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Family told to remove bike shed due to planning breach; New cycle paths branded "unsuitable" and "dangerous" by locals; Charity cyclist riding Britain's coastline; Cargo bike boom; African World Championships; Team car puncture + more on the live blog

It's Wednesday and Dan Alexander will have all your live blog news coming throughout the day...
05 May 2021, 09:42
Leicester City Council wants family's homemade eco bike shed removed because it is not in keeping with the Victorian character of the area
Leicester bike shed (Kavi Pujara)

A Leicester-based family were disappointed to be told by the city's council that they must remove their homemade eco bike shed as it is not in keeping with the Victorian character of the street. Kavi Pujara's family has been told they are unlikely to receive permission from the planning department as they live in a conservation area and the family is now asking for help compiling comments of support in the council's planning portal. 

"We are a family of four cyclists who last September made an eco bike shed in our front garden," Pujara wrote on Facebook. "It is made of sustainably grown wood and has a sedum living roof. Other houses in the same terrace have converted their front gardens to driveways for parking multiple cars—so there really isn't a homogeneous Victorian look to the street anyway."

Labour councillor Lindsay Broadwell urged people to support the family's cause. "Today in Leicester putting a bike shed in your garden is apparently a planning breach, according to the council," she said. "We simultaneously want to encourage cycling but want to make it hard for people to store their bikes safely? But cars on-street is fine? 

"You can write in support of the family and I encourage you to do so. The council's line is 'it's not in keeping with the Victorian character of the area'—the Victorians invented and popularised cycling. And sheds, for that matter."

05 May 2021, 15:29
Brian Smith appointed as new pathway director at Scottish-based team The Cycling Academy

Cycling Industry News reports that Brian Smith will help bring through the next generation of Scottish cyclists in his new role as pathway director for The Cycling Academy. The new team based in Scotland has said its goal is to help develop Scotland's first WorldTour rider in 25 years.

While David Millar has ridden in cycling's top tier since, he was brought up in Hong Kong and The Cycling Academy wants to see Scottish cyclists coming through their home country's system making it to the top.

"At the start of this project, we realised there is a 25-year gap since Scotland produced a domestically developed WorldTour cyclist. Brian and David Millar are in fact the only World Tour Scottish riders since the glory days of Robert Millar in the 1980s. Brian built a world-class palmares including two British Championships, before getting involved in many aspects of the professional sport. On and off the bike I always considered Brian to be the epitome of professionalism in sport, so it’s a huge achievement to have him support the work we’re doing," team director James McCallum said.

05 May 2021, 15:09
7mesh resumes shipping to the UK after opening new distribution centre
7mesh Horizon jersey - riding.jpg

7mesh Cycling Apparel are resuming shipping to the UK after opening a new distribution centre in Thurrock. The centre will allow the brand to post clothing out to UK customers, overcoming the challenge of post-Brexit shipping. General manager, John Zopfi explained the news: "The United Kingdom has emerged as an important and welcoming international market for 7mesh. Making this investment helps ensure that 7mesh fans and partners in the UK will continue to be able to order from dedicated in-country inventory and pay in GBP with no duty or import costs added on.”

7mesh UK distribution centre.JPEG
05 May 2021, 14:00
UK's first cycling club for emergency service workers
Bluelight Cycling Club (via Met Police)

Bluelight Cycling Club is the UK's first cycling club for emergency service workers and stemmed from the idea of three Met Police officers—Colin Nye, Neil Turner and Dan Bryant—who planned to cycle from London to Paris to raise money for police charities following the death of a friend.

After plenty of interest from colleagues, the ride soon exceeded the capabilities of the organisers. Unfortunately, while that planned ride was ultimately cancelled due to covid, the underlying interest in cycling among emergency service workers has led to the newly-formed Bluelight Cycling Club. 

"The enthusiasm of the co-founders, the original committee and our business partners has led to something truly amazing being created," retired flying squad detective sergeant Neil Turner said. "Dealing with traumatic events and the wellbeing of others while juggling concerns for our families and our own personal safety has been a delicate balancing act. Our aim, going forward, is for the club to actively support wellbeing for those who work in the emergency service arena."

The non-profit community club will welcome riders from the police, NHS, fire and rescue services, HM Coastguard, RNLI, HM Prison Service, armed forces, National Crime Agency and search and rescue organisations.

05 May 2021, 13:30
Remco Evenepoel realistic about his chances ahead of return to racing at the Giro d'Italia

Remco Evenepoel is looking forward to pinning a race number on his jersey for the first time since August. The 21-year-old star of Belgian cycling will make his Grand Tour debut at the Giro d'Italia this weekend in Turin. Evenepoel has not raced since the Il Lombardia crash where he was thrown off a bridge into a ravine and he is not putting any pressure on himself to be challenging for the maglia rosa in his first race back.

"I’m happy to race again after such a long period, during which I worked hard to be ready for my first Grand Tour," he said. "Being my first race since last August means that we’ll need to see how my body will react. We will take it day by day and see how things go. The most important thing is that I am back with my teammates and staff again, which makes me very happy."

Should Evenepoel be a touch shy of his prodigious best, Deceuninck-Quick-Step have a decent second card to play in last year's fourth placed rider João Almeida. "Last year it was an incredible Giro," Almeida said. "The team put in a huge effort in what was an amazing but at the same time hard three weeks. We fought for a good result, and in the end, I finished fourth on the GC.

"I would like to be up there again, fight for a nice result and keep a good feeling, which is the most important thing. Hopefully, things will go well and we’ll score some nice results. This year, the mountain stages are going to play a more important role in the final outcome, which means consistency will be the key."

Brit James Knox will be part of the Quick-Step squad supporting their two leaders. Roll on Saturday...

05 May 2021, 12:48
Cargo bike sales up 354% in France as the country scales up its plans for cycling

The French 'Plan for the Development of Cycling' is an interesting read this lunchtime. The government is putting a cyclology plan into action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the transport of goods, with cargo bikes at the heart of the strategy.

Accelerated by the health crisis of the past year, the development of deliveries in cities led to the statistic that in Paris, transport of goods represents 15-20 per cent of traffic but generates 45 per cent of fine particles emitted. To address this, the government plans to promote use of cargo bikes by offering employers financial assistance and improved infrastructure.

The full document with the extensive plans can be read here...

05 May 2021, 11:20
Residents voice objections as workers attempt to remove historic bollards

These bollards have been in place for more than 30 years, according to local journalist David Whetstone. It is not entirely clear who has ordered the works, with Newcastle City Council insisting they are private contractors. Whetstone reports the workers will replace the bollards with collapsible ones, possibly justified as a means of allowing emergency services access. However, residents feel the road has existed as it is without problem for years and have concerns about any form of through road linking the quiet back lane, which is popular with dog walkers and families, to the busier next street.

05 May 2021, 11:04
Questions asked of Stockport Council's new bike paths' loose gravel surface

Hopefully we will get some answers shortly from Stockport Council about this morning's main blog story. The consensus on the original post and in the comments here is that loose gravel is a terrible choice for accessible paths and completely unsuitable for cycling, wheelchair users or families with prams or young children on balance bikes. All round not very useful then.

Here are some of your thoughts:

"Loose gravel is an appalling surface for any path users. Self-binding gravel can be very nice, there's a wood near where I live that has a very pleasant path path that is some sort of self binding gravel path - it handles leaf litter extraordinarily well. The one place they've used asphalt is the one place you really don't want it... under a bunch of trees. Unless they spend a fortune keeping it clear, that will become treacherous in the autumn," jh2727 wrote.

eburtthebike commented: "Quite why a council would use such a blatantly obviously unsuitable surface is beyond me; does no-one on the council ride a bike, use a wheelchair or push a buggy? If such a glaring error can pass their conception, design and construction processes, there is something very wrong with them. Or was it a case of 'it's only pedestrians/cyclists, so we'll put the freshest, least experienced, least knowledgable graduate on it'. Worse, they don't appear to have consulted the people it was supposed to serve, and even Sustrans use crushed stone. Honestly, if this was Denmark or Holland they'd die laughing."

Hopefully, we will have some answers from Stockport Council for you this afternoon...

05 May 2021, 10:28
Cycling the entire coastline of mainland Britain for the RNLI

Harry Lidgley is cycling the entire coastline of mainland Great Britain to raise money for the RNLI. The 23-year-old's route will take him 7,000km, the equivalent of riding from Land's End to John O'Groats five times. Harry will be calling in at all 168 lifeboat stations along the route to raise money and awareness about the work they do.

He has set himself the target of completing the challenge in 42 days and will need to cover 65,000m of climbing to get back to the finish in Poole by mid-June. Harry has an interactive map on the challenge's website where you can track his progress. He is currently coming back up the west coast of Cornwall having most recently reached the lifeboat station in Newquay.

05 May 2021, 10:06
It is not just the riders who suffer punctures
05 May 2021, 09:03
Josh Quigley sets new date in July for second crack at seven-day cycling distance world record attempt

Undefeated by being forced to pull out of his world record attempt on Friday due to a knee injury, Josh Quigley has set a new date in July. He is hoping the next 12 weeks will allow his injury to heal and he can get back to training for the epic 320-mile per day target he set himself to break the current record of 2,177 miles. So far Josh has raised £9,213 of his £10,000 target with all donations going to Arthritis Action. 

05 May 2021, 08:29
UCI president confirms 2025 World Championships will be hosted by an African nation for the first time

UCI president David Lappartient has confirmed that the 2025 UCI World Championships will be hosted by an African country for the first time in the sport's history. Lappartient confirmed the news from Rwanda, where Sporza reports he is currently attending the Tour du Rwanda. That trip may turn out to be something of a scouting mission as the country's capital Kigali is one of two cities being considered for the historic event—Tangier in Morocco is the other possible location.

"The UCI has decided that 2025 will be the year of Africa," Lappartient said. "For the first time since the creation of the UCI on April 14, 1900, the World Cup will be held in Africa. We have two official candidates: Kigali in Rwanda and Tangier in Morocco. On September 24, the UCI will decide who will organise the 2025 event."

The news has been somewhat overshadowed by the story that broke yesterday about the row between the UCI and WADA over the Chris Froome doping case. In a letter written in the days following the investigation against Froome being dropped, Lappartient told WADA president Sir Craig Reedie that it “appears to be placing full responsibility for the decision squarely on the UCI's shoulders.”

05 May 2021, 07:47
New cycle paths branded "unsuitable" and "dangerous" by locals

 Stockport Council proudly paraded the pictures of these new cycle paths that have been opened as part of their Town Centre Access Plan—an initiative to improve cycling and walking routes to the town centre. However, most of the paths between Bredbury Hall, Pear Mill, Woodbank Park and Cow Lane have been laid using unbound gravel which local riders have branded "unsuitable" and "dangerous".

Peaks & Puddles gave us a closer look at the loose surface...

 It has not just been seasoned cyclists who have complaints either. Matt Jackson pointed out the dangers of trying to teach his children to ride on it, while another commenter said it is terrible for wheelchair users.

Dan is the road.cc news editor and has spent the past four years writing stories and features, as well as (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. Having previously written about nearly every other sport under the sun for the Express, and the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for the Non-League Paper, Dan joined road.cc in 2020. Come the weekend you'll find him labouring up a hill, probably with a mouth full of jelly babies, or making a bonk-induced trip to a south of England petrol station... in search of more jelly babies.

Add new comment

73 comments

Avatar
RoubaixCube | 3 years ago
2 likes

Malicious compliance

What this family from Leicester need to do is scrap their current shed but build a new one  from victorian era styled cast iron gates welded together a bit like a giant victorian bird cage but a lot stronger then all you need to do is drill a few holes in some clear polycarbonate roofing from wickes or B&Q. ziptie them on inside and you'll have some weather proofing!

That way these pencil pushes and box tickers at the local council cant say that it doesnt fit in with the victorian style of the local neigbourhood.

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mdavidford | 3 years ago
0 likes

Quote:

While David Millar has ridden in cycling's top tier since, he was brought up in Hong Kong and The Cycling Academy wants to see Scottish cyclists coming through their home country's system making it to the top.

Eh?

[Edit] OK - I think I see what you were getting at now - David Millar has ridden in the World Tour in the last 25 years, but he 'doesn't count' as a Scottish cyclist because he was brought up in Hong Kong?

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Awavey replied to mdavidford | 3 years ago
0 likes

he doesnt count as someone who came through a Scottish development programme for cyclists, because he I guess didnt.

but that then implies there are other home nation systems, which ok I know there is a Welsh Cycling body, but are they not all subsumed into British Cycling and wouldnt it be better to just have a UK wide setup that attracts more money and more high quality coaches/mentors, and pool the resources than try to regionalise it.

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mdavidford replied to Awavey | 3 years ago
0 likes

Yeah - I get that now - it was just really unclearly expressed. It says he's ridden in the top tier 'since', but there's no event in the first paragraph for that 'since' to refer to. What it's trying to refer to is 'in 25 years', and that's not really how the word 'since' is meant to work. And after that it was just really hard to make sense of that whole paragraph - it looked like some words had been missed out or something.

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Moist von Lipwig | 3 years ago
11 likes

From the Jesmond Bollard thread if you go right down the replies.

""The people trying to remove the bollards were employees of Adderstone property; and were being instructed to do so by Mr I Baggett, CEO of Adderstone who believes (wrongly)that as he owns part of Jesmond Gardens he has right to change road use without permission""

"Mr Baggett was there in person - blue sweater- forcefully instructing his employees to proceed"

So presumably, Mr Baggett wants collapsable bollards for his own personal access only to avoid going the long way round from the City

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@54.9899088,-1.5981256,3a,75y,151.25h,69.25t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sPQEjkfZJ-6YZpJ4xrjAVRQ!2e0!7i16384!8i8192

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AlsoSomniloquism replied to Lance ꜱtrongarm | 3 years ago
17 likes

For someone who has advocated that LTN's should have had local peoples consultations before removal is now stating local people shouldn't be listened to as they are just NIMBY's on a remobal of an historic LTN.

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AlsoSomniloquism replied to Lance ꜱtrongarm | 3 years ago
11 likes

Well these are the points I thought you were making.

Point 1: You reckon you and your son could cycle on a surface you have only seen in pictures where multiple people there have said it is too loose and needed another layer / bounding / other work done to make it useable and ignore the local people who have used it and complained

Point 2: They don't want fixed bollards that have done the job for 30 years with no issue to be replaced with flimiser moveable ones without any local consultation. I'm sure if the Amubulance / Police / Fire services explained to them why they suddenly need access from that end of the road they might relent. The Antique Bollards is probably just a spin added by the (off-duty) journalist. Why would they cite active travel for something that has been in place for 30 years so for them is just travel.

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GMBasix replied to Lance ꜱtrongarm | 3 years ago
10 likes

Nigel Garrage wrote:

You've missed the point - I don't know what I'm talking about but...

Well, quite.

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eburtthebike replied to Lance ꜱtrongarm | 3 years ago
16 likes

We're just not getting the same quality of trolls since Socrapicyclist left.

3/10, too bloody obvious.

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AlsoSomniloquism replied to eburtthebike | 3 years ago
2 likes

TBH, I always thought Garrage was Booboo reincarnated but as he didn't make his awful arguments against TT bikes or general cycling clubs and not too fussed on posters politics in most cases, I haven't bothered challenging them on it.  

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Rich_cb replied to Lance ꜱtrongarm | 3 years ago
14 likes

A member of my family is a wheelchair user, gravel paths are an absolute nightmare for them. My daughter has only very recently started cycling and she struggles on surfaces such as those.

You, I, and many others may not have a problem with such a surface but the aim should be a surface accessible to as many as possible not just the able bodied and experienced cyclists.

As for the bollards I think the issue is really communication, if the residents haven't been consulted then they surely have the right to protest?

Obviously that doesn't excuse abuse or violence towards the actual contractors. They are just doing their job.

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mdavidford replied to Lance ꜱtrongarm | 3 years ago
6 likes

Nigel Garrage wrote:

By rigorous cost control, more cycling paths and better solutions can be found for everyone, not just to provide one ultra-expensive solution for a small area can be made so unattractive that no-one uses them, thus justifying not investing any money in creating any more.

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rct replied to Lance ꜱtrongarm | 3 years ago
12 likes

Nigel Garrage wrote:

I've no idea

You could have saved yourself a lot of typing there.

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Rich_cb replied to Lance ꜱtrongarm | 3 years ago
2 likes

The cost-effectiveness approach you've described is likely unlawful.

If I were to build a new shop for example and decide that it was more cost effective to have steps rather than a ramp I'd almost certainly fall foul of disability discrimination legislation.

I'd imagine the same is true of this path if the reason for the gravel is simply cost.

Even if this path were lawful I'd still prefer shorter stretches of infrastructure accessible to all than longer stretches that exclude novice riders and disabled users.

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youngoldbloke replied to Lance ꜱtrongarm | 3 years ago
13 likes

"Gravel paths - there is no issue with wheelchair users or prams, stop being such a bunch of spoiled babies."
This is a load of bollards - have you ever tried pushing a wheelchair on loose gravel? I am the carer of a wheelchair user, I'm the pusher man. It is not easy on loose surfaces. There is an inherent design fault in most wheelchairs in that the small caster wheels are at the front and dig in to a loose surface. Even thick pile carpets make it hard work.  
 

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Hirsute replied to Lance ꜱtrongarm | 3 years ago
14 likes

Hint: it's not about whether you can do it.

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youngoldbloke replied to Lance ꜱtrongarm | 3 years ago
11 likes

That is no answer. Please do a little research before posting. Better wheels indeed! Yes cross country 'fat' wheels are available, at a price, suitable for the beach, and gravel, and rougher stuff,  but quite unsuitable for interiors, and demanding considerable adjustment of the chair's  brakes, axles etc when fitting. What do you suggest - somehow carrying spare sets of wheels? 

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andystow replied to Lance ꜱtrongarm | 3 years ago
12 likes

Nigel Garrage wrote:

I have to admit I haven't pushed or used a wheelchair, but I've pushed a pram along very bumpy, uneven gravel paths, and apart from a complete idiot claiming I was giving my son brain damage (through the vibrations) it was absolutely fine.

Perhaps your mum pushed your pram over too many bumps, too.

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Mybike replied to Lance ꜱtrongarm | 3 years ago
6 likes

Give it up  Gravel is not a surface for wheel chair or small kids to ride a bike. It not the fault of the wheelchair design or the kids  it the gravel that the problem. Where else did you see gravel used for wheelchair acces  no where why because it just a dumb idea.

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nikkispoke replied to Lance ꜱtrongarm | 3 years ago
7 likes

Perhaps we should not pave roads and just leave as mud or gravel tracks ? If your 4x4 cannot get through then use a tracked vehicle ? It seems all that money which goes on asphalt is just a complete waste. 

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Sriracha | 3 years ago
16 likes

According to Leicester City Council planning, this picture shows the blight of bicycle storage on a conservation area.

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sean1 replied to Sriracha | 3 years ago
18 likes

Indeed, and just a few doors away this delightful Victorian driveway has been constructed for the storage of late victorian BMW.

 

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sean1 replied to sean1 | 3 years ago
14 likes

And just a bit futher down the road another masterpiece of Victorian Architecture......

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wycombewheeler replied to sean1 | 3 years ago
7 likes

sean1 wrote:

Indeed, and just a few doors away this delightful Victorian driveway has been constructed for the storage of late victorian BMW.

 

you missed the poperty opposite with a triple garage, when everyone knows any self respecting victorian would have kept their carriage in a mews round the back.

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TheBillder replied to wycombewheeler | 3 years ago
1 like
wycombewheeler wrote:

the poperty opposite with a triple garage

Is that where the bishop of Rome lives?

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andystow replied to Sriracha | 3 years ago
14 likes

They just need to disguise the bike shed as a van. Or just buy a van, park it there, and sell off the motor, transmission, seats, etc. Not quite so eco though.

Something like this tent might work.

Avatar
jh2727 | 3 years ago
4 likes

Loose gravel is an appalling surface for any path users. Self binding gravel can be very nice, there's a wood near where I live that has a very pleasant path path that is some sort of self binding gravel path - it handles leaf litter extraordinarily well.

The one place they've used asphalt is the one place you really don't want it... under a bunch of trees.  Unless they spend a fortune keeping it clear, that will become treacherous in the autumn.

Avatar
brooksby | 3 years ago
12 likes

Quote:

Other houses in the same terrace have converted their front gardens to driveways for parking multiple cars—so there really isn't a homogeneous Victorian look to the street anyway."

Yeah, but: "cars".

(edit)

Sorry, my point was that if they were the only household that had changed their Victorian front garden then I can see the council's point.

But if other households have torn down their hedges, paved the front lawn, etc, as parking for their decidedly non-Victorian cars then doesn't that set some sort of precedent?  I don't see what is wrong with their shed...

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sean1 replied to brooksby | 3 years ago
14 likes

Their shed looks perfectly OK.  Nicely built, blends in fine.

If anything best represents the state of cycling in the UK this is it.

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wtjs replied to sean1 | 3 years ago
4 likes

Their shed looks perfectly OK.  Nicely built, blends in fine. If anything best represents the state of cycling in the UK this is it.

Agreed! This entirely unreasonable planning decision indicates hostility to cycling, while agreeing to the late Victorian BMWs on the late Victorian paved former gardens because (to the sort of people making the decision) the power-crazed charioteers appear normal and entirely respectable.

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