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Backlash over triathlete's 200 mile ride during lockdown; “Absolutely amazing”: Transport Sec’s active travel admission; No Hope as track bike creators suspend production; Halfords offer free bike servicing for NHS workers + more on the live blog

Friday's live blog is brought to you by Jack Sexty (from his living room of course) with the odd break to fetch supplies, spin the legs on the turbo and go for that one blessed hit of permitted outdoor exercise ...
27 March 2020, 17:17
"If it’s ok to go out for an hour then it’s ok to go out for 5/6": Joe Skipper on 'that' bike ride during UK lockdown
joe skipper strava ride screenshot.PNG

It's the little bike ride everyone has an opinion on, and pro triathlete Joe Skipper has remained defiant that he was justified in heading out for over nine hours while the country is in lockdown, replying to a critic on Twitter: "If it’s ok to go out for an hour then it’s ok to go out for 5/6. If it’s not ok to go out then there will be a ban, it’s either one or the other and doesn’t have anything to do with duration. We will just have to agree to disagree."

Considering his lifestyle and particular expertise in riding these kind of distances, what do you think?

27 March 2020, 17:09
"How can I prepare for the Tour?" Steven Kruijswijk rubbishes idea of behind-closed-doors Tour de France
Steven Kruijswijk at start of 2016 Giro d'Italia Stage 16 (PHOTO CREDIT ANSA - PERI - DI MEO - ZENNARO).jpg

The Dutch Jumbo-Visma rider said in response to the suggestion of a Tour behind closed doors as suggested by the French Minister for Sports: 

" Is that a solution that justifies going on a tour? Call your shot... At least we’ll have something to show on television, but is it realistic?”

“Then everything must be safe and there must be no more health risks. Then it would be possible. But even then there shouldn’t be a risk that we, as a Tour, will be able to get the distribution going again. Because without a crowd you’re still talking about a travelling circus of more than 1000 people. And that’s still a lot of people together.”

Kruijswijk has been training exlusively indoors on Zwift - which he is said to dislike - and last rode outside on 17th March. He continued: “I now realise even better how hard it is for my wife to give the children enough attention when I’m away. The kids now don’t even understand why they can’t go outside. That doesn’t alter the fact that I can enjoy all those moments together, but I would have preferred to do it under different circumstances.”

27 March 2020, 17:03
High tide complicates matters even further for Richmond cyclists
richmond park high tide flooding 1 - Simon MacMichael.PNG

It seems like everyone's got it in for cyclists in Richmond right now, with Mother Nature ganging up with the Moon and Old Father Thames to make the towpath unrideable...

27 March 2020, 13:11
Debate continues over Joe Skipper's nine hour, 200 mile ride during strict pandemic measures
joe skipper comments off facebook 2.PNG

Skipper says that he is following government guidelines and has got advice from his partner - who is a doctor - that his long ride is permissible; however the triathlete is continuing to be criticised for allegedly stretching the limits of the latest government guidelines that state one 'form' of exercise per day is allowed. Others have defended Skipper, while also bemoaning Norfolk's apparent lack of decent elevation...

joe skipper comments off facebook.PNG
27 March 2020, 16:56
Regent's Park bans cyclists: a thread

In which the author says by banning cyclists and closing gates, people are forced to crowd on pavements and a plan for general access hasn't been considered. 

Read our full story here.  

27 March 2020, 16:54
"Public transport and active travel will be the natural first choice for our daily activities": Shapp's new comments on active travel labelled 'gobsmacking' and 'absolutely amazing'
London cyclists at Hyde Park Corner (copyright

As noted by the BBC, the De-Carbonising Transport consultation was quietly published by the government this week; and active travel campaigners are astounded at the tone of voice and apparent change of tact from the top. 

Transport secretary Grant Shapps says: "Public transport and active travel will be the natural first choice for our daily activities. We will use our cars less and be able to rely on a convenient, cost-effective and coherent public transport network."

Stephen Joseph of Hertfordshire University said the document was "utterly gob-smacking", while Cycling UK's Roger Geffen told the BBC: "It’s absolutely amazing.

"This makes Grant Shapps the first government minister in the UK to talk about traffic reduction since John Prescott tried (and failed) to achieve this aim in the late 1990s.

“There are some holes in the document, but it suggests that the government really does seem to be taking climate change seriously."

Are the government really taking taking this climate thing by the scruff of the neck now? We'll wait and see... 

27 March 2020, 16:34
British Cycling is advising people to ride “for calm recreation” and not to challenge themselves
27 March 2020, 14:46
L'Eroica organisers commit to assisting Santini with producing face masks at their Bergamo factory
Santini Factory Visit - via L'Eroica

Santini will begin to make protective face masks in the next few days after their factory announced they were switching production last week; and the organisers of the famous vintage bike race L'Eroica - who carry Santini as a headline sponsor - are launching a fundraising campaign to help finance the move. 

L'Eroica -Paolo Penni Martelli

L'Eroica's founder Giancarlo Brocci said: “As you all know, my mode of communication is very down to earth, familiar, in the style of Berruti (another foundind father of L'Eroica) and with his kind of passion.

"The first time I went to the Santini factory – they were already partners of Eroica – I remember how the owners, Monica and Paola, were delighted to introduce me to their father and founder of the business, Pietro. And I remember the pride with which they insisted on keeping the old knitting machines, the ones that were there when they started their quality work, along their fortunate entrepreneurial path. 

"Santini is a partner of Eroica, and the factory started recreating those amazing wool jerseys that can now be found all over the world. Today, in the middle of this national emergency, the company has decided to start producing the masks that are increasingly difficult to find. What a heroic way to lend a hand and keep the light of passion and pride alive, in that proud heart of Italy that resists and will bounce back stronger and more conscientious than ever."

L'Eroica's campaign to raise funds is called 'STOPCORONA', with crowdfunding pages and links coming soon. Numerous bike brands have altered production in order to manufacture goods to help combat the spread of coronavirus - read's round-up here

27 March 2020, 09:41
Ironman triathlete Joe Skipper heavily criticised on social media for clocking 200 mile ride outside during lockdown
joe skipper strava ride screenshot.PNG

Skipper took to Strava last night to tell his followers of a 325km (202 mile) ride around Norfolk, that took him 9hrs 30 mins to complete; but some of his followers on Strava and social media were not amused. We've also had an email in at from a follower who wanted to flag the ride "to highlight the issue of personal and social responsibility in these unprecedented times." Skipper has now started responding on Twitter to his critics...

As a 12 hour time trial specialist and one of the Britain's leading Ironman triathletes, Skipper knows a thing or two about riding solo. In response to a comment highlighting the risk of mechanical failures and the need to stop for supplies, Skipper claims he "took precautions" and only needed one stop for water. He also says his girlfriend is a doctor and she believes he isn't doing anything wrong. 

Technically Skipper is not breaking any emergency laws, as the government guidelines as outlined by Michael Gove state one 'form' of exercise per day is permitted; no actual time limit has been applied, although police forces are saying that driving to a location to exercise isn't permitted. 

To our knowledge, Skipper's once public Strava account now has extra privacy settings. You can read our updated advice on riding responsibly during a pandemic here, and how much distance you should leave when passing other cyclists here

27 March 2020, 13:31
Halfords keep spreading the love

After announcing free services for NHS staff and emergency workers earlier today, Halfords are still staying on top of their deliveries to cheer up their customers. There's another large bike shop chain owned by an even larger sportswear chain who could perhaps take note...

For more examples of local bike shops and businesses doing great things during the pandemic, see our growing pinned Facebook thread giving shout-outs to cycling businesses and our supporting article

27 March 2020, 12:32
David Millar hits back at 'unseemly punting you wares' comment

The ex-pro and founder of the Chpt3 cycling apparel brand was accused of being 'unseemly' in promoting caps on his Twitter account during the pandemic; but hit back by saying that he's just trying to keep business going "like every other business out there."

Chpt3 have also made a podcast called Chttr3 for our entertainment, and if you want one of the caps you can buy it here

27 March 2020, 12:19
Derbyshire Police force says it really meant group riding after riders in matching club gear were spotted on the Snake Pass
27 March 2020, 11:47
Breaking: Richmond Park BANS cyclists

After concerns cyclists weren't paying enough attention to social distancing guidelines, the Royal Parks have now issued a statement saying that all cycling will be banned in Richmond Park from tomorrow. Full story to follow. 

27 March 2020, 11:34
No Hope: Hope Technologies suspend operations
Lotus bike Rouleur classic 4

On their Twitter account, the brains behind the Hope/Lotus track bike that would have been used by Team GB at the 2020 Olympics say they've temporarily suspended production on safety grounds. The closure will initially be for three weeks, and Hope won't be taking any new orders during that time. 

27 March 2020, 11:21
Breaking: Boris Johnson tests positive for coronavirus
Boris Johnson at the Street Velodrome in London image via Street Velodrome

The PM is experiencing 'mild symptoms' and has tested positive, according to the BBC

27 March 2020, 09:08
"Now more than ever the NHS and emergency workers need our help and support": Halfords offer free servicing
Halfords barrier logo 3x2 (copyright Simon MacMichael)

While some were questioning if Halfords was an 'essential retailer' earlier this week (there was even a petition demanding they stay closed) they've backed up their stance by offering free bike servicing and ten point car checks to all NHS and emergency workers during the coronavirus pandemic. 

The free bike service offered is usually worth £30, and workers will be able to claim it at 'most' Halfords stores starting form today. The Halfords Bronze Bike Service includes brake and gear adjustment/alignment and drivetrain lubrication. 


Halfords CEO Graham Stapleton said: “Now more than ever the NHS and emergency workers need our help and support. Our research shows how vital their cars and bikes are in getting to and from work, so we want to do our bit and help the extraordinary people who are doing an incredibly trying job at the most difficult of times.”

All NHS and emergency staff have to do to redeem the offer is show their staff ID card to a Halfords employee. 

27 March 2020, 09:26
Dafne Fixed making the most of life in isolation

Eating breakfast...


Bike and Breakfast @kappa.1985 #fixedgear #RIMINI #roller #bike #cycle #cycling

A post shared by DAFNE FIXED (@dafnefixed) on

Working from home, cycling and ironing simultaneously...

And turbo + pringles is all in a day's work for the internet's foremost fixed gear stunt team. 


Bike&chips #roller #challenge #bike #RIMINI #cycling

A post shared by DAFNE FIXED (@dafnefixed) on

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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