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Are bike thieves targeting doctors and teachers?; Chinese media reports theory US military cyclist who came to Wuhan was “patient zero”; Threat to close Royal Parks to cyclists if rules aren't respected; Belgian pro's 369km Zwift session + more

Today's live blog with Alex Bowden (daytime) and Simon MacMichael (evening)...
26 March 2020, 16:55
Can you help? ANOTHER bike theft – London teacher asks for help

A London teacher, working at a school that is still open for vulnerable children and children of key workers, has had her bike stolen two days after she bought it.

“I am a primary school teacher in London,” she told Stolen Ride. “My school, like many, is still open for vulnerable children and children of key workers, like our NHS heroes.

“Due to the London lockdown and the advisement against using public transport, I bought myself a new Carrera Axle ltd from Halfords on Sunday to ensure I can still get to work.

“Unfortunately, I woke up on Wednesday morning to find my bike had been stolen from where I had it locked in the gated and covered parking garage under my building (in Colliers Wood, south west London). In order to take it, someone must have climbed over the fence, cut the lock (which they took with them) and hoist the bike over the fence and down to another person. I believe it was an organised and planned theft.

“It is very unfortunate that, at a time when we should be working together, some people are taking advantage. I only had my bike two days and therefore don’t have any photos of it, other than the one I took of it on display in Halfords to share with a friend of mine, who is quite into bikes, for advice on whether it was a good buy or not.”

26 March 2020, 16:05
Bike firms vie to replace ICU doctor’s stolen bike

Earlier today, Dr Dan Harvey – who has been treating coronavirus patients in Nottingham – tweeted to say that when he finished his shift at 2am, he discovered that his bike (and more) had been stolen.

He was swiftly contacted by three firms offering to help out.

Manchester’s cycling commissioner, Chris Boardman, who is chairman of Boardman bikes got in touch, as did folding bike specialist, Brompton.

Harvey’s bike was a Ribble CGR Ti and the Lancashire firm tweeted: “Hey Dan, we’d like to help you get back on 2 wheels ASAP, please could you DM us with your contact details and we can get you a bike sorted. Thanks Team Ribble”

Forbes reports that the firm is hoping to get a like-for-like replacement out to him tomorrow.

Last week we reported on a similar response after a bike was stolen from an NHS nurse.

Thankfully, thanks to police efforts, that bike was recovered and returned.

Earlier this week, a London doctor treating coronavirus patients in intensive care said she would need to walk to work after her bike was stolen from a secure car park at the building where she lives.

Again, there was a swift response on social media and she has been fixed up with a replacement.

26 March 2020, 15:25
Tour de France 2020 route map
French sports minister floats Tour de France without fans

How in hell would they achieve this?

French sports minister Roxana Maracineanu says they’re still pondering what to do about this year’s Tour de France.

She reckons there are a few possibilities. As well as postponing or cancelling the race, she says it could also be held without fans at the roadside.

"The economic model of the Tour de France is not based on ticketing but on TV rights," she said.

"In this period of confinement, everyone is aware and responsible. Everyone understood the benefits of staying at home and therefore favouring the television show rather than the live show."

Earlier this week, former UCI president Brian Cookson suggested shortening the Tour to two weeks and holding it in August, followed by a two-week Giro in September and a two-week Vuelta in October.

Later that day, Matteo Trentin – who was won a stage in each of the Grand Tours – made an even more radical suggestion: a single three-in-one Grand Grand Tour running through France, Italy and Spain.

26 March 2020, 14:44
Trek will fix your non-Trek bike
26 March 2020, 14:25
Tour de Flat
Cyclist raises funds for Big Issue vendors by riding the distance of the Tour de France in his flat

Jake Hill-Gowing is trying to ride the 3,500km distance of the Tour de France on an exercise bike he says has largely been used as a clothes horse for the last three years.

He’s trying to raise £5,000 for Big Issue vendors who cannot sell the magazine on the streets at the minute.

“I’ve been quite friendly with The Big Issue vendor Stevie outside the front of our office for the past three years,” he said.

“I was looking to receive The Big Issue digitally because I buy the magazine from him every week. But then I thought: is there anything more I can do?

“Then I remembered I’ve got this exercise bike in my flat which I’ve been using for a clothes horse for the past three years and I thought: has anyone tried a sponsored cycle in self-isolation? It was just something to do to stop me going mental.”

Hill-Gowing has so far raised over £1,600.

You can donate on his ‘Tour de Flat’ JustGiving page here and – although it might not be the greatest spectator sport – you can also see him in action on Twitch here.

“I kind of said that I was going to do the distance of the Tour de France without looking it up,” he confessed. “But when I found out how long it was I was like ‘I guess I’ve committed to this now’.”

26 March 2020, 13:46
London mechanics launch bike collection and return service

The Handlebars repair network is rolling out a new bike collection and return service in London.

They cover all of zone 1 and 2 and their mechanics will service and return your bike in 24-48 hours. 

They say they’re taking extra safety precautions at the minute, including ensuring that mechanics and drivers wear protective masks and gloves at all times, having mechanics work in isolation and ensuring all bikes are fully wiped down and disinfected on collection and on return.

Prices range from £60 to £160 or it’s free for NHS staff.

You can book online here.

26 March 2020, 13:24
“Peloton stud” Rory McIlroy invites golf rivals to static cycling challenge
Rory McIlroy via Instagram.PNG

The (golf) world number one’s latest session saw him ranked 69th out of almost 11,500 people on Peloton leaderboard... impressive! Full story here

26 March 2020, 12:46
Le Col reveals spring/summer clothing range
26 March 2020, 12:08
British Cycling has posted the first of its daily activities for kids
26 March 2020, 12:04
broken bike.jpg
60-year-old died after e-bike battery exploded in her motorhome while charging

The Shropshire Star reports on the death of Christabel Timmins, who suffered 55 per cent burns and died of multiple organ three weeks after her e-bike battery exploded while charging.

The incident occurred in June 2018 while Timmins and her partner Tim Rhodes were staying at the Pendyffryn Caravan Park in Dwygyfylchi, near Penmaenmawr.

The couple had bought e-bikes in 2014 and Rhodes said he decided to charge the lithium batteries inside their motorhome.

As they were preparing for bed there was an explosion.

Rhodes had been in the cab and managed to get out. He then pulled Timmins out the same way.

Recording a conclusion of accidental death, Elizabeth Dudley-Jones, assistant coroner for North Wales East and Central, said she was satisfied that the source of the fire was one of the batteries.

26 March 2020, 11:27
Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 - 1
Chinese media reports theory US military cyclist who came to Wuhan was “patient zero”

Do you know who’s the most popularly searched rider on Pro Cycling Stats at the minute?

It’s US military cyclist Maatje Benassi.

Benassi competed in the 7th CISM Military World Games in Wuhan in October.

Some guy called George Webb, “an investigative journalist in Washington DC”, reckons she could be patient zero of COVID-19.

English language Chinese newspaper Global Times reports that, “His conclusions, although without strong evidence, triggered questions on Chinese social media.”

Colourful stuff.

More on this later.

26 March 2020, 11:19
Raleigh launches cycle to work scheme for electric bikes

Raleigh have launched a cycle-to-work scheme. Electric Bike Access means customers can save up to 42 per cent on retail prices of electric bikes.

“The electric bike can be a true alternative to cars, particularly for shorter journeys,” said Pippa Wibberley, Marketing Director at Raleigh UK.

“Commuters can combine the savings on fuel and parking with the enormous benefits to health and wellbeing. As well as the positive environmental impact, the bicycle could revolutionise the way we travel and dramatically reduce congestion in our towns and cities.”

The scheme allows employees to purchase bikes and spread the cost interest-free over 12 months by paying for a bike from their pre tax salary.

Bikes from Raleigh, Haibike and Lapierre are included.

You can shop online and have the bike delivered to your home or one of Raleigh’s authorised retailers.

Here’s the website.

And here’s more of an explanation.

26 March 2020, 10:56
New Wattbike Icon indoor training bike available at discount
2020 Wattbike Icon_full bike

Wattbike’s new Icon indoor training bike, designed for gym use, is now available to individuals for a limited time.

Find out more here

26 March 2020, 10:54
Rider who tested positive for coronavirus during UAE Tour released from hospital

UAE Team Emirates rider Max Richeze has been released from the UAE hospital where he spent 18 days after testing positive for coronavirus during the UAE Tour.

He said that two tests for COVID-19 came back negative and he was discharged.

Richeze’s teammate, Fernando Gaviria, remains in quarantine with the rest of the team.

26 March 2020, 09:46
Laurens De Vreese fails to eat enough sandwiches during 369km Zwift session

Last week on the live blog, we reported how Belgian riders Oliver Naesen (AG2R La Mondiale) and Maxim Pirard had gone for a quick 365km spin.

Inspired by this, Astana's Laurens De Vreese has posted a ride to Strava he's tagged as the #OliverNaesenChallenge

De Vreese did 369km. Even more strikingly, he did it on a turbo trainer.

Here's the ride.

Someone really should point out to him that you can choose to ride different courses on Zwift. (Or maybe he's just pacing himself in the expectation that he'll eventually ride all of them in the coming weeks and months.)

Posting about the feat on Twitter, the UCI reckoned De Vreese sustained himself with four sandwiches.

We don't know about you, but we'd eat four sandwiches in 11 hours without even going near a turbo trainer.

26 March 2020, 09:21
Thorn news

The size of that motherhecker! Sound on for full glory. #tubelessorGTFO

A post shared by Katherine Moore (@katherinebikes) on

26 March 2020, 09:12
Threat to close Royal Parks to cyclists if rules aren't respected

They've given similar advice to joggers (albeit without the threat).

All the same, the message has had a mixed response.

Some have pointed out that rat-running motorists in Regent's Park aren't helping matters.

How much distance should you leave to the cyclist ahead in a time of pandemic?

How to cycle responsibly in a time of pandemic

At the weekend, Richmond Park Cyclists urged people to ride alone or risk being banned after images showed cyclists queueing at one of the refreshment kiosks.

Rules on social distancing were widely ignored by many visitors - not just cyclists - resulting in motor vehicles being banned from three Royal Parks and the closure of a number of cafés and kiosks.

26 March 2020, 09:07
British Cycling sharing an activity for the kids each day

The first one's later this morning.

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.

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