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Monopoly launch a pro cycling edition; Alan Shearer's new gravel bike; Ben Foster and Tao Geoghegan Hart go for a spin; Cycle lane blocked by eight cars; Suspected bike thieves caught cutting lock with angle grinder + more on the live blog

It's Friday and Dan Alexander will be taking you through to the weekend on the live blog...
20 November 2020, 17:05
Ben Foster and Tao Geoghegan Hart go for a spin

Continuing our football theme following a sneak peak at Alan Shearer's tasty Vielo earlier... what happens when a cycling-mad international goalkeeper and the winner of the 2020 Giro d'Italia go for a ride? Turns out it includes plenty of dad jokes, coffee stops and chats about football as Foster tries to keep up with Geoghegan Hart, who he describes as "an absolute sicko" and "legend of a bloke". He's also giving away a signed Maglia Rosa; you just have to subscribe, comment and like the video on Foster's YouTube channel by 7th December.  

20 November 2020, 16:49
Stay safe, be happy, just ride bikes
just ride bikes tees 2

'Stay safe, be happy, just ride bikes' is a slogan we can get behind, and these Just ride bikes t-shirts are in support of a great cause too. With 10% of proceeds going to NHS Charities Together you can do your bit and bag a decent stocking filler at the same time.

20 November 2020, 16:01
Monopoly's pro cycling edition launches... and there's a waiting list already

Monopoly is an inevitable (and often long-winded) part of the festive season for many of us... but what if you could swap Old Kent Road for the Poggio? Professional cycling Monopoly is now a thing, and even Remco Evenepoel is getting in on the act in this bizarre video posted on the young Belgian's Instagram account. 

It seems cycling Monopoly is such a popular idea that the company selling the board game have already sold out. It ditches famous London properties and landmarks in favour of the the key battlegrounds from the spring classics: La Redoute, Carrefour de l'Arbre, Roubaix Vélodrome and the Muur van Geraardsbergen are the prized assets here. Don't forget to collect two energy gels when you pass go, if you eventually manage to buy it!

20 November 2020, 15:43
Birmingham cycle lane blocked by eight parked cars

This short stretch of Birmingham cycle lane has eight cars parked, six of which are in the lane...

One Twitter user replied: "Definition of self-entitlement! Too many drivers think society owes them a parking space!"

20 November 2020, 14:48
Scottish cycling deaths hit six-year high
oxon travel cycle lane picture - via twitter.PNG

Edinburgh Evening News reports that the number of cyclists killed in Scotland rose to ten last year, the highest number since 2013. The amount of serious injuries also increased significantly from 157 in 2018 to 183 a year later. However, Cycling Scotland spokesperseon Denise Hamilton suggested the jump could be explained by there being more cyclists on the road. She said: "Cycling casualties are increasing in line with increases in people cycling.

"While the likelihood of being killed or seriously injured cycling is relatively low, it’s completely unacceptable that anyone is being killed or seriously injured on our roads. The highest priority to make cycling safer is cycle paths separate from traffic. Police action against dangerous driving behaviour is also crucial, as is reducing the volume and speed of vehicles on streets that people are cycling and walking on.”

Since 2018, kilometres cycled increased by 17% from 313 to 367 million km. Despite this the overall number of casualties fell from 638 to 572 and is at its lowest for ten years. Unsurprisingly the largest number of casualties occured in Edinburgh and Glasgow with more than a third coming from Scotland's two biggest cities.

20 November 2020, 14:06
Police sting catches bike thieves in Newcastle
Northumbria Police badge (wikimedia commons)

A pair of suspected bike thieves were caught by Northumbria Police in a sting operation using bait bikes in Newcastle city centre. The Northern Echo report both men in their 30s were arrested, with one using bolt cutters to steal the bike. Sergeant Fran Joyce explained the sting: "We have seen an increase in bicycle thefts during lockdown as more and more people take to two wheels.

“We have increased our patrols in areas that have seen a spike in incidents. The return of students has seen a second spike in thefts and so we have decided to run another sting operation. A similar initiative led to the arrest of nine thieves over the summer and in just a week we have already taken a further two suspects in to custody."

20 November 2020, 12:16
Shearer 'a big fan' of cycling, saying it keeps him fit without the joint pain
alan shearer picking up vielo gravel bike - via vielo.PNG

Our earlier blog post about Alan Shearer's new Vielo V+1 gravel bike went down well so we spoke to Trevor Hughes at Vielo to find out more about the Premier League all-time leading goalscorer's love of cycling...

"Since finishing his football career, Alan's been a big fan of road cycling. As he's had a number of operations through injuries from football, he said that he's found road cycling paired with Speedflex HIIT training gave him the training and fitness buzz, without any pain on joints the following day. 

"This year he's been on the road bike more during lockdown, but was looking for something fast and comfortable to explore the networks of gravel routes the North of England is blessed with. Being a passionate Geordie, he was keen to support a North East company and came to see Vielo (based in Gateshead) to get his gravel fix!"

20 November 2020, 11:44
Schoolboy completes Everesting to become one of the youngest to complete challenge
Zak Burgess © James Mellor 3

Zak Burgess, 14, completed the Everesting challenge back in August and will tell his story at the Kendal Mountain Festival this weekend. Burgess rode 122 miles over 28 hours, amassing 52 ascents of Birdy Brow, near Clitheroe. Remarkably he had only trained for the event for five weeks.

Zak said: "There were some extreme highs and lows as part of the ride. I don’t really get emotional about things but the extreme tiredness brought a flood of emotion at the end. When you’ve been dreaming of that final moment and then it hits you, and it’s big.  I’ve never felt anything like it. Crying was my only option - I was speechless.

"Riding through the night was the toughest. It started to rain about 3am and it got cold, I thought I wasn’t going to make it but people stayed out through the night and some rode with me to keep me going – shout outs to them all, I wouldn’t have made it without the support."

20 November 2020, 11:21
7,000 capacity bike parking facility in Amsterdam

Nobody does cycling quite like the Dutch. This massive hole in the ground will soon become a new bike parking facility next to Amsterdam Centraal station. It will have space for 7,000 bikes on top of another 4,000 spaces in a second facility which will be built on the other side of the station when construction begins next year. A similar bike park opened in The Hague in July.

20 November 2020, 10:39
One-off custom Cervélo S3
One-off custom Cervélo S3

This one-off custom Cervélo S3 is being raffled off to one lucky cyclist. Designed by endurance cyclist Chris Hall and painted by Gun Control Custom Paint, the size 51 Cervélo S3 has been built up with Shimano Ultegra Di2 and the Parcours wheels pictured will be replaced with a set of Parcours Grimpeur Disc Wheels. You can enter the raffle by donating £10 with all funds raised going to The Pace Centre and Movember. Entries close on Christmas Eve and the winner will be announced on Christmas Day. Who wouldn't want a new Cervélo under the tree?

20 November 2020, 10:14
NTT Pro Cycling renamed Team Qhubeka ASSOS

Doug Ryder has confirmed NTT Pro Cycling will continue next season under the name Team Qhubeka ASSOS following investment from the cycling clothing brand. Yesterday we reported that ASSOS had stepped in to fund the €8 million operation for the next two seasons and today Ryder has confirmed the team's new name.

Ryder said: “I am really happy to have gained the support of some incredible people and partners including ASSOS of Switzerland who have stepped in to be a headline sponsor. To be able to recreate the team as Team Qhubeka ASSOS talks to exactly what we continue to strive for, and that is to be a purpose-led, high-performance racing team.

"The last few weeks have been incredible seeing all the comments from fans in terms of how this team has connected with them in different ways. I am so happy we can continue to create hope and opportunity through our team and with the Qhubeka Charity."

It was feared the team would not be able to find sponsorship after NTT announced they would not be funding the team beyond 2020. Team manager Bjarne Riis confirmed that he would be leaving the team and reported that it looked unlikely that investment would come. Major riders such as Michael Valgren, Ben O'Connor and Edvald Boasson Hagen have all left the team in the past few weeks.

ASSOS CEO Derek Bouchard-Hall said: "We have really enjoyed being part of this mission driven team – Qhubeka’s slogan that “bicycles change lives” could not inspire us more.  And ASSOS has always been and continues to be deeply entwined in professional cycling – we were really moved by the opportunity to support the sport during the COVID crisis by keeping this important team part of the pro peloton."

20 November 2020, 09:38
Alan Shearer's new gravel bike
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Vielo (@vielo.cc)

Alan Shearer has caught the cycling bug since retiring from football. In 2008 the Toon hero cycled 350 miles from Newcastle to London to raise money for Sport Relief. Now it seems off-road and gravel riding has taken Shearer's fancy with this new Vielo V+1. When we rode it our reviewer described the bike as "a triumph of a design" and "fast, exciting and fun", so it seems Shearer's in for a treat. 

Read our full review of the Vielo V+1 here...

20 November 2020, 08:37
Suspected bike thieves caught on camera cutting through lock with angle grinder

These men were caught on camera trying to cut through a bike lock with an angle grinder in Tower Hamlets. The pair were interrupted and chased off, only after being told they were being recorded. Despite claiming "it's my bike," the other man covers his face as they walk away. 

Research from Direct Line estimated that more than 110,000 bikes have been stolen in the UK since the first lockdown. Earlier this month a bait bike led City of London Police to a stash of 60 stolen bikes at a business premeses in Tower Hamlets, the same borough where this incident happened. Three men were arrested and the police are still trying to reunite owners with their bikes - some of which were worth up to £5,000.

Last week we shared another video of a suspected London bike theft. This time it was a Deliveroo driver who bravely intervened as the suspect was cutting through a lock.

Dan joined road.cc as live blog editor earlier this year. He has previously written 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 a passionate cyclist ever since and spends his weekends exploring the south of England on two wheels. 

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