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"Please stop with the empty lanes thing": Jeremy Vine urges patience while cycling numbers rise; Cav watches Women's Tour; Pidcock has competition...Wout can run; Moose on the loose 2; Cherie Pridham's new team; 3D effect crossing + more on the live blog

It's Thursday and Dan Alexander is here for the penultimate live blog of the week...
07 October 2021, 18:07
Alpecin-Fenix pro Alex Richardson attacked and robbed of his bike in Richmond Park

More on this in the AM. 

07 October 2021, 14:23
Your thoughts on Jeremy Vine's empty cycle lane comments

Let's have a bit of reaction to the main story of the day...

A few people on Facebook wondered if the empty oncoming lane in the photo needs to be ripped out too? Mat Scalpello went further and wondered if the pavement should go too.

Kevin Blackburn made the point that what's more important than photos are the numbers..."You can take photos at chosen times to prove anything - the important things are, where they have them, to look at the counters! More bikes than cars pass many points!"

Cycle counters (Kevin Blackburn/Facebook)

Under the blog, hawkinspeter wrote: "Everywhere I go, I see empty cars left parked on the sides of roads. We might as well turn over all the road space to bikes if drivers aren't bothering to use them."

Rendel Harris added: "Although Vine is well-intentioned in this instance, the message isn't really correct: he appears to be saying yes I know the cycle lanes are empty at the moment but you wait until people get more confident, whereas in fact the Tower Hill cycle lane is very heavily used by people working in the City and beyond, of course it's quiet during the day because they're all at work. Hopefully they will get even busier as more people realise how safely they can get around London with these lanes, but they are already more than justifying their existence, it doesn't "take time", it's already happened."

EK Spinner said: "The way I see it, the bike lanes are empty because the cyclists have completed their journey efficiently already, while the drivers are still stuck in a jam."

07 October 2021, 15:59
British gold medal star Matt Walls wins Gran Piemonte

Olympic gold medallist Matt Walls won Italian one-day race Gran Piemonte this afternoon. He won ahead of a stellar list of talent, including Giacomo Nizzolo, Paris-Roubaix winner Sonny Colbrelli and not least his housemate and Olympic madison partner Ethan Hayter. Not bad.

The finish was slightly marred by some questionable routing in the final kilometres which made the sprint messy and dangerous. When the road did straighten up, Walls held off former European and Italian champion Nizzolo for his second win of the season.

07 October 2021, 14:02
Lorena Wiebes wins Women's Tour stage four, Demi Vollering protects healthy lead

After all the Cav excitement it fittingly came down to a big bunch kick in Southend-on-Sea. Team DSM's Lorena Wiebes won the sprint, the third stage win in a row for the Dutch. Yesterday's winner Demi Vollering was unchallenged and keeps her likely unassailable 1:09 advantage.

Chiara Consonni and Chloe Hosking rounded out the top three on the day. Alice Barnes took a third top-ten of the week, finishing eighth. On the menu tomorrow is another flat stage as the riders stay in Essex for the 95km run from Colchester to Clacton-on-Sea.

07 October 2021, 13:53
Cav watches the Women's Tour stage four from the roadside

First, he was spotted in London wearing full kit. Now, it's on the roadside at the Women's Tour. Good to see one of the biggest names in men's cycling out supporting the women's race. 

07 October 2021, 13:37
Decathlon returns to professional peloton with French team Cofidis
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by VAN RYSEL (@van_rysel)

 Decathlon and Cofidis are back working together, 17 years after the French brand last made the the pro team's kit. Cofidis riders will wear the brand's Van Rysel kit in 2022 and 2023, a deal which came about thanks to the two parties' ability to collaborate from their close bases in Lille.

The team's general manager Cédric Vasseur said: "We are very happy with this new partnership; all the riders and staff are ready to mobilise alongside the brand which has the will to be a major player in its market. This collaboration makes all the more sense since we are two French companies, from the same Hauts de France region.

"This geographic proximity is a major asset of this new partnership and will help bring our two entities closer together. Van Rysel has a strong ability to develop and design the best products to allow it to shine in the most prestigious competitions on the calendar. It is therefore a winning partnership on all fronts that will contribute to the expansion and future success of the Cofidis Team."

Van Rysel director Nicolas Pierron said he hopes the partnership will help the brand use Cofidis' expertise to develop better products for Decathlon consumers too.

07 October 2021, 11:42
Ned Boulting falls in love

Ned quickly caveated his love letter with a promise he'd look at the saddle angle. Always good to get in before the Twitter mechanics have a pop. In his own words, it's all about character, not performance. I don't think he'll have too many people here thinking loving it is weird...  

If you haven't already, be sure to catch up with our Drink At Your Desk episode with Ned below. 

07 October 2021, 10:49
Relive the Hell of the North with Deceuninck-Quick-Step

Deceuninck-Quick-Step have released this behind the scenes look at how Yves Lampaert came fifth at Paris-Roubaix. A little more luck and the Belgian may have finished higher. The highlight here is the close up shots of the mud-caked kit...definitely a good day to be sat on the sofa.

07 October 2021, 10:23
Alex Dowsett keeps a keen eye on the Women's Tour

It should be a sprint in Southend-on-Sea today. Alex Dowsett's more interested in what time they clock for part of the Maldon 10 course. If you live in Shoeburyness, and you weren't at the roadside half an hour ago, you've probably missed them. Regardless, we'll keep you updated on stage four here on the live blog.

07 October 2021, 10:20
3D effect pedestrian crossings
07 October 2021, 10:01
Cherie Pridham's new team: First female sports director in men's WorldTour joins Lotto-Soudal for 2022

 Cherie Pridham is staying in the WorldTour next year. The former Kuota-road.cc team manager, yes that was a thing, is joining Lotto-Soudal for 2022.

"If you can’t beat the Belgians, join them," she said on her move. "It was absolutely not on my radar to direct a Belgian team, but when the Lotto-Soudal project was presented to me, I was immediately charmed by it. I raced a lot in Belgium. I know how much cycling means for Belgian people. I am not afraid, I am ready to make a positive contribution to the team’s future."

Pridham became the men's WorldTour's first female sports director when she joined Israel Start-Up Nation at the start of the year and was in the team car for Mads Würtz Schmidt's win at Tirreno-Adriatico. We spoke to her on Drink at Your Desk Friday when she told us she'd never seen an athlete with the same mental strength as Chris Froome.

07 October 2021, 09:47
Tom Pidock's got competition...Wout takes a rest by clocking seven miles in 51 minutes
Wout van Aert running (Strava)

After a gruelling season of cyclo-cross and road racing, Wout van Aert is taking a well-earned rest. And by rest I mean smashing out 11km runs at a very impressive pace. Not quite Tom Pidcock speeds...but fast enough.

Wout van Aert running (Strava)

It can't be long before Mathieu van der Poel's programmers work out how to get a sub 10-second 100 metres out of him. Unlike Pidcock's, Wout's run is as legit as they come, holding a steady pace for the full seven miles and no dodgy GPS lines. Take a break, Wout. You deserve it...

Back in February, Tom Pidcock managed to hilariously wind up the entire running community by claiming to have run a 13:25 5km, just five seconds slower than Marc Scott's British record and 30 seconds off world record pace. It was all a Garmin GPS error, but the meltdown from runners everywhere was quite entertaining.

07 October 2021, 09:01
Moose on the Loose 2: A thriller sequel to blockbuster release of the year

Moose on the Loose was such a hit success they've released a sequel...

Firstly, how ridiculously big is that moose? Secondly, I reckon this cyclist got the best realistic outcome from this situation...Thirdly, will there be a trilogy?

Watch out for the bears too. I'm still thinking about that drone footage of a black bear chasing a mountain biker in Montana...

We've had ostriches before as well, although presumably not in the US.

What's the most hair-raising animal encounter you've had on a bike? Britain's going to seem pretty tame if we all say squirrels.

07 October 2021, 07:36
"Please stop with the empty lanes thing": Jeremy Vine urges patience while cycling numbers rise

Jeremy Vine is back making the case for cycling infrastructure to his 770,000 Twitter followers this morning. The presenter asked for patience and for people to "please stop with the 'empty lanes' thing". 

On Tuesday, we shared a tweet from a motorist complaining about empty "oversized bike lanes" as they sat in a queue of motorists next to a two-way cycle lane. The post attracted criticism from many saying it summed up some motorists' willingness to blame cyclists and cycling infrastructure for congestion caused by the amount of vehicles on the road. Later that day we had a higher bid at the 'silly things being said about cycle lanes' auction when a cabbie blamed the Hyde Park infra for flash flooding...

Vine continued his message...

You might think with Vine's online reputation for championing all things cycling that he might have been preaching to the choir with this one...a quick dip into the replies shows otherwise...bingo cards at the ready:

This next one's from someone claiming to be a solicitor...

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.

Add new comment

37 comments

Avatar
Rendel Harris | 2 years ago
3 likes

Ah so that's why NB doesn't like lycra - sit on that saddle in race shorts and you'd slide right off the back!

Avatar
cbrndc | 2 years ago
6 likes

Using the same argument against cycle lanes and applying it to the building of motorways in the 1960s they would never have been built.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MwyTaYSADY8

Avatar
mdavidford | 2 years ago
0 likes

Isn't there a slight problem with the 3D crossing that the illusion is only going to work from the point of view of the camera? From where most of the people are shown approaching, it's going to look like big bollards sticking up in the air. They should have painted them the other way around on that side of the road.

Avatar
Captain Badger replied to mdavidford | 2 years ago
0 likes

mdavidford wrote:

Isn't there a slight problem with the 3D crossing that the illusion is only going to work from the point of view of the camera? From where most of the people are shown approaching, it's going to look like big bollards sticking up in the air. They should have painted them the other way around on that side of the road.

yes.

Also the bigger problem is that they are not standard road markings, and so have no actual meaning. The same issue was raised when some London boroughs recently made to make crossings " more interesting".

 

Avatar
captain_slog replied to Captain Badger | 2 years ago
1 like

There's been one in St John's Wood since 2019 according to the BBC.

And here it is on Google Street View.

Avatar
peted76 replied to captain_slog | 2 years ago
4 likes

captain_slog wrote:

There's been one in St John's Wood since 2019 according to the BBC.

And here it is on Google Street View.

I thought you were talking about a moose!

Avatar
Captain Badger replied to captain_slog | 2 years ago
0 likes

captain_slog wrote:

There's been one in St John's Wood since 2019 according to the BBC.

And here it is on Google Street View.

Thanks. 

Avatar
SimoninSpalding | 2 years ago
5 likes

I did once get squeaked at by a stoat when out cycling. It seemed properly angry with me. I nearly crashed into the ditch laughing, so the outcome was similar to the moose clip!

Avatar
hawkinspeter replied to SimoninSpalding | 2 years ago
0 likes

SimoninSpalding wrote:

I did once get squeaked at by a stoat when out cycling. It seemed properly angry with me. I nearly crashed into the ditch laughing, so the outcome was similar to the moose clip!

Are you sure it wasn't a weasel? I can never tell the difference between them.

Avatar
mdavidford replied to hawkinspeter | 2 years ago
8 likes

hawkinspeter wrote:

SimoninSpalding wrote:

I did once get squeaked at by a stoat when out cycling. It seemed properly angry with me. I nearly crashed into the ditch laughing, so the outcome was similar to the moose clip!

Are you sure it wasn't a weasel? I can never tell the difference between them.

Me neither - there was an expression someone taught me once to distinguish them, but it never seemed to help - they mustelid me astray.

Avatar
Captain Badger replied to mdavidford | 2 years ago
5 likes

mdavidford wrote:

...Me neither - there was an expression someone taught me once to distinguish them, but it never seemed to help - they mustelid me astray.

Shame on them, they otter know better.....

Avatar
hawkinspeter replied to Captain Badger | 2 years ago
3 likes

Captain Badger wrote:

mdavidford wrote:

...Me neither - there was an expression someone taught me once to distinguish them, but it never seemed to help - they mustelid me astray.

Shame on them, they otter know better.....

Avatar
Captain Badger replied to hawkinspeter | 2 years ago
6 likes

hawkinspeter wrote:

....

Are you sure it wasn't a weasel? I can never tell the difference between them.

I've told you before HP

A weasel is weasely recognised.

A stoat however is stoatally different...

Avatar
SimoninSpalding replied to Captain Badger | 2 years ago
4 likes

I have solved this problem by always carrying a weasel with me. That way I can do a size comparison when required.

Avatar
Captain Badger replied to SimoninSpalding | 2 years ago
2 likes

SimoninSpalding wrote:

I have solved this problem by always carrying a weasel with me. That way I can do a size comparison when required.

Great idea, is it quick?  I imagine it only takes er- min-e .....

Avatar
Captain Badger replied to Captain Badger | 2 years ago
0 likes

OH COME ON PEOPLE!!

Avatar
AlsoSomniloquism replied to Captain Badger | 2 years ago
6 likes

Shows we have taste on here?

Avatar
Captain Badger replied to AlsoSomniloquism | 2 years ago
0 likes

AlsoSomniloquism wrote:

Shows we have taste on here?

Quiet at the back!

Avatar
chrisonabike replied to Captain Badger | 2 years ago
1 like

It's not seasonal.

Avatar
mdavidford replied to Captain Badger | 2 years ago
3 likes

Captain Badger wrote:

OH COME ON PEOPLE!!

Some mink bothering you?

Avatar
mdavidford replied to SimoninSpalding | 2 years ago
4 likes

Surely there's something more manageable you could use ferret?

Avatar
chrisonabike replied to SimoninSpalding | 2 years ago
3 likes

I tried that but picked up a spool of thread and a needle and my weasel went pop...

Avatar
nniff replied to Captain Badger | 2 years ago
2 likes

I've told you before HP

A weasel is weasely recognised.

A stoat however is stoatally different...

[/quote]

and a tarka is similar, but just a little 'otter

Avatar
chrisonabike replied to hawkinspeter | 2 years ago
3 likes

Ask them for a dance - at least you'll know if it's a Polka-t.

Avatar
pockstone | 2 years ago
8 likes

I can't see any traffic in the oncoming lane either. Better close that as well.

Avatar
hawkinspeter | 2 years ago
21 likes

Everywhere I go, I see empty cars left parked on the sides of roads. We might as well turn over all the road space to bikes if drivers aren't bothering to use them.

Avatar
Rendel Harris | 2 years ago
13 likes

Although Vine is well-intentioned in this instance, the message isn't really correct: he appears to be saying yes I know the cycle lanes are empty at the moment but you wait until people get more confident, whereas in fact the Tower Hill cycle lane is very heavily used by people working in the City and beyond, of course it's quiet during the day because they're all at work. Hopefully they will get even busier as more people realise how safely they can get around London with these lanes, but they are already more than justifying their existence, it doesn't "take time", it's already happened.

Avatar
AlsoSomniloquism replied to Rendel Harris | 2 years ago
16 likes

I was going to post similar. London cycle lanes, especially north bank are filled mornings and evenings. And they are also more efficient at moving the users so they will appear empty in a still photo taken by a driver stuck in motorised traffic. 

i'm also surprised no one pointed out to that driver that another reason those specific ones are about the size of one motorised traffic lane is because they are also designed to allow wide emergency services vehicles to use them to by-pass too many cars causing slowdown. 

Avatar
EK Spinner replied to Rendel Harris | 2 years ago
16 likes

The way I see it, the bike lanes are empty because the cyclists have completed thier journey efficiently already, while the drivers are still stuck in a jam

Avatar
Steve K replied to Rendel Harris | 2 years ago
13 likes

I agree.  A couple of other observations - 

- none of the motor vehicles in that picture have their brake lights on, which suggests the traffic is moving, contrary to the anti-cycle lane rhetoric

- isn't it funny how some people think that we should keep building roads until they are all empty, but if a cycle lane isn't absolutely packed, then it shouldn't have been built.

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