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Van blocking (former) Kensington High Street cycle lane finally moved after three days; Cav found investor to fund Quick-Step move; Ripping out bike lane doesn't improve congestion; Pedalling Picasso's festive Strava art + more on the live blog

It's the start of a new week and Dan Alexander will be getting you through Monday on the live blog...
07 December 2020, 22:00
So, is the van on a former Kensington High Street cycle lane STILL there? No!

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? 

07 December 2020, 16:47
It's still there!
07 December 2020, 16:03
Nick Ferrari hosts anti-LTN debate despite apparently living in one for years

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.

07 December 2020, 12:00
Essex Police help man seen riding to work on a kid's bike
Braintree Police (from Braintree Police Facebook)

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.

07 December 2020, 13:55
Is the van on Kensington High Street still there?

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...

07 December 2020, 14:30
Tao Geoghegan Hart and other pro cyclists from London talk to 2,000 children to try and inspire young people to ride bikes

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.

07 December 2020, 12:32
Mark Cavendish found investor to fund his Deceuninck Quick-Step return
Mark Cavendish at Dubai Tour 2015 (picture credit ANSA Dal Zennaro, Peri)

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.

07 December 2020, 11:18
Komoot introduces Tour search feature to let users follow popular routes

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.

07 December 2020, 10:41
Tough crowd
Pedalling Picasso reaction

Good luck planning a route that spells Eyjafjallajökull...

07 December 2020, 10:23
West Highland Way cycling record broken by former Commonwealth Games athlete Rab Wardell
West Highland Way (CC licensed by dilettantiquity via Flickr)

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. 

07 December 2020, 09:44
Kensington High Street still congested despite removal of bike lane that caused 'gridlock everyday'

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...

07 December 2020, 09:18
Festive Strava art
Anthony Hoyte

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...

Anthony Hoyte
Anthony Hoyte


07 December 2020, 08:44
Geraint Thomas dislocates shoulder in training crash

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 is the 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 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


zero_trooper | 3 years ago

The tweet about 'entitled SUVs' just hits the nail on the head. Obvs for RBKC this is the right kind of congestion  2

BIRMINGHAMisaDUMP | 3 years ago

I like the police story. They have hundreds of unclaimed stolen bikes which they auction. Many years ago I used to work on projects in central London with yoofs rebuilding bikes. The Police would give us the bikes and we had a great project / relationship going for many years. The yoof didn't see the Police as 'the enemy' and vice versa. Plus they learnt bike maintenance skills and the police were able to engage on other matters with the yoof as a positive relationship was cemented. Unfortunately the cuts put an end to that and the Police started auctioning the bikes to raise revenue and the Local Authorities stopped paying the mechanics. 

BIRMINGHAMisaDUMP | 3 years ago

The frustrating aspect of the LTN 'debate' is that, like the EU 'debate' so much misinformation and lies are being propagated that come the consultations a false impression will have been created in residents' minds. I.e. LTNs mean more pollution, stuck ambulances, you can't drive your car, old people will die, alone stuck at home - just replaces BS like 200K Syrians refugees will walk from the EU into brave blighty, the EU wants an EU army, the EU is a dictatorship, 'they need us more than we need them' etcetera. 

Hirsute | 3 years ago

I'm not interested in Nick Ferrari - stop giving him publicity.

Organon replied to Hirsute | 3 years ago

I thought they were saying he lived in a Ferrari.

muhasib | 3 years ago

Well that silver van is still parked there at midday on KHS, all possible because 'the cycle lane wasn't working'.

eburtthebike | 3 years ago

Now that it has been shown that the cycle lanes didn't cause the congestion, I'm sure Nigel Havers will be admitting his mistake and apologising profusely, and  Kensington and Chelsea council will issue a grovelling apology and will immediately reinstate them, not to mention headlines in the DM begging forgiveness.

I would expect that to happen in a rational country where people are big enough and honourable enough to admit they got it wrong.  I wonder if we'll be waiting long?

EddyBerckx replied to eburtthebike | 3 years ago

eburtthebike wrote:

Now that it has been shown that the cycle lanes didn't cause the congestion, I'm sure Nigel Havers will be admitting his mistake and apologising, and Kensington and Chelsea council will immediately reinstate it, not to mention headlines in the DM begging forgiveness.

I would expect that to happen in a rational country where people are big enough and honourable enough to admit they got it wrong.  I wonder if we'll be waiting long?

Don't be impatient!! It'll be fixed by the end of the week.

Not saying which week/year/decade however...

the little onion replied to eburtthebike | 3 years ago

Nigel Havers you say? The actor and unrepetenant drink driver  Nigel Havers? Just checking we have the right one.

Captain Badger replied to the little onion | 3 years ago

the little onion wrote:

Nigel Havers you say? The actor and unrepetenant drink driver  Nigel Havers? Just checking we have the right one.

That's him, although actor is a bit of a stretch.....

Captain Badger replied to eburtthebike | 3 years ago

eburtthebike wrote:


I would expect that to happen in a rational country where people are big enough and honourable enough to admit they got it wrong.  I wonder if we'll be waiting long?


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