Cop responsible for 'lycra-clad cyclists' comment given 'suitable management advice'; Cycling drug dealers make hash of getaway; CUK + British Cycling call for anti-cycling aggression to end; The 'Distandem' + more on the live blog

Welcome to Monday's live blog. Jack Sexty is your blogger-in-chief today, with Simon MacMichael taking over later this evening. ...
04 May 2020, 15:52
Derbyshire Police say officer responsible for 'lycra-clad' comment on Twitter given 'suitable management advice'

A reader has got in touch with to share a letter they received from Derbyshire Police, in response to their complaint about a Tweet from the force dated 27th March that claimed local exercise during the coronavirus crisis “does not include lycra-clad leisure cycling on the now quieter roads.”

Derbyshire Police's Road Policing Twitter account later clarified that by lycra-clad they were referring to "what appeared to be members of cycling clubs in matching outfits riding in large groups"; but the original comment still came under fire for being poorly-worded. 

The letter says: 

"Firstly I can assure you that the main priority for our department is reducing the number of people who killed or injured on the county's roads, and we take the safety of all road users, especially the more vulnerable groups seriously. We have a system in place for members of the public to submit footage of dangerous driving etc that they have witnessed so it can be investigated. Footage is regularly received from cyclists and acted upon. 

"Whilst not intended to be malicious or derogatory, we appreciate that using the term 'lycra clad leisure cyclists' was not appropriate and the tweet has already been removed.

"The tweet was intended to raise awareness of people travelling to the county, under the guise of exercise in breach of government COVID-19 advice. We fully appreciate that people have the right to daily exercise, but we were finding people travelling extensive distances into the county to do this. Our concern is the added burden this causes to the emergency services and heath service should they be involved in an incident. 

"(Your) complaint has been reviewed by a senior officer and has been deemed suitable to be dealt with by a local resolution and as such the officer involved has been spoken with and suitable management advice given."

04 May 2020, 15:25
The Social Distandem: a bike built for two during the pandemic

Struggling with this social distancing lark? Bike builder Colin Woof has just the thing, in the shape of the gloriously unstable-looking Distandem. Both riders are kept 2.5 metres apart which means the Distandem "follows Covid guidelines on spacing" according to Mr Woof, making it "a bicycle built for two in these strange times."



The social distandem is now ridable. Following Covid19 guidelines on spacing.

A post shared by Colin Woof! Building bicycles. (@colin_woof) on

Thanks to Colin's uncle Mike Woof for bringing this crazy contraption to our attention. 

04 May 2020, 16:17
Our full story on the joint letter from British Cycling and Cycling UK published in The Times this morning
04 May 2020, 16:11
Hutchinson release new Touareg gravel tyre for rougher terrain
TOUAREG tyre 1

Hutchinson has released a new tubeless gravel tyre that it believes excels on rougher gravel terrain.

The tyre features Hutchinson’s Hardskin textile grid puncture protection from bead to bead. Hutchinson says that the “Hardskin reinforcement offers additional protection against sharp stones, rocks and any other hostile material found on rough gravel terrain.” It’s the same system that Hutchinson uses in its XC MTB tyres.

The Touareg comes with a 127tpi casing and a relatively closely pack central tread pattern that Hutchinson says helps with both comfort and speed.

You can get the tyres in 700x40, 45 and 47mm sizes, with the 40 and 47mm sizes also coming in a tan sidewall. There’s also a 650bx47mm size. RRP is $64.99.

We’ll have to get a set in for testing, though if the tan sidewall version comes in, there might be a scrap between us and off-road for who gets to test them.

04 May 2020, 15:47
The 'full body workout' bike

Following on nicely from the Social Distandem comes this equally ridiculous contraption. The worry is that this one might actually have been serious and not a comical pet project at some point... 

04 May 2020, 14:21
Suspected drug dealers on bikes make a hash of getaway as cycle cop seizes cannabis and cash
cannabis - via flick creative commons

A "dramatic police chase on bicycles" culminated in the arrest of two teenagers who are suspected of possessing a Class B drug with intent to supply. 

The Bournemouth Echo report that Acting Sergeant Wood spotted two 'suspicious' teenagers cycling through the village of Hordle in Hampshire on Saturday afternoon, and pursued them on his bike. A mile-long chase then preceded, with a member of the public managing to slow the teens down with a vehicle before AS Wood caught up with one of them and removed him from his bike. A small amount of cannabis and several hundred pounds on cash were found. 

It's only right that this was a joint operation, as the other teen was located later on by response officers in New Milton. He was found with similar items on his person, plus evidence of drug dealing at his home address. The teen arrested by AS Wood also had his home address searched, with total of £2,600 in cash seized. 

The investigation is ongoing, and AS Wood has asked the driver who slowed the teenagers down so he could catch up to get in touch to be recognised for their assistance. ​

04 May 2020, 15:06
Cycling still booming, so says Will Norman

Much like we reported in our article on the subject last month, London's Walking and Cycling Commissioner says that he's hearing of bike shops fixing lots of old relics as people turn to bikes to get their exercise, and very high new bike sales. 

04 May 2020, 15:38
The best 'cycling out of context' yet

We believe it's poor old Peter getting his glasses trashed at a previous edition of Paris-Roubaix, to give this a bit more context. 

04 May 2020, 15:16
An epic documentary about a 1,000km bikpacking trip across Rwanda

The East African nation is famed for its love of cycling, and this documentary is well worth a watch if you want to see plenty of epic shots of Rwanda's brutal, rugged landscape. 

04 May 2020, 13:19
Edinburgh Evening News columnist suggests cyclists must "do something in return" for pop-up infrastructure, and suggest fines for those not wearing high-vis
Victoria St (via City of Edinburgh Counccil on Twitter)

The column by Helen Martin - titled 'Edinburgh's cyclists need to do something in return for 'pop-up' cycle lanes' - refers to the £10 million that the Scottish government plan to invest in pop-up cycling infrastructure and pavement widening, for safe travelling during the pandemic and in the future. 

The article argues that there are conflicts over cycling investment because of complaints that "cyclists don’t pay for road tax, insurance etc but motorists do"; when in fact no one pays road tax in the United Kingdom, and many cyclists are insured. 

Martin advocates some new rules, saying: 

"My opinion never goes down well with bikers but here it goes. I think the £10m pop-up lanes are a good idea to achieve all those positives for cyclists and the rest of us.

"What matters is that lanes are used, and not pavements or pedestrian paths; cyclists have lights and luminous jackets (not wearing black) at night; and they obey traffic lights where they apply.

"Failure of any of those could involve a small fine just to make sure they adhere to the investment."

The wearing of high visibility clothing isn't a legal requirement for cyclists in the Scotland or anywhere else in the UK, and legislation to make it so would likely take years if a motion was ever passed. Martin does say that the positives of cycling include the reduction of toxic emissions, and that it is "a cheaper and healthier form of transport". She also says that her son is a cyclist. 

04 May 2020, 11:20
PEdAL ED launch gravel-specific shorts and t-shirt
Pedaled Gravel t-shirt and shorts-2

Japanese company and typing nightmare PEdAL ED, have released new clothing, including shorts and a t-shirt specifically designed for gravel and adventure riding.

The shorts are designed to be worn over bib shorts, maintaining a close fit with a more casual style.  PEdAL ED says that the new Kyoto Gravel Shorts "adapt to the varying weather and terrain regularly faced by off-road riders." The shorts are constructed using a stretchy material which PEdAL ED claims offers the rider "full range of movement." 

Pedaled Gravel t-shirt and shorts-1

While we're all for bike-specific shorts, bike-specific t-shirts are pushing it a bit. How is it cycling-specific? Well, it's made from Merino wool, features a 'Japanese cotton pocket', has a 'sunglasses sleeve', and "has a slim silhouette to retain an athletic fit with a lengthened hem."

It's also £68...

04 May 2020, 09:16
More from Cycling UK on reported hostility towards cyclists during the pandemic
coronavirus covidiot paint on road.PNG

In addition to the joint open letter they penned with British Cycling, Cycling UK's Head of Campaigns Duncan Dollimore continued: 

“Throughout the Covid-19 crisis, Government and public health advice throughout the UK has made it clear that, notwithstanding limitations imposed on movement, people need to get outside for physical activity. That’s why exercise outdoors was excluded from the restrictions, with cycling specifically recommended.

"Tragically, some people seem to have become obsessed with others’ exercise habits, including how long they’re cycling for and where. That’s led to careless language, including by some who are now concerned about threats of vigilante action against cyclists.

Mr Dollimore then referenced an article on last month regarding North Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner Julie Mulligan: 

"Last month, Julia Mulligan, the Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire and chair of the National Rural Crime Network, told the BBC that cyclists were “a real worry”, saying that local communities were getting anxious about people riding through their villages – even though they had not done anything wrong.

"Having effectively legitimised those irrational concerns, she than had to warn vigilantes this week not to take the law into their own hands, without any appreciation that her previous comments had labelled cyclists as a problem.

"One way to help reduce the risk of threats against cyclists would be for people and the media to stop framing conversations about cyclists being a problem, and consider instead the benefits of riding a bike.”

04 May 2020, 09:10
Who knew painting a bike symbol on the road was so mesmerising?

It's something you might not think about, but there's quite a bit of skill involved in painting the bikes you see on cycle lanes. It looks like it's not this chap's first rodeo either, with his technique nailed down to a tee. 

04 May 2020, 08:21
British Cycling and Cycling UK publish joint open letter in The Times calling for end to hostility towards cyclists
coronavirus pandemic you are my targets sign - via Matt James on twitter.PNG

The two organisations have joined forces to call for more kindness and less "misguided fears" over the coronavirus towards cyclists, with numerous reports in recent weeks of pins been scattered on roads, hostile signs been erected in villages (like the one above reported on our live blog last week) and aggressive behaviour from motorists. 

The letter was published in this morning's edition of The Times - who themselves have been accused of stoking the perceived rise in hostility by using telephoto lens techniques to make it appear as if cyclists are breaking social distancing rules. 

In the open letter - published on Cycling UK's websites in full - British Cycling's CEO Julie Harrington and Interim Cycling UK chief Pete Fitzboydon say: 

“The Government’s guidance since the beginning of the lockdown has continued to encourage cycling for daily exercise, in recognition of the substantial physical and mental health benefits it provides to the many millions of people taking part. There is no trusted evidence to suggest that cyclists are any more likely to spread the disease than runners and walkers, if they follow the social distancing requirements.

“Far from being the villains in this story, we have been inundated with examples of clubs and groups who have gone above and beyond to support their communities during the crisis – whether that’s delivering prescriptions in Banbury, raising money for hospices in Crawley or helping to feed families in Inverness. It is deeply upsetting that these same cyclists are being met with such hostility in the process.”

04 May 2020, 09:05 bad ads: sorry, we're working on it
roadcc bad ad 4 may 2020.PNG

If you've seen something like this on the site this morning claiming you've 'won a prize' then oour apologies - we're working on getting rid of it, in the meantime you can find instructions for reporting bad ads on here.  

04 May 2020, 08:13
Fiona's still going
fiona kolbinger strava 4 may.PNG

After putting in a ridiculous 559km ride last Friday, Transcontinental winner Fiona Kolbinger 'warmed down' over the weekend with a mere  97.7km ride to spin the legs. What she's training for we don't know - with the eighth edition of Transcon officially postponed until 2021 - but it's mighty impressive mileage. 

After cobbling together a few hundred quid during his student days off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story), Jack bought his first road bike at the age of 20 and has been hooked ever since. He was Staff Writer at 220 Triathlon magazine for two years before joining in 2017, and reports on all things tech as well as editing the live blog. He is also the news editor of our electric-powered sister site eBikeTips. Jack's preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking (the latter being another long story), and on Sunday afternoons he can often be found on an M5 service station indulging in his favourite post-race meal of 20 chicken nuggets, a sausage roll, caramel shortbread and a large strawberry milkshake. 

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