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Cyclists banned from Richmond Park for causing ‘plumes of exhalation’ (among other things); Phil Gaimon's everesting record video; Ride-through fast food; 'Epic Climbs' Zoom backgrounds; ‘Pelotan’ sun protection; Pantano banned for four years

Today's live blog with Alex Bowden (daytime) and Simon MacMichael (evening)...
21 May 2020, 15:46
Tree of the Day with former UCI boss Brian Cookson

One of the more surprising lockdown social media developments has been former UCI president Brian Cookson doing Tree of the Day.

21 May 2020, 15:08
Joe Ogunmokun (via Instagram)
New cyclist riding from Wimbledon to Saint Tropez in his living room to help keep his friend alive

Joe Ogunmokun recently bought his first road bike with the intention of riding to France to raise money for his friend Ben Chatfield who is dying of brain cancer.

He’s since had to tweak his plans and is now riding the distance between Wimbledon and Saint Tropez on a Keiser bike donated by his local gym.

Chatfield was diagnosed with stage 4 Glioblastoma Multiforme in June last year, an incredibly aggressive form of brain tumour from which most people can expect to survive for 12-15 months.

Four weeks after the diagnosis, his wife gave birth to their daughter.

Chemotherapy and radiotherapy have not been able to halt the tumour’s growth and his medical team have recommended that the best option left to them is to try to stabilise him using a drug called Avastin, which would improve his quality of life considerably.

Each treatment cycle costs £10,000 and Ogunmokun wants to give Chatfield and his family at least six cycles.

At the time of writing, he’s raised £99,225.

Ogunmokun explains: “Around 10 years ago, a bloke called Ben took a punt on me as his intern – even though I turned up to the interview without a pen and paper. Little did I know that his actions would play such a pivotal role in my life and career and that he would go on to become a great friend and mentor.

“Ben is the coolest man I know. The most intelligent man I know. Author. Creative. Entrepreneur. Mentor. An infuriating combination of a man. Given I haven’t had many male influences, he is the most important man in my life.

“So, I’ll be making this trip in homage to Ben; Wimbledon fanatic and francophile and in gratitude to The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity. Though we are all experiencing a sense of instability at this time, I hope my antics over the coming weeks bring you all some joy and light relief. Blessings and thank you.”

Ogunmokun’s been broadcasting from his Instagram page.

You can also find his Go Fund Me page here.

21 May 2020, 14:38
West Midlands Police are still running their close pass operation

As they say themselves, it's as important now as ever.

21 May 2020, 14:28
Pop-up bike lane on the A56 in Manchester

One of the three lanes of the A56 through Stretford is to be repurposed for walking and cycling to enable social distancing for commuters without cars.

The A56 is one of Manchester's major arterial routes and there's a further proposal to reallocate space from Altrincham all the way to White City to create a continuous pop-up lane to be complete in full by June 15.

I should probably add this to our piece listing UK pop-up bike lanes.

21 May 2020, 14:23
Salford fixes bike lane - and quickly

Pointed out yesterday...

Sorted today...

21 May 2020, 13:05
Scottish Parliament Bike Stands (copyright Simon MacMichael).jpg
Do cyclists in Scotland have to stay within five miles of home?

Lockdown restrictions in Scotland are to be relaxed slightly from May 28. Here's the document.

Edinburgh News reports that travelling “broadly within 5 miles” for outdoor leisure and exercise will be permitted in the first phase.

The document itself states you are: "Permitted to travel short distances for outdoor leisure and exercise but advice to stay within a short distance of your local community (broadly within 5 miles) and travel by walk, wheel and cycle where possible."

It strikes us there's a degree of ambiguity here, in that cycling is specifically referenced only as a form of transport to get to your leisure activity or exercise, rather than being mentioned as a leisure activity or form of exercise itself.

That said, it isn't mentioned as being exempt elsewhere in the document, so you have to assume it's subject to the same 'broadly within 5 miles' restrictions.

Advice from Cycling Scotland has so far been to ride, "stay local".

21 May 2020, 12:47
Phil Gaimon (via YouTube)
Video: Phil Gaimon’s everesting attempt

Former pro turned YouTube personality Phil Gaimon recently broke the ‘everesting’ record, an effort that apparently left his beard, “vomited beyond repair.”

He made his attempt on Mountaingate Ridge Road in Los Angeles, riding up and down it 61 times. 

He was raising funds for the No Kid Hungry charity.

So far he’s raised $105,000.

Here’s his film about it.

21 May 2020, 11:17
Sheffield Grand Prix cancelled

They're hoping to be back next year.

21 May 2020, 11:14
Cyclists banned from Richmond Park for breathing – reaction

There’s much to dig into in the reasoning behind Royal Parks’ decision to ban cyclists from Richmond Park (see below).

There’s the supposed ‘impossibility’ of maintaining social distancing; the comment about people riding without “protective clothing”; the dangers of “inexperienced road users”.

However, the whole “plumes of exhalation” thing is the one that has really grabbed people’s attention.

We’ve had quite a few comments along these lines too (including two entirely separate comments that it sounds like a Pixies track.)

21 May 2020, 10:22
Edinburgh bike hire scheme just had its busiest day
21 May 2020, 10:17
The official sun protection of British Cycling is called ‘Pelotan’

We’re delighted to inform you that this is not a joke. That’s their actual, quite brilliant, company name. They’ve signed a five-year deal.

Pelotan is a ‘once-a-day’ water and sweat resistant sun protection brand. The company’s flagship product is an alcohol-based spray which is clear, quickly absorbed, lightweight and breathable and has been tested as lasting up to eight hours at SPF 30.

Pretty impressive.

Tom Austen, Managing Director of Pelotan commented: “Exposure to the sun is unavoidable in cycling; whether it be on training rides, trips around the park, or when we see a return to sportives and Olympic races – whatever level and whatever discipline you ride, it has never been more clear that part of the joy of cycling is being outdoors in nature, but it is important to protect your skin all year round.

“We are delighted to be partnering with the Great Britain Cycling Team to provide high-performance sun protection at the very elite level of the sport, where every possible advantage can be crucial. We will also work closely with British Cycling to raise awareness of sun damage and skin care across the board, whilst giving members access to exclusive benefits.

“We are passionate about cycling and genuinely believe sun protection can have a tangible impact on performance, recovery and enjoyment for cyclists of all levels – so we look forward to working with British Cycling over the coming years.”

Dr Nigel Jones, Head of Medical Services for the Great Britain Cycling Team, said: “Sunscreen alone can’t entirely protect you from UV damage, but it’s a vital element of any skin care routine all year round. What particularly drew us to Pelotan was the quality of their product and their focus in developing formulations that are well-tailored to athletes.

“We’ve taken stock of Pelotan Sprays and Roll-Ons for use by the Great Britain Cycling Team and we’ll be getting real-time feedback from riders to ensure that they are fully familiar with the products ahead of the Tokyo Games.

“On top of the performance aspect, we have a number of things in the pipeline with Pelotan, including sun protection advice for the benefit of all British Cycling members. While getting out on the bike in the sunshine is great for your mental wellbeing, it’s important that you make sure you’re protected while doing so.”

21 May 2020, 09:25
Jarlinson Pantano (via Tour of Colombia YouTube)
Tour de France stage winner Jarlinson Pantano banned for four years for EPO use

Colombian cyclist Jarlinson Pantano, who won a Tour de France stage in 2016 when he was with the IAM Cycling team, has been banned for four years.

The 31-year-old retired last summer after testing positive for EPO in February.

He had been riding for Trek-Segafredo, but was suspended after being informed of an adverse analytical finding in an out of competition test.

21 May 2020, 09:07
We really miss Fabio Aru's poker face on the climbs
21 May 2020, 09:05
Free ‘Epic Climbs’ backgrounds for Zoom

Bookcases are passé.

Passes are the new bookcases.

21 May 2020, 08:59
Cyclist Richmond Park (via YouTube)
Cyclists banned from Richmond Park for causing ‘plumes of exhalation’ (among other things)

Towards the end of March, cyclists were banned from Richmond Park, apparently due to the numbers of cyclists who had been riding through and a failure to observe social distancing.

A freedom of information request now reveals that one of the reasons cited for the move was that cyclists, “cause a plume of exhalation in their wake.”

“Be good to get a medic to support this assumption on our part,” commented the park manager.

You can read Royal Parks’ full explanation here.

21 May 2020, 08:45
Ride-through fast food

You’ll most likely have seen a social media post about queues of motorists at reopened drive-throughs by now.

This one was yesterday when – we don’t know if you noticed – it was a pretty nice day to be doing almost anything other than sitting in your car patiently waiting for a Big Mac.

Well it’s not all mind-meltingly depressing out there.

Rather pleasingly, this Minneapolis restaurant is specifically advertising cycle-through takeaways.

More of this kind of thing!

21 May 2020, 08:39
Bristol cyclists ride with foam rollers to campaign for more cycle space (and apologise for hitting cars with them)

Bristol Live reports that a group of cyclists campaigning for more cycle space rode from Newfoundland Way to the Bearpit and back with foam rollers attached to their bikes.

The move was intended to highlight how more bike lanes are needed if people are to cycle around the city respecting the two metre rule.

"We would like the council to introduce temporary cycle lanes like other cities have around the world," said organiser David Angel.

He did however apologise after a motorist contacted the newspaper to complain that the cyclists had been knocking cars with the foam rollers.

"It does get pretty narrow on that section of the road,” he said. “I want to apologise to anyone we may have hit by accident.

"We had a debriefing after and decided to not go along that route again because we were aware it was causing some issues."

The group is planning to ride round the city centre in coming weeks to show how much space people need to stay safe.

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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