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Viral tweet sums up bizarre anti-cycling whataboutery; More "As a cyclist..." fun; Feel good Friday; Peloton share price plummets; Bike thief sentenced; Quick-Step build Remco's Grand Tour dream team; EF partners with women's team + more on the live blog

Happy Friday! The weekend is just around the corner, Dan Alexander will be bringing it home with your final live blog of the week
05 November 2021, 17:04
Wahoo Frontiers: Pete Kennaugh

Wahoo spent some time on the Isle of Man with former pro Pete Kennaugh to relive his journey as a pro rider, from the British Cycling development programme to the London 2012 Olympic Games and Tour de France-winning Sky team.

But the film is as much about Pete's internal struggles as it is his success. He details his decision to walk away from the sport midway through the 2019 season, whilst living the "dream" for so many. The film fasts forward to 2021 with Kennaugh's family on his home Isle and can be watched above and over on Wahoo's YouTube.

05 November 2021, 16:37
Thousands more Scots to benefit from return of free cycle repair scheme
Bike mechanic (via Government-backed apprenticeship scheme press release)

Thousands of cyclists north of the border will be able to benefit from the return of a free cycle repair scheme. The Scotland Cycle Repair Scheme, coordinated by Cycling UK and funded by the Scottish Government, will enable free repairs of up to £50 per person to help people who would not otherwise be able to afford to get their bikes fixed.

Cycling UK is working with bike shops across Scotland to provide 20,000 free repairs and maintenance. Almost 200 bike shops, from Kirkcudbright in the south to Lerwick on Shetland are already signed up to the scheme, with many more expected to join.

Accessing the scheme is simple – just contact your nearest participating bike shop or mechanic and get your repair booked in.

All cycles are welcome in the scheme, including adults’ and children’s bikes, e-bikes and non-standard cycles such as trikes, tandems, cargo bikes and recumbents. People who use manual wheelchairs are also eligible to access free repairs.

The first phase of the scheme ran between August 2020 to May 2021, when 31,562 repairs were carried out by 332 cycle repair providers across Scotland. 77 per cent of participants used their repaired cycles for journeys previously done by car.

Suzanne Forup, Cycling UK’s head of development for Scotland, said: "This scheme will once more fix the nation’s flat tyres and loose brakes, to get people pedalling again. Finances are tight for many people at the moment, so the scheme is targeted at people who can’t easily afford to get their bikes fixed up."

05 November 2021, 16:23
Top tier anti-cycling letter in local paper..."Listen to taxi drivers not car-hating cyclists on road closures"...(plus some refreshing replies)
Taxi sign (licensed CC BT 2.0 by Ross Davidson on Flickr, image cropped).PNG

This cracker of a reader letter in the York Press came to our attention today, and we're so glad it did...John Zimnoch from Osbaldwick agreed with another letter (which argued active travel closures only shift traffic elsewhere) and said they cause extra pollution by increased time-delaying traffic jams.

His conclusion? "Better to listen to a taxi driver than a car-hating cyclist. It seems the only way to get things back to normal with sensible traffic plans is to vote the Lib Dem/Greens out at the first available opportunity. Common sense would then take over at Gillygate and Bootham - and some blue badge parking would be regained."

John got some pushback by fellow readers, the aptly-named 'Stop Complaining' replied: "Other cars make it harder for taxis to navigate roads and traffic. What's a good way of reducing the amount of cars on the road? Oh wait, more people cycling and walking." I like Stop Complaining already...

HGV Driver added: "Looking around me, I see car after car, usually with one occupant, just going to work a mile or two up the road. The vast majority of which could cycle if it was more attractive. If more of those journeys were undertaken by other means, there would be more space for those who must use a car. Half term was a perfect example of how to reduce congestion!"

To infinity and beyond! said: "His letter doesn't merit actual discussion of the subject, the use of the pathetic slur "car-hating cyclist" shows us where he's coming from and it isn't from a position of balance, consideration or validity. Dismissed."

05 November 2021, 15:54
Pop-up Croydon cycle lanes could be made permanent
Croydon bike lane (Image credit: Croydon Council)

Croydon Council wants to make its borough's temporary cycle lanes permanent. Don't tell Lord Cruddas...

The lanes were built during August 2020 with funding made available by TfL during the pandemic. The proposed lanes would be made permanent on the high street and Mint Walk where temporary versions have been in place since last summer.

A consultation on the changes is available on the council's website and will run until November 18.

05 November 2021, 15:20
RideLondon Classique to keep €100,000 prize pot for three-day format
Prudential RideLondon Classique (source - RideLondon on Twitter).jpg

The RideLondon Classique will keep its reputation for being one of the most lucrative races on the women's racing calendar when it returns as a three-day format next year. VeloNews reports the race organiser plans to keep its €100,000 (£85,565) prize pot in 2022. 

The Classique has been outgunned by the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift's €250,000 (£213,956) total prize pot, however the three-day British race represents better euros per kilometre than any race on the women's calendar.

"We absolutely intend to carry that through, it’s so important. It’s wrong to say we’re not having a men’s event and so we lower the prize money," race director Hugh Brasher told VeloNews.

> "Thanks Essex, we love you, from Surrey x": NIMBY locals love RideLondon relocation

The race hasn't been held since 2019 due to Covid, but will return next year as part of RideLondon's relocation to Essex.

05 November 2021, 14:51
Peloton piss-taking...

This is the best take on this morning's Peloton share price plunge. End of. 

05 November 2021, 14:03
Richard Freeman appeal hearing adjourned
Dr Richard Freeman (picture credit Team Sky)

Just when you thought you'd heard the last of it...the appeal against the decision to permanently strike Richard Freeman off the medical register has been adjourned, a new date has not yet been set. JMW Solicitors LLP is representing Freeman and made an application for an audio recording of the initial disciplinary hearing to be heard by the judge before the appeal took place. The General Medical Council objected to the request for the audio to be heard. 

> Ex British Cycling and Team Sky doctor Richard Freeman to appeal being struck off Medical Register

In March, former British Cycling and Team Sky doctor Freeman was found guilty of ordering banned testosterone for an unmaned rider. He lodged an appeal a month later.

05 November 2021, 13:41
Do your worst...Billionaire Tory peer claims he's a "keen cyclist" before slagging off "nuisance" temporary cycle lanes
Lord Peter Cruddas keen cyclist

You lot didn't disappoint with your reaction to Tory peer Lord Cruddas' "keen cyclist" speech...

Bungle_52 said: "I will be quite happy to do without cycle lanes once 20mph is the default urban speed limit and motorists are punished sufficiently to protect me from inconsiderate, careless or dangerous driving. Until then..."

Chrisonatrike couldn't help but notice "an excellent 'back in your box' from Baroness Vere" and that satire isn't dead yet considering this line graced the chamber..."Did not the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea jump the lights by removing..."

Wycombewheeler decided to add some logic to the Lords debate (how dare you): "So he's not talking about the existing permanant cycle lanes, those are OK, only the temporary ones, which are somehow not OK, but IF they do become permanant that would be even worse."

Keen cyclist comment

You'll have to sell a lot of shirts to tovertake Lord Cruddas...

05 November 2021, 13:29
"Cyclists should stay off pavements"

I make that 18... 

05 November 2021, 12:48
"It’s time for a new perspective"...EF Education First join as co-title partners of women's team

EF Education First is expanding its sponsorship for 2022, taking on co-title partnership of the TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank women's team. All women racing for the team will be paid at least the men's WorldTour minimum salary.

"We’re excited to be part of this team and to help these amazing riders reach their goals. The salary component is incredibly important to all of us, because it allows the riders to pursue the sport full-time," said Maria Norrman, global chief of staff at EF Education First. "We can’t wait to help add the next chapter in this team’s great history."

The team has lofty aspirations, led by former investment banker turned Canadian pro racer, Linda Jackson. Jackson says the team aims to be a top five WorldTour team within a few years and wants Olympians and world champions from the team too.

05 November 2021, 11:34
Patrick Lefevere: We have a long-term vision to fight for a Grand Tour overall victory
Remco Evenepoel (screenshot from YouTube)

Deceuninck-Quick-Step are building their dream team to help Remco Evenepoel compete for Grand Tour victories, starting with the signing of Belgian climbing talent Louis Vervaeke from Alpecin-Fenix. Vervaeke finished 20th at the Giro this year and is expected to be one of the key pieces in the Evenepoel winning a Grand Tour jigsaw.

"We have a long-term vision to fight for a Grand Tour overall victory, and for that we also need strong helpers for the mountains," Lefevere said. "Louis possesses a lot of qualities, can support our leaders on the climbs and can maybe go for his own chance whenever an opportunity arises. We hope to give Louis a nice environment in which he feels well and where he can further develop."

Remco seems to be enjoying his off-season (and that Pizza Hut sponsorship)...

05 November 2021, 11:26
Suspended sentence for Cambridge bike thief who stole four bikes worth more than £3,000
Cambridge bike thief jailed (Image credit: Cambridge Police)

A Cambridge bike thief who stole four bikes worth more than £3,000 has been sentenced to six months in prison, suspended for a year, after pleading guilty to four counts of bike theft at Cambridge Magistrates' Court. James Peyton was caught on CCTV stealing bikes from Peas Hill, St Andrews Street and Trumpington Street between July 24 and September 23. 

> “It makes you feel powerless” – victims in UK's bike theft capital share their frustrations

The Ely Standard reports Peyton must also take part in an accredited thinking skills programme for 19 days and complete a rehabilitation activity requirement. PC Tim Everett insisted: “Cycle theft remains a priority for residents of and visitors to Cambridge city and we’re committed to catching those responsible and putting them before the courts.

"We’re also working alongside Camcycle to encourage those who love their bikes to ‘lock it and log it’ to keep their property safe."

05 November 2021, 11:16
Peloton plummets: Stock price plunges by 33 per cent in Friday pre-market trading
Peloton bike (via YouTube)

Peloton's stock plunged by as much as 33 per cent in pre-market trading this morning after it posted bigger-than-expected losses and slashed its earnings outlook. Peloton stock closed at $86.03 per share last night, but was trading down 32.6 per cent at $57.98 this morning.

Business Insider reports the drop was partly influenced by the company announcing its disappointing first-quarter fiscal earnings, reporting a net loss of $376 million. The home exercise class brand also slashed its forecasts for sales and subscribers to between $4.4 billion and $4.8 billion, compared to an earlier prediction of $5.4 billion.

At the end of the summer, Peloton announced it would be slashing the price of its bikes after posting worsening losses for the fourth quarter of its 2020/21 financial year.

05 November 2021, 10:36
Feel good Friday: Brazilian cyclist stops traffic to help elderly woman cross busy road at night

Right, let's break up the negativity with something a touch more positive. GoodNewsMovement, a page dedicated to positive news stories only, shared this video from Brazil of a cyclist stopping traffic to help an elderly cyclist cross a busy road at night. It also gives you a peek at one of the country's segregated cycle lanes...

05 November 2021, 10:04
Viral tweet sums up bizarre anti-cycling whataboutery

This is one we're all too familiar's the standard reply we see flooding in under anything to do with cycle safety. So much so it's even got it's own anti-cycling bingo tag...

 This tweet struck a chord with many, @urbaniconclasm followed it up saying, "Drivers break laws constantly but somehow that’s not a justification for anything at all lmao. And holy shit don’t you DARE ever say you had to do a manoeuvre in response to a driver breaking a law…the correct response is for you to instead phase out of existence and rematerialize on the other side of the obstacle."

I'm sure Jeremy Vine can relate to that particular point...yesterday the presenter was rolling along a London cycle lane when a bus driver overtook, immediately indicated and pulled in to the stop in front of him, cutting him up in the process. Jeremy, you should have "phased out of existence and rematerialized on the other side of the obstacle", or, as many argumentative replies suggested, show more awareness of your surroundings and let the bus in?!

Here's some of the reaction to the viral tweet...

05 November 2021, 08:46
Tory peer blasts "nuisance" temporary cycle lanes...despite claiming to be a keen cyclist

Yesterday it was a talkRadio caller justifying his subsequent anti-LTN rant with that familiar qualifying statement, "as a cyclist...". Ediz, despite "cycling most places", took issue with the "agenda" of LTNs pushing traffic away from one neighbourhood to another.

Sorry, Ediz, we've had a higher bid...a bid from the House of Lords in fact...

Lord Peter Cruddas is today's "keen cyclist" suprisingly against cycling infra. He's the founder of online trading company CMC Markets and was named the richest man in the City of London by the 2007 Sunday Times Rich List. The Lord was nominated for his peerage last year by a certain Boris Johnson (whatever happened to him?) and subsequently donated £500,000 to the Conservative Party.

That's the background info, here's the meat of what he said...

"To clarify, I am a keen cyclist myself and during the lockdown I even bought myself a new bicycle," he told the House.

With that out the way, Lord Cruddas went on to make his main point..."To clarify my concerns, I am only referring to the temporary cycle lanes and if they become permanent they will be even more of a that context it seems to me that given the government has given emergency funding to TfL during the pandemic, there is an opportunity to contribute to any debate about their continued existence in a meaningful way."

So...what do we make of that?

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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