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Oil on popular cycling + walking route spilled deliberately to target cyclists, claims spotter; Simon Cowell urges e-bikers to "read the manual" after fall; Tory Councillor slammed for red light whataboutery; Sunweb sign Bardet + more on the live blog

Monday's live blog is brought to you by Jack Sexty, with some contributions from Simon MacMichael later this evening...
10 August 2020, 14:07
Nick Freeman to 'discuss' cyclists jumping red lights with Talkradio's Mike Graham tomorrow
mike graham on talkradio 2 - via twitter.PNG

The lawyer best known for getting famous motorists off speeding fines using obscure loopholes is going, erm, 'highbrow' following his appearance on Good Morning Britain alongside Cycling UK's Duncan Dollimore last week. Freeman will be talking to Mike Graham on Talkradio about "cyclists who jump red lights and why we need robust legislation to make the roads safer for all of us." The 'discussion' will air at 11:30am tomorrow. 

We're confident that Mr Graham, who recently said on his show that cyclists are "an absolute eyesore on the entire country” and described cycle commuting in London as the preserve of  "Lycra-clad, new tech start-up types", will table a fair and balanced debate on the topic... 

10 August 2020, 14:26
Geraint Thomas caption comp: some of our faves so far

The Welshman appears to be on the phone with a helicopter in the background, and social media hasn't disappointed with the replies. 

10 August 2020, 15:25
Man admits stealing bike and pigeon
racing pigeon - via wikimedia commons.PNG

The Evening Express reports that 28-year-old Dean Wells pleaded guilty to the unusual crime, after stealing a pigeon from a pigeon loft in Elgin, Scotland and also stealing a bicycle from a different address on the same street. He also admitted to a domestically aggravated charge of behaving in a threatening or abusive manner.

After Wells attempted to take off on the bike he had stolen from a rear garden, the residents decided to go out in an attempt to get the bike back. Wells was reportedly “lying on the ground in an attempt to hide himself”, and the bike was retrieved by the owners, who took photos and called the police. 

On the same day, officers were called to another address after a witness found that one of his 17 pigeons was missing from his pigeon loft, which was eventually traced back to Wells. Giving his own plea in mitigation, Wells told the court via video link: “I’d just like to take this opportunity to apologise.

“The theft of the pigeon, that was just a big mistake.

“I’ve got an addiction, and my addiction is to valium and opium. For the bike I was out my face.

“My life has never been so good since I left Elgin. I left to get away from all that trouble. This is just a blip in my recovery.”

Wells asked to be released on bail because “there’s some serious guys in prison looking for me just now"; however he was remanded in custody until later this month, with Sheriff William Summer citing Wells' "raft of previous convictions.”

10 August 2020, 14:57
Man cycling 2,000 miles with his dog to raise cash for Teenage Cancer Trust
chris and vinnie the dog charity ride

Thanks to "time off through furlough", Chris Canham set off with Vinnie the Jack Russell on the 28th July, and has completed around 500 miles so far. They will also stop off at all of the three peaks and climb them on route, and are pressing ahead despite numerous mishaps along the way. His friend Craig Hudson said: Chris' bike, now named Lazarus, has broken on a number of occasions, always being rescued by Chris and a group of good Samaritans along the way. Halfords in particular have been vital in keeping Chris, Vinnie & especially Lazarus on the road, managing to provide work on the more extensive breakages. Some concerns were raised at first about Vinnie, referred to as “The Wonderdog” by the Facebook community, but Chris has won over the Great British public by showing just how much he spoils the pup and how much Vinnie is loving the adventure too."

You can follow Chris and Vinnie's journey on Facebook here, and donate to the JustGiving page here

10 August 2020, 13:20
"Some humans really suck": oil spilled on Somerset cycling and walking route is targeted at cyclists, claims spotter
Oil patches on Two Tunnels path - credit  Jayson Godridge

Posting on a local Facebook group before sending this image to road.cc, the cyclist spotted the oil along the popular Two Tunnels Greenway path in Bath, speculating that it is likely the deliberate work of a saboteur who is attempting to make a warped point about cyclists' speed on the route. He also claimed to have spotted a similar oil patch last week, adding: 

“What they need to remember is that this path is used by everyone, including kids and the elderly. It’s now very slippery, potentially very dangerous, and will also be polluting the area once the rain comes.

“Some humans really suck.”

oil spill comments 3.PNG

Numerous people replied to say they have reported the issue to the council and to Sustrans, who maintain the route. Another commented: "It's not just a danger to the cyclists, it's an environmental problem as well. As soon as it rains it's going to flow into the surrounding area. This is so pointless and dangerous to a lot of people including children, I'm not a cyclist but I would never dream of doing such a malicious, deliberate act. I hope the police do something." 

10 August 2020, 13:04
E-bike and scooter retailer Pure Electric urge public not to be deterred from riding e-bikes following Simon Cowell crash
Moustache Friday 28 riding -5

Although it's not clear exactly what type of bike Cowell was riding when he broke his back, Pure Electric are keen to remind the British public that e-bikes in the UK are subject to much stricter regulations. Their public affairs director Tom McPhail commented: “Some American e-bikes are more like motorcycles and it’s not clear what Simon Cowell was riding when he had his accident.

"By contrast, e-bikes in the UK are well-regulated. E-bikes are an incredible transport solution that can help millions of people get fit, move around cities easily and have fun while they’re doing it; it would be a tragedy if this one isolated accident in Los Angeles deters people from riding them here in the UK, particularly given the way the streets are filling up with cars again since lockdown ended.”

In the US there are three classes of e-bikes, with most capable of a 20mph assisted speed from a motor that could be up to 750 watts. In the UK, motor power is limited to 250 watts and the assisted speed cuts out at 15.5mph (25km/h). Check out eBikeTips' comprehensive guide to e-bikes and the law in the UK here

10 August 2020, 11:35
Lance Armstrong's bike shop has stopped selling and servicing Trek police bikes

Mellow Johnny's of Austin, Texas say they will "no longer purchase, re-sell, and service police-issue Trek bikes and accessories" amid the continuing controversy surrounding police brutality against the black community. They also clarified: "We are not anti-police. We do believe our local police force will protect us from the very threats we are receiving right now.

"We wish this entire community peace and progress and togetherness at the conclusion of these trying times. And we intend to be a part of the discourse, struggle, and growth for Austin, as we have since we opened our doors in 2008."

Back in June, Fuji Bikes suspended sales to US police forces after seeing evidence of their bikes being used against protestors following the killing of George Floyd. Trek rejected calls to take the same action, saying that “bikes can play positive role by continuing to get officers out of cars", and instead outlined a company diversity programme that included the creation of “1,000 cycling industry jobs for people of colour”. 

10 August 2020, 10:55
Simon Cowell has surgery on broken back following e-bike crash, and urges new owners to "read the manual"

The music mogul fell of his electric bike near his Malibu home on Saturday, and thanked the doctors and nurses who treated him after undergoing surgery on a broken back. He also said: "Some good advice... If you buy an electric trail bike, read the manual before you ride it for the first time."

According to a spokesperson, the 60-year-old had "broken his back in a number of places", and the surgery involved a number of procedures including the installation of a metal rod in his back. The BBC report that Cowell's six-year-old son Eric was with him at the time of the accident. 

10 August 2020, 11:18
More cycling transfers: AG2R lose a Bardet and gain a Van Avermaet

The 35-year-old Belgian and his current teammate Michael Schär  will both move over from CCC Team on three-year deals starting from January 2021. AG2R La Mondiale will also begin using their new name, AG2R Citroën Team, at the beginning of the new year. 

10 August 2020, 10:35
Ride your socks off on Zwift tonight at 7pm!
Ride Your Socks Off

This week's ride is a 'C', so expect to be getting a bit more of a sweat on if you've only previously joined us on a 'D' week. At least one sock giveaway will take place at some point as always, awarded to the rider who is directly behind the ride leader when we take a screen grab. 

Click here to get full details and sign up, and we hope to see your avatar on the start line at 7! 

10 August 2020, 10:21
Fabio Jakobsen "will be a bike racer again", suggests Deceuninck-Quick Step team doctor
Fabio Jakobsen.PNG

Speaking to Sporza, Yvan Vanmol said that he couldn't give a time frame at this stage, but expects the 23-year-old will race a bike professionally again. 

He continued: "Given the seriousness of the accident, Fabio Jakobsen is doing very well. 

"Fabio is fully conscious. You can't talk yet, but communicating via text messages is fine.

"At the end of next week he will be ready to be transferred to the Netherlands. 

"What we are still concerned about is the aesthetic damage and possibly the muscle group around his mouth. Since no vital organs have been affected, we hope for the best."

Vanmol said he is in communication with a doctor in the Polish hospital Jakobsen is currently recovering in, saying that he "performed his job perfectly." 

10 August 2020, 08:48
"Even for you Joanna, this is particularly odious": Conservative councillor accused of "gloating" after Labour councillor tweeted about hospital visit

Biddolph - who represents Turnham Green ward - sent the reply to Councillor Guy Lambert, questioning if his accident happened when the traffic light was on red because she allegedly saw him cycling through a red light once, apparently. It's safe to say people weren't on her side, with almost a hundred replies accusing her of being "petty", "nasty" and "spiteful" amongst other things... 

Biddolph has anti-cycling form, including the time in March 2019 when she asked Twitter: "What's it called when someone on a bicycle whizzes past moving cars in moving traffic on a busy road, squeezing between the car and the pavement or the car and parked cars, almost touching the cars it was whizzing beside?" 

Surrey Police replied "filtering", as did the West Midlands Police Traffic Investigations Unit, who said: "Joanna, what you are describing is called "filtering" actively encouraged by @transportgovuk for both motorcycles & cycles, actually taught in bikeability level 3. If done correctly it is risk free and enables those on two wheels to be the most efficient form of transport."

10 August 2020, 09:45
Romain Bardet added to Team Sunweb's group chat

During these financially troubling times, simply post the team WhatsApp chat to announce your new flagship signing and hey presto! According to an accompanying press release the 29-year-old Frenchman has signed a two-year deal, and will join up with Sunweb from AG2R La Mondiale for the start of the 2021 season. 

10 August 2020, 08:58
If you go cycling in Greenwich Park today, you're sure of a big surprise

That's according to BBC weather presenter Carol Kirkwood anyway. We hope they're keeping socially distanced in any case... 

10 August 2020, 08:39
Painted 'cycle lanes' appear in Lewes, demanding more space for bikes

The Argus reports that the unofficial cycle lanes in Lewes, East Sussex have been painted around the town centre, including some bike signs and space for bikes to stop at junctions. 

The local council are currently discussing whether they should bid for cash from the government's Active Travel Fund, but have condemned the 'graffiti'. A spokesperson commented: “We would never condone the use of graffiti on the roads, it is illegal and potentially dangerous.

“We are currently working on emergency active travel measures to improve social distancing in the centre of Lewes. This has been the subject of local consultation in recent weeks with those directly affected by the proposal.

“This is an extremely challenging time for businesses trying to recover from the impact of the Covid-19 crisis. As a county council, our priority is to support those businesses in their recovery.

“The Government has instructed us that Emergency Active Travel Fund measures must be in place by early September, which has limited the amount of time we have to consult.

“We have written to businesses and residents where are proposing temporary measures and asked them to let us know if the measures will have an effect on them.”

After cobbling together a few hundred quid during his student days off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story), Jack bought his first road bike at the age of 20 and has been hooked ever since. He was Staff Writer at 220 Triathlon magazine for two years before joining road.cc in 2017, and reports on all things tech as well as editing the road.cc live blog. He is also the news editor of our electric-powered sister site eBikeTips. Jack's preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking (the latter being another long story), and on Sunday afternoons he can often be found on an M5 service station indulging in his favourite post-race meal of 20 chicken nuggets, a sausage roll, caramel shortbread and a large strawberry milkshake. 

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