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Live blog: Jeremy Clarkson takes aim at cyclists (again); Sustrans adapt tech to design more inclusive cycle routes; Dumoulin places 6th in beach MTB race, while Bardet tries CX; Should rear lights be compulsory?; Rees-Mogg off to Centre Parcs +more

All the news from the site and beyond as we start a new week...
02 December 2019, 13:25
Jeremy Clarkson manages to shoehorn traditional dig at cyclists in latest interview

Speaking to Joe UK, bantersaurus Clarkson says he will be voting for "anyone but Corbyn" in the upcoming UK general election because "socialism doesn't work."

Of course it wouldn't be a hilarious Clarkson tirade without a potshot at cyclists - so he claims that "if you are ill there will be a doctor", but "they won't be able to get to because of the cycle lanes."

Screen Shot 2019-12-02 at 13.34.52

That said, according to the BBC it's not all terrible news on the Clarkson front, with the broadcaster 'explicitly acknowledging' the existence of climate change in the upcoming series of The Grand Tour. With reference to Greta Thunberg, Clarkson says: "Now, if I wanted to, I could run around the world on carbon fibre yachts, shouting and yelling and wailing.

"Or, you can just acknowledge it, and then behind the scenes start working on how we address this problem. But we don't offer any solutions, we're not scientists, only scientists can come up with solutions. Politicians can't. Weird Swedes can't. Only scientists can.

"We just go, 'look, there's hardly any water in this lake, look at all these poor starving fishermen. That's the fact, now let's get on with making the TV show'."

02 December 2019, 16:15
Sustrans adapt new software to help town planners design 'more inclusive' cycling routes

Sustrans have developed an adapted version of the AutoTURN software - originally used to analyse and accommodate movement of motor vehicles - to simulate accurate real-life movements of people who cycle. This, Sustrans say, will "help identify potential barriers on paths and ensure smooth flow and turn for different types of cycles, including tricycles, tandems and cargo bikes."

Engineers should be able to get real-time feedback at the design stage on whether a path or a cycle track is accessible and practical for different types of cycles, and Sustrans have carried out a series of field tests to determine a cycle’s manoeuvrability. These include how quickly someone can steer from a straight-line path into a curve, how fast someone can travel around a tight bend, and how far they need to lean to do so.

"Towns and cities across the UK have prioritised planning for the car for decades. This needs to change", says Sustrans. "We need to ensure cycling infrastructure is designed to consistently high standards and help make cycling inclusive for everyone." 

They also claim that only 7% of disabled people in the UK cycle even though 33% would like to start, and this tool could play a big part in making more routes accessible. The bike simulation tools will be commercially available next year.


02 December 2019, 16:01
Might even be quicker at next year's Vuelta...

...what with the fearsome Angliru being included in the route for 2020, a 12.6km slog with plenty of sections topping out at 20%. As noted by Alessandro De Marchi! 

02 December 2019, 15:26
Tom Dumoulin goes beach mountain bike racing

In his first competitive outing since June's Critérium du Dauphiné, Dumoulin placed sixth at the Jeep MTB Beachrace in Scheveningen in the Netherlands, with Rick van Breda taking the win. 

The Dutchman left Sunweb in August and will ride for Jumbo Visma alongside Wout van Aert and Primož Roglič  in 2020 - a knee injury kept Dumoulin out of the Tour de France and the World Championships, but on this evidence he looks to be well on the way back to full fitness. 

02 December 2019, 15:48
Meanwhile, Romain Bardet has been trying his hand at cyclocross
romain bardet cyclocross - via strava

While Dumoulin headed for the sand, fellow World Tour pro Romain Bardet was racing cyclocross over the weekend as part of his winter off-season training. The AG2R rider placed third in the CX race in Cournon, France, telling La Montagne: "It was cool, I had a big week of training and did it all right, with intensive efforts.

"I was happy, there was a lot of people, 50 at the start, we had fun. I will try to do more cyclo-cross before I depart for Australia. This is part of my winter preparation, it means I get a little cardio work in a different way over winter."  

02 December 2019, 16:05
North Coast 500 rides with Mark Beaumont taking place over summer
Mark Beaumont silhouette

Round-the-world record holder Beaumont has completed the NC500 twice already, and in 2020 there will be rides departing on May 4th and August 31st for a five-day journey across the route acommpanied by Beaumont. Bookings are through Wilderness Scotland, with trips including all accommodation, meals and energy snacks and drinks, logistical support throughout and an expert guide from Wilderness Scotland. Beaumont told the John O Groat Journal: “The creation of North Coast 500 in the past five years has taken the north of Scotland from an unknown wilderness for cyclists to an absolute bucket-list challenge.

"It truly is the most breathtaking route in the UK, with wildlife, local food and scenery making it so unique and memorable. But it is also tough, with over 10,000 feet of ascent as well as the 500 miles, so not for the faint-hearted if you are up for the added challenge of completing it in four days.

"I’m excited to be heading back in 2020 to explore this wonderful route.”

02 December 2019, 13:17

02 December 2019, 13:13
Bristol's new 'cycling infrastructure' at Temple Gate

For anyone who has experienced the new road layout around Bristol Temple Meads train station... well arguably it leaves a fair bit to be desired, no matter if you're a cyclist, pedestrian or driver. A full article will follow based off this here tweet later today. 

02 December 2019, 12:56
Choo choo
bitton railway train stop.JPG

For the first time in three years of commuting on the Bristol and Bath Railway track, Jack was forced to stop for a steam train at the Bitton Railway crossing... pretty typical it happens on a day when it's about minus 2 outside. Apologies for the crap photo, condensation... 

02 December 2019, 12:29
Astana on Wilier for 2020... hot or not?
astana wilier 2020 1

The Kazakh team have just announced a new partnership with the Italian bike brand shortly after ending their association with Argon 18. What do you reckon? Read all about it here

02 December 2019, 11:09
And the deals keep on coming...
FFWD F4 Disc

Black Friday has morphed into Cyber Monday and the likes of ChainReaction, ProBikeKit and many other cycling retailers are giving the deals one last push.

There's 49% off InfoCrank Power Meter, 51% off Fast Forward F4 Disc Carbon Clincher and loads more to have a look at.

There's a dedicated Live Blog for deals, which you can find here.

02 December 2019, 09:31
Bike Park Wales green trail
Bike Park Wales gets new uplift accessed easier green mountain bike trail

Bike Park Wales announced last week that they had started work on one of the UK first uplifted green trails as well as a brand new visitors centre and lots more parking. With better accessibility for families and younger riders, plus more toilets - it all sounds grand! Find out more here on

02 December 2019, 09:12
Should rear lights be compulsory in CTT events?

We're just trying to clarify a few details, but as far as we know (there was also a vote on the possibility of compulsory helmets but that's another story, which you can read here) rear lights will be compulsory in Cycling Time Trial events in 2020 across most parts of the UK. As well as the more traditional time trials this also includes the hill climb format, in which riders will naturally try to strip their bike of as much weight as possible. Couple this with the fact that some are held on closed roads, and numerous hill climbers are failing to see why the change is necessary. 

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On our article yesterday about the helmet and lights changes we got a mixed bag of comments, so naturally we've done a little poll. Have your say and feel free to expand in the comments. In the meantime we're going to check with CTT exactly what had been voted for and against, because as we understand it the rear light rule will exclude hill climbs and closed road events in Scotland only. 

02 December 2019, 09:02
Rees-Mogg takes a break

The Conservative parliamentary candidate for North East Somerset and leader of the House of Commons appears to have been quiet during the current election campaign; some suggest this is because his views are not well received by members of the public who are in any way conscientious, but Eastenders actor Davood Ghadami has put forward this more innocent reason for his elusiveness. Not sure if Rees-Mogg's wife Helena Anne Beatrix Wentworth Fitzwilliam de Chair or their six children would be satisfied with a Centre Parcs holiday either... 

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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