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"More than primary encourages an undertake": Footballer-turned-driving instructor Ashley Neal questions cyclist's positioning (+ concerning police response); Bigham the Bounty basher?; London's most dangerous borough for collisions + more on the live blog

Friday at last! Dan Alexander is here for your final live blog of the week
04 November 2022, 16:52
Have a good weekend!

Have a good weekend everybody... we look forward to welcoming you back to the live blog on Monday... but for now it's time for bikes and a couple of beers...

04 November 2022, 16:14
Anyone fancy a trip to Mexico?

I'm sure Phil won't mind if a hundred or so of us come visiting...

04 November 2022, 15:43
Wout van Aert (and possibly Peter Sagan) sign up for Vincenzo Nibali's pro cyclist FIFA tournament

Wout van Aert has reportedly joined the growing list of WorldTour stars to be paying €50 for the chance to win the €1,000 prize for whoever wins the big FIFA showdown on December 15. Peter Sagan is mentioned in the hashtags too so we wonder if you'll finally see him get a third win in 2022... (sorry, Peter, it was an open goal)...

04 November 2022, 15:20
France's first funerals using a bicycle-hearse
04 November 2022, 15:02
EU proposal to require bicycle parking in every new building takes "major legislative step forward"
EU flag 2

Interesting news from the European Cyclists' Federation that there has been a "major step forward" with EU member states supporting a proposal to require bicycle parking in every new and renovated residential and non-residential building.

Member states gave support to a revision of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD). Although the wording of the revision does include the caveat that for residential buildings they would only be required to create "as many spaces as appropriate" if it is deemed unfeasable during the building process.

The European Cyclists' Federation "welcome many elements of the council position but hold the view that it must be further improved". 

"Member states' get-out clauses are too wide, 'average user capacity' is not an adequate criterium and provisions on parking space for non-standard bicycles and charging infrastructure for e-bikes are absent," the Federation added.

04 November 2022, 14:53
Reading town centre cycle hub receives approval
Cycling hub Reading (Reading Borough Council)

A secure bike parking facility is to be opened in Reading town centre with the aim of reducing thefts. The borough council has approved the project, to replace the former Primark shop in West Street with 82 parking spaces for bikes. It will also have a maintenance station and bike loan scheme. There was no word on expansion plans, however, if demand exceeds the near-100 spaces available.

The BBC reports the scheme was unanimously approved at a meeting of the council's planning committee and will be open seven days a week.

"Particularly with the development of electric bikes there's a real need to offer a facility that can offer much greater security than is currently available," cabinet member for transport Tony Page said.

04 November 2022, 13:34
A tale of two news reports...

Just one more Panorama-related post... it's been that kind of week...

04 November 2022, 13:12
Not ANOTHER helmet debate...
2022 S-Works Evade 3 helmet - Mips logo.jpg

Fighting talk from Mips this morning...

The Multi-directional Impact Protection System has defended the efficacy of its helmet safety system, saying that its test methods meet the highest scientific standards and that its results are based on the most realistic head form currently available.

Mips says that results from two of the key head forms used in helmet safety testing both show its system to be effective in protecting against brain injury and, in a reference to Kask, it says "any reference to WG11 as a self-contained test method for rotational motion is false and misleading".

Read more here...

04 November 2022, 12:50
More of your comments...

Plenty of healthy discussion in the comments...

stonojnr: "The driver was a total ass to undertake, but Neal is making a fair point on the riders positioning."

ChrisB200SX: "A close pass is a close pass, regardless of which side of you it is on and where you are positioned on the road. Road positioning does not encourage a close pass."

OnYerBike: "From the cyclist's own commentary in the video, I get the impression that their positioning was primarily designed to prevent an unsafe overtake. If that is the objective, then positioning oneself in the middle of the available space would seem to be the optimal position. In that sense, the cyclist is further to the right than I would have recommended"

BalladOfStruth: "I don't think Ashley is a bad guy, I think he genuinely wants to improve the standard of driving and is generally positive towards cycling. It's just that, being from a 'car-centric' world/profession, he tends to look at car vs bike incidents a little too much from the perspective of driver convenience and therefore does put out some pretty shit cycling takes occasionally."

Car Delenda Est: "The issue here is caused by bad driving, not riding."

cmedred: "Sadly, Ashley asks the right question: 'Just hold back?'' Only it shouldn't be a question. It's the proper driving advice for this road. From the looks of it, no motorist should be going more than 15 or 20 mph, if that, given it's a heavy residential area and God only knows who or what could pop out between all those parked cars. And if you're going that slow, it's not really going to slow you down much before the cyclist clears the zone of congestion. Ashley's question should have been: 'What's the rush?' And his answer should have been: 'Just hold back.' What kind of driving does he teach his students anyway?"

04 November 2022, 12:09
Andrew Feather's 5.39kg Cannondale SuperSix Evo Hi Mod Hill Climb Bike

04 November 2022, 11:40
London cyclists most likely to be involved in a collision in Westminster, Met Police data suggests
London cyclist & moto & bus (CC BY 2.0 Waterford_Man via Flickr)

[ 📷: CC BY 2.0 Waterford_Man]

The Evening Standard reports the London borough of Westminster is the most dangerous place to ride a bike in the English capital, having analysed Metropolitan Police collision figures. Of course the data only counts recorded collisions and injuries, but the number of collisions involving a person riding a bicycle has risen from 150 in 2017 to 437 in 2021.

A total of 307 incidents have already been recorded between January and August 2022. The Standard's Miriam Burrell reports incidents were most frequent in Westminster over the past six years, with the exception of 2018 when the most were recorded in Southwark.

Westminster Bridge Security Barrier (CC licensed by David Holt via Flickr).jpg

[📷: CC BY 2.0 David Holt]

So far this year 40 collisions have been recorded in Westminster, up from 30 in 2020 and 38 in 2021. "Westminster is coming up constantly as top for walking and cycling collisions," Healthy Streets campaigner Clare Rogers told the daily newspaper.

"You can say that it's partly because so many people walk and cycle in central London but it’s not an excuse for Westminster City Council, who have been notoriously backward for putting in cycling infrastructure. Ultimately this is about cycling infrastructure."

04 November 2022, 10:42
Dan Bigham is happy to see the back of Bounty

Don't think we didn't see this, Dan...

Dan Bigham Bounty


Although, knowing Bigham, it's probably for aero reasons, let's be honest — anyone got the CdA of a Bounty or are we going to have to take a tub of festive treats to the wind tunnel?

04 November 2022, 08:47
"More than primary encourages an undertake": Footballer-turned-driving instructor Ashley Neal questions cyclist's positioning

The son of former Liverpool and England full-back Phil Neal, Ashley — who had a brief playing career himself and now works as a driving instructor, uploading videos to YouTube on all things road safety — has done another video on cycling. So, we thought we'd take a look to see if it's anything like the last couple that have come to our attention...

> "I wholeheartedly disagree with his approach" – YouTube driving instructor Ashley Neal on CyclingMikey

> Footballer-turned-driving instructor Ashley Neal divides opinion with use of horn in overtaking video

This one's all about primary position (or riding in the centre of the lane) something Rule 72 of the Highway Code suggests should be adopted:

On quiet roads or streets – if a faster vehicle comes up behind you, move to the left to enable them to overtake, if you can do so safely.

In slower-moving traffic – when the traffic around you starts to flow more freely, move over to the left if you can do so safely so that faster vehicles behind you can overtake.

At the approach to junctions or road narrowings where it would be unsafe for drivers to overtake you.

Clearly in the video too where there is the danger of car doors flying open, or something or someone suddenly emerging from between parked vehicles, it is suitable to ride away from the left. It seems the cyclist thinks any driver overtaking here would cause danger, so they adopt primary position to discourage such a manoeuvre... only to be undertaken... something Neal says wasn't helped by their positioning being too far to the right of the available road space...

"Now, there's no way in the world the motorist should have even thought about overtaking the cyclist in that situation," Neal began. Cool, job done, let's all pack up for the day...

The YouTube driving instructor then explains the cyclist needed to stay out the door zone which doesn't leave enough room for any motorist to overtake safely, with a 1.5m gap...

But what about the cyclist's "poor positioning"? Neal then asks, suggesting they were too far away from the cars, which might have encouraged the "stubbornness" of the driver to kick in and force the overtake.

"I'm all for keeping positive and maybe commanding other road users at certain times, but why go so far? Why go all the way into the oncoming traffic lane?"

Neal then argues the positioning also took away their "escape route" back to the left and adds: "If I were on the bike I probably would have positioned near, or on or just over, the centre line of the road and if the other vehicle behind had decided to come past I would have slowed it down, tucked it in to the left a little bit, allowed the situation to clear and then got on with my day..."

Thoughts? Should the emphasis simply be on not dangerously over/undertaking? Not too sure about the merits of "tucking it" into the door zone just because an impatient motorist has to get past but hey, I'm not a driving instructor...

04 November 2022, 09:41
But what about the police response?

Now for BY FAR the worst bit of this whole episode... the police response...

Good morning

Thank you for your submission

This has been viewed and reviewed

Whilst we appreciate that the road surface can be less than suitable for cyclists and it is safer to keep a distance from parked cars, cycling in the opposite carriageway is A) dangerous, and B) inconsiderate to oncoming traffic

Whilst the other vehicle should not have undertaken you (they have been written to with regards to this) your actions left them few other choices

Give me strength...  

Neal commented: "I disagree strongly with this, holding back and waiting is always an option".

04 November 2022, 09:50
Your thoughts

Mungecrundle: "To be clear. The issue here is really not about the cyclist's road position, it is about a motorist in too much of a hurry, determined to get past, with no care or attention to anything or anyone appearing from between the parked cars."

wycombewheeler: "I agree entirely 1) there was not enough space to overtake 2) the cyclist correctly stays out of the door zone 3) the driver is wrong 4) the cyclist positions so far to the right, they enable the undertake. Riding in the centre of the space ensures there is no room on either side for the overtake/undertake."

HoarseMann: "Ashley thought the cyclist should have been riding near to the white line. He didn't consider that the strong position in the centre of the oncoming lane was probably to deter oncoming drivers from ploughing on through before the cyclist had completed the overtake of the parked cars.

"He does, generally, have good advice to give and is broadly respectful of vulnerable road users' rights. However, his lack of experience in dealing with bad drivers when cycling shows through when he tries to pass comment on situations like this. He's also not immune to dropping the odd cycling fallacy here and there.

"But by far the worst bit about this video is the response from the police, who failed to take any action against the driver (other than reminding them not to drive dangerously) and blamed the cyclist for following the Highway Code!"

04 November 2022, 09:29
"You're on camera" is associated with poor road use... apparently

Another aspect of Neal's video comes near the end when he addresses the cyclist's warning to the driver attempting a dangerous undertake "you're on camera", which the driving instructor suggests is a line "often associated, for me, with poor road behaviour".

Ashley Neal primary positioning video (screenshot Ashley Neal/YouTube)

Not simply a warning to a driver to not do something dangerous?

"When they get this mindset of trying to capture something so they can maybe put it on YouTube it just creates more problems...and this is something I feel is strong in this clip."

Right, I'm going to get back to enjoying Neal's back catalogue of clicky 'road fail' videos on YouTube... wait a minute...

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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