— Is the van on Kensington High Street still there? (@KensingtonVan) December 7, 2020
Remarkably, after a mammoth 78 hours according to numerous locals... a van blocking what used to be a temporary cycle lane on Kensington High Street until it was scrapped by the council is gone.
Despite gaining its own Twitter account and hashtag, countless tip-offs to RBKC councillors and reports to traffic wardens, the van continued to block the left lane of Kensington High Street for around three days, totting up equal parts social media likes and outrage in the process.
The person(s) behind the 'Is the van on Kensington High Street still there?' Twitter account says a statement will follow - wonder if there will be a statement from RBKC Council too?
"We all have photos of ambulances or police cars stuck before these giant plant pots."
— LBC (@LBC) December 7, 2020
Nick Ferrari's LBC radio show covered the LTN debate this morning by, in the words of one commenter, listening to 'one positive call from Sustrans and six to eight rant calls from motorists'. Ferrari complained: "These giant plant pots have caused a lot of problems for emergency service vehicles as well. That's what they are, a damn nuisance."
However, as one Twitter user pointed out, Ferrari has apparently lived in an LTN for a while. Mark Treasure wrote: "The next time Nick Ferrari is on the radio wailing about how 'ghastly' Low Traffic Neighbourhoods are, perhaps someone can point out that he... lives in one? This wedge-shaped part of Blackheath is a (pretty old) LTN, created by the addition of this fire gate with a cycle bypass (blue cross), which cuts out through motor traffic. Nice place for a critic of Low Traffic Neighbourhoods to live."
It's not the first time the radio presenter has had a pop at cycling. In 2017, James O'Brien said: "Any argument against cycling is an argument in favour of pollution, obesity and death" after his LBC colleague criticised cyclists for red light jumping.
This wedge-shaped part of Blackheath is a (pretty old) LTN, created by the addition of this fire gate with a cycle bypass (blue cross), which cuts out through motor traffic. Nice place for a critic of Low Traffic Neighbourhoods to live pic.twitter.com/13Ec70w9Jn
— Mark Treasure (@AsEasyAsRiding) December 2, 2020
Here's a feel-good story from the weekend. After receiving a call from concerned members of the public about a man cycling on a dark road, officers found that he was riding a child's bike. The cyclist told the officers that he was struggling to get by after moving to the area and that his only way to get to work was by using the child's bike. Yesterday, officers from Braintree Police surprised the man at work with a new bike to help him out as well as some lights to keep him safe on the road.
— Is the van on Kensington High Street still there? (@KensingtonVan) December 7, 2020
What a world we live in. A Twitter account has been set up to give updates on the van that's parked where the cycle lane used to be on Kensington High Street. As far as I'm aware it's been parked since Saturday and yes, it's still there...
Some of the advice we got from our #cycling greats today:
— Dulwich Safe Routes (@DulwichWheels) December 7, 2020
Tao Geoghegan Hart spoke to 2,000 children on a Zoom call hosted by Dulwich Safe Routes to tell his story of getting into cycling while growing up in London. Tao was joined by fellow London pros: Fred Wright, Abi Van Twisk, Alec Briggs and INEOS Grenadiers' teammate Ethan Hayter. Commenting on the event Tao posted on Twitter: "We are here, LDN. Everyone doing it in their own way. But there. Know many more from this city will follow... Riding bikes for transport, enjoyment & also sport. WE have a responsibility to inspire all manner of different people to swing their leg over the humble bicycle."
Since winning the Giro d'Italia in October, Tao has used his platform to promote cycling issues in the capital such as expressing his support for the campaign to keep the Kensington High Street bike lane.
Cyclingnews reports that Deceuninck Quick-Step could not have afforded to re-sign Mark Cavendish if it hadn't been for the Manxman finding someone to pay his contract for 2021. The 35-year-old announced his return on Saturday. In an interview with Patrick Lefevere, the team manager told Cyclingnews how the deal came about: "After the last race in De Panne he [Cavendish] was at the hotel in Kortrijk and I invited him to my office and he said: 'I don’t want to stop like this. I want to come back.' I told him, 'Mark I really don’t have one Euro. My budget is already done.'
"He said that if he could find someone to pay his contract then he could ride. I maybe believed that he could join us but that it would be difficult to find someone, but a week later someone called and said that they’d spoken to Mark and that they were interested. We started talking and in the end, it happened.
"My heart said yes and my brain said no. It’s a risk but he brings a lot to the team. He’s still very famous and we’ve only had positive reactions on Twitter. I’m happy everyone is happy and I’m glad that he has this chance. I don't think that he deserved to stop cycling in the way he did his last races.
Cavendish rode for Deceuninck Quick-Step between 2013 and 2015, when the team was known as Omega Pharma-Quick-Step and Etixx Quick-Step, winning 44 races including three stages of the Tour de France.
Route planning app Komoot has announced a new feature that allows users to search for thousands of Tours across the UK. The feature means you don't have to plan a route from scratch and can instead follow popular routes and see Highlights from other Komoot users. Tours will be available free to all users and has filters for sport type, duration and difficulty. As they are location-based, Komoot Tours will enable you to adjust your start point to wherever you are to help you connect with more popular routes from your home.
Good luck planning a route that spells Eyjafjallajökull...
In August, we told you about the record being broken by Scottish cyclo-cross champion Gary Macdonald who set a new best time of nine hours, 28 minutes and 34 seconds for the 96-mile trail. Well it's been broken again, this time by Rab Wardell, a cyclist who competed at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne. Wardell completed the popular trail from Milngavie, near Glasgow, to Fort William in nine hours, 14 minutes and 32 seconds.
The BBC reports that this year marked the West Highland Way's 40th year anniversary. It follows the old cattle drover routes and 18th Century military roads along the eastern shores of Loch Lomond, before travelling north west to Fort William via some of the UK's most picturesque scenery.
And the van on the right? That's been parked there since lunchtime on Friday. pic.twitter.com/3a6be2gADH
— always last (@lastnotlost) December 5, 2020
A couple of weeks back, Chariots of Fire actor Nigel Havers accused the bike lane on Kensington High Street of causing 'gridlock everyday'. Now, after the segregated lane has been ripped out and the full road opened to motor vehicles again, the videos and photos from the weekend suggest not much has changed. Cyclists using the route this weekend were faced with parked cars where the bike lane used to be and congestion in two lanes rather than one.
The video above is from Saturday afternoon and shows at least three parked vehicles and queues of cars in both directions. One person posted another picture on social media of the old cycle lane blocked with parked cars...
So you take away a safe cycle lane used by thousands a day so a few ‘entitled’ SUVs can park restricting the entire lane anyway🤔. Great decision making @RBKC @jthalassites @betterstreetskc @London_Cycling. Kensington High Street today. pic.twitter.com/ns63oav05c
— Rafela FitzHugh (@RafelaFitz) December 5, 2020
The Pedalling Picasso is back with another Strava masterpiece. Last Christmas he gave you a picture of a reindeer, the year before that a giant Santa and this year a festive message. Anthony Hoyte put in the winter miles on this 9-hour and 78-mile ride around London. Here's the best of his Christmas portfolio...
Geraint Thomas suffered more bad luck on the road yesterday. The 2018 Tour de France winner dislocated his shoulder in a crash while training but expects to be back on the turbo today. Posting on social media, Thomas explained that he had not suffered any fractures. He said: "Not the Sunday I was expecting. Crashed on some ice and dislocated my shoulder. It’s back in now, after a rather painful 2hrs, but no fractures. So all good to get on the turbo tomorrow."
The Welshman's 2020 season ended prematurely after the third stage of the Giro d'Italia due to a fractured pelvis sustained in a crash in the neutral zone. In an interview with BBC Wales after teammate Tao Geoghegan Hart had won the Giro, Thomas said he hoped to target the Tour de France and the Olympics in 2021.
"The [targets next year are the] Tour de France and the Olympics, but I'll have to sit down with the team and go through everything properly first. The Giro as well is also in the back of my mind, especially after this year," he explained.
"Tao is a great rider, full of potential, he was there to help me try to win initially. Obviously I had to go home after three days so he had the opportunity so to finish it off and deal with the pressure which was great for him and the team."
Dan joined road.cc 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 road.cc, 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.