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"If you don’t like cyclists going through red lights, support cycling infrastructure": Cyclists jumping lights spark debate; Van der Poel's terrifying uphill sprint; Doughnut shop can't open due to World Champs; Creepiest bike + more on the live blog

It's Friday and Adwitiya will bring you all the latest news from the cycling world before the weekend...
04 August 2023, 08:26
"If you don’t like cyclists going through red lights, support proper cycling infrastructure": Calls for better cycling infrastructure after cyclists jumping lights goes viral

Time to bring back this old adage from the way of news: "Getting on a bike does not make you a saint", so it shouldn't come as too much of a surprise or a shock that cyclists sometimes jump traffic lights, as evident by this viral video on Twitter from yesterday.

Just as a refresher of the Highway Code: Pedestrians, cyclists, horse riders, motorcyclists, cars, vans, and HGVs, in that order.

But of course, as we know, Amsterdam — one of the best cities for cycling in the world, has in the past experimented with doing away with traffic signals altogether, and with some success.

Until 2016, one of the Dutch capital’s busiest intersections at Sarphatistraat-Alexanderplein was controlled by traffic lights, with cyclists, the predominant users in Amsterdam as in a lot of Dutch cities.

The test was part of a larger mobility strategy across the city to make more room for cyclists and pedestrians, meaning limiting access and space for private vehicles. The new setup forced people to engage with their surroundings: Instead of relying on traffic lights, they now relied on their own abilities and the cues of others.

Over the period of a year, it was seen that cyclists had become more aware of their surroundings and of other road users. In less than two weeks, the evolution was already observed on Alexanderplein.

Delay times were reduced and safety remained unaffected, showing that regulation can lead to responsible and alert road users. It was so successful that the pilot was extended and a few months later the lights were completely removed, and even led to the junction’s redesign.

And not just completely doing away with traffic signals, I'm sure the presence of a segregated cycle lane cannot be stressed enough for increasing the safety of both cyclists and pedestrians, as pointed out by road safety expert Adam Bronkhorst.

But the question is if Netherlands did it in 2016, in a country where the cycling revolution kicked off in the 1970s, how far behind is the UK where we'll get to see Dutch levels of not only riding, but also safety for all road users?

04 August 2023, 16:07
"On yer bike!": Pensions Secretary asks over 50s to consider working as takeaway delivery riders, says he "identifies" with Deliveroo riders

I do not jest, this is real!

Mel Stride, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, has asked over 50s to consider getting jobs as takeaway delivery riders, as the Conservative Government looks to get more older people who aren't working back into a career.

He also suggested businesses to opening up flexible jobs normally aimed at younger people to those closer to the retirement age, asking firms to try and attract older workers back into jobs and ensure they feel at home.

Speaking on a visit to the food delivery firm Deliveroo’s headquarters in London, he told The Times: "What we’re seeing here is the ability to log on and off anytime you like, no requirement to have to do a certain number of hours over a certain period of time, which is driving huge opportunities. 

"From an employer’s point of view in a tight labour market, it’s absolutely essential if you want to access all the available talent that you provide as flexible an offer as you can."

Stride added that he "found himself identifying" with 51-year-old Abdul Javaid, a Deliveroo rider and a grandfather based in Kingston upon Thames in southwest London, who had lost 10kg since taking up the job.

Suffice to say, people aren't happy.

As always, the nature of the comments hasn't stopped the gifted comedians from having a laugh.

And thanks to AI, we have this fever-dream picture too.

04 August 2023, 15:46
Cardiff police seize 17 illegal e-bikes in crackdown on riding in pedestrianised areas
Seized e-bikes

The bikes, capable of reaching 40mph, are classed as motorbikes and therefore require a licence and insurance.

> Cardiff police seize 17 illegal e-bikes in crackdown on riding in pedestrianised areas

04 August 2023, 15:36
"If it works, it ain't stupid": Taking a Specialized home on a hire bike, NYC edition

Problems only cyclists will understand. You save up to buy your dream bike, which happens to be a Specialized (hey, I'm not judging you), you order it online but to save a few bucks on your expensive bike, you end up doing a 'click-and-collect' delivery. But after getting to the store, you realise you'd have to get it home, somehow.

Somehow, being, using a hire bike. To carry your brand new home. On your back.

04 August 2023, 15:12
Gran Fondo is a-way!

Let me know if anyone spots Lappartient...

04 August 2023, 12:57
Just MvdP things... Van der Poel makes 14% gradient look flat with a terrifying uphill sprint (and this is just ‘course familiarisation’)

Pardon my language but flipping heck... That too on a practice session as riders familiarise themselves with the roads.

Some responses from locals:

"Mental. It takes the average Glaswegian 3 weeks to get up that hill."

"Jeez, our little Honda Jazz struggles up this hill!"

"I can’t even walk up that street."

04 August 2023, 12:16
"How are they going to cope with all the rainbows?": UCI criticised for awarding hosting rights to UAE and Saudi Arabia
UCI logo 2015

UCI, pro cycling's governing body met for its 192nd Congress yesterday at Glasgow, currently hosting the first-ever multi-disciplinary Cycling World Championships in history.

It also marked the first time that a meeting was joined by a record 151 UCI member National Federations, as the body also officially welcomed American Samoa to take the total number of National Federations to 203. 

But everyone knew what was going to be the biggest story from the event: the unveiling of the host nations for the upcoming World Championships. And the unveiling has a lot of people unhappy. Why, you ask?

To list it out, five out of the 14 events over the next five years will take place in Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates (UAE), including the 2028 UCI Road World Championships in Abu Dhabi, the 2028 UCI Gravel World Championships in Alula, and the 2029 UCI Track World Championships in Abu Dhabi again.

UCI's President David Lappartient wrote: "Spanning from 2024 to 2030, cycling is coming to a country near you and we’re incredibly excited to bring the sport to new audiences."

Philippa York, Scottish cycling legend and Tour de France mountains jersey winner, was critical of the decision right off the bat: "How are UAE and the Saudis going to cope with all the rainbows as being lgbtq is criminalised in those countries??"

"Not just lgbtq , people of colour too . Another happy welcome for those pesky Eritreans in the making," she continued, after the Visagate debacle in which three Eritrean riders were reportedly refused a Visa by the UK Home Office for the Glasgow World Champsionships.

She highlighted the issues with racism, social prejudices, and women's rights as well.

Another person commented: "So UCI are happy to turn a blind eye to the abysmal human rights record of middle East countries because they want lots of dirty money in their bank account Not a good look at all."

Qatar already had the World Championships in 2016, and it's not like cycling lacks the presence of petrochemical autocracies in the first place, so does the decision really come as a shock to anyone?

What's next? Team NEOM-Visma??

04 August 2023, 12:14
Rishi Sunak is “on the side” of drivers – What happened to Britain’s “golden age for cycling”? Plus THAT cargo bike parking row on the Podcast Podcast episode 56

We discuss what the Prime Minister’s pro-car agenda could mean for active travel in the UK, while a Bristol family ask why their cargo bike is deemed by the council to be less important than a car parking space…

> Rishi Sunak is “on the side” of drivers – What happened to Britain’s “golden age for cycling”? Plus THAT cargo bike parking row on the Podcast

04 August 2023, 12:03
UCI President David Lappartient to ride Gran Fondo World Championships

UCI's President David Lappartient has revealed that he will be riding the Gran Fondo World Championship race along with hundreds of other cyclists, to take place later today.


04 August 2023, 11:21
Black Country, New Road... safety improvements?

No it's not the experimental rock sextet from Cambridgeshire (also one of my favourite modern bands right now), but major safety improvements have been announced along the busy A4123 commuter route linking Wolverhampton city centre to Hagley Road, Birmingham, courtesy of a £30 million partnership of Black Country local authorities.

Plans for the 17 km highway include a proposed segregated cycleway and upgraded footpaths, which will improve safety, provide greater priority at junctions, and encourage more people to swap cars for bikes, particularly on shorter journeys.

tfwm mayor of wm andy street and cycling and walking commissioner adam tranter

Adam Tranter, West Midlands' cycling & walking commissioner, said: "This is a hugely ambitious project which will provide significant connectivity for active travel in the Black Country. 

"When delivered, this cycleway will be one of the longest continuous urban cycling routes in the country giving people new, sustainable, and cost-effective transport options. Connecting with other projects scheduled for delivery, eventually people will be able to cycle, protected from traffic, from Wolverhampton to Birmingham."

Yesterday, we reported that at a meeting requested by Tranter who has been heavily involved in improving road safety for cycling and pedestrians in recent months, a new package of tougher measures to tackle dangerous driving in the West Midlands was introduced.

At the meeting — chaired by West Midlands mayor Andy Street and attended by the Chief Constable of West Midlands Police, the councillor responsible for transport at Birmingham City Council, Police and Crime Commissioner Simon Foster, as well as Transport for West Midlands' executive director — tougher measures for dangerous drivers were agreed upon, with the cited aim to "target the most dangerous drivers" with "relentless enforcement of the rules of the road".

04 August 2023, 10:48
"Visual metaphor"

An oldie but a goldie. "Oh shoot, when we built the cycle lane, Lake Michigan had a low water level!" 

04 August 2023, 09:16
"Fancy a Tantrum?": Glasgow doughnut shop unable to open due to road closures for World Championships despite being "promised access"
Tantrum Doughnuts, Glasgow (Google Maps)

A Glaswegian doughnut shop, called 'Tantrum Doughnuts', has said that it is "unable to open" due to road closures courtesy of the UCI World Championships taking place right now, despite being "promised business access" by the Glasgow City Council.

"Unfortunately we won’t be able to open our Gordon Street shop today. We were promised business access to drop off the doughnuts in the early hours this morning, but after 3 hours of trying to get in we couldn’t even get remotely close to the shop!" wrote the doughnut shop account on Facebook.

"We’re trying to figure out what to over the next week as we are devastated - this was going to be a busy and exciting week for the City Centre," it continued, informing that the west end and south side shops will stay open for business as usual.

The post has drawn sympathy from its regulars customers on social media, and even enraged a few of the locals against the council even more, which ironically has become public enemy number one in the Scottish city.

"I hope the council will be held accountable for this, but somehow they'll blame contractors or someone else for their lack of forward planning. It reminds me of cop 26 when we were all promised access to walking routes and deliveries, etc, but come the day... Access denied. It's mind over matter. They don't mind and we don't matter. Good luck with access during these events," read one comment.

Another person wrote: "Glasgow City Council screwing over businesses again...really sorry to read this... I hope something can be sorted so you can provide excellent doughnuts for regulars and tourists alike."

This is the first time all disciplines of cycling championships are being hosted in one city at the same time, making Glasgow the first host of the major historic event. However, in the months prior, a bitter brawl has brewed between the council and the residents over traffic restrictions and car park closures.

> Furious locals blast “absolutely ridiculous” decision to close car parks for UCI Cycling World Championships time trials

While in some cases residents were able to secure compromises with the council, as evident in the case of the para-cycling championships in Dumfries where the council tweaked the timings of the event to enable those who live in Summerville Crescent to access the street through the supermarket’s carpark, the general consensus, to use a broadest of broad generalisation, hasn't been well.

Just earlier this week, locals slammed the council for road restrictions to be put in place for the Gran Fondo event taking place later today, with some residents plotting a "100-mile diversion" they would need to take just to cross town during the event.

While the loss of business would surely come as a setback for Tantrum Doughnuts, who find themselves in a peculiar jam and have all the right to throw... a tantrum (you know it was coming), there's always the chance that locals, regulars, and tourists pop into one of their two other outlets to have a bite (or more) of what seems to be genuinely good doughnuts from the reviews.

And some good news for potential customers is that they are offering 25 per cent off of purchases of six or more doughnuts, just today. I can report that if Bex Francis' comment under the Facebook post is to be trusted, they do "fancy a tantrum" and will be "buying them all" with the discount on offer. I could tell you I'd fancy one right about now.

04 August 2023, 09:05
"I want to ride my... bicycle": Creepiest bicycle ever?

I can tell you one thing, you won't be seeing this on Bike at bedtime on anytime soon...


A post shared by Jeremy Barzic (@jbarzic)

I know self-love is the best love, but sometimes I love my bike more. This is the weirdest way to combine those two affections.

Creepy, unnerving, scary, and just, wrong. No, I do not want this in my nightmares tonight, tomorrow, or ever. 

Adwitiya joined in 2023 as a news writer after graduating with a masters in journalism from Cardiff University. His dissertation focused on active travel, which soon threw him into the deep end of covering everything related to the two-wheeled tool, and now cycling is as big a part of his life as guitars and football. He has previously covered local and national politics for Voice Wales, and also likes to writes about science, tech and the environment, if he can find the time. Living right next to the Taff trail in the Welsh capital, you can find him trying to tackle the brutal climbs in the valleys.

Add new comment


Hirsute | 8 months ago

If you are familiar with Dave Walker's cartoons, I see he now has an online shop

If not, here's a snippet


ktache replied to Hirsute | 8 months ago

I will be buying a "largely fuelled by cake" T shirt.

hawkinspeter replied to Hirsute | 8 months ago

Hirsute wrote:

If you are familiar with Dave Walker's cartoons, I see he now has an online shop

If not, here's a snippet

I find his lack of squirrels disturbing

Hirsute | 8 months ago

Grassers Paradise now

I am disgusted Anthony, absolutey disgusted

(4:15 to 10:40)

Hanging's too good for them.

DoomeFrog replied to Hirsute | 8 months ago

Love to the family Colin, love to family

Safety | 8 months ago

Re the Glasgow donut shop being forced to close.
Given yesterday's headlines that obesity is costing Scotland £5.3 B pa I would put this down as one of the benefits of bringing the champs to Glasgow.

BigSigh replied to Safety | 8 months ago

And it wasn't the only doughnut shop in Glasgow with issues!
My son works at the Krispy Kreme stall in Buchanan Galleries but he was texted this morning to tell him not to bother as they had no doughnuts either.
Tried to deliver at 4.30am but were turned away by security.

On the plus side, I stepped out of my work for ten minutes and watched the French, Belgian and Danish teams (amongst various other individual riders) ride past.

andystow replied to BigSigh | 8 months ago

Around me the best donut shops would never be waiting for donuts to be delivered. They make their donuts on premises daily. The ingredients keep a long time.

Rendel Harris replied to andystow | 8 months ago

andystow wrote:

Around me the best donut shops would never be waiting for donuts to be delivered. They make their donuts on premises daily. The ingredients keep a long time.

To be fair to Tantrum (slow work day, I looked them up) they do bake all their own goods in their Glasgow kitchen then deliver them to their three outlets in the city, so pretty much as good.

ktache replied to Rendel Harris | 8 months ago

Waring's is my local bakers in Caversham, their double knot doughnut is a truly incredible thing. They don't bake on the premises. Everything is still fresh, only thing missing is the smell of fresh bread baking in the very early morning.

Oldfatgit replied to BigSigh | 8 months ago

I work on the 2nd floor of an office on St Vincent Street ... the final straight of the relay on Tuesday.
I'm hybrid working and my office day is Wednesday... 🙃

bensynnock | 8 months ago

Most motorists don't have a problem with other motorists going through a light on amber or stopping in the advanced cycle box. These are exactly the same as running a red light.

So my question is why do they hold a higher standard for cyclists than they do for themselves?

Incidentally, I don't usually go through red lights. Most of the time I enjoy a little rest, but I don't see why the rules should apply to me when they don't apply to motorists.

wtjs replied to bensynnock | 8 months ago

I don't see why the rules should apply to me when they don't apply to motorists

They certainly don't in the Offending Motorist's Paradise, Lancashire:

All of those occurred within 40 minutes, and Lancashire Constabulary declined to take action against any of them. There have been many more since, all ignored by the police

David9694 | 8 months ago

we're firmly in "cyclists are always doing x" territory here.  Drivers have done quite well for themselves in getting this lie and the pavement riding lie set in people's consciousness.  All while drivers do x on an industrial scale, with deadly consequences, but no one minds / notices because cars.

Car Delenda Est replied to David9694 | 8 months ago

Well you see it's because cars are a necessity of life because cars; whereas bikes are a frivolous luxury.

Krd51 replied to Car Delenda Est | 8 months ago

Not everyone has a car, bikes are a form of transport not a luxury. Given the poor health of the nation cycling can only be a good thing 

Hirsute | 8 months ago

After a few quiet Fridays, I'm pleased to say this bmw driver didn't let me down on this nsl.

Hirsute | 8 months ago
1 like

Always do a shoulder check - lifesaver

(or spidey senses of driver here !)

Bradshsi | 8 months ago

The whole "build more cycle infrastructure to stop red light running" is a lazy Tu Quoque logical fallacy.

I have no issue with waiting my turn for the lights when I am out riding.

The one issue is the sensor triggered ones when it is quiet, where it is annoying to have to dismount and push the pedestrian button to force a change.

chrisonabike replied to Bradshsi | 8 months ago

Bradshsi wrote:

The whole "build more cycle infrastructure to stop red light running" is a lazy Tu Quoque logical fallacy.

Is it?  What was the question?  It sounds like this is acknowledging this happens and proposing a solution rather than distracting with criticism.

If you don't like the phrasing how about "yes, some cyclists go through red lights.  Should they?  No.  Would you like to change that?"  If the answer is "yes" to the last then the next questions are "why do they?", "under what circumstances do they?" (you've already given one example - sensor failure), "what are the actual effects of this behaviour?" and then "knowing that, how could we change this?".  One of the possible answers is "infra" (or indeed "get rid of the red lights for cyclists" - then they don't need to jump them).

brooksby | 8 months ago

Opinion piece in the Grauniad by Devi Sridhar:

The rows over ‘anti-motorist’ Ulez and LTNs lose sight of the truth: they save lives

HarrogateSpa replied to brooksby | 8 months ago
1 like

Slightly odd article that seems to be mainly about the exact terminology used in debates. Comes from a good place though.

quiff | 8 months ago

Re: the Netherlands video held up as an example of infrastructure - I note that many cyclists proceed through the pedestrian crossing while pedestrians are waiting, so the effect is not disimilar to the Brixton video (albeit pedestrians don't seem worked up about it and just seem to wait for a lull in cyle traffic). Anyone *know* how they operate in NL?

Moist von Lipwig replied to quiff | 8 months ago

I think chrisonatrike posted a bicycle dutch video about that not too long ago.  Peds will generally wait for a cycle to pass if they're close in order to not make them lose momentum, should the ped step out the cyclist will either slow or go round them dependant on their speed/distance.  Both parties work with the midset the other is not trying to deliberalty collide with them.

So I think the official policy is 'they can be trusted to sort themselves out'

KDee replied to Moist von Lipwig | 8 months ago

Exactly this. It's mutual respect between pedestrians and cyclists. 

chrisonabike replied to quiff | 8 months ago
1 like

Here you go!

Been a while since I was there so see posts from the locals!

On "pedestrian crossings" -  often there isn't a formal one where interacting with cyclists.  First the cyclists are on a cycle *path* separate from the main road and that doesn't necessarily get a red at the same time as motor vehicles where there is a junction.  Second it's simple to cross a relatively narrow cycle path, then you can deal with the motor traffic while waiting in a safe place.

In the UK we get over-fussy with this because cyclists and especially cycle paths are currently a rare novelty.

Muddy Ford | 8 months ago

Though none of the cyclists presented any danger to the pedestrian, it is intimidation, and the pedestrian should be able to cross on a green light without feeling threatened or bullied to move quicker. As a cyclist I complain about drivers passing or driving too close, starting a turn across my path to bully me into waiting or moving quicker. However, if we need police to act then it has to be prioritised to deal with the most dangerous road users. Those who kill and maim 100's every day of the week. It's not cyclists, no matter how annoying we might be to pedestrians and drivers. So having gangs of police waiting to pounce on red light jumping cyclists is not an appropriate use of finite resources. 

Oldfatgit replied to Muddy Ford | 8 months ago

The video angle makes it look like a very close pass for the ped, and that *would* have been intimidating.

Parents - especially on their own - with small kids should be given the widest berth possible if you can't pass in front.
Small kids drop and throw things, and the parents first thought is item retrieval not road safety ... for for the sake of a few measly seconds, slow down and give them room.

wycombewheeler replied to Oldfatgit | 8 months ago

Oldfatgit wrote:

The video angle makes it look like a very close pass for the ped, and that *would* have been intimidating.

so intimidating that she stops, resulting in the pass being closer than it would otherwise have been.

Of course this serves to highlight how pedestrians act in unpredictable ways when encountering cyclists unepectedly. So give them a wide berth.

Oldfatgit replied to wycombewheeler | 8 months ago

It's her crossing.
The light for road traffic is on red.



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