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“This is how you challenge motonormativity”: Cyclists applaud mayor’s *chef’s kiss* response in shutting down “very silly” road tax question; Gordon Ramsay’s Cycling Nightmares: Recipe for a never-ending bike helmet debate? + more on the live blog

It’s Monday and after another weekend of battling the crosswinds, Adwitiya is back on the live blog with all the latest cycling news and reaction


17 June 2024, 08:03
“This is how you challenge motonormativity”: Cyclists applaud Canadian mayor’s *chef’s kiss* response in shutting down “very silly” road tax question

How to challenge motonormativity — and stop the spread of misinformation with facts and humour at the same time? Well you’ve got me hook, line and sinker there!

Honestly, what better way to start your week than watching a politician who knows their stuff (I know, that should be the bare minimum right?) and has the time for, erm, pardon my French but, absolutely no bulls***?

Well, thankfully, Quebec City’s mayor Bruno Marchand has checked all those boxes and in doing so, completely shut down the false narrative that cyclists do not pay road tax and thus don’t deserve as much right to the roads as motorists do — a parallel that we have seen play over time and time again here in the UK as well.

Only a few months ago, a petition on the UK Government and Parliament website demanding that cyclists “display registration, pay road tax and have insurance” came to a sorry end, amassing a grand total of 353 signatures during its 180-day lifespan. That's less than two per day... or, as someone in the office suggested, probably about one signature for every similar petition on the government website at any one time…

> Petition demanding cyclists "display registration, pay road tax and have insurance" closes after six months... with just 353 signatures

But back to Quebec, and cyclists are going gaga over this clip of a journalist asking mayor Marchand about the council’s plans for a “voluntary tax for cyclists in the summer” and a “mandatory tax for cyclists in the winter”, pointing out, with an air of smug arrogance that would end up being quite short-lived, that it costs 6 per cent of the total snow removal budget to remove the snow from the bike paths, and “the contribution of cyclists is, in fact, zero, or close enough”.

Marchand interjects, asking: “And what is the contribution of the motorists… for snow removal?”, to which the interviewer says: “That’s not actually my question…”

He replies: “No no no no… I am told that it’s unfair because cyclists don’t pay for snow removal on the bike paths in winter and motorists, how do they pay for snow removal?”

> Pothole crisis "made worse" by heavy vehicles... so make cyclists pay road tax, concludes GB News journalist

The interviews says: “With the municipal taxes you collect Mr Mayor…”

“So cyclists don’t pay municipal taxes?” retorts Marchand. “It’s interesting, because I remember I looked at all the city regulations and I don’t remember reading ‘Cyclists are exempt from paying municipal taxes when they receive their tax account’.

“I don’t remember seeing that, but maybe Mr Patrick Paquette saw a line I didn’t see… No, but I don’t know! Because I could assume he looked meticulously at every line of regulation and said: ‘I see the flaw, cyclists in Quebec city, especially during the winter, don’t pay municipal taxes!’

“‘So when they get their tax account, they go to the bank and say, ‘Look I don’t need to pay taxes!’ I don’t remember seeing that.”

“Now my point is to say, and you understand very well through proof of contradiction, cyclists and motorists pay for snow removal. Pedestrians pay for snow removal. How? With their taxes to the council.”

Can we get a round of applause for Mr Marchand, everyone?!

And let's not forget, how this false narrative can even prove to be dangerous, and even life-threatening for many...

Nevertheless, this goes down as another own goal for everyone arguing the same here in the UK, where road tax was abolished in 1937, with current drivers only paying Vehicle Excise Duty (VED), depending on the vehicle's carbon dioxide emissions, with owners of low-emission vehicles (Band A) such as electric vehicles paying nothing.

And finally, this exchange adds Marchand to the line of eloquent, intelligent and simply brilliant Canadian mayors, alongside another Québécois legend, Montreal’s mayor Valérie Plante, who has led the charge in developing a fantastic cycling network in her city and even called on other politicians to “do the right thing” in a CNN interview last year, as well as Toronto’s Olivia Chow, who is a passionate cyclist (she doesn’t even have a driving licence!) and arrived “like a true queen” to her swearing ceremony on a bike leading hundreds of other cyclists rallying behind her.

> "It exists, and it's beautiful!": Cyclists rave about Montreal’s "incredible" cycling network

Only if we could get some of them over here…

17 June 2024, 10:55
Gordon Ramsay's bruise and helmet after cycling accident
Gordon Ramsay’s Cycling Nightmares: Recipe for a never-ending bike helmet debate?

In case you missed it, the foul-mouthed chef, with whom at some point in your life you were probably obsessed with if you hold any sort of interest in the world of culinary arts like me (before coming across the likes of other masters such as Joël Robuchon or Anthony Bourdain), was involved in a cycling crash which was followed by him asking all other cyclists wear helmets, which was inevitably followed by, yes, you guessed it: the eternal helmet debate.

“Honestly, you’ve got to wear a helmet,” the 57-year-old, who’s also a keen cyclist himself, said. “I don’t care how short the journey is, I don’t care the fact that these helmets cost money, but they’re crucial. Even with the kids, [on] a short journey, they’ve got to wear a helmet.

“Now I’m lucky to be standing here. I’m in pain, it’s been a brutal week. I’m sort of getting through but I cannot tell you the importance of wearing a helmet… Please, please please please, wear a helmet because if I didn’t, I wouldn’t be here now.”

> Gordon Ramsay says helmets are “crucial” for cyclists no matter “how short the journey is”, after accident leaves him with a terrible bruise

While details on Gordon’s crash are mysteriously slim — the only little bits of info we have are that he was riding his Specialized Roubaix with a helmet in Connecticut, USA — unlike Dan Walker’s crash last year, cyclists have once again been divided by the question of helmets, with some against personal protection being dictated by others and recognising that the most danger posed to cyclists comes from other road users in metal boxes (who incidentally don’t wear any helmets), others have pointed out that any sort of safety is safety.

So here’s a collection of reaction from Gordon Ramsay’s whole-hearted backing of the helmet, starting with some comments…

Bigfoz: “I've had 2 incidents where a helemt has saved me from significant injury or potential fatality. I have an agreement with my wife: I will wear a helmet when I ride, and if anyone takes me out she will deploy every means she has to ensure that person is held accountable. Seems fair. I also want to know that any resulting legal settlement will not be reduced because some *sshole judge decides I wasn;t kitted out safely enough. But I still would not want to see helmets mandated - I rode a bike for 30+ years from the age of 5 without a helmet and without issue all over the world. It's only since returning to the UK and experiencing "the best drivers in the world" that I’ve had recourse to consider a helmet…”

IanMK: “Ramsay gives no details about the crash. It would be interesting to know how he got a bruise like that. He surely hit something.

We are both Mamils of a similar age (probably where the similarity ends) . I've come down a few times. On Ice, on mud, in the rain. Always by myself. Given the type of cycling I do (speed, roads, conditions etc) my personal risk assessment is that I should wear a helmet. I would not presume to tell someone that uses a Dutch style bike to pop down the high street to pick up some bread (or anyone else for that matter) that they should do the same. Ramsay has forgotten that not all cyclists are the same.”

uberdemocrat: “Well, you didn't really expect him to call for a ban on drivers who exhibit uncontrolled rage, or for restricting overpowered and oversized cars, did you? He's exactly the sort of person you'd expect to push helmets as the (singular) solution, and think he has fixed road safety, due to his enormous sway over his millions of followers. A knighthood is surely on its way…”

Sriracha: “The helmet debate gets so heated because people are trying, perhaps without realising, to square the circle. There appear to be two opposing sides (hence all the heat) with only one right answer to the one argument; to wear or not to wear a helmet. Whereas in fact there are two distinct and mutually compatible arguments.

One concerns the individual. I choose to wear a helmet because, all other things being equal, it will arguably improve my chances in a collision. All other things being equal.

The second argument concerns public policy, which is precisely about questioning all those other things being equal. The things which mean I would be wise to wear a helmet in the first place.

The answer to the public policy debate should not be confused with the individual's choice.”

17 June 2024, 16:19
Matteo Jorgenson joins Visma Lease a Bike training camp (image: Matteo Jorgenson)
Cheeky Visma-Lease a Bike's squad update for Tour de France? (SPOILER: It features Vingegaard and Van Aert)

The cure to bit of a slow news day? Silly reading of innocent pictures of cyclists, I tell you! (We cycling fans are no better than teenage girls, are we...)

But it seems that a photograph posted by Matteo Jorgenson, who's enjoyed a cracker of a season leading up to Le Tour with his new team, winning the general classification at Paris-Nice, then providing a sliver of brightness for the team by winning the Dwars door Vlaanderen, and coming too close to comfort for Primož Roglič at the Criterium du Dauphiné by finishing second, just eight seconds off the top spot, has given us enough resources to put our tinfoil hats on.

We already knew that Wout van Aert and defending champion of the maillot jaune Jonas Vingegaard had been training in the French Alps, both recovering from serious injuries sustained at the Dwars door Vlaanderen and Itzulia Basque Tour respectively, with big clouds of doubts hanging over both of their selections for the Tour.

> “He has to be the old Jonas again”: Visma-Lease a Bike DS says Vingegaard will decide for himself whether or not he’ll go to Tour de France

Vingegaard has already been snubbed for the Paris Olympics by the Danish national team, and Van Aert's dreams of winning the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix had to wait one more year (as his age-old rival Mathieu van der Poel took victory at both the cobbled classics, setting new standards in the process).

But it looks like the duo have managed to win the race against time to be in their best shapes, or at least that's the conjectures we are deriving from Jorgenson's picture, which shows them joined by the American rider, along with Jan Tratnik, Christophe Laporte and Tiesj Benoot at Tignes after another long day of training in the Alps that included dirt roads and 5,100 metres of vertical climbing. 

17 June 2024, 15:31
"If I took a bicycle, put two extra wheels on it and an engine, and a gearbox and a steering wheel. Would you still say I was a cyclist?"

This latest kerfuffle from Twitter is brought to you courtesy of Merseyside Police's Roads Policing Unit, writing: "The rider of this pedal cycle was fed up of cycling so decided to strap a 50cc engine to his bike. The rider didn't have a licence or any insurance and he tested positive for Cannabis on a @DrugWipeUK. He was arrested and the bike seized & disposed of."

Let me guess what the roads policing unit must've thought, something along the lines of... "If it has two wheels, it's a bicycle?" Cue the comments from cyclists...

17 June 2024, 14:56
Dutch government and neurologists call on cyclists to wear helmets – but cyclists’ union says “too much emphasis” on helmets discourages cycling and “has an air of victim blaming”
Better facilities, like these in the Netherlands, woiuld encourage people to cycle more (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 licenced by MarkA:Flickr)
(CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 licenced by MarkA:Flickr)

The Dutch Cyclists’ Union has admitted that it may be a “wise decision” to wear a bike helmet on a voluntary basis, but urged against placing too much emphasis on helmet use – which the group argued can actually discourage cycling and instil a victim blaming culture in the famously cycling-friendly nation – after local authorities, the government, and neurologists urged people in the Netherlands to don a helmet when travelling around by bike.

Next month, the Netherlands’ transport ministry will introduce new guidelines on voluntary helmet use, after provinces such as Utrecht ran a campaign(link is external) in May offering a €25 discount on helmet purchases.

Gelderland, meanwhile, is currently in the midst of its own campaign which attempts to raise awareness of helmet use(link is external) and promote “behaviour change” in elderly cyclists, with people over 60 accounting for almost half of all seriously injured cyclists in the Netherlands.

Read more: > Dutch government and neurologists call on cyclists to wear helmets – but cyclists’ union says “too much emphasis” on helmets discourages cycling and “has an air of victim blaming”

17 June 2024, 14:26
Best use of SRAM rear mech?

Behold, a freshly brewed cup of AXS powered Nespresso... Just don't bring any of that near me please.

17 June 2024, 13:31
Maybe the Dutch don't always get it right? Tales of a "very unpleasant bike parking ramp" from Amsterdam...

Yes, we all love and adore some Dutch cycling infrastructure over here, but as is everyone, they are sometimes guilty of a fault or two as well — as proved by this image posted by the Twitter account 'bostonian in nederland (parodie)', which supposedly shows a bike parking ramp (I only see a ramp, because how am I supposed to park there), and was described as "very unpleasant".

"Long time since I've been back to #Foodhallen (A'dam) but this was a very unpleasant surprise at the bike parking ramp. I couldn't use it, even with my folding bike," they wrote. "Luckily a friendly bystander pointed me to a lift that was large enough for a bike. Won't be back, though."

As they concluded, if anyone wanted overpriced food & inaccessible bike parking, they should be here in the UK perhaps.

17 June 2024, 12:23
Drivers “surprised and happy” to see horses on the road – but “frustrated, angry, and anxious” when overtaking cyclists, new road rage study finds
Cyclists and horses (licensed CC BY SA 2.0 on Flickr by Michael Podger)

Motorists are most likely to experience feelings of surprise or happiness when encountering and having to overtake horses and horse riders on the road – but anger, frustration, and anxiety when faced with the same situation involving a cyclist, a new study examining the role of mindfulness when passing vulnerable road users has found.

The research, carried out on behalf of the British Horse Society, also found that 80 per cent of drivers agree that motorists are held up by cyclists when in a rush, while seven out of ten drivers surveyed agreed that cyclists are unpredictable, can appear from nowhere, and don’t obey road rules.

Read more: > Drivers “surprised and happy” to see horses on the road – but “frustrated, angry, and anxious” when overtaking cyclists, new road rage study finds

17 June 2024, 12:13
Former British road and time trial champion Alice Wood to retire at the end of 2024 season

After nine years of professional cycling, former British champion Alice Wood née Barnes has announced that she will retire at the end of the 2024 season.

Wood came to the fore at the 2017 BeNe Ladies Tour, when she outclassed master sprinter Marianne Vos on the opening stage, before going on to win the national road race and time trial championships two years later.

Sharing the news, the Human Powered Health rider said: "At the end of 2024, I will be ending my professional racing career. I feel grateful that I have been able to do my hobby as my job for so many years. I've raced my bike since I was 8 years old, where I was never very good but kept turning up for the love of the sport and the people I met. Step by step, I kept progressing to a point where cycling became my profession, which I could never have imagined would be possible all those years before.

"They say find a job you love and you will never work a day in your life and I have to say for the most part that is true. It is one of the hardest and easiest jobs at the same time. I feel very grateful that even with a couple of crashes I have had a pretty simple career and even though I still love what I do I am excited for new challenges and feel the time is right for me to stop pinning on race numbers.

She added: "I still am very passionate about the sport, so I won't be hanging my bike up for good. Just not pinning a number on anymore."

17 June 2024, 11:59
Bring your dog to the peloton day at Tour de Suisse, featuring Adam Yates' cute little friend Zoe
17 June 2024, 10:40
Is 2024 the year when indoor cycling isn't just for winter? The case for hitting the turbo trainer year-round
17 June 2024, 10:03
Some interesting time trial choices at the Tour de Suisse as Adam Yates and João Almeida finish one-two in the GC after four back-to-back top two finishes

Road bike, TT helmet, disc wheels, no bar tape... everything was on the cards at the mountain time trial at stage 8 of the Tour de Suisse yesterday!


A post shared by Velon CC (@veloncc)

The race was eventually won by UAE Team Emirates' João Almeida, but his teammate Adam Yates did just enough to hold him off, finishing second with nine seconds down on the clock, but still with a 22-second lead in the general classification. It marked the fourth, yes, fourth back-to-back one-two finish for the pair, having done the three-peat in glorious fashion, crossing the line side-by-side on stage 7 previously as well.

17 June 2024, 09:17
Ahem, it's Sir Cav now! Your weekend roundup with some cheeky super tuck riding position, Gordon Ramsay's horrifying bruise, Wiggo's miseries, and more

Wouldn't it be funny if Sir Mark Cavendish showed up at the Grand Départ in shining armour? I mean, he is a knight now...

Alright, I'll apologise profusely for that, but I'm sure you haven't missed this weekend's biggest story of the 39-year-old Manx Missile being awarded a knighthood for his unprecedented achievements as road cycling's greatest ever sprinter at the King's birthday honours.

Meanwhile, there was also an upgrade from MBE to CBE for Chris Boardman, who was this time recognised specifically for his work as commissioner of Active Travel England.

Mark Cavendish at Tour de France 2023 (Alex Whitehead/

> "Arise, Sir Cav": Mark Cavendish awarded knighthood in King's birthday honours while Chris Boardman receives CBE

And then there was the fiesty shot taken at the UCI by a 20-year-old Norwegian pro cyclist who demanded an apology from the governing body of cycling following his ban from the Tour of Slovenia for deploying the 'super tuck' position.

Johannes Kulset descending - footage via Johannes Kulset on X/Twitter

> "I know the rules": Cyclist disqualified from Tour of Slovenia for deploying 'super tuck' position demands apology from UCI because he wasn't touching top tube or using arms and chest for support

Anything else I missed? Oh, a celebrity chef looks like he's got himself into some good ol' debate. Meanwhile, Sir Bradley Wiggins' miseries continued, following the five-time Olympic champion and 2012 Tour de France winner's bankruptcy...

Gordon Ramsay's bruise and helmet after cycling accident

> Gordon Ramsay says helmets are “crucial” for cyclists no matter “how short the journey is”, after accident leaves him with a terrible bruise

Sir Bradley Wiggins at Stage 2 of 2015 Tour de Yorkshire - picture Alex

> Sir Bradley Wiggins has "lost absolutely everything and doesn't have a penny" after bankruptcy, reveals lawyer

Harry Lock - image and screenshot via Devon and Cornwall Police

> Police "appalled" by sentence of driver who ran red light and killed cyclist as he inhaled laughing gas

near miss of the day 909 - screenshot via Bob Sweet on YouTube

> Near Miss of the Day 909: this time it's another cyclist as rider who recorded incident says he doesn't know how cyclist coming towards him "didn't end up in the canal"

Adwitiya joined in 2023 as a news writer after graduating with a masters in journalism from Cardiff University. His dissertation focused on active travel, which soon threw him into the deep end of covering everything related to the two-wheeled tool, and now cycling is as big a part of his life as guitars and football. He has previously covered local and national politics for Voice Wales, and also likes to writes about science, tech and the environment, if he can find the time. Living right next to the Taff trail in the Welsh capital, you can find him trying to tackle the brutal climbs in the valleys.

Add new comment


mattw | 1 month ago
1 like

That's a Dutch 4-ply chicane.


ISTM that we are ahead of the Dutch in several areas, at least in the *standards* recommended. Less so in execution.

Part of the issue is that the Dutch have the best of 1990s thinking in some areas in their established approaches - and that still suffers from small-c conservatism, just as we get from car-brained engineers in most of our Highway's Authorities.

eg Compare a Manchester CYCLOPS junction, with the Liverpool City Region version of the same thing.

chrisonabike replied to mattw | 1 month ago

mattw wrote:

That's a Dutch 4-ply chicane.


ISTM that we are ahead of the Dutch in several areas, at least in the *standards* recommended. Less so in execution.

Ahead?! I almost rode of my 4m wide bi-directional special cycling-only bridge!

Well ... er ... actually, neither UK NOR NL really have "standards" for cycle infra!

At least AFAIK things like LTN1/20 are "guidelines" *.  Plus I learned recently that NL is actually remarkably light on mandated "standards" - from what (very little) I understand they've got an interestingly different mechanism.

UK road designs markings certainly do have a bunch of (rather arcane) rules.  I'm less than certain these are to the benefit of cyclists though!

mattw wrote:

Part of the issue is that the Dutch have the best of 1990s thinking in some areas in their established approaches - and that still suffers from small-c conservatism, just as we get from car-brained engineers in most of our Highway's Authorities.

Well ... there are suggestions there might be a "conservative" character there (although "national character" is a whole 'nother debate...) and I don't know for sure, but:

a) Sometimes, what has been tested at population level for decades is in fact "what is good enough".  Even if it's old, and a bit boring.  Yes you can make stuff that's "better" in some respect.  But it often turns out it ends up substantially more expensive, or not as durable, or is only better for a few and worse for the rest or has some other undesirable side-effect.  Or it works OK in your tests but when you put it out to the whole population they just can't seem to adapt to it.  (Bit like the bicycle itself really).
b) While NL has generally evolved towards what seem to be now-stable designs, it's actually not quite the case that they have said "we got it right in the 90s - we'll stop there".  There are examples of continuing iteration on "standard" designs, both in detail and in broader principles (at a junction, for capacity - here's another where layout tweaks have continued).
c) In fact I've seen examples of innovation from NL (some examples here).  Of course not all of this is good - some is pointless, some is overengineered etc (there's a whole bunch of "tech" stuff like the solar-panel cycle path as noted here or app-linked things which will likely have a lifespan similar to Liz the Lettuce etc).
d) Is it not just that they've been doing it for years, but continuously and fairly consistently?  If you take a place in the UK (one which actually has cycle infra...) you'll often be able to trace multiple "generations" of designs - because we have start-stop funding (and indeed cyclic enthusiasm for this or  ... the opposite).  And per UK "laissez-faire" there will likely be little consistency - in fact not infrequently the older stuff is much more practical than the new.

mattw wrote:

eg Compare a Manchester CYCLOPS junction, with the Liverpool City Region version of the same thing.

I've yet to try any Cyclops stuff.  TBH I'm a bit skeptical - I don't think it's bad exactly, and it could be better than the NL design, but ... compared to that it's barely been tested.  It has the whiff of familiar UK "not invented here!  So we'll reinvent it ourselves!" ... and somehow come up with something inferior.  (Some of the UK "reinventions" actually do seem to do with our road infra rules - where we have to change details to get round the rules we do have getting in the way!)

* Previous funding rounds from e.g. Active Travel England stated that monies would not be apportioned to schemes which don't follow guidelines.  Although I'm unclear about there being feedback from *what is actually delivered* and further funding despite reading something about that.  It certainly seemed that you could at least grab a bunch of cash once.  Plus there's a question on just how much further monies will actually be available to allocate in the foreseeable future...

mattw replied to chrisonabike | 1 month ago
1 like

Post-audit seems to me to be one area. There are many others.

In Chesterfield, where the CCC have a fairly long (decades) relationship with Derbyshire, the chap from CCC said that he was being invited to the post-project site meeting.

That seems to be one part of the practices we need.

chrisonabike replied to mattw | 1 month ago

mattw wrote:

Post-audit seems to me to be one area. There are many others.

In Chesterfield, where the CCC have a fairly long (decades) relationship with Derbyshire, the chap from CCC said that he was being invited to the post-project site meeting.

That seems to be one part of the practices we need.


I understand why there's little pressure to do any kind of review, let alone ongoing monitoring and feedback.  Especially with cycle projects as so often these see to be one-off funding deals, which generally struggle for money anyway even after scheme compromises (grumble grumble).

Indeed - I suspect the opposite - "once it's finally done, we'll hear no more about it thanks".  Everyone's moved on (sometimes literally in the case of the council officers / designers, due to how long these take...), and there's no money to change things by then anyway.

Due to human biases I think any feedback is much more likely to be of the negative kind.  If something just works, you don't remember that, go look up your councillor when you get home and take the time to write to them and tell them.  If you're angry of course...

Plus another "structural" issue is the fact our system has decided to leave cycling things to the local authorities (I guess there are some good reasons...).  That can mean that "insights" from one project are less useful - or not sought out - by those involved in another.

cmedred | 1 month ago

Shouldn't Ramsay really be advocating for body armor of the sort worn by motorcyclists: It would clearly have helped him the most in his crash. 

mdavidford | 1 month ago
1 like

Lime says that 


Demand for cycling, including Lime e-bikes, has skyrocketed in the last year

and yet only recommends creating thousands of new e-bike parking spaces.

mctrials23 | 1 month ago

Quite amazing how easily shut up the idiots are when you actually call them on their BS. 90% of the shit that cyclists have to listen to isn't even subjective opinion, its plain bollocks. Unfortunately the average voter in the UK has the intellectual capacity of a mouse and challenging their views or forcing them to defend or reflect them is the surest way to lose their vote. 

Its all about appeasement and avoiding any topic that is devisive or requires some sort of spine. "Wouldn't want to appear that I think cycling is a good thing or that cyclists aren't the devil because the Tories will jump on that and suggest that I hate drivers and where does that lead. Obviously the first policy I would enact would be to ban drivers and triple their taxes if they even look at a car". 

HarrogateSpa | 1 month ago

I have enjoyed watching Cav racing over the years.

That said, I'm not a fan of the honours system as it largely involves handing out gongs to people who are already rich and famous.

Surreyrider replied to HarrogateSpa | 1 month ago

I'm not a fan of Cavendish or the gongs system.

Hirsute | 1 month ago

Things I discovered at the weekend.
National cycle routes are terrible - narrow, overgrown
I can't get up a 14% gradient.
My wife's Garmin forerunner watch mysteriously connected to my varia so she gets a message 'vehicle approaching'.

mctrials23 replied to Hirsute | 1 month ago

How can that be with the all powerful cycling lobby making sure every penny of governement funding is moved from drivers to cyclists!!

I did a gravel race recently that took in various national cycle routes and as you found out, they are unmaintained and rely on traffic to keep them even recognisable as a path. A friend fell off his bike into nettles because the path was so narrow and deeply rutted that as soon as he was unbalanced even slightly he was going down.  

Brauchsel replied to Hirsute | 1 month ago

I made the mistake of following an NCN sign this weekend. It started off as rough single track through some woods, then turned into a 15-20% downhill on a root/rock-strewn "path" just over 40mm wide. If I'd not been desperately trying to hang on to a plummeting bike loaded with camping gear, I'd have been questioning how anyone on a "normal" bike would be expected to know that was coming. A cycle network, to me, implies a network that essentially any cycle or cyclist should be able to navigate. 

To add insult to near-injury, the whole thing ended in the grounds of a golf club. 

chrisonabike replied to Brauchsel | 1 month ago
1 like

"Recreational" cycle "networks" - compare and contrast (here's what we could win):

NL - the "numbered junction network" or knooppunt (actually this started in Belgium but has been expanded into NL) - a network of numbered junctions on the existing excellent (mostly for transport) cycle network allowing you to easily navigate longer trips without even needing a map.

UK - the "notional cycling network" - a collection of numbered signs on the existing unpleasant back-alleys round dodgy estates, footpaths, roads and muddy / submerged / overgrown lanes in the countryside which - with the aid of a map, you might be able to find and follow part of over the course of a longer trip.

I should say - credit to those who actually managed to cobble this together in the UK!  Even where this didn't require volunteers to have built routes on donated land or to have negotiated access, the effort at making anything in the UK connect for cycling is impressive.  Unfortunately this has meant that on examination a lot of the "network" isn't actually fit even for "we've got all day" recreational purpose or indeed navigable by many people.  (Sustrans has been working on this TBF).

HLaB replied to Hirsute | 1 month ago

NCN 1 through Fife before they rerouted it went up the 10% Binn Hill; not too steep until you realised it was off road in wet mud!  The signed 17% on route 77 is a bliss though and gives you great views of Kinfauns Castle and the River Tay  1 

FionaJJ replied to HLaB | 1 month ago

I'd argue it's OK to have paths with steep gradients on the NCN. After all - some areas are hilly! However, it should be marked in some way. Perhaps similar to ski runs - we can have colour coding.

However, that shouldn't take away from the basic requirement for maintenance, and being something vaguely resembling a path. 

mdavidford replied to FionaJJ | 1 month ago

Yeah - this is the whole problem with the NCN in its current form - it's trying to be all things to all people and is never quite sure which it's trying to be when. It needs to be multiple networks for different uses layered on top of each other, instead of trying to patch together a network out of different scraps for different uses.

chrisonabike replied to mdavidford | 1 month ago
1 like

Well... I think the NCN in its current form was only achieved by exactly the latter process you described.

What it should be is up for debate.  Having ways for different uses and users is good (and will continue).  But I'd say if there is to be any "cycling network" at all the primary function should be to allow ordinary people on "ordinary bikes" (not ordinary in the UK) to get about the country on paved (or at the very least improved) surfaces.  So "doesn't require mountain bike" (or mountain-biking skills).

That's because "the road network" is no cycling network at all for most people.

The cycle network could (and ideally should) connect to different types of facility mentioned.  So there could additionally be more "recreational" sections or destinations (e.g. like this, or this, or this).  And the network could connect you to a bikepacking/cyclecross route, or give access to points e.g. on long-distance footpath.  Perhaps you could even ride to some hard-core downhill routes rather than driving?

Currently though advertising a "national network" is really a trap for those who haven't done in-depth research on each section (and possibly even then).  That is unfortunately consistent with UK-style "encouraging cycling"...

NickSprink | 1 month ago

Let us bask in this rare moment of sunshine - a politician talking facts.

brooksby | 1 month ago

Brilliant, Monsieur Marchand! laugh

chrisonabike replied to brooksby | 1 month ago

Chapeau, sûrement?  (Not a Québécois or indeed other French speaker).

Brauchsel replied to chrisonabike | 1 month ago

The French term for 'chapeau' is 'hat'. 

mitsky | 1 month ago

Regarding "road tax", let us not forget...

Safety | 1 month ago

Re taxation. One of the few things I still recall from an economics course 30 years ago was the statement "taxation has two purposes, one is to raise revenue the other is to change behaviours".
The petrol heads that go on about taxation fail to comprehend the second key point. Even with zero tax on electric cars.
But to be honest I'm not sure comprehension is their strong point.

Mr Anderson replied to Safety | 1 month ago

Can we expect a future Government to reverse the damage caused by George Osbourne's 2015 Budget?  That's when he demolished the graduated annual car tax based on emmissions, and replaced it with a flat rate, the same tax for a 1.0L 2 seater Smart car and a 4.2L Range Rover.

wycombewheeler replied to Mr Anderson | 1 month ago

Mr Anderson wrote:

Can we expect a future Government to reverse the damage caused by George Osbourne's 2015 Budget?  That's when he demolished the graduated annual car tax based on emmissions, and replaced it with a flat rate, the same tax for a 1.0L 2 seater Smart car and a 4.2L Range Rover.

to be honest, bringing back the fuel duty escalator, abolished in 2000 might have more impact.

mattw replied to Mr Anderson | 1 month ago

Mr Anderson wrote:

Can we expect a future Government to reverse the damage caused by George Osbourne's 2015 Budget?  That's when he demolished the graduated annual car tax based on emmissions, and replaced it with a flat rate, the same tax for a 1.0L 2 seater Smart car and a 4.2L Range Rover.

I think that will happen.

The Chancellor needs something like 2-3k per annum per motor vehicle. So expect some things on EVs, too.

lonpfrb replied to Mr Anderson | 1 month ago
1 like
Mr Anderson wrote:

Can we expect a future Government to reverse the damage caused by George Osbourne's 2015 Budget?

GO did a lot of damage in many areas, which I will not tax your patience by relating. Suffice it to say that I would repeal him generally if that choice arose.

Hirsute replied to Safety | 1 month ago

Hunt said there will be ved on electric cars from 1 April 25.
Whether that gets enacted is anyone's guess.

Make a charge based on annual mileage gathered from MOT data and mass.

squired replied to Hirsute | 1 month ago

The simple fact is that as electric car use becomes more widespread there will be an increasing black hole due to lack of revenue from the tax generated by petrol sales.  Whatever government is in power will need to find a way to fill that hole and the obvious option will be something like a pay per mile charge.

HarrogateSpa replied to squired | 1 month ago

True, but if the Conservatives are in opposition they will to try to stir up as much trouble as possible over taxing driving.

If e-driving is not taxed, it will become much cheaper than ICE driving, with a corresponding increase in vehicle miles travelled and congestion, and decrease in public health.


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