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One-star reviews galore as National Cycling Show disappoints on debut; "You'll never forget your first time" on Leith Walk's bizarre zig-zag cycle lane; Racing argy-bargy; Hire a Brompton for £1 during rail strikes + more on the live blog

Get your sun cream ready it's another scorcher on the live blog this week...Dan Alexander is kicking things off.....
20 June 2022, 15:58
Another last-minute addition to the weekend racing round-up
Rás Tailteann (Image credit: Ryan Mallon)

The famous Rás Tailteann — an Irish stage race first contested in the 50s — back for its first edition post-Covid culminated with stage five on Sunday. road.cc Ryan was there on the ground to catch the stage finish and see Daire Feeley win the race overall...

Keep your eyes peeled for Ryan's colour piece on the race, and the joys of watching a bike race live from your doorstep, in the coming days...

20 June 2022, 15:08
How about...
20 June 2022, 14:43
Los Angeles City Council votes to ban bike repair in public
Los Angeles skyline at night (copyright Thomas Pintario:Wikimedia Commons).jpg

Image: Thomas Pintario/Wikimedia Commons

In a preliminary vote passed last Tuesday Los Angeles City Council members approved a ruling to prohibit "the assembly, disassembly, sale, offer of sale, distribution, offer of distribution, or storage of bicycles and bicycle parts on public property".

It would also ban possession of "five or more bike parts" while on property "owned or managed" by the city. Curbed says the change — which wouldn't stop people fixing a single bike on the street (provided it's one bike, and is their own with the "sole purpose of repair" to "restore the bicycle to its operational form" and "resume riding the bicycle") — is an anti-theft measure against situations where bikes are disassembled and parts sold on the side of the road.

However, Curbed notes the rule could have an "ulterior purpose" and would "target people who are storing or repairing bikes on the street because that’s where they live".

20 June 2022, 14:31
'Cycling GK' Ben Foster was fined by former club Watford after "breaking promises" about stopping "utterly wrong" YouTube vlogs
Ben Foster Garmin partnership.JPG

Watford FC's chairman has spoken out about the club's now-former goalkeeper Ben Foster, who left the club at the expiry of his contract, saying the veteran shotstopper had "broken promises" about stopping his YouTube vlogs...

"I think some of the videos were disappointing," Scott Duxbury told the Watford Observer. "Our sporting director, Cristiano Giaretta, met with Ben and asked him to stop. He promised he would, but he didn't. He was fined. We want a culture of excellence at Watford. Those videos were not that."

Now we suspect the videos in question may be more football-related, Foster wore a GoPro strapped to his chest during some matches, not his cycling content...

We spoke to Foster in spring 2021 about meeting Tao Geoghegan Hart for a ride, Troy Deeney's Canyon, Zwift, Dirty Kanza and plenty more...

20 June 2022, 13:40
A glaring omission from our racing round-up

I haven't checked the comments to see if any of you are throwing tomatoes at me for this....

Leo Hayter (Ineos Grenadiers pro and Olympic gold medallist Ethan's little bro) won the 'Baby Giro' this weekend. The next big hope of British GC racing? Former winners of the U23 Giro?

UAE Team Emirates' Spanish prospect Juan Ayuso, Tom Pidcock, Aleksandr Vlasov, Pavel Sivakov, Gilberto Simoni and Marco Pantani. Decent company...but it doesn't get you out of Father's Day responsibilities...

20 June 2022, 13:29
How you prep for the Tour de France when your name is Mathieu van der Poel

In fairness, he wasn't just bombing it down trails. Over on Strava, Van der Poel called this ride: "The only way to make VO2 fun" so it seems he's doing some proper training. Yes, when I say proper training, I do mean — suffering (not just having fun)...

From the file, we're seeing: 15 minutes of warming up followed by five big ol' 30-second efforts with 30 seconds rest between. Oh...and then four five-minute efforts separated by some more resty bits...and almost two hours endurance to finish...'proper' training...

20 June 2022, 11:50
The National Cycling Show — your thoughts...

It wasn't all bad...(although we suspect Dirk might not have actually attended...)

vthejk commented: "I've heard some mixed press about the cycling show from a group I am part of — MTB Colour Collective — who as the name suggests are very keen on getting people of colour and underrepresented Asian, Black British, Afro-Caribbean and Pacific communities, into cycling. The consensus was that it was good to see a wider range of BAME communities represented in the speakers. Dr Marlon Moncrieffe, Kye Whyte, Mildred Locke and Vedangi Kulkarni were notable examples. However, as mentioned there was the waiting around and travelling miles just to see a handful of speakers.

"I reckon the missed opportunity was not backing the excellent range of speakers up by snagging a wider range of quality British cycling brands, spotlighting local grassroots initiatives and making the rest of the stuff a bit more...grounded. Basically — the selection of speakers sends a message of diversity and accessibility, but the rest of the show didn't at least at face value."

AlsoSomniloquism added: "The Cycling Show that had been held in Birmingham for the last six years or so moved to Olympia in London. So I expect some people might have thought that was the same one and it wasn't (although that was shrinking as the 2019 one had less big brands and were in smaller halls with smaller test tracks). 

"However, I had free tickets but didn't go as there didn't appear to be any bike brands represented at the time. I think Freewheel or another national website stated they were appearing with brands that they represented in the end but still would have been a smattering."

20 June 2022, 11:43
Hire a Brompton for £1 during rail strikes
Brompton hire for £1 during rail strikes

In response to this week's rail strikes, Brompton Bike Hire has announced it is offering free bike hire for the strike period. All customers have to do is join as a member (for a quid...so not completely free) and get five days of free hire using the code STRIKE.

The offer ends at 11:59pm on Friday 24th June and hire is £5 per day thereafter. For more info or to sign-up visit Brompton Hire...

20 June 2022, 11:16
Weekend racing round-up: "Hyenas" Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl under fire for hands-on tactics in Baloise Belgium Tour win + G's back

Let's start with the positive — G's back winning WorldTour stage races... and with just a fortnight until the Tour de France...

Let's ignore the fact a third of the field, including Ineos leader Adam Yates and race leader Aleksandr Vlasov, abandoned due to Covid positives or being close contacts of Covid positives...

Say it quietly...could G be hitting form just in time for the big one?

He'll have to practise his rock paper scissor skills if he wants a second yellow jersey...

Yep, Tadej Pogačar and Rafał Majka continued their Tour of Slovenia domination winning a stage each this weekend as Pog took his home race overall. The pair won 80 per cent of the race's stages last week... 

> Peter Sagan tests positive for Covid-19 – for third time in 18 months

That's the positive done...Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl's Yves Lampaert was on the naughty step yesterday, blocking rival Tim Wellens during the Baloise Belgium Tour's 'golden kilometre' — a crucial kilometre with three bonus second sprints — which decided the five-stage race. Lampaert's teammate Mauro Schmid and Wellens were tied on time going into the final stage when this happened...

GCN+ and Eurosport commentator Carlton Kirby called the celebrating riders, including subsequently disqualified Lampaert, "hyenas"...

The women's Tour de Suisse stage three fills the void without three races a day. Next on the men's agenda? National champs and the small matter of the Tour de France... 

20 June 2022, 10:00
One-star reviews galore as National Cycling Show disappoints on debut

The first year of the National Cycling Show, hosted at the N.E.C in Birmingham this weekend, has received a cold reception from attendees who have flooded the event's Facebook page with one-star reviews and negative comments...

The event was billed as "an immersive retail experience enabling consumers to try and buy everything from bikes to accessories", with the aim of "normalising" cycling and attracting new audiences.

However, as per some unanimously unimpressed attendee reviews on Facebook, the show failed to deliver, with several calling it a "waste of time", and others expressing disappointment at the lack of bikes on display and questionable vendor choices.

"You'd be better off nipping down your local bike shop"

One disgruntled visitor said: "You'd be better off nipping down your local bike shop than going to The National Cycle Show, hardly any bikes mostly about gels and hydration." While another said it was "full of tat"...

"Total waste of time, full of tat. If you want a massage machine or even some hair straighteners (I kid you not) your luck is in. But as for bikes and accessories/parts not much on offer. You even get to pay £16 for parking which, at an event you can easily walk around in an hour, is disgraceful. The only positive is there are some good speakers including Sir Chris Hoy and Jason Kenny but there is no way you can hang around all day just to listen to them. Extremely poor show."

The event has attracted 13 one-star reviews on Facebook, at the time of writing, as well as a string of negative comments under posts about the event.

One called it a "huge disappointment" before writing: "If you want a cycling show, focus on businesses that have cycling at their heart ... not those who tack on cycling as an afterthought. Sorry, but your organisers need to consider cyclists and what they want."

Another said they had travelled 180 miles to an event they only spent an hour at. "It was mainly supplement-based. Would have wanted to see more bikes and accessories. This event will need to grow before I go back."

So how did the National Cycling Show reply?

In reply to one, the National Cycling Show responded: "This is our very first event, launched during a pandemic and we did our best to deliver a great experience for you guys. We didn't have any drop-outs — you can view the list of 135 brands, all of the feature activations and speaker sessions that we had on show here. Believe me we take every comment seriously and to heart. Thank you for taking the time to write to us and hopefully you join us again next year, where the show will be bigger and better." We have also contacted the organiser for comment, and will update if/when we get one...

Here are some more of the one-star reviews: "Too many irrelevant stands not enough trade and dealer merchandise. Had list of things wanting to buy came away with nothing."

"More massage guns on display than bikes and a stall with hair straighteners. Not at all like the previous shows that have been there. Very disappointing."

"The worst cycle show I have ever been to. Absolute rubbish, nothing but a collection of tat vendors and a single bike manufacturer. Pathetic."

"I was really looking forward to looking at new bikes but it was a disappointment.
The main players were absent from the show, one small hall with more charities, massage stands, food stands than bike-related equipment. Where were Trek, Specialized, Giant, BMC, Cannondale, Scott, Focus, Canyon, Ribble? I am really sorry but the organisers of this event need to rethink their strategy for attracting bike and equipment manufacturers and retailers for next year. I would NOT recommend this event unless you want to increase your contributions to charities, purchase some hair straighteners, some flapjack or brownies. Complete waste of time and money."

Some positives?

Not everyone commenting on the event's posts was as disappointed as the reviewers...

One reply said: "Loved everything at the show!!! Great for all the family!!! Can't wait for next year!!" While someone else said: "We had a good time, it may not have the big brands, but lots of smaller businesses that were passionate about cycling and knew their product and were really helpful."

Another satisfied visitor replied to a negative comment: "For the record my husband and I really enjoyed The Show. We thought the talks were excellent and we enjoyed talking to the vendors and charities and trusts alike."

Did you go to the National Cycling Show? What was your experience? Would you consider going again in the future? Let us know in the comments...

20 June 2022, 09:55
The best bikes and bike gear | road.cc recommends episode 15

20 June 2022, 09:23
Weekend round-up: The new Giant Propel?; Joe Biden's GC challenge in tatters; Angle grinder bike thief tries to steal MP's bike
Is this the 2023 Giant Propel (via Tony Martin, Instagram)

New bike season is here...

Is this the new Giant Propel? Tony Martin set tongues wagging after posting photos of himself on a mysterious new bike. Elsewhere on road.cc this weekend...

> UCI downgrades RideLondon Classique due to "unacceptable lack of respect" for teams and riders

Joe Biden took a tumble after getting all tangled up in his toe straps when he stopped to greet a crowd of well-wishers while out for a spin in Delaware. 

Closer to home, a Labour MP was the victim of an attempted bike theft as a brazen angle grinder-wielding thief in London fled the scene after being approached by staff from a restaurant.

20 June 2022, 07:49
"You'll never forget your first time" on Leith Walk's bizarre zig-zag cycle lane

We've been here before...

In April, the City of Edinburgh transport convenor confirmed changes would be made to Leith Walk's protected cycle lane following criticism. I'm sure some would ask if said 'changes' are simply: ripping it up, designing something better, and starting again...

> ‘Moronic’: Edinburgh Council to make changes to bizarre zig-zag cycle lane after social media backlash

Here's how it feels to ride it, thanks to Dave McCraw for filming the chaos...

 Or rather, THIS is how it feels to ride it (without camera stabilisation)...

So, what else is wrong with it? (Bar the blatantly obvious)...

To a backdrop of criticism and social media jibes, transport convenor Lesley Macinnes said: "No-one is happy with the current situation but this is a far from finished part of the overall project. There are clear issues in how the design has been applied during construction and these have been raised as defects."

Dan joined road.cc in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining road.cc, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.

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