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Unbe-leaf-able: cycle lane used to collect fallen leaves; RideLondon debate; Geoghan Hart's former teacher unsurprised by Giro success; Data shows 254% increase in new cycle use; Tim Wellens wins Vuelta Stage 14 + more on the live blog

It's Wednesday and Dan Alexander is taking you through the middle of the week on the live blog...
04 November 2020, 16:18
How not to encourage cyclists to use cycle lanes

This photo from Peter Scandrett really does defy be-leaf (here all week). The cycle lane on Stretford Road in Manchester seems to have become the council's new favourite leaf collection point, unfortunately deeming it pretty much unrideable. 

It's not the first time we've reported on a council doing a job only to create another - back in January, a cyclist attempting to use a path in Wickford was greeted with thousands of thorns, after Essex County Council trimmed back a hedge and failed to clear the debris. The council apologised, and promised to get rid of the thorns the next day. 

Here are some of the other worst cycle lane fails we've seen. 

04 November 2020, 17:13
Poll results
Poll result

Some of you liked it, others hated it. Here are the results of our Trump vs Biden 10-mile TT poll...It was a landslide for speedy Joe in the presidential 10.

04 November 2020, 16:50
Tim Wellens wins Vuelta Stage 14

Tim Wellens won Stage 14 of La Vuelta from the breakaway as six riders came to the line together a little under four minutes clear of the peloton. Wellens outsprinted EF Pro Cycling's Michael Woods to claim his second stage of the race. The GC favourites cancelled eachother out on the uphill kick to the line and finished on the same time. Primoz Roglic retains the red jersey ahead of another stage that looks good for the breakaway on Thursday.

04 November 2020, 15:38
NYPD street safety chiefs rejects calls to require cyclists to have licences
Cyclists in New York City (licensed CC BY-SA 4.0 by Billie Grace Ward).jpg

Kim Royster, the newly appointed NYPD Chief of Transportation, pushed back against calls for cyclists in the city to require a licence. Royster told 1010 WINS: "I'm not sure putting a lot of restrictions would be the best way to address this. I think the best way now is to keep pushing to educate people and to do a lot of outreach.

"I’m a little passionate about it. My husband is a roadie, and I grew up riding a bicycle. This is the American way, to ride a bicycle."

04 November 2020, 11:36
RideLondon debate
ride london box hill.jpg

On Saturday we reported the news that Surrey County Council have withdrawn its support for RideLondon from 2022. The story attracted a lively debate from our readers with many expressing their disappointment at the decision especially considering the event was supposed to provide a legacy to inspire the next generation of cyclists. Others, however, pointed out that the positives of hosting such events may be compromised by limited benefit for local cycling clubs and young riders.

One reader suggested: "the main issue holding them [young cyclists wanting to get into the sport] back is a lack of safe places to practice and the aggressive nature of other road users. That's not going be solved by this event- but safe cycle routes are a massive step in the right direction.

"The route is not very well designed to reduce the impact on local residents with many areas virtually cut off. Yes, it's only a day but the impact was huge, cutting people off from most shops, local transport and major roads out of the county.

"Most of the people I heard moaning about this had valid points and were not all car nuts (although undoubtedly some were). Surely some compromises could have been made on both sides eg route amends, running it every other year etc so both locals, cyclists and residents could continue to benefit."

Another added: "I am Chairman of a reasonably successful Surrey cycling club and one of our principles is to run rides without p*ssing off residents and car drivers. We run about 300 weekend and weekday rides a year and try not to shove cycling up the noses of people who don't share our passion for the sport.

"There are hundreds of sportives all over the country which don't annoy the locals (well, there were pre-covid). Many of these are brilliant and raise money for charities."

Let us know your thoughts...Do mass participation closed road events simply ask to much of host towns/counties? Or are they necessary for inspiring the next generation of cyclists?

04 November 2020, 13:16
New breakaway union for pro peloton
Peloton rolling along 2 SWPIX.COM

The Riders Union is a new union for pro riders that hopes to better represent riders' interests as well as protecting the financial, road safety, security and governance of the sport. The union hopes to have attracted 200 members by the start of next year. Previous efforts at offering riders a union, such as the CPA, have been criticised for not doing enough to protect the peloton. During the Giro d'Italia, riders refused to ride a 251km stage on the third last day of the race because of it's excessive length and miserable conditions.

04 November 2020, 12:45
La Vuelta Stage 14

It's been a fast opening hour for the peloton at La Vuelta but we have our breakaway. Seven riders with an increasing advantage of 3:47. Widely considered to be a day for the break, who do you fancy out of our front runners?

04 November 2020, 12:34
Aero Christmas Tree

Personally I'd say the 4th of November is too early for talk of Christmas but I'll break my own rule for this... Benefits include: not needing mudguards, the tree keeps drivers off your tail and as Gavin Welch suggests, you can even add Christmas lights to keep you visible.

04 November 2020, 12:17
Voi offer free rides to NHS and emergency service staff

Voi e-scooter hire have offered NHS and emergency service staff free rides throughout the upcoming lockdown period. The service, which operates in Birmingham, Nottingham, Liverpool, Cambridge, Bath and Bristol hopes to help key workers avoid public transport and travel to and from work more easily. 

"We want to ensure that key workers can get around safely, without having to use public transport or be hit by cancelled services. This is why we’re offering free passes to NHS and Emergency Service Workers during this lockdown period," Voi CEO Fredrik Hjelm explained.

04 November 2020, 10:13
Biden vs Trump: 10-mile TT, who wins?

We're asking the important questions this morning... and based on this footage it could be tough for Donald if the race for the White House was decided on the bike. After all in 2015 he did promise: "I swear to you I will never enter a bicycle race if I'm president." 

But Trump is the larger, much larger, man and if he could overcome some of his aerodynamic disadvantages maybe he could thrash out some decent watts.

So who will it be.. Donald or Speedy Joe Biden?

There are no postal votes here, have your say in our poll below...

Who would win in a 10-mile TT?

Donald Trump
Joe Biden
Created with Poll Maker
04 November 2020, 09:44
Tao's former teacher weighs in on Giro d'Italia success
tao geoghegan hart held aloft giro 2020 - via RCS Sport.PNG

It's a fairytale story that has been told many times since Tao Geoghegan Hart won the Giro d'Italia in Milan last Sunday. The boy who skipped school to tag along with Team Sky rises to the top of the sport and wins the Maglia Rosa. Unsurprisingly Ian Burn, Head of Year 9 at Tao's old school in Stoke Newington, holds no grudges that his pupil chose Sky over school.

Speaking to the Hackney Citizen, Burn said: "After this success, I think we can forgive him for taking the day off school to attend the Team Sky launch event in 2010.

"He is a true inspiration to the young people in Hackney – proof that if you work hard and are dedicated to whatever it is you are passionate about, you can and will succeed.

"Photography was a favourite subject of his and it’s great to see that he still takes photos whilst on a Grand Tour. As a student, he was always polite and caring, always with a smile on his face and a great attitude – and you can see from the way he conducts himself in interviews that he remains that way."

Burn spoke of Geoghegan Hart having a great attitude which saw him achieve five A*s and six As in his GCSEs.

04 November 2020, 09:05
Lime bike use on new cycle lanes increased by 254% between February and June

New data from dockless e-bike hire provider Lime has shown the increase in cycling in London during the lockdown this spring. The figures also show increases in Paris and Berlin. Between February and June 2020 Lime rides increased by 14% across London with distance travelled increasing by 129%. Lime have also tracked the increase in cycling across three cycling environments: no bike lane, existing bike lane and new bike lanes (built in spring 2020).

While cycling increased across all three by far the biggest increase was the 253% rise in use of new bike lanes. Pre-existing bike lanes experienced a 124% increase in Lime rides. In every category, except trips citywide, London saw a greater percentage rise than Paris and Berlin.

Dan joined 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, 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.

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