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Cyclist stumbles across 'bike porn'... but not in a good way; Cycling 'safer than getting out of bed'; Bizarre saddle is puzzling cyclists; Jeremy Vine shares another dangerous driving clip; Glasgow pop-up left without protection + more on the live blog

Your midweek live blog will mostly be compiled by Jack Sexty, with some contributions from Simon MacMichael later this evening
08 July 2020, 14:47
Cyclist "disgusted" after happening across "cheesy porn shoot” on public bridleway
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A cyclist out for a leisurely spin got more than she bargained for when she happened across a bike propped against a wall on the outskirts of Camborne... as it quickly became apparent that someone else was being taken for a ride other than the bike's owner, when she claims to have witnessed "something like a cheesy porn shoot" taking place in broad daylight.

The woman known only as Lena told Cornwall Live that she saw two men on the path at around 4pm; one 'larger set' man was filming while the other, wearing a high-vis, was masturbating; which suggests that perhaps the bike was something to do with the plot of the film that Lena was unfortunate enough to catch a few frames of (no helmet was described, funnily enough). 

She said: “I was out on a bike ride and came across the two men. I felt sick and it was disgusting.

“I’ve been up there before, walking and seen people lurking around the bushes, but this was in broad daylight on a public bridleway. It wasn’t even remotely funny, it was disturbing to say the least.

“I saw a bike perched up and at first thought it was someone going for a pee. It was lucky I didn’t have children with me.

"I ran to the road and called the police and was told local officers would go to the scene to check it out but I haven’t heard anything since.

“They were so close to the side of the path that I could see everything. It was like a cheesy porno shoot and definitely not what I was expecting."

Devon and Cornwall Police confirmed that they attended following reports of public indecency, but the culprits were not found after a search of the area. Hopefully no bikes were harmed in the making of the film, and as it was cut short hopefully it won't be coming to a cinema near you either...

08 July 2020, 15:44
A "massive safety hazard": Glasgow cycle lane left with no protection after cones removed

The scene of heavy motor traffic on the cycle lane has angered some Glasgow residents, who are questioning why cones were removed on the pop-up cycle lane. Glasgow City Council have already replied to say the lane "will not be restored" after cones were removed to divert traffic following an incident on the nearby M77; however the road is still left with signs that suggest it is a cycle lane. 

08 July 2020, 15:58
9% of Londoners bought a bike during lockdown, according to new stats

That's compared to 4.8% across the rest of the UK, according to new stats revealed to the Evening Standard by GlobalData. London is also said to have a larger percentage of cyclists overall according to separate data from Mintel, with 25% of Londoners cycling regularly compared to 17% nationally. 

08 July 2020, 12:00
Introducing the Manta MS5 'Comfort' saddle: part bike seat, part TV aerial
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manta ms5 comfort saddle 2 - via ebay

While it looks like a cross between an aerial and some kind of extraterrestrial arachnid, believe it or not this is actually a bike seat that is said to be pressure-relieving and prevents 'cycling energy loss'. It was spotted for sale on eBay by a member of the Zwift riders group on Facebook, and fellow Zwifters went to town with their observations...

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While the Manta MS5 is priced at £33 on eBay, there's a bit of an ugly backstory here involving a squabble between the original creators of the saddle and the company that sells the Manta stock on eBay... on their website, the original Manta Design Ltd sell the current version of the MS5 for £149.99, and claim the eBay saddles are 'B-grade' and not intended for use except for demonstrations and indoor cycling. In an article titled 'eBay B-Grade', they say:  "The batch we binned, for sale on eBay, is sold without realistic product description – we do NOT approve of any sales made on this basis."

The eBay seller 'mantabsaddle', on the other hand, say that the version they sell is perfectly useable, and their relationship with Manta Design ended when the owner demanded they increase the prices.

On the eBay listing description they continue: "A while back we rescued Manta from financial crisis. For reasons that could fill a book, we parted company not long afterwards. Manta couldn’t repay us, so the pragmatic debt recovery agreement was that we took ownership of all the previous model stock to sell without restriction and as we saw fit. It enabled Manta to carry on trading.

"Despite everything, we think the Manta is a great saddle and we’re happy to sell and support it while our stock lasts. What we think of Manta's owner is not fit for print."

We came for the gags, but it's safe to say things escalated quickly...

08 July 2020, 12:12
Jo heads out for a very long spin on the longest day...
08 July 2020, 11:47
Today's 'why don't cyclists use the cycle lane?'
08 July 2020, 11:37
Sidi go 'Back to the Future' with new Sixty Ltd launch

While it won't allow you to time travel, Sidi say the new Sixty Ltd shoe is inspired by Doc Brown's futuristic automobile because of its 'innovative solutions' such as the Tecno-4 closure system. The iridescent colour scheme is also "a one-way ticket for a  dazzling time-journey" say Sidi. 

We haven't seen them pop up for sale in the UK yet, but you can buy the Sixty in numerous other colourways already priced at £330. 

08 July 2020, 09:56
Cycling is 'safer than getting out of bed' according to NHS stats
Women cycling in London (picture credit TfL)

Ahead of the Women's Festival of Cycling between 11th-31st July, Cycling UK have used the comparison to highlight that cycling is relatively safe compared to other daily activities. They say that according to NHS stats, 150 times more people visited A+E for falling out of bed than those who had been hit by a bus or lorry while cycling between 2018/19. The stats also reveal cycling doesn't figure at all in the top 20 reasons for hospital admissions. 

Cycling UK's head of engagement Helen Cook commented: “There is a mistaken belief among many people – but particularly women – that cycling is not a safe option for short journeys to work or for leisure. That could not be further from the truth and these NHS admission figures do show just how safe going for a ride is in relation to other activities.

“The Women’s Festival of Cycling was created to celebrate female cyclists and to encourage more women and non-binary people who are currently under-represented, to experience the healthy lifestyle and fantastic fun that cycling offers. We hope more women will be inspired throughout July to get out cycling and build up their confidence on two wheels.”

You can find out more about the Women's Festival of Cycling here

08 July 2020, 09:11
Cycling surge fails to stop Halfords' lockdown revenue decline due to decline in motoring revenue

Over 13 weeks up to the 3rd July, the retailer saw their cycling business enjoy a 57.1% boost compared to the same period last year; but a 45.4% drop in the motoring arm of their business equated to sales that were 2.8% lower in the frst quarter compared to 2019. 

CEO Graham Stapleton commented: “The start of the current financial year has of course been dominated by the impact of Covid-19, and our status as an essential retailer was a clear endorsement of the wider role that Halfords has to play in keeping the UK moving.

“Having responded quickly and decisively to cater for the surge of popularity in cycling during lockdown, we are now seeing increased demand for motoring services and products as people start using their cars regularly again, having not done so for the last few months.”

08 July 2020, 08:54
Richard Freeman hearing pushed back, and will now begin on 6th October
Dr Richard Freeman (picture credit Team Sky)

The hearing for the former British Cycling and Team Sky doctor will now take place between Tuesday 6 October – Thursday 26 November 2020. There have been several delays to the proceedings due to Freeman's mental health issues, and eventually it began in October 2019 after an eight month delay. 

Freeman was accused of ordering testosterone for Team Sky cyclists in 2011, however in his tribunal in November last year he claimed that he was "bullied" into getting sachets of testogel to treat Shane Sutton's erectile disfunction. Former British Cycling and Team Sky head coach Sutton denied those claims, and so far Freeman has admitted 18 of the 22 charges against him, including ordering the patches, but denies that they were intended for use by an athlete.

08 July 2020, 09:48
Have you ever seen a better cycling photo than this?

One hell of an angle captured by Michael Napiorkowski from his trusty cargo bike here... chapeau! 

08 July 2020, 08:31
Jeremy Vine told "you don't need to take up the middle of the road" as he overtakes another cyclist

The broadcaster often shares instance of bad driving from his commutes around London, and in this latest clip he is accused of being in the middle of the road as he overtakes another cyclist. The driver of the silver Audi is then shown driving over a crossing inches away from two pedestrians. 

Vine inevitably catches up with the driver after he has overtaken and says: "What's your problem?"

The driver replies: "You don't need to be in the middle of the road.  You don't need to take up the middle of the road." 

While the broadcaster has been urged to report the incident by a police superintendent, not everyone agrees; and some even say he was being deliberately antagonistic by 'taking the lane'. Do you see anything untoward with Mr Vine's cycling in this instance?

08 July 2020, 08:17
Low Traffic Neighbourhoods for the win

As more LTN's appear across the UK, children are reaping the benefits by having the street to themselves to ride bikes without the constant worry of rat-running traffic. 

Earlier this week, the Labour MP for Ealing Central and Acton Rupa Huq puzzled social media by saying that terrifying footage of a tree falling inches away from a bystander makes plans for a Low Traffic Neighbourhood in the area "even more ludicrous". It's fair to say not everyone agreed with her...

Arriving at in 2017 via 220 Triathlon Magazine, Jack dipped his toe in most jobs on the site and over at eBikeTips before being named the new editor of in 2020, much to his surprise. His cycling life began during his students days, when he cobbled together a few hundred quid off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story) and bought his first road bike - a Trek 1.1 that was quickly relegated to winter steed, before it was sadly pinched a few years later. Creatively replacing it with a Trek 1.2, Jack mostly rides this bike around local cycle paths nowadays, but when he wants to get the racer out and be competitive his preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking - the latter being another long story.  

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