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Gordon Ramsay 'risking further wrath from neighbours' with 22 mile ride, claims Daily Mail; Custom bike stolen from man visiting sick daughter; Council signs WILL remain on path; Former women's team manager guilty of harassment + more on the live blog

Welcome to Monday's live blog. Jack Sexty is your blogger-in-chief today, with Simon MacMichael taking over later this evening. ...
20 April 2020, 16:16
Gordon Ramsay "risking further wrath from neighbours" by going on (perfectly legal) 22 mile bike ride, claim the Daily Mail

The tabloid reports that Ramsay went on a "22 MILE cycle trip in Cornwall... despite government advice to keep trips to a minimum in lockdown"; claiming that he was "risking further wrath from his neighbours" after initially facing criticism for moving to his second home in Cornwall, despite this happening before the UK went into full lockdown. 

Of course there are still no laws in the UK specifically stating how long you should be out getting your daily exercise for, as noted in our Dos and Don'ts guide updated according to the latest government advice; some have attributed the misconception that outdoor exercise must be limited to one hour to a quote from Minister for the Cabinet Office Michael Gove, who personally suggested that a walk should last an hour and a jog 30 minutes. 

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Despite some comments on his Instagram post appearing to perpetuate this misconception, other followers were far more positive including Mark Cavendish and... erm... Steve-O off of Jackass.

The TV chef is a keen cyclist and triathlete, having completed the Ironman World Championship course in Hawaii through an invitational slot in a time of 14 hours, 4 minutes back in 2013. 

20 April 2020, 15:54
UCI find Patrick Van Gansen guilty of harassment

 

Van Gansen - the former team manager of Health Mate-Cyclelive -has been found to have commited violations of the UCI Code of Ethics following the completion of a report. The full statement says: 

"The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) announces that the UCI Ethics Commission has completed its report in the case involving Mr Patrick Van Gansen (former manager of the UCI Women’s Team Health Mate - Ladies Team) related to allegations by a number of riders of harassment.

"Following completion of the report – which took into account a considerable number of statements and covers several years – by independent investigation agency The Sport Resolutions, the UCI Ethics Commission reached the finding that violations of the UCI Code of Ethics had been committed.

"Considering the sanctions recommended by the UCI Ethics Commission, the matter has been handed over to the UCI Disciplinary Commission, which has initiated proceedings with a view to the possibility of sanctions being imposed.

"In view of the ongoing status of the proceedings, the UCI shall not make any further comment for the time being."

Several members of the team filed complaints against Van Gansen, to which he claimed there was "a conspiracy" and promised to take legal action against his accusers according to Cycling News. Van Gansen is no longer working in women's cycling, telling Cycling News he no longer wants to be involved in the sport. 

20 April 2020, 13:40
Custom bike stolen in central London from man visiting sick daughter at Great Ormond Street Hospital

With recent reports of key workers getting their bikes stolen during the pandemic, this latest theft sinks to a whole new low; Franco Ashenhurst had his custom Curve Belgie Spirit stolen from outside Great Ormond Street Hospital. He posted on Facebook: 

"Message to the absolute low life scum that decided that they would STEAL my bike from outside of a children’s hospital. The same hospital that my very sick 2 month old daughter is in, and has had a spate of bike thefts both from visitors and staff from outside in the last few weeks according to security.

"I really hope that you are proud of the path you have taken in life and spend what small amount you get for my bike that I worked so hard for wisely. That bike you STOLE was the main way that I found therapy in this time that me and my family are going through and also provided a convenient and cheap way to get to the hospital whilst the roads in London are quiet."

The titanium bike is described as 'rare' with numerous custom spec options, and Curve titanium framesets sell for £2,595 at UK stockist Giro Cycles. In the comments on Mr Ashenhurst's Facebook post, Curve's Ryan Flinn has already promised to replace the bike with a new one and "figure out a way of covering the costs", while Chis Boardman has tweeted his feelings and offered to help: 

Hopefully this bike is too hot to handle, but keep an eye out on the web for anything similar for sale. Mr Flinn warned: "Don’t try to intercept or take the bike.

"The best thing to do is to take a lock if you see it and lock it up."

20 April 2020, 15:46
If you’re fed up with getting chain lube everywhere when you re-lube your chain then this eco-friendly tool could be the answer...
20 April 2020, 10:21
Little Bollington update: signs spotted this morning are on canal path where cycling is already prohibited
Bridgwater canal path little bollington

Further down the page, we reported that a road.cc reader claimed the offending signs were still up in Little Bollington after the Parish Council said they had been taken down; however we've now been informed that those signs are on a canal towpath where cycling was already prohibited, and therefore will remain. 

Parish Councillor Mike Reed told road.cc: 

The signs about cyclists in the village of Little Bollington have been removed. But the new signs on the Bridgewater Canal have been left in place.

The words “Infringements will be prosecuted” have been covered over as this statement may be inappropriate. I will check this sign and make the same modification.

Please note that cycling on the canal towpath in this area is prohibited. The new signs are intended to make that clear. The prohibition has been in force by Peel Holdings, the owners of the Bridgwater Canal, for several years and signs have been in place for a long time.

The number of pedestrians and cyclists on the Bridgewater Canal is much higher than usual in this period of lockdown, when people are at home every day and are advised to take exercise. The good weather is also leading to much increased numbers. The narrow and restricted width of the towpath in this area make it impossible for cyclists to comply with social distancing rules when passing pedestrians.

There continues to be serious concern among both local residents and visitors to the area about cyclists on the towpath who are not complying with the government instructions on social distancing. There have been incidents where some cyclists who have been challenged to obey the rules have responded with verbal abuse and, in one case at least, an attempted assault.
 

 

20 April 2020, 08:58
Chris Hoy starts 'em young with a makeshift team sprint course

As he shows us in the supporting video, Hoy's blood, sweat and tears went into building the course... 

20 April 2020, 15:47
Still on 23's? Consider Liam's five persuasive points for going wider...
20 April 2020, 14:19
Like your bikes curvy? Pedemonte Bikes might be ideal for you...

Not really sure what's going in with the floating hands and legs, but check out Pedemonte Bikes for more Italian custom wobbliness. 

20 April 2020, 12:40
Suplest launch fancy new MAAP edition carbon road shoes
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The Swiss cycling footwear specialists have teamed up with apparel brand MAAP for the special edition EDGE+ model, which is set to be released in two new exclusive colours with a MAAP graphic signature. Numbers worldwide will be limited, head over to  The shoe has been released in two exclusive new colors with a MAAP graphic signature, and they're available in limited numbers worldwide - head over to MAAP's website for more info, where they're already on sale for €359.00. 

20 April 2020, 09:20
Zwift super keen to make our April Fool's article happen

It appears Zwift are set on the idea of a Tour de France on their platform as suggested in our April Fool's article, if their 'checking in' on the UCI's president is anything to go by... 

20 April 2020, 08:22
Little Bollington Parish Council admits "we got it wrong" over signs: but some reportedly still remain
coronavirus pandemic Cyclists stay local sign

After our initial story about the signs generated plenty of reaction on road.cc and on social media, Little Bollington Parish Council emailed road.cc. The first one said:

"We have read the comments on  road.cc website and accept that we got it wrong. The signs in Little Bollington have now been removed. We as a community welcome anyone who wishes to visit or pass through our village. We would ask that everyone ensures they respect social distancing. We want everyone to be safe during these difficult times, villagers and visitors alike."

After we replied they since messaged again, adding: 

"We do recognise our error of judgement on this matter. Your reporting was true and fair. Your criticism was valid. So also were many of the posts added on your website. But there are a few abusive comments and some foul language. This reflects badly on the cycling community. I suggest that these comments should be removed and the website should be moderated."

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Although a reader over on our Facebook page claims that some of the signs still haven't been removed, the general reaction to the Parish Council's statement has been a positive one. Admitting you got it wrong should be commended, and for that we say chapeau to Little Bollington Parish Council.

We'll of course be following up to see if they plan on removing the rest of the signs, if the photo above was indeed taken this morning... 

20 April 2020, 08:49
Vox popper rocking road.cc colours
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Nice to see road.cc argyle represented on the evening news, chapeau that man!

Want some, but in cycling jersey form? Head on over to our shop

20 April 2020, 08:18
This new tubeless tyre thing? Read all about it in this maintenance book from 1897
tubeless tyre advice from 1897 manual.JPG

It appears nothing under the sun is new... especially tubeless tyres, as our very own Mr Dave Atkinson spotted this excerpt in a book about bike maintenance from 1897 that found its way onto the internet. Next thing people will be sticking on their tyres with special glue or something... 

20 April 2020, 13:18

Can't see the comments? Click here

Arriving at road.cc 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 road.cc 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.  

Add new comment

56 comments

Avatar
MoutonDeMontagne | 3 years ago
1 like

"Gordon Ramsay risks further wrath from Neighbours" - With a top tube bag like that, I hope so! Although scorn and mocking would be more appropriate. 

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Legin | 3 years ago
6 likes

Never forget the Daily Mail supported the Nazis during the 1930's; perhaps it will be eliminated alongside the virus.

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pockstone | 3 years ago
2 likes

I'd be interested to know if the Parish Council even has the power to post these signs, ( and I'm pretty sure they don't have the power to single out cyclists above any other footpath or road users). It may be that they are acting 'ultra vires':

'...a local council is empowered only to exercise its statutory powers.  Anybody which acts beyond its legal powers is said to be ultra vires.  Local councils can be restrained by the courts if they act ultra vires.  The Clerk should therefore be asked to check the legal position before the Council enters into any new business.'

https://www.marchwoodparishcouncil.org.uk/council/who-does-what/

The website above has an interesting link to what they are allowed to concern themselves with.

Perhaps this explains their quick action and (not quite sufficiently) grovelling apology. If you live near Little Bollington it might be worth asking the Clerk to the PC if they are acting within the law.

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brooksby replied to pockstone | 3 years ago
2 likes

My parish council (which thinks it has had "issues" with cyclists "breaking the lockdown") put up a laminated notice which read something like

"We are more than happy for you to continue using the cycle path for your daily exercise.  However, if you do not live in the village then please do not stop here.  Thank you."

It was up for a couple of days before being torn down.  The village FB group think it was Evil Cyclists (TM) but my own suspicion is that it was a villager who didn't think the notice was aggressive enough...

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handlebarcam | 3 years ago
8 likes

Haven't Gordon Ramsay's neighbours suffered enough without the scum press slandering them as prone to bouts of wrath? Surely any reasonable person would celebrate Mr. Ramsay's absence, even if only for about an hour and a half.

As for why this particular rag is targeting this specific obnoxious reality TV "personality", I'm guess he recently signed up to do recipes in the Sunday pull-out magazine of another scummy rag, owned by a different tax exile sleazeball.

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Mungecrundle | 3 years ago
12 likes

"Signs on the canal path will stay in place".

No, they won't, they really won't. They'll be taken down as quickly as they are put up and will spend the next several years adorning garage and bike shed walls across Great Britain as valuable momentos of the 2020 Covid lockdown.

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OnTheRopes replied to Mungecrundle | 3 years ago
2 likes

Mungecrundle wrote:

"Signs on the canal path will stay in place". No, they won't, they really won't. They'll be taken down as quickly as they are put up and will spend the next several years adorning garage and bike shed walls across Great Britain as valuable momentos of the 2020 Covid lockdown.

These look like older signs to me and not Covid-19 paranoia, if on a towpath then No Cycling may well be a legal restriction

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Sriracha replied to OnTheRopes | 3 years ago
1 like
OnTheRopes wrote:

Mungecrundle wrote:

"Signs on the canal path will stay in place". No, they won't, they really won't. They'll be taken down as quickly as they are put up and will spend the next several years adorning garage and bike shed walls across Great Britain as valuable momentos of the 2020 Covid lockdown.

These look like older signs to me and not Covid-19 paranoia, if on a towpath then No Cycling may well be a legal restriction

I think the ones in question are these (with thanks to mias_dad):

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CygnusX1 replied to OnTheRopes | 3 years ago
1 like

I believe Mungecrundle was suggesting the new Covid-19 anti-cyclist erected by the village council would become trophies, not the Peel Holding signs (the older signs you refer to) which are perfectly legitimate

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Mungecrundle replied to CygnusX1 | 3 years ago
0 likes

Correct

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Simon E replied to Mungecrundle | 3 years ago
3 likes

Mungecrundle wrote:

valuable momentos of the 2020 Covid lockdown.

yep, and reminders of the petty, small-minded attitude that afflicts people who get a little bit of power in their local council.

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eburtthebike | 3 years ago
7 likes

I hope Franco gets his bike back and, more important, his daughter recovers.  I'm sure we'll all be keeping a sharp eye out for that frame.

What puzzles me is that if there have been a spate of bike thefts, why wasn't security keeping an eye on the cycle parking?  With the lockdown and very few visitors and therefore not much to do, this was surely within their capability.  At the very least there should have been prominent signs informing cyclists that several bikes had been stolen from there.

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ktache replied to eburtthebike | 3 years ago
2 likes

The extra security around bike storage area would seem like a no brainer, but then that would take a lot more thought than many of the companies running the security firms would seem to posess.  I'm sure the individual workers are trying their best, but if no one has ever really cared about bike theft before then it becomes difficult to change practices.

With the lack of rich pickings at train stations and shopping centres then bike theives, scum that they are, have to keep up their nasty work to make something.  No furlough scheme for them, or most of those in the criminal economies.  Cash in hand, not wanting the taxman to have nowt, workers will get much less too.

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AlsoSomniloquism replied to eburtthebike | 3 years ago
4 likes

Although love his comment that an approximate five grand bike was his cheap way to travel to the hospital with the travel lockdown. Would love to see his expensive bike.

btw no way condoning the bike theives and agree with Burts and ktaches comments in full.

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ktache replied to AlsoSomniloquism | 3 years ago
3 likes

There is a bit of diminishing level of returns when riding a nice bike, you might get it proper light, but then have to drag around a shockingly big lock.  My Kryptonite Faggadabadit weighs about 4kg, sort of removes the reasons for  lightweight and Ti.  My new Ultimate Commuter, is big and heavy and pricey, but I have attempted to be a bit subtle, leave her filthy so she doesn't look too flash and have spent nearly £200 on HexLox to try and keep some bits.  And then there is insurance.  And I want an even bigger lock for leaving at work.

Worth it, but there is a price to pay, and a big level of paranoia.

Though even when I'm on the old (now retired) Getting to Work "cheap" (shhhh) bike, there is a feeling of dread whenever I walk back to her, hoping she'll still be there.  Lucky (?) so far...

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brooksby | 3 years ago
6 likes

Many, many shared-use paths are too narrow for users to obey the physical distancing guidance...

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Hirsute replied to brooksby | 3 years ago
0 likes

As spen said about the famer blocking the cornish cycle trail

"Part of NR3 and its less than 2m wide, 'nuff said "

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Sriracha replied to brooksby | 3 years ago
4 likes

Pretty irrelevant, you're only passing, not spending time together. The virus does not just leap out at you like ankle grabbers under the bed the moment you stray within range. The 2m thing, it came with a duration originally, of 15 minutes. That was quietly forgotten when they dumbed down the message for popular consumption.

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Hywel replied to Sriracha | 3 years ago
1 like

It might grab you - it doesn't sit on someone else just waiting for someone to pass by.  It lingers in the air, and grabs you as you ride through.

The 15 minute thing wasn't to protect you from it, just to reduce the margin of risk.

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Sriracha replied to Hywel | 3 years ago
5 likes

Exactly, it's a probability. You might catch it stood 2m away as well. The point is, it's not a black and white thing, like 2m and you're safe, less than 2m you're not.

So the government sages worked out that under 2m for about 15 minutes and the risk becomes unacceptable. Then it was dumbed down to 2m. But in truth, standing chatting at 2m for 5-10 minutes, which people seem very happy to do, is maybe the same risk or more as cruising passed someone at 80cm closest approach for a couple of seconds.

But people get all het up if such a situation arises, then go and rehearse all their favourite anti-cyclist bile with their neighbours on the doorstep for half an hour, the shocking cyclists imperilling the NHS; but 2m apart of course.

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Kapelmuur | 3 years ago
4 likes

It’s a while since I’ve been on the towpath, I used to jog there occasionally, but I doubt whether it attracts many cyclists. It’s narrow and rutted but it is popular with walkers who park near the pub.

If the village is genuinely concerned about social distancing they would ask walkers to stay away, especially those who arrive by car.

Their actions look like crude anti cyclist bias.

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mdavidford | 3 years ago
7 likes

Quote:

Please note that cycling on the canal towpath in this area is prohibited. The new signs are intended to make that clear.

So why are they confusing the issue by making references to coronavirus? And why the demand to 'stay in your own area'? And why aren't they also 'making it clear' to horse riders and motorcyclists, instead of just singling out cyclists?

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tweekysenior replied to mdavidford | 3 years ago
1 like

Well I doubt they get horseriders on the tow path becasue it isn't a public bridleway only a public footpath which is why, presumably, cyclists are not allowed on there. Sometimes we have to hold our hands up and say people on bikes are being dicks.

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pockstone replied to tweekysenior | 3 years ago
3 likes

The status of canal towpaths is not always clear. Some are, some are not, permissive paths for cyclists with pedestrians (rightly) having priority. As for horses...history and all that... but their use by cyclists or otherwise has nothing to do with social distancing. If the path is too narrow to pass safely then it's up to the owners or authorities to close it to ALL users or none. I cycled a short distance along the Leeds Liverpool this morning, taking care to keep my distance, and waiting when necessary. Was I being a dick? Were all the pedestrians being dicks for being there?  Still not sure why the parish council of Bollington are a) taking it upon themselves to duplicate the signs already barring cyclists from the Bridgwater canal, (as unessential a trip out as I can think of) and b) seeming to suggest that only cyclists need comply with social distancing rules.

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ktache replied to pockstone | 3 years ago
1 like

There is a bit of the Basingstoke canal (the muddiest bit and the bit that should form part of my commute) that is permissive for cyclists, horse riding and motorbikes banned.  The dog walkers seem to ignore the signs to have dogs on leads a little more than abide by it mind.

The bit after I get off it is part of an NCN and has had money spent on it and has a much better surface.

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Kapelmuur replied to pockstone | 3 years ago
1 like

The Bridgewater canal and its towpath are owned by Peel Holdings and cycling is prohibited many sections of the towpath, it's not suitable for cycling anyway in my opinion.   There are many quiet roads in the vicinity plus the Trans Pennine Trail so it's not depriving cyclists of opportunities to ride in the area.

For clarity, the section from Altrincham to Manchester has been upgraded and cycling is allowed.

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pockstone replied to Kapelmuur | 3 years ago
0 likes

I had a look  to check what OS had to say about the towpath and spotted the adjacent railway trail. I must say that that would be my first choice for cycling that route... I wonder how wide it is?! Towpaths can be heaven to cycle on...or hell. I love the L/L'pool around Saltaire but often it's so busy that there's little point. Beautiful this morning though.

Fact check...I should have looked at Little Bollington...not big Bollington! 

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ktache replied to pockstone | 3 years ago
1 like

I had a wonderful time riding the towpaths of the many waterways around Birmingham, often riding out from the junction as far as I could and getting a train back.  Foot and Mouth closing down the countryside put a stop to that.

I still have the British Waterways tag giving me permission to ride canals in my bag.

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Kapelmuur replied to pockstone | 3 years ago
0 likes

The Trans Pennine Trail, a disused railway line at that point, runs close to Little Bollington.   Access behind the Rope & Anchor pub.

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mdavidford replied to tweekysenior | 3 years ago
0 likes

But if horses weren't an issue in the first place, why did the BCC feel it necessary to include 'no horse riding' in the original pre-existing signage?

I don't believe that being on horseback confers some magical power to clearly discern signage, so if the restrictions need to be 'made clear', why not 'make it clear' to them as well?

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