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Jeremy Clarkson claims James May has been influenced by "lefties" to support 20mph speed limits; Praise for Cycling UK standing up to council that kept rat-run open; Lance: Van der Poel and Van Aert are rockstars; Cycle-tennis + more on the live blog

It's Wednesday and Dan Alexander is here to take you through the middle of the week on the live blog...
08 February 2023, 16:44
Richmond Park access concerns

Not cycling, but considering the debate over through traffic at Richmond Park etc. this one struck a chord...

08 February 2023, 15:41
Scottish cyclist who broke back in hit-and-run urges driver to "have a conscience"
Police tape (CC licensed by freefotouk on Flickr)

A 33-year-old civil servant from East Kilbride in Lanarkshire has asked a motorist who hit him to have a conscience and come forward, three months on from the life-changing collision.

Chris Stoddart told the Daily Record his life was turned upside down when he was struck by a driver while cycling to work and has been left with a broken back, two broken kneecaps and unable to work as he prepares to welcome his first child.

"I was cycling my regular route to work when the next thing I know I'm tumbling through the air, then I'm on my back with three strangers looking at me checking I'm okay," he recalled.

Chris was travelling on the Carmunnock Bypass near Castlemilk at around 6.45am on November 30 when a Ford Transit-type van hit him from behind and failed to stop. With no licence plate number or any new information given to police since the incident the driver has never been found.

"It appeared to have been veering towards me. The police reckon the driver was distracted on a phone or Sat Nav," he said.

"I basically had to learn to walk again, which has not been fun. It has been such a big change. Before this I would have been cycling three or four times a week and going swimming before work and going out for walks with my wife. All of that has been taken away from me.

"I just can't believe someone could do this to someone, leaving them and not knowing if they lived or died, and continue happily living their life.

"It has definitely put doubt into my head about cycling on the road again, especially with a baby on the way. I can’t say for certain right now if I will cycle again, but I’m definitely doubting it which is sad, because I genuinely love doing it."

Sergeant Gary Mackie of East Kilbride Police Station said: "We are keen to speak to anyone who either witnessed the scene or may have dashcam footage whilst travelling at the material time.

"If you have any information you believe may assist officers, please contact Police via the 101 service and quote reference number 0379 of 30 November, 2022."

08 February 2023, 15:24
Reaction to Look mum no hands! closing
08 February 2023, 14:57
Look mum no hands! announces closure of Old Street cycle café

Apologies to all of you for leaving you with Clarkson while I covered some sad news from London... 

Look Mum No Hands! (Image: Look Mum No Hands!)

> Look mum no hands! announces closure of Old Street cycle café

08 February 2023, 12:23
Jeremy Clarkson claims James May has been influenced by "lefties" to support 20mph speed limits

Lance and Clarkson on the same live blog — aren't you lucky...

20mph sign (CC licensed by EdinburghGreens via Flickr)

It appears the former Top Gear host had his keyboard returned by The Sun post-Christmas on the naughty step after those comments about Meghan Markle prompted, record complaints, a screeching U-turn and one big ol' apology. 

And while we'd love to ignore it, the Clarkson's Farm presenter's latest column takes on 20mph speed limits, James May's support of them, plus a bit of CyclingMikey thrown in too. Unfortunately, all very much our patch...

Jeremy Clarkson 20mph Sun newspaper column

"All of the roads in London's central zone have a 20mph speed limit and there are now calls for this to become the blanket maximum in every single one of the nation's cities, towns and villages," Clarkson wrote.

"One of those calls came from m'colleague, James May, who went on the radio this week to say that 20's plenty. Of course, you're thinking that James May would say that. He's known as Captain Slow and has never been faster than 20 in his whole life.

> James May says 20mph is "plenty fast enough", and hopes "change in attitude" can help end road sectarianism

"But there's something you don't know about James. He virtually lives in the socialist cesspit that is Twitter, where he follows not just Sir Starmer but also the deranged London Mayor, Sadiq Khan. He even follows that Cycling Mikey man who rides round London on his children's toy, videotaping anyone in a car who he thinks might be Tory.

"James, then, like all of the world's Twitter enthusiasts, is not getting a balanced view on which to shape his opinions. He's just listening to lefties competing with one another to see who can think of the most left-wing thing."

Clarkson goes on to suggest average speeds in cities are already well below 20 and the "loonies" who break speed limits (he calls "motorcyclists") will still break them anyway. 

"Even if the road is quiet, it is nigh-on impossible to drive at 20mph," he claims. "There's always going to be a downhill stretch at some point where you'll accidentally reach 25. Which will land you with a hefty fine.

"The only way to avoid this is to stare constantly at the speedometer, and not be distracted by the sound of all the prams and the mobility scooters you're hitting because you're not looking where you're going.

"Of course, people say that 20 is safer and kinder to the environment. But if these are the goals, then why not make the limit five? Or one? Or why not ban cars altogether and force us to hop to work instead? That's almost certainly what the Twitter army wants.

"Because in their electronic world, where you can't say this, and you can't think that, and no one has any real friends, it makes perfect sense to restrict a normal person's desire to travel."

Oh, and before we go, there was just time for Clarkson to tick off Oxford's zero emission zone from his bingo card too, describing it as "East Germany circa 1965"... that's a full house... BINGO!

08 February 2023, 11:39
Tartan paintjob on show as Six Nations match ball cycles north for Scotland v Wales

And this morning we spied this cracking Argon...

 Saturday's Six Nations match between Scotland and Wales in Edinburgh will be the sixth instalment of the Doddie Weir Cup at Murrayfield to honour Doddie Weir.

The former Scotland international passed away last November aged 52, and the day remembers the contribution that he gave to both rugby and his fundraising for Motor Neurone Disease, the condition he sadly passed due to.

In support of the My Name'5 Doddie Foundation, former Scotland captain Rob Wainwright is being joined by around 180 cyclists pedalling from Cardiff to Edinburgh this week and covering 555 miles to carry the match ball on its journey to Murrayfield.

Among fellow British & Irish Lions taking part in some or all of the journey are Martin Johnson, Jeremy Davidson, Nigel Redman, Roger Baird and Craig Chalmers. Scottish Rugby past president Ian Barr is also part of the peloton and the journey will finish with Wainwright presenting the match ball just prior to kick off.

08 February 2023, 11:24
Cycling Kit & Clothing Of The Year | 2023 Awards Show

08 February 2023, 10:34
Lance Armstrong: Van der Poel and Van Aert are rockstars
2023 UCI Cyclocross World Champs Mathieu Van Der Poel © (t-a Photography Hub Ltd) - 2


Speaking on The Move, Lance Armstrong called the two of the biggest names in cycling "rockstars"...

"Van der Poel and Van Aert didn't even look like they were suffering. These races, from the minute they fire the gun you are sprinting for an hour. I was watching their faces, these guys looked easy. Look at the guys from third to thirtieth, they look like they have been sprinting for an hour.

> "When we look back, we'll appreciate these duels": Van der Poel and Van Aert, a rivalry for the ages

"Look at the crowds, just show a sponsor or supporter that scene and that energy. We weren't even there but imagine being there, and then you add in the luxury boxes... this is cycling, if you could bottle this up somehow and carry it to the other disciplines... it's a thing. I was thrilled to watch it.

"Van Aert and Van der Poel are rockstars."

08 February 2023, 10:13
Tennis pro invents cycle-tennis

The 2011 Wimbledon quarter-finalist, a man with an almost impressively long Wikipedia 'controversies' section, Bernard Tomic has invented a new sport...

We'll leave the analysis to another of tennis' controversial characters...

08 February 2023, 08:59
Praise for Cycling UK standing up to council that kept rat-run open

Plenty of you lot have been having your say on Cycling UK's letter before action sent to Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council (BCP), threatening legal action if the decision to keep a known rat-run open to motor traffic — despite a consultation showing public disapproval and an independent report suggesting future financial gains — is not reconsidered...

lonpfrb: "BCP Council can't tell the difference between opinions and evidence, so not surprised they made the wrong choice. Deserves to be challenged."

eburtthebike: "So most people wanted it closed to motor vehicles, independent analysis shows that it would be an economic benefit to keep it closed, and yet the council opens it; democracy in action. As I've said before, it would not be entirely surprising to find that some councillors who drive use the bridge as a rat-run. If I lived there my local councillor would be getting hell."

And one of the most common comments was a comparison between Cycling UK's work and a certain other member group representing the views of those who ride bikes...

Secret_squirrel: "And this is why I switched from British Cycling to Cycling UK. Whilst they can't fight every battle, they take a good swing at some, and at least they don't look for sponsorship in all the wrong places. They're in touch — BC are out of touch."

ChasP: "Same here, happy to pay my subs."

Boopop: "...and me. Good effort Cycling UK, keep up the top work."

Muddy Ford: "On the basis of this statement alone, I am switching to Cycling UK from British Cycling. I'm fed up of councils pandering to an aggressive minority of ignorant petrolheads believing that is what will get them votes. As can be seen from the last London Mayoral vote, the anti-cycling nonsense doesn't have the backing they think. Go CUK, take these pillocks to task!"

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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