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Newspaper highlights petition for cyclists to be banned from local road... but it's only been signed four times; Pogačar wins FIFTH Giro stage; Cyclist feels "like a criminal" due to town centre ban; "Living nightmare" doping case + more on the live blog

It's Tuesday live blog time and the Giro's back on the telly... Dan Alexander is here for all your updates, news, reaction and all the usual silliness...

SUMMARY

21 May 2024, 16:28
Newspaper highlights petition for cyclists to be banned from local road... but it's only been signed four times
B651 (Google Maps)

Big news from Hertfordshire to finish the day, the county's local paper The Herts Advertiser reporting that a petition has been launched demanding that cyclists be banned from using the B651 between Wheathampstead and Sandridge. The petition states...

B651 between Wheathampstead and Sandridge is a 60 miles an hours road, narrow with many blind corners. Parallel to the road there is a paved wide cycling path. However every day cyclists decide to stay on the main road rather than use suitable cycling path, posing danger to drivers and themselves. The problem is even bigger during warm months. There have been many accidents on this road and banning cyclists and encouraging them to use cycling path will save lives.

 Interestingly the local paper chose to run the story before noting midway through that the petition has been running since April 10 and has been signed by... one person. That's literally the numerical equivalent of a random bloke (yes, it's obviously a man) ranting incoherently at you as you try to enjoy a trip to the pub.

Anyway, the local press' coverage means the number of signatures is now up to four, so given our live blog post you can expect that to maybe have sneaked into double figures by the morning. Not sure the council will be particularly worried, given it closes in a couple of weeks.

The top comment on the local paper's story, with more than three times as many likes as the petition has signatures, is someone writing: "If the road is that dangerous, then surely the petition should be to reduce the speed limit!"

Maybe there is hope after all?

21 May 2024, 16:46
Near Miss of the Day 908: cyclist praises swift punishment of driver after shocking close pass but slams "sorry state of affairs" with third-party reporting in Scotland
21 May 2024, 15:26
Giro d'Italia stage 16: Tadej Pogačar wins fifth stage of the race, extends seemingly unassailable GC lead

It all looked incredibly easy for Tadej Pogačar in the end. I know, it almost always does, but this looked especially easy — riders scattered all over the freezing mountain pedalling squares, one pink-wearing Slovenian not even in arm warmers or gloves, hands on the tops, barely breathing.

As the maglia rosa eased towards his fifth stage of the race he looked more like a top-class rider who, for whatever reason, had dropped out of the GC hunt and could take things easy, rolling effortlessly past sprinters and lesser riders at the back of the race. That wasn't how stage wins usually look.

There wasn't even much of an acceleration out of the GC group, Rafał Majka finished his turn, looked back and the rest were already gapped, Pogačar rarely getting out the saddle, just tapping out a rhythmn to pick off the four riders up the road with incredible ease. At least second-place Giulio Pellizzari — who for a moment would have been dreaming of a famous victory — got a consolation prize.

Behind, Geraint Thomas was the big loser, surrendering second spot to Dani Martinez, while Ben O'Connor lost time too. Curiously, Thomas' Ineos teammate Thymen Arensman did not wait, pushing on, presumably in search of seconds to help his youth classification challenge.

A tough day for many, spare a thought for those still nowhere near the finish.

21 May 2024, 15:09
Giant joins Specialized and Trek in offering huge discounts on several of its mountain and gravel bikes
21 May 2024, 15:06
Is he okay?

While everyone else hides beneath hats, rain jackets, gloves and more...

The final climb is nearly here, Julian Alaphilippe just 15 seconds clear of a chasing peloton. No prizes for guessing who'll be the big favourite from there. 

21 May 2024, 13:54
"If the aviation or rail industry had the safety record that roads do, planes would be grounded, and trains would be stopped": Brake road safety charity latest to respond to government's 'dangerous cycling' bill
21 May 2024, 13:50
Cyclist "treated like a criminal" and fined for "accidental error" in riding through area with controversial cycling ban

A cyclist new to Bedford has spoken out about its controversial cycling ban in the town centre after she was "left feeling like a criminal" when stopped and fined by "intimidating looking" officers. Writing to the local paper, the Bedford Independent, Karyn Pemberton said she had no idea she wasn't allowed to cycle through the town centre.

"I am fairly new to Bedford and have so far felt it to be very welcoming, lovely and quite a safe place to live. That is until the other day, when I was innocently cycling through the town centre, and was stopped by an intimidating looking 'officer' of sorts, who proceeded to tell me I had committed an offence and was being fined £75 for cycling in a pedestrian-only zone," she said.

> Bedford cyclists protest "discriminatory" town centre bike ban

"I was literally riding for less than a minute in an area I had assumed was OK, helped by the fact that there are scooters and kids cycling around everywhere in town, so not knowing about any restrictions, one would assume it was fine. I am shocked and extremely angry, and I feel I have been treated like a criminal when I am an honest citizen who made an accidental error, unaware of this cycling 'ban' in certain areas.

Bedford High Street (via Google Street View).PNG

"The area was empty too, so I would never have been posing a danger to anyone. Clearly, something is very, very wrong with this, I am questioning the very purpose of this ban. If the aim is to honestly prevent cycling that is a potential danger to others in the pedestrian area, it is plainly not working. I've seen several cyclists, especially young men, cycle through at some speed, with no regard for people around them, including on market days.

> Bedford cycling ban to remain despite consultation showing most people want it scrapped

"I can't see them stopping for enforcement, giving their details as I did, and paying a large fine. So, the system is basically penalising law-abiding people, visitors, those new to the town and most probably elderly people who cycle slowly and carefully, and benefit from locking up their bikes close to where they need to go.

"One thing is certain, I feel less inclined to go into the town centre at all now. I am sure there are plenty of others that feel the same, that have had the same awful thing happen to them, and are wanting to now avoid the centre."

We've reported numerous similar town centre cycling bans across England in recent times, often enforced through Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPO) with a stated aim to tackle anti-social behaviour. 

Active travel charity Cycling UK has long been a prominent critic of PSPOs, which it says have the effect of criminalising cycling, with head of campaigns Duncan Dollimore stating that the orders only discourage people from riding bikes into town.

> "Why pick on a lone female cyclist?" Cyclist slapped with £100 fine – for riding on a cycle path

In December, North East Lincolnshire Council said it had "escalated" and "intensified" its "war on cycling menaces" by implementing a complete ban on riding a bike in pedestrianised zones, as part of a wider crackdown on anti-social behaviour.

The council and its enforcement officers have come in for criticism during the five years the PSPO has been in place, locals accusing council officers of targeting "old and slow" cyclists after a pensioner was fined for riding through the town in 2022. Barrie Enderby, who was 82 at the time, told the council to "stick it up your arse" after being fined £100 for breaching the order.

In November, Coventry too introduced a PSPO preventing e-bike use in pedestrianised areas, a measure the former West Midlands' Walking and Cycling Commissioner Adam Tranter slammed as "reckless" and something that will "discourage cycling and penalise responsible cyclists".

Yesterday, we reported that "rogue" wardens working for a local council have been accused of "lying in wait" to catch Colchester cyclists riding on the pavement, after two riders were recently fined £100 for briefly mounting a footpath to avoid navigating a notoriously busy roundabout and its "thick and fast motor traffic", a penalty described by one of the cyclists involved as "unjustified" and "a bit farcical".

21 May 2024, 12:44
"Despite a handshake between the parties, the athletes did not show up at the start": Giro organisers hit back at peloton after stage 16 shortened

Here's a helpful stage profile from the Giro showing what parts have been cut and what remains...

Giro d'Italia 2024 stage 16 (RCS)

In a punchy press release the race organisers added their assertion that "despite a handshake between the parties, the athletes did not show up at the start in Livigno".

The Extreme Weather Protocol Commission met yesterday to decide on the conditions for today's stage.

A few minutes before the start, the weather conditions deteriorated further and so the commission decided to fall back on Option 3 - In the event of extreme weather conditions, the stage will be neutralised up to a place where the safety conditions are met.

On today's meeting, an agreement was reached on moving the race from Livigno with a town parade. Despite a handshake between the parties, the athletes did not show up at the start in Livigno.

 A shorter version was posted on the Giro's social media accounts, prompting plenty of criticism about the previous lack of communication and the fact the public statement conveniently omitted the paragraph where the organisers seemingly have a pop at the riders after "the athletes did not show up".

Ineos Grenadiers sports director Zak Dempster explained they had been "in a bit of a tango with the organisation".

"From the riders' and teams' point of view it's been for the last, more than 24 hours to be honest," he explained. "There was a proposal from the rider side to adjust the stage, to take out the two 2,500m passes because of the weather. That was refused.

"This morning it has just been a mess."

A mess indeed, organisers wanting to fulfil obligations to start towns who have paid money to host the race, riders just wanting to stay safe and healthy, teams supporting their riders' best interests, and a riders union representing the peloton... something tells me we haven't heard the last of this... oh, by the way, racing is now underway...

21 May 2024, 11:02
"Just like being at home..."
21 May 2024, 10:22
Giro stage shortened

To nobody's surprise today's Giro stage has been shortened to miss out the 2,500m Umbrail Pass that the riders' unanimously voted against climbing. Here's the new stage profile, 120km in total, with the finish to the stage unchanged.

21 May 2024, 09:59
Removal of safety wands and dividers from cycle lane will "make it safer for all road users", claims council – but cyclists say plan is "vindictive and insane"
21 May 2024, 09:39
Giro stage in chaos as riders vote against ascending Umbrail Pass

The scenes over at the Giro that have prompted the riders to vote against starting the stage as planned:

More than a few chilly faces at the team presentation in Livigno:

 This was the Stelvio stage, the monster climb removed last week due to heavy snow and landslides, Umbrail Pass slotting in as the replacement ascent. However, in a Giro situation becoming increasingly familiar in recent times, it has been reported that the CPA riders' union has stepped in, the riders opting against climbing the Cima Coppi (the race's highest point) given the miserable conditions.

CPA President Adam Hansen posted a statement from the union and riders on Twitter: 

There's a fair bit of confusion this morning, but it now seems (according to Marca) that the stage will begin after the Umbrail Pass. However, this hasn't been confirmed and riders are still stood outside at the start, Ben O'Connor telling the TV cameras "it's probably one of the worst organised races".

"It's just a shame that it is 2024 and you have dinosaurs who really don't see the human side of things," he continued. "I would still like to ride the stage but I don't want to ride over 2,500m. It is already five degrees and pouring rain and at 2,500 it is already snowing. I think it is only clear you should just start a touch lower and do the finish. I'd like to see him in our position, go outside on the bike and do the start of the stage and see what his answer is after those couple of hours."

Ouch. 

The stage was meant to have started by now but still no confirmation from the race organisers about what happens next, presumably because they're busy watching highlights from the good old days on repeat from a cosy armchair by a fire...

21 May 2024, 09:16
Cycling in the press: Guardian says "UK's new dangerous cycling offence will achieve pretty much nothing"
Female cyclist in london red coat on steel road bike -copyright Simon MacMichael

Political writer for the Guardian newspaper Peter Walker has an opinion piece published in today's edition analysing the new dangerous cycling law and concluding that it "will achieve pretty much nothing".

"In the six days since a law to prosecute dangerous cyclists was announced, somewhere close to 30 people will have been killed on UK roads, none of them struck by bikes," the piece begins.

It stands in stark contrast to much of the "Lycra lout" shouty columns seen in the Telegraph, Times and Express in recent days, Walker calling out the "out-grouping" of cyclists seen in other sections of the press.

The new dangerous cycling offence is a move, he concludes, that "reflects wider state of politics around active travel — arguing around the margins and doing little to change lives for better".

Another bit of Tuesday reading that we're happy to recommend.

21 May 2024, 09:03
"Rogue" wardens accused of "lying in wait" for cyclists riding on pavement beside busy roundabout, as two cyclists fined £100 for breaching anti-social cycling order at same spot
21 May 2024, 07:54
Pro cyclist Lizzy Banks' life "torn apart for nothing" after being found of "no fault or negligence" for positive doping test, but only after nine months "living my worst nightmare" and €40,000 spent

British pro cyclist Lizzy Banks, who has represented Great Britain at the World Championships and ridden for WorldTour team EF Education–Tibco–SVB, has penned an at-length blog detailing an "incredibly dark" nine-month ordeal that left her "silently living my worst nightmare" after a positive anti-doping test last summer. 

Ultimately, last month UKAD (UK Anti-Doping) found that Banks held "no fault or negligence" for the chlortalidone and formoterol found in her system, but in what she called "a landmark case", they accepted this without her having identified the source of the contamination.

On 28 July last year, Banks was notified of an Adverse Analytical Finding (AAF) for formoterol, a "medication I have been using for asthma for four years was detected at a concentration in line with how I have been prescribed it", and chlortalidone, a diuretic, which was "detected at a low concentration indicative of contamination".

To get to the point of UKAD accepting the conclusion that Banks had "no fault or negligence" regarding the positive took nine months of stress, endless reading of anti-doping rules and €40,000 of her own money spent.

"This process has cost me a huge amount, literally and metaphorically. My husband and I spent every penny of our savings and the huge mental toll has left deep scars," Banks wrote in an in-depth blog piece recalling the tale from start to finish and that can be read in full here.

"But somehow, through it all, I knew I had to fight. Right from the start, I learnt of other athletes in the similar situations with a contamination of chlortalidone, whose lives and careers were also being torn apart. 

"Prior to being completely cleared of any wrongdoing, I was repeatedly told by UKAD and lawyers that I would receive a two-year ban. This simply didn't make sense. No party thought I had 'consumed' chlortalidone with any intent, yet that's how the system works and my life continued to be torn apart for nothing.

"It is difficult to emphasise enough how significant UKAD's finding is that I bore 'no fault or negligence'. To put it in black and white, I understand that this is the first time that UKAD has ever issued a finding of 'no fault or negligence' (and therefore zero sanction) when the athlete has not specifically identified the exact source of the contamination."

 From initial suspicion about contamination from anaesthetic and medication used by the dentist the day before the positive test to endless hours trying to trace, "shattered" mental health, a paranoia about taking legitimate and approved medication, anxiety that "crippled", Banks' story shows the financial and emotional stress that she went through during the months of investigation.

"You are being charged for a crime, but you are also being told that the police aren't going to investigate anything themselves. You are guilty until proven innocent and you have to pay every penny of the investigation yourself with no help from the police," she said.

"So that's it. Everything points to contamination, but that's what UKAD says. Two-year ban unless you can find that needle in that barn of haystacks. Oh and by the way, that needle was put there three months ago. The haystacks aren't there anymore but good luck finding them and that needle.

"I had spent in excess of 38,000 euros investigating this case. That included every penny of savings that my husband and I had accrued as well as money borrowed from both mine and my husband's family. These costs barely scratched the surface of the initial investigation. Furthermore, I was no longer receiving an income due to the provisional suspension which compounded the financial and emotional stress.

"I still had the perpetually sickening feeling that my life was over. My mental health had been ripped to shreds. I consistently felt that I had lost everything, that I would never be able to work due to my name being tarnished, that when the world and the cycling community finally found out I would be labelled as a doper and discarded by all those who I thought cared about me. That I would lose my integrity which is so deeply entrenched in the core of all my beliefs and actions. This is one of the things that hurt the most. I became deeply depressed. Over the months, it worsened and I started to have suicidal thoughts. It was terrifying for me and deeply harrowing for my husband."

Following a hair test that "unsurprisingly indicated low-level [chlortalidone] contamination in a short period just preceding my anti-doping test" UKAD "did a full 180" and found Banks "to bear no fault or negligence and therefore would be subject to no sanction and no period of ineligibility".

There really are too many twists and extra details to the story to summarise exhaustively in a live blog post or news story, so we'd recommend taking a read of Banks' full blog post recalling the ordeal from the initial UKAD email last July through to the present day. It's an estimated 67-minute-long read, according to the blog page, so maybe save it for your lunch break. You can read it here...

Dan is the road.cc news editor and has spent the past four years writing stories and features, as well as (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. Having previously written about nearly every other sport under the sun for the Express, and the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for the Non-League Paper, Dan joined road.cc in 2020. Come the weekend you'll find him labouring up a hill, probably with a mouth full of jelly babies, or making a bonk-induced trip to a south of England petrol station... in search of more jelly babies.

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35 comments

Avatar
chrisonabike | 4 weeks ago
0 likes

Well don't panic - not long 'till a change of government now (almost guaranteed to be a change at the top even in the Conservatives manage to cling on).

Will that change much, if anything, to make transport more equitable and sustainable?  Or allow "places to be nicer"?  Or even improve road safety or (gasp!) cycling convenience?

Thoughts on a postcard.

FWIW my guess is "no".  I really hope I'm wrong.

Here in Scotland I'm just hoping the SNP doesn't completely reverse all the more "social" and "environmental" policies.  Especially the commitment to spend a sensible amount of the total "road budget" on active travel.  OTOH they may, like the Conservatives, just have been in power too long.  But if ousted I can't see any of the others doing as much (after the "gender" stooshie I don't see the Greens getting much of a look-in with anyone).

Avatar
Benthic | 4 weeks ago
2 likes

"...decide to stay on the main road rather than use suitable cycling path, posing danger to drivers and themselves."

Where is the danger coming from?

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hawkinspeter replied to Benthic | 4 weeks ago
2 likes

Benthic wrote:

"...decide to stay on the main road rather than use suitable cycling path, posing danger to drivers and themselves."

Where is the danger coming from?

Those big, burly cyclists going at 52mph on average. They'll kill you as soon as look at you.

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CyclingGardener | 4 weeks ago
18 likes

B651. This is in my neck of the woods. Whilst it's not an ideal road to ride on when busy, I can't say I've ever encountered any major issues, and happily used it before the path was made. Admit I do often use the path now if not in a hurry, as it's nicer and more fun.
However, it's definitely not a 'paved cycle path'; it's a 'gravel' horse path, although much walked and cycled too, being part of a big Woodland Trust project. Very much designed for gentle leisure use. Finally, it doesn't go all the way to Wheathampstead anyway, so even with a ban the petitioner would still get stuck behind slower cyclists like me slogging up the last hill . . .

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LeadenSkies replied to CyclingGardener | 4 weeks ago
15 likes

I haven't cycled that stretch for a year or more but I didn't remember any cycle track so I brought it up on Google Maps satellite view. It was as I remembered, a track that ran part of the way only, wasn't signed as a cycle path, was gravel / mud and the road, far from being twisty was pretty straight. Maybe a bit narrow but no different to many single carriageway country roads. I suggest the petitioner adjusts their driving according to the road conditions. If they feel they are approaching a blind bend then apply a touch of middle pedal and slow down until you can see it is safe to proceed.

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brooksby replied to CyclingGardener | 4 weeks ago
3 likes

tHAT'S Not impoRTANT!  What is important is that there is somewhere you maybe could ride your bike that isn't on the road where the IMPOTENT IMPORTANT people go!

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john_smith | 4 weeks ago
2 likes

"Maybe there is hope after all?"

Of course there is. The vast majority of people are reasonable and considerate, though to suggest as much no doubt amounts to heresy in the darker and more twisted corners of road cc comments.

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chrisonabike replied to john_smith | 4 weeks ago
3 likes

... the vast majority of people are human*.  So most may be mostly reasonable and considerate.

Unfortunately being human we're also sometimes careless, impatient, or plain unobservant.  (Smart and careful humans sometimes make unfathomable mistakes.)  Lots of people doing a fair bit of driving times a small fraction of that adds up.

From the outside of the motor vehicle it can be impossible to tell the difference between that and a driver who's turned to the dark side.

The way forward is to acknowledge that and embrace the concepts of "sustainable safety".

* Allowing for any fiends in human form, aliens, zombies, novel robots, lizards etc.

Avatar
Rendel Harris replied to john_smith | 4 weeks ago
7 likes

john_smith wrote:

The vast majority of people are reasonable and considerate, though to suggest as much no doubt amounts to heresy in the darker and more twisted corners of road cc comments.

Most people on here would not dispute that (apart from perhaps a certain Australian resident and one or two others who appear to hate everybody), but when it comes to the road if 99% of drivers are reasonable and considerate (which would surely be a massive overestimation, given the way that the nicest people often seem to turn into psychopaths with a steering wheel in front of them) that still means that of the 500–1000 odd cars I will pass/will pass me in a 50 km day of London commuting there will be 5 to 10 drivers who are prepared to act aggressively and possibly put my life in danger rather than drive considerately. Which feels like quite a lot.

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eburtthebike | 4 weeks ago
18 likes

"In the six days since a law to prosecute dangerous cyclists was announced, somewhere close to 30 people will have been killed on UK roads, none of them struck by bikes," the piece begins.

Tories "Party of the dangerous driver."

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Hirsute | 4 weeks ago
7 likes

Lady tries to lift heavy bike into vertical stand whilst 2 blokes film and give her advice !!
No idea how a bike would be secure on that.

" Trying to arrive by bike to a meeting at Beehive Mill, Ancoats. Not everyone has the ability to lift their cycle off the ground. @urban_splash @TomBloxhamMBE
this is your building - what can be done to make cycle parking more accessible? "

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eburtthebike replied to Hirsute | 4 weeks ago
4 likes

TBF, perhaps the racks were at wheel height, but the paved area has subsided.

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chrisonabike replied to Hirsute | 4 weeks ago
8 likes

Heightened security!

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brooksby replied to Hirsute | 4 weeks ago
3 likes

Has someone been changing the direction of gravity again? 

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hawkinspeter replied to Hirsute | 4 weeks ago
1 like

Hirsute wrote:

Lady tries to lift heavy bike into vertical stand whilst 2 blokes film and give her advice !!
No idea how a bike would be secure on that.

" Trying to arrive by bike to a meeting at Beehive Mill, Ancoats. Not everyone has the ability to lift their cycle off the ground. @urban_splash @TomBloxhamMBE
this is your building - what can be done to make cycle parking more accessible? "

Pfffft! Those are designed so that you wheelie up to them, plant your front wheel firmly into the bracket and jump off your bike.

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chrisonabike replied to hawkinspeter | 4 weeks ago
0 likes

It's all very well for you to say that but I think you're just flexing being able to wheelie ... because you can ride without a front wheel at all!

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hawkinspeter replied to chrisonabike | 4 weeks ago
1 like

chrisonabike wrote:

It's all very well for you to say that but I think you're just flexing being able to wheelie ... because you can ride without a front wheel at all!

I'm afraid not - I've never been able to wheelie or do a bunny-hop.

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I love my bike replied to Hirsute | 4 weeks ago
1 like

Isn't it really a landscape photo?

A bit like the upsidedown building that was on Blackfriars Rd, London?

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Matthew Acton-Varian | 4 weeks ago
15 likes

Removal of safety wands is in the best interest of - motorists.

Removal of these wands:
- provides an ability to park in and block a piece of formerly segregated infrastructure designed for the safety of for other road users forcing cyclists into the road
- encourages closer and more dangerous passing without a physical barrier
- provides a wider field of vision for drivers thus reducing a driver's perception of speed in relation to their actual speed (feeling slower but going faster - encourages speeding)

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brooksby replied to Matthew Acton-Varian | 4 weeks ago
7 likes

In all fairness, most wands don't stop motorists "accidentally" driving over and parking on top of cycle lanes… 

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andystow replied to brooksby | 4 weeks ago
13 likes

brooksby wrote:

In all fairness, most wands don't stop motorists "accidentally" driving over and parking on top of cycle lanes… 

No, you need to randomly install bollards that look just like the wands.

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Patrick9-32 replied to andystow | 4 weeks ago
5 likes

andystow wrote:

brooksby wrote:

In all fairness, most wands don't stop motorists "accidentally" driving over and parking on top of cycle lanes… 

No, you need to randomly install bollards that look just like the wands.

1/20 wands is now made from hardened steel and buried 6 feet into the ground. 

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brooksby replied to Patrick9-32 | 4 weeks ago
2 likes

Patrick9-32 wrote:

andystow wrote:

brooksby wrote:

In all fairness, most wands don't stop motorists "accidentally" driving over and parking on top of cycle lanes… 

No, you need to randomly install bollards that look just like the wands.

1/20 wands is now made from hardened steel and buried 6 feet into the ground. 

I really hope so.

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chrisonabike replied to Patrick9-32 | 4 weeks ago
2 likes

Patrick9-32 wrote:

1/20 wands is now made from hardened steel and buried 6 feet into the ground.

Now that would be a good addition for LTN 1/20 !

Unfortunately the entire paint-and-sign budget for the average town would be eaten up by 1/4 the High Street.  (Probably would be overall more effective though).

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arckuk | 4 weeks ago
13 likes

Lizzy Banks' story is eye-opening tale. The world of sport needs effective anti-doping and cheating countermeasures. Not surprisingly the beauraucracies that have been set up to try and achieve this aim are not perfect, probably understaffed and underfunded and have far less skin in the game than the individuals they are investigating. When critiqued or criticised they put up the shields and turn on the individual doing them a favour, rather than listening. From recent Post Office scandals to blood contamination, we need to recognise that this is what organisations do.

Her efforts and persistence in the face of this are amazing, but there must be many other athletes who weren’t as lucky to have these in such strong supply and have been incorrectly sanctioned in similar circumstances. Conversely, there will be a number of athletes who ‘get away with it’ and manage to cheat and beat the testing regime. Who knows where the balance between these two figures lies, but making your experience and battle public is essential and greatly appreciated. Anti-doping must do better.

Avatar
Paul J replied to arckuk | 4 weeks ago
2 likes

The civil anti-doping system - largely the product of the Anglo-phile nations, as a way of being seen to do something, without having to actually do much - is largely a failure. It is largely toothless, and lacks any real investigative powers. Instead the focus is on largely unworkable "testing".

The only system that has managed to crack organised doping in sport is the criminal justice system. It takes the investigatory powers of the criminal justice system, with the ability to monitor communications, search private property, etc., to reliably prove doping and intent to dope.

The civil system is not really fit for purpose.

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Secret_squirrel replied to Paul J | 4 weeks ago
0 likes

Paul J wrote:

The civil anti-doping system - largely the product of the Anglo-phile nations, as a way of being seen to do something, without having to actually do much - is largely a failure. It is largely toothless, and lacks any real investigative powers. Instead the focus is on largely unworkable "testing". The only system that has managed to crack organised doping in sport is the criminal justice system. It takes the investigatory powers of the criminal justice system, with the ability to monitor communications, search private property, etc., to reliably prove doping and intent to dope. The civil system is not really fit for purpose.

Except you made a lot of baseless statements that without evidence are just uninformed opinion....

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dubwise replied to arckuk | 4 weeks ago
0 likes

But if it was a furriner, they deserved all they got.

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brooksby | 4 weeks ago
11 likes

Peter Walker writing in the Grauniad:

Quote:

UK’s new dangerous cycling offence will achieve pretty much nothing

Move reflects wider state of politics around active travel – arguing around the margins and doing little to change lives for better

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/bike-blog/article/2024/may/21/u...

Avatar
hawkinspeter replied to brooksby | 4 weeks ago
16 likes

brooksby wrote:

Peter Walker writing in the Grauniad:

Quote:

UK’s new dangerous cycling offence will achieve pretty much nothing

Move reflects wider state of politics around active travel – arguing around the margins and doing little to change lives for better

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/bike-blog/article/2024/may/21/u...

I believe the correct phrase is "rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic" - certainly our government seems very much like a sinking ship

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