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Is 38-hour ride reasonable in lockdown?; Mavic in receivership; Vine goads 'road tax' crowd; Keen cyclist, Kraftwerk founder Schneider dies; Pop-up bike lanes; Video: PCSO has bike taken; BW Cycling gives 100 bikes to hospital staff + more

Today's live blog with Alex Bowden (daytime) and Simon MacMichael (evening)...
07 May 2020, 20:42
Iconic French bike wheel and components brand Mavic goes into receivership

Mavic, one of the most famous brands in cycling and maker of wheels ridden by everyone from novice cyclists buying their first road bike to world and Olympic champions and Tour de France winners, has gone into receivership.

Sold last year to a US-based private equity firm by former parent company Amer Sports, the wheels and components firm, which employs around 200 people, reportedly made a net loss of €12.8 million last year on turnover of €70 million.

We'll have more on this story on in the morning.

07 May 2020, 15:58
More new gravel goodness from Specialized

Specialized has a new Rhombus tyre that can be found on to the new Diverge Evo flat bar bikes which they’ve just launched.

The new tyres are available separately and it looks to be set up for a mix of faster gravel and road riding.

Specilaized says that the new Rhombus "is aggressive with closely spaced centre knobs for better rolling, serrated transition knobbles for confident cornering on mixed surfaces and a large shoulder for better traction in the corners.”

Read Mat’s first ride review of the Diverge Pro Carbon

The tubeless ready tyre will be available in 700 x 42 and features Specialized’s Gripton compound along with an Endurant 60 TPI casing.

You can read more about the new Diverge gravel bikes here and we’ve already given a pair to Stu for testing, so check back soon for that.

07 May 2020, 15:43
Cycling aerodynamics startup Body Rocket raises Over £255,000 in crowdfunding

Brighton-based tech start-up Body Rocket has raised £255,424 on Crowdcube. They were looking to raise a minimum of £80,000, but went past that inside a day.

The firm has developed an on-bike device that provides real-time aerodynamic feedback to the rider.

. from Body Rocket CrowdCube on Vimeo.

07 May 2020, 15:25
Pop-up bike lane plans for London (plus ideas where they could go in other cities)

There are some predictably uplifting replies to this tweet...

Meanwhile, this project flags (a) roads on which there is high cycling potential, and (b) road space that could be re-allocated in the context of increased demand for cycling to keyworker workplaces.

07 May 2020, 15:11
Zwift makes changes to ‘Meet-up’ feature
zwift ceramicspeed

The changes should make riding with friends easier

If you’ve ever tried to organise a ride with friends in Zwift, then you’ll know that actually riding together can sometimes be tricky.

Zwift has made some changes to their meet-up feature, giving you more options of where to host your meet-up, allowing you to see only the other Zwifters in your meet-up and increasing the number of people that you can invite from 50 to 100.

How to get started on Zwift

The increase in locations now means that you can host meet-ups in Innsbruck, London, and New York to Richmond, Yorkshire, and Watopia.

Seeing only the other rider in your meet-up will make it a lot easier to stick together, though it’s only the in-game view that has changed. You’ll still be able to receive and give a ride-on to the wider Zwift community.

Have you already tried it out? Let us know in the comments below.

07 May 2020, 14:44
Bike nicked
Update on the guy who took that PCSO’s bike

Thanks to shishman below the line who points out that Thames Valley Police has charged a man in connection with the Slough incident we reported at 8.33am. (Actually, it was 9.33am, our timings are knackered.)

Hassan Ali, aged 23, has been charged with a section 4a public order offence and one count of taking a bicycle without consent.

He was arrested on Wednesday and has been bailed to appear at Reading Magistrates’ Court on June 4.

07 May 2020, 14:30
Cheddar Gorge
Police organise hill climb

Not on purpose - but in closing Cheddar Gorge to motor traffic and not cyclists over the Bank Holiday weekend, they might find they have one on their hands.

(That's a joke. Don't head over there on your special climbing bike you've drilled a bunch of holes in.)

Cllr John Woodman, Cabinet member for highways and transport at Somerset County Council, told “With fine weather forecast for the Bank Holiday there are concerns that some irresponsible drivers may decide to head to Cheddar Gorge.

“Public safety is our priority. With our police partners we reviewed last weekend’s closure and know it was welcomed by local residents.”

“The great majority of people understand the need to stay at home and save lives during the coronavirus pandemic.”

Superintendent Mike Prior added: “We’re quite clear though this restriction is for motorised vehicles and to stop non-essential travel as the Government has set out.

"This doesn’t prevent people exercising but we are advising people to be reasonable and to do this as close to home as possible.

"However, the closure does seek to prevent people travelling unreasonable distances and in doing so putting both themselves and other members of the public at a heightened risk.”

07 May 2020, 14:21
 BARDET Romain (AGR2 LA MONDIALE) - Vainqueur de l'étape © .jpg
Romain Bardet's been inside too long

"The new calendar might allow me to think about riding the cobbled classics,” he writes in a diary for Le Monde.

“The Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix are races I really want to participate in, and in a normal season it's difficult given the preparations for the Grand Tours.

"Now they're during the Vuelta, so there are choices to be made, and we'll see how the team spreads their resources, but it's clear that I'd prefer to go all the way in that nice Classics campaign. It promises to be epic, with wet and greasy pavé at the end of October."

07 May 2020, 14:09
Is a 38-hour ride reasonable during lockdown?

We're not really sure what to say about this one. We've no desire to unleash the digital lynch mob, but it obviously rankled with the person who sent it to us - and we can understand why.

Strava indicates that earlier this week, this cyclist – who we won’t name – went out for a 21-hour ride with a 12-hour stop in the woods in the middle of it. (As you'd imagine, there were a few other stops too.)

The general vibe on Audax forums at the minute seems to be that people are reminiscing about when they could do long rides, or are doing them virtually.

In contrast, the ride’s attracted kudos and positive comments aplenty on Strava.



07 May 2020, 13:43
Blessing of the Bikes NY
Join the Blessing of the Bicycles at St John The Divine Cathedral in New York on Saturday (virtually, obvs)

The 22nd Annual Blessing of the Bicycles ceremony will take place online this year, with a special focus on bicycle messengers and delivery people and the essential role they play.

Cyclists are encouraged to send photos and messages to the cathedral if they’d like them to be included in the online blessing.

The event is for "all faiths or lack thereof".

More details here.

07 May 2020, 13:27
Evans Cycles, Manchester (CC BY 2.0 Smabs Sputzer:Flickr)
Evans Cycles stores reopen – some by appointment only

Thanks to ktache for drawing this to our attention in the comments: all Evans Cycles stores have reopened (although some by appointment only).

Evans, together with sister retailer Sports Direct, was subject to a backlash on social media back in March after initially announcing that it planned to continue trading during the coronavirus pandemic.

Owner Mike Ashley then apologised and shut all Sports Direct and Evans Cycles stores, even though bike shops have been allowed to remain open as essential retailers to support key workers and exercising during lockdown.

The firm was then accused of “taking cyclists for a ride” over above-RRP coronavirus smart trainer pricing on its website.

It was also slammed for not telling customers about delays on ‘in stock’ bikes before they committed to a purchase.

At that point, 11 stores had been opened. Cycling Industry News now reports that all stores have reopened.

It’s also opened additional bike building hubs to cope with increased demand.

Evans said: “You have probably seen how incredibly popular cycling has become in the last few weeks, and it has been joyful to see so many people of all ages and abilities getting on their bikes.

“Whilst our stores have been closed, we have received very high demand for bikes to be dispatched for home delivery, which has led to longer than usual lead times. We have responded by setting up additional bike building hubs in London, Manchester, Mansfield and Sheffield.”

07 May 2020, 13:14
Pop-up cycle lane in London
07 May 2020, 12:47
Interactive map of the UK’s pop-up cycle lanes

As part of their campaign for more pop up lanes, Cycling UK have created an interactive map showing where temporary infrastructure is, and where some is proposed to be.

You can find it here.

They’ve also got a form so that you can contact your local councillors and ask for something in your area.

That one’s here.

07 May 2020, 11:08
BW donation
Local bikes shop donates 100 new bikes for staff at Bristol and Bath hospitals

Bristol-based BW Cycling has donated 100 bikes, locks and helmets for staff working at Royal United Hospitals Bath and Southmead Hospital Bristol.

“We are a small privately owned bike shop which can’t make ventilators or PPE but we have bikes to make transport easier,” explained co-owner Andy Wadsworth.

Merida bike

“When we heard stories of frontline NHS staff working long shifts with some walking for over an hour to get to work and back because of reduced public transport and being unable to get a lift share, we thought we could help.

“We are very fortunate to have strong client relationships with local companies and Creo Medical has been very supportive in helping fund 100 bikes for NHS staff. 

“We’ve donated 50 bikes to RUH staff – the remaining 20 will be delivered next week – and donated another 50 to staff at Southmead.

“It’s been a bit challenging with the logistics and social distancing but we’ve done it – much easier in comparison to what many NHS staff are having to deal with on a daily basis.”

Recipients have been decided by a draw.

One winner, Ben Ellis, was entered by colleagues in the Emergency Department.

Ben Ellis landscape

“Winning a bike was a big surprise as I did not know about the offer,” he said. “I feel very privileged and look forward to being able to ride to work.”

Another winner, Jo Smith, a clinical dietitian who lives in Southstoke said: “This will certainly help my journey to work – it’s either over an hour’s walk or try and catch two buses.”

07 May 2020, 10:54
Cyclist offers £500 reward to find unique bike stolen in Kent

A cyclist is offering £500 if anyone can help him find his modified black Trek Roscoe 7, with blue highlights on the pedals and grips, which was stolen from Mereworth Woods in Kent on Tuesday.

"It was stolen from right behind me while I stopped to clear a path,” Alastair Field told Kent Online.

“This guy, who had been watching me, hidden in a group of other people jumped out and rode away with it.

"He was acting alone, the others didn't know who he was so they were shouting to get my attention.

"I was in a state of disbelief for a while. I phoned the police straight away and I was very emotional and I'm really gutted it's gone."

The bike has great sentimental value to Field.

"I bought it brand new for a trek all the way to Bosnia,” he said. “After that I've taken it on various trips to the mountains in Germany, Belgium, and across Scotland. All of my free time is spent taking this bike on adventures.

"I've heavily modified it. It's now got blue highlights all over and it's very scratched and scuffed. The paint work has been worn away by all of the bags that I've had strapped to it.

"It has very wide tyres, and nearly all parts have been replaced from the factory stock, making it very unique and distinctive.

"It won't sell for very much money but I'm worried that because it has nice parts, they will be taken off and the frame will be thrown away when really it's the frame that means the most to me.

"It will take me years to properly build up another expedition bicycle so I'm really hoping I can get it back."

Anyone with information should call Kent Police on 01622 604100, quoting reference 5-1078.

07 May 2020, 10:02
Vine goads the 'road tax' crowd
07 May 2020, 09:24
Paris's 'coronapistes' are every bit as good as normal bike lanes

Which is to say they're great when they're properly policed and motorists respect them.

07 May 2020, 08:58
Jeremy Vine pays tribute to Kraftwerk founder Florian Schneider

Florian Schneider, co-founder of Kraftwerk, has died at the age of 73.

Kraftwerk’s love for cycling is not hard to identify. Their 2003 album is called Tour de France Soundtracks and was recorded for the 100th anniversary of the race.

Schneider and co-founder Ralph Hütter took to cycling in the 1970s and would ask to be let off the tour bus 100-miles early so they could finish the journey by bike.

Then there are the circumstances of Schneider's departure from the group in 2008.

Jeremy Vine has just discovered one of the longstanding fan rumours about that.

07 May 2020, 08:33
Video: PCSO telling group of lads to stay at home has his bike taken

A police community support officer had his bike taken while trying to remind a group of young men about social distancing rules.

The BBC reports that the PCSO approached the men at around 7.55pm on Monday because they were playing cricket in the Godolphin Playing Fields in Slough.

The men didn’t seem to take the warning in the least bit seriously and at one point the PCSO’s bike was taken.

The officer called for backup and got his bike back when the group fled the scene.

Police are appealing for witnesses.

Officers went back to the playing fields on Tuesday and found a group of men playing cricket.

“They attempted to run off but they were detained and issued with fixed penalty notices,” said Supt Gavin Wong.

Wong said: "We are fully committed to supporting the fight against the coronavirus in order to save lives, and we need to remember that officers on the front line put themselves at risk in order to do that.

"I know the local community will be embarrassed by the actions of a small number of people, because the vast majority of people understand what is required and have complied with the rules around coronavirus. I am grateful that the PCSO was not injured and he is being supported by the force. He showed professionalism during the incident."

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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