event, was won by Lorena Wiebes who made it a hat-trick after winning stages one and two as well...

> RideLondon-Essex riders halted for 30 minutes because of an incident

And beforehand, on the same central London closed roads, thousands of riders enjoyed the car-free city during the RideLondon FreeCycle...

30 May 2022, 09:25
Post-Giro Monday...

How long until the Tour de France?

Tour de France

30 May 2022, 07:51
Mathieu van der Poel celebrates finishing Giro d'Italia by eating pineapple pizza (and wheelieing his TT bike)

He's done it again...

Captioned 'lovely', Mathieu took to Twitter to complete the Giro meme experience, giving the non-Italians what they'd waited all week to see — a robotic Dutchman committing a cuisine faux pas. It's testament to how bloody brilliant Van der Poel is at riding bikes that an act even this heinous and inflammatory (almost) gets a pass...

The Giro started with 'spaghettigate' (the worst of the three crimes if you ask me) — ketchup sprayed liberally over plain pasta...Then, on the second rest day, a picture of a margherita pizza with a pineapple suggestive caption sent the cycling world into meltdown...and prompted the Italian fans to chase him up the final week's climbs brandishing pineapples...

In the midst of the madness it appeared the tropical fruit had special powers: Dries De Bondt, Van der Poel's teammate, was handed one during stage 17...he won the next day...

Anyway, after a final week where the pineapple action was almost always more entertaining than the GC, Van der Poel delivered his grand finale...finishing third in the time trial and getting his snap...

Mathieu van der Poel pineapple pizza (Image: Mathieu van der Poel/Twitter)

The Giro d'Italia social media team wagered the peloton's great entertainer that he wouldn't win a stage during the third week. Despite his heroic stage 17 efforts, and late dash in the TT, the 27-year-old could not find a second Giro stage win...and yet...

Who's the real winner? 

30 May 2022, 08:10
Wheelieing a TT bike? That's a job for Mathieu...

As if the attacking racing and pineapple passion wasn't entertaining enough...Mathieu van der Poel is also the first rider I've seen pull off a wheelie (kind of) on a TT bike...protect this man at all costs... 

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.

Add new comment

38 comments

Avatar
quiff | 2 years ago
2 likes

LiveBlog wrote:

The driver did got a suspended sentence and during a segue (thanks, hirsute)...

"Segway" duly corrected, but "did got" seems to have passed unnoticed! 

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mdavidford replied to quiff | 2 years ago
4 likes

Not unnoticed, but I like to leave a few for other people to pick up.

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eburtthebike replied to mdavidford | 2 years ago
1 like

mdavidford wrote:

Not unnoticed, but I like to leave a few for other people to pick up.

Surely un-noticed?

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quiff replied to eburtthebike | 2 years ago
1 like

Un-likely

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eburtthebike | 2 years ago
8 likes

Well, having read some of the comments on here, I was fully expecting to burst a blood vessel while watching Country File, but it wasn't that bad.  OK, it could have been a hell of a lot better and they made several mistakes e.g. the number of cyclists deaths supposedly falling before covid, and commenting that cycling groups thought that the problem is that country roads are "...narrow, with tight bends, no cycle lanes..."  I don't know any cycling groups that think that, but fortunately Dame Sarah put him right that it's the drivers.

The introduction was spectacularly bad "Tom investigates why cycling on rural roads is dangerous."  It isn't; driving is dangerous.

Then, about a new cycle route, there was "At a cost of £5m, it hasn't come cheap."  Just wait until they find out the cost of a motorway junction.

Then they ask the ridiculous question "Will our cities continue to get the lion's share?" 

I've never heard of the group "More Than a Cyclist" so who are they, how many members do they have, do they claim to represent cyclists?

Also, they would have been better advised to get a spokesperson from CUK instead of a racing cyclist from BC, good as Dame Sarah was.

Every cyclist featured was, of course, wearing a helmet, but the presenters took them off when walking, so they clearly don't know that the death rate of pedestrians is the same as cyclists for distance travelled.

Overall, 5/10.

 

Avatar
Hirsute replied to eburtthebike | 2 years ago
2 likes

Sustrans lady didn't even wear it properly.

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IanMSpencer replied to eburtthebike | 2 years ago
3 likes

More Than a Cyclist does not seek to represent cyclists, rather their aim is a simple one, to persuade road users that cyclists are not anonymous obstacles but human beings. It was set up as a result of the death of a friend of hers who was driven through by a Range Rover with no plausible excuse.

They are hoping to get organisations running large numbers of vehicles to carry posters reminding drivers that cyclists are first and foremost human beings.

Avatar
Awavey replied to eburtthebike | 2 years ago
5 likes

tbf Dame Sarah has been active travel commissioner for South Yorkshire for the past 3 years, and is now active travel commisioner for Greater Manchester, Chris Bs old job,so shes not just a racing cyclist even if thats how they presented her.

and I wasnt as annoyed about the segment, but maybe the Suffolk Punch bit afterwards lightened my mood, as I thought Id be watching it.

but it was still the same nonsense we see all the time from MSM coverage of cycling the checkbox list of lycra, othering "serious cyclists", the weird drivers anectdotes left unchallenged, incorrect stats, why cant we just all get along, presenter guy clearly not getting it and almost wipes out in the group ride I wouldnt be comfortable riding alongside him like that and hmm I wonder what Mr safe driver who slowed down with a cheery wave,actual view ahead of the cyclists was, maybe a big sign say "slow filming in progress" perhaps...cynical arent I, I guess I just expect to be disappointed now so cant really get that angry about it anymore.

Avatar
AlsoSomniloquism replied to Awavey | 2 years ago
3 likes

Yep I did think that was a poor representation of Sarah by Eburt although was that his impression because of the programme? She has even been on Op close Pass rides with Inspector Kev so like Boardman, seems to have developed more into a safety spokesman then some other ex-racers. 

Avatar
Awavey replied to AlsoSomniloquism | 2 years ago
2 likes

well the average Countryfile viewer probably doesnt know any of that and if you are only going to be introduced as a 17 time gold medal winning paralympian, whilst wearing you world champion rainbow jersey, and Im sure there are sponsor reasons for that, but it doesnt exactly shout active travel commissioner being interviewed here.

Avatar
eburtthebike replied to Awavey | 2 years ago
0 likes

Awavey wrote:

tbf Dame Sarah has been active travel commissioner for South Yorkshire for the past 3 years, and is now active travel commisioner for Greater Manchester, Chris Bs old job,so shes not just a racing cyclist even if thats how they presented her.

and I wasnt as annoyed about the segment, but maybe the Suffolk Punch bit afterwards lightened my mood, as I thought Id be watching it.

but it was still the same nonsense we see all the time from MSM coverage of cycling the checkbox list of lycra, othering "serious cyclists", the weird drivers anectdotes left unchallenged, incorrect stats, why cant we just all get along, presenter guy clearly not getting it and almost wipes out in the group ride I wouldnt be comfortable riding alongside him like that and hmm I wonder what Mr safe driver who slowed down with a cheery wave,actual view ahead of the cyclists was, maybe a big sign say "slow filming in progress" perhaps...cynical arent I, I guess I just expect to be disappointed now so cant really get that angry about it anymore.

I think I agreed with that, well, as much as I could decipher, anyway.

https://www.grammarly.com/?q=punctuation&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cp...

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Awavey replied to eburtthebike | 2 years ago
2 likes

Now who's doing the snarky backhandedest of all backhanded compliments ever

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giff77 replied to eburtthebike | 2 years ago
4 likes

eburtthebike wrote:

Then, about a new cycle route, there was "At a cost of £5m, it hasn't come cheap."  Just wait until they find out the cost of a motorway junction.

30 million per mile according to this article. https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-13924687

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HoarseMann replied to eburtthebike | 2 years ago
9 likes

That smirk sent a shiver down my spine when Tom said "let's face it, some cyclists can be dangerous and full of themselves". Well done Dame Sarah for calmly rebuffing it.

He might have a point if hundreds of drivers were being killed by cyclists, flaunting them to death with their entitlement.

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NOtotheEU replied to HoarseMann | 2 years ago
7 likes

HoarseMann wrote:

flaunting them to death with their entitlement.

That's a thing? I can't wait to cause total carnage on my ride to work tomorrow!

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Backladder replied to NOtotheEU | 2 years ago
3 likes

I think I need to practice that in the mirror a bit more because it isn't working for me at the moment  3

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brooksby replied to HoarseMann | 2 years ago
3 likes

HoarseMann wrote:

That smirk sent a shiver down my spine when Tom said "let's face it, some cyclists can be dangerous and full of themselves". Well done Dame Sarah for calmly rebuffing it.

He might have a point if hundreds of drivers were being killed by cyclists, flaunting them to death with their entitlement.

I have to admit, the interviewer came across as a bit of an @rse.

Let's run a piece about the dangers to cyclists on rural roads, illustrated with an interview with the widow of someone who died through the actions of a speeding motorist and through nothing he could have controlled, but every time we talk to an actual cyclist we'll smirk (practically a wink to camera) and go on about how cyclists are all entitled, red light jumping, danger-magnets.

Nothing about how rural roads are bad because so many people using them are locals who feel they're safe to go a bit faster because they know the roads.

I think Sarah Storey had been asked not to start a fight, because there were all sorts of ways she could have replied rather than just take a deep breath and not bite on his bait.

I found the whole programme very frustrating.

Avatar
HoarseMann replied to brooksby | 2 years ago
3 likes

Yep, it was a cringe fest. The opening gambit from a couple of wobbly riders on borrowed bikes, "how can we accommodate cyclists without destroying nature?", really set the tone.

To be fair to Countryfile, they just surfaced views about cyclists that I'm sure many country (and city!) dwellers harbour. Can't hold them to the same journalistic rigour than, say, Panorama.

But the bit about rural roads being dangerous because they're narrow and twisty; if that was the case, then all those narrow and twisty bike paths must be lethal! Best stick to the motorway!

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Awavey | 2 years ago
1 like

post giro monday ?  why wait till the TdF for your next pro cycling fix, theres only 7 days till the Women's Tour.

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Oldfatgit | 2 years ago
3 likes

Reading comments that regularly appear on here make me so glad that I'm not on twitter
There's only so much piss to boil, and it would be gone in seconds.

So, thank you, Road.cc for the unintended consequence of keeping me relatively healthy ... and off Twitter

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PRSboy replied to Oldfatgit | 2 years ago
5 likes

Indeed. You couldn't win. As Mark Twain once said "Don't argue with an idiot, they'll drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." 

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eburtthebike replied to PRSboy | 2 years ago
0 likes

PRSboy wrote:

Indeed. You couldn't win. As Mark Twain once said "Don't argue with an idiot, they'll drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." 

Oh yes we will.

Avatar
tigersnapper | 2 years ago
9 likes

Seeing John O'Connell's tweet, I went up to London yesterday with the wife to tootle around on the FreeRide.  It was great to see so many people of all ages and abilities on their bikes.  I also noticed the team members of the parked up team buses stood clapping those of us chugging along past them which I thought was a real encouragement to keep people riding.

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nniff | 2 years ago
6 likes

I switched the TV on last night and got "........(big number) of cyclists die on our roads every year..."  I thought, "No.  .....(big number) of cyclists are killed on our roads every year". That's a different other thing, and so I pressed a button, which seems like a good call.  

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Hirsute | 2 years ago
1 like

SEGUE

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OnYerBike replied to Hirsute | 2 years ago
0 likes

I haven't watched the show but I like to imagine the presenter was riding a Segway(tm) around the locations of the incidents discussed whilst narrating the piece, perhaps to illustrate some of the dangers faced by vulnerable road users.

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Hirsute replied to OnYerBike | 2 years ago
1 like

That would be illegal unless on private land. They were on bikes though.

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bobbinogs | 2 years ago
1 like

Just gotta love Rapha with their shameless virtue-signalling. 

  • We support all atheletes...blah, blah, blah. 
  • Know how to get ex-blokes racing fairly against women without being unfair to the women? 
  • Err, nope! 
  • Thanks for your input
Avatar
mdavidford replied to bobbinogs | 2 years ago
5 likes

bobbinogs wrote:

Just gotta love Rapha with their shameless virtue-signalling.

That's somewhat unfair. What the item above doesn't show is that they were simply responding to someone who had specifically tagged them in to the thread.

bobbinogs wrote:
  • We support all atheletes...blah, blah, blah. 
  • Know how to get ex-blokes racing fairly against women without being unfair to the women? 
  • Err, nope! 
  • Thanks for your input

Well it seems like a more honest and well-considered contribution than 99.99% of the 'debate' around this issue.

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sparrowlegs replied to bobbinogs | 2 years ago
1 like

To be fair to Rapha they just say they are standing by their athletes and just saying they should be able to compete. How they are able to compete they don't say.
As long as that means it doesn't impact womens sports then I agree with that. Emily should have the right to compete, how that can be done fairly to everyone is still to be decided. 

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