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...
The comments about cyclists are every bit as depressing as you thought they might be. #countryfile
— Keeping my mask on. I stand with Ukraine 🇺🇦🕷️😷💙💚 (@alswifejacky) May 29, 2022
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".
— Don’t lie ! (@ironmatewife) May 29, 2022
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?
A depressing watch...
— Binstedman 🚴🌱 (@binstedman) May 29, 2022
I'm trying to reflect on @BBCCountryfile cycling segment. @tomheapmedia basically got people on bikes killed tonight. Tom interviewed drivers and asked them how they felt about obeying the Highway Code!🤷♂️The underlying cyclist hatred Tom exhibited was vile. #countryfile
— Adam Reynolds (@awjre) May 29, 2022
And how about the usual suspects? Get your bingo cards ready...
You literally tweeting this after watching Countryfile and learning about the devastating impact the death of someone killed on a bicycle has. Unbelievable https://t.co/E97ZGU3jVW
— Rory McCarron (@CyclingLawLDN) May 29, 2022
Dame Sarah Storey on #countryfile saying 60mph on country roads is not appropriate. No, and neither is 10mph while stuck behind a bike
— 🥴 (@ohdomeafavour) May 29, 2022
#countryfile what a load of wallop. Maybe if cyclists actually decided to ride on quieter roads, not main driving routes and moved over so cars could pass (although most cyclists feel like they're the only person on that road) then they wouldn't get hit as much.
— Speaking The Truth (@Speakin01361423) May 29, 2022
Here's an idea, stop riding your fucking bikes two and three abreast on narrow lanes. Arrogant twats #countryfile
— Carl Draper (@explodingwalrus) May 29, 2022
My head hurts...
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...
Odd piece wasn’t it, especially as @tomheapmedia would appear to be the most bike friendly presenter. 🤷♂️
— Jason Giller (@JasonGiller) May 30, 2022
so many lowlifes commenting so horrendously on an article about someones husband. father & son dying, no empathy or humanity. I hope that poor lady isn't on twitter to see it all
— Susanne Reid (@SusanneReid68) May 30, 2022
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?
Transgender cyclist Emily Bridges insists she has no advantage over rivals
— road.cc (@roadcc) May 26, 2022
Rapha has joined the conversation under our link to the story about Emily Bridges' DIVA magazine interview...
Trans rights are human rights. We believe that all athletes should have the opportunity to race. We don’t have all the answers to how this should be actioned but we’re standing by our athletes and supporting them.
— Rapha (@rapha) May 30, 2022
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...
Nothing says we’re serious about active travel more than building a big safe bike lane along the beach and then letting it be used as a car park at weekends. pic.twitter.com/kajGviaHj1
— Finn Hopson (@FinnHop) May 29, 2022
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."
Time for some more why cyclists don't use the cycle lane specials...
Legend status fully secured.
Context - this is in the middle of an alpine climb. What a Giro. What a champion for the people 🤌#GrazieMathieu #GrazieMVDP#GiroHero #MVDPstyle #MVDP #mathieuvanderpoel #alpecinfenix #Giro #GiroDItalia #Giro105 #Giro2022
— Atlanta Rouleur Collection (@AtlantaRouleur) May 29, 2022
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...
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.
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.
"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."
— RideLondon (@RideLondon) May 29, 2022
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...
A few years ago, my girlfriend won her @CanyonUK bike from @roadcc. Today, she's used it for her first century at #RideLondon. Thanks all! She might not have done it without you. pic.twitter.com/ge8pUlOYvB
— Mike Lawson (@mikelawson92) May 29, 2022
— James Phelps (@James_Phelps) May 29, 2022
Set off bright and early from central London today for the #RideLondon 100 mile event.
Excited to pass through Woodford as Redbridge hosts RideLondon for the first time.
Good luck to everyone taking part today! pic.twitter.com/VbXIzK96Cr
— Jas Athwal (@Jas_Athwal) May 29, 2022
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...
And beforehand, on the same central London closed roads, thousands of riders enjoyed the car-free city during the RideLondon FreeCycle...
— RideLondon (@RideLondon) May 29, 2022
He's done it again...
— Mathieu Van der Poel (@mathieuvdpoel) May 29, 2022
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...
It has finally happened. pic.twitter.com/oACBAUrQYf
— Cycling out of context (@OutOfCycling) May 27, 2022
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...
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...
🍍 @mathieuvdpoel, you attacked so hard that, eventhough you didn’t get a second stage win, you won anyways and everyone who loves cycling won with you. We owe it to you (and let's hope for the best). #Giro @AlpecinFenix pic.twitter.com/pAXOwqExFp
— Giro d'Italia (@giroditalia) May 29, 2022
Who's the real winner?
— Peter. ✊🏻✊🏼✊🏽✊🏾✊🏿🚴♂️ (@PBXscribes) May 29, 2022
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 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.