news

Tory councillor say Labour promoting 'anti car dogma' in Birmingham; Girl rides 1,200km carrying injured dad; Hit-and-run driver 'checked car for damage'; 'Time running out' for pop-up infra; ZZ Top frontman rides e-bike in Vegas + more on the live blog

Welcome to Friday's live blog, with Jack Sexty your captain throughout the day plus the odd contribution from the rest of the team...
22 May 2020, 15:48
Tory councillor who says Labour promoting 'anti-car dogma' during pandemic slammed for comments on social media

Councillor Meirion Jenkins, of the Sutton Mere Green ward in Birmingham, is receiving much criticism for claiming that "Labour's anti car and anti motorist dogma" is impacting on Birmingham negatively during the pandemic. Councillor Jenkins says that Birmingham is "a motor trade city", with numerous replies slamming his views. 

It's also pointed out that the Conservative government themselves have been making huge promises for sustainable transport as of late, with Transport Secretary Grant Shapps recently announcing a £2 billion active travel plan with £250 million set aside for emergency infrastructure; Boris Johnson also said he hoped to herald a "new golden age of cycling" during Prime Minister's Questions earlier in May. 

22 May 2020, 15:25
Cycling is most popular family lockdown activity, according to survey
black mountain kids bikes poll pic - may 2020.PNG

Black Mountain - who make a range of adjustable kids' bikes - surveyed 2,000 people with children aged 3-14, revealing that 35% said cycling was the outdoor activity they felt most confident doing with the family during the lockdown. This was followed by walking (29%), wildlife trails (25%), jogging (20%) and climbing (16%). 82% also said they felt comfortable taking their children outside for activities such as cycling during the pandemic. 

The questionnaire was part of a wider study by One Poll into how the coronavirus lockdown is impacting outdoor exercise and activities for families, with 89% of parents saying their children are currently eager to do outdoor activities such as cycling. They say this contrasts with a study published by Bristol University prior to lockdown in November 2019, which found children of primary school age were becoming more inactive. Perhaps the best way to get kids outside is to tell them to stay in...  ​

22 May 2020, 13:57
Reports that Colombian travel ban could prevent Egan Bernal from lining up for Tour de France
Egan Bernal and Dave Brailsford (via ITV Cycling on Twitter)

According to Sporza, the Colombian Transport Minister has extended the travel ban in the country until 31st August, with all flights out of Colombia banned until after this date. With Le Tour set to begin on the 29th August, that could pose serious problems for Egan Bernal's plans to defend his Tour de France yellow jersey. Other big names who could be affected unless exceptions are made include Nairo Quintana and Rigoberto Uran. 

22 May 2020, 13:16
Girl cycles 1,200km carrying injured father in India

According to various Indian news outlets, 15-year-old Jyoti Kumari has been offered a trial by The Cycling Federation of India (CFI) after they heard about her superhuman efforts to cycle her father from Gurugram to the state of Bihar​.

Her father suffered an injury that meant he couldn't work, and with no income Jyoti decided their best option was to make the journey back to their home town. The autorickshaw he used for work had to be returned to the owner, so Jyoti's best option was to sit her father on the rear side of her bike's carrier and cycle. The journey reportedly took seven days. 

Speaking to PTI, CFI chairman Onkar Singh said that if Jyoti passes the trial, she will be invited to train at India's National Cycling Academy in Dehli. He said yesterday: "We spoke to the girl this morning and we have told her that she will be called to Delhi next month as soon as the lockdown is lifted. All the expenses of her travel, lodging and other will be borne by us."

"If she needs to accompany somebody from home, we will also allow that. We will see in consultation with our Bihar state unit on how she can be brought to Delhi for a trial."​

22 May 2020, 12:40
Keep three fridges apart, says Prime Minister

Yep, that is official government advice and not a parody account. So basically like this guy but with two more fridges if you're out for a ride this weekend... 

Brazil fridge cyclist (Luam Paim Facebook video still).PNG
22 May 2020, 12:21
Ruin a cyclist's name by changing a letter

So far we think Floyd Landis is up there with the best, as are Tao Geoghegan Fart, Peter Satan and Ban Ullrich. We'll let you get creative with Alberto Contador's name yourselves... 

22 May 2020, 11:59
Challenge of the Stars 'virtual tournament' taking place this weekend

Among the 16 pros to have signed up for the tournament are Chris Froome, Jakob Fuglsang, Warren Barguil and Nacer Bouhanni. Eight top climbers and eight sprinters will do virtual battle using Bkool's software, and after numerous knock-out rounds there will be a winner for both categories. It's reportedly to be the first virtual pro cycling tournament of its kind, and the courses will be based on Italian terrain influenced by the gradients of the Stelvio and Tuscan hills. The sprinter's course is 1.2km with an average gradient of 0.97%, while the climbers will race over a 2.9km 'climb' with an average gradient of 8.69%. 

The races will be broadcast live on Facebook and Youtube at 4.30pm CET on Saturday 23th and Sunday 24th May. The first round match-ups are below... 

22 May 2020, 11:52
Richmond Park 'plumes of exhalation' in hymn form
richmond park comment.PNG

Thanks to The Choking Angels in the comments for taking the time to arrange the main story on yesterday's live blog into a carol... although, shouldn't that be 'Don't come all ye faithful'? 

22 May 2020, 10:54
Bike racing secretly returned to Norway on Wednesday

You have have missed this (we did) but on Wednesday what we think was the first professional race since the lockdown began in Norway. Among the entrants to the race that was broadcast live on Norwegian TV were Edvald Boasson Hagen, and the first stage of three - a 4.1km hill climb time trial - was won by Uno-X rider Andreas Leknessund. 

The event is reportedly not part of the UCI calendar and was organised in secret to ensure social distancing is maintained and no crowds are attracted. 

22 May 2020, 09:34
ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons e-biking on the Las Vegas Strip

He's got legs and he knows how to use them etc etc... the lead singer of the legendary rock band took to the Las Vegas Strip to talk about his love of cycling. Accompanied by his wife, Gibbons was riding a Giant electric mountain bike with a ZZ Top-themed paint job, and wearing what we hope were suitably cheap sunglasses. 

He said: "Its amazing what you see on a bike, everything. You've got this 360 panorama. Things that you don't see in the car."

Unfortunately technical issues appear to have prevented us from embedding the video, but head over to the Las Vegas Review Journal to see the on-bike interview. 

22 May 2020, 09:05
"Time is running out" to ensure space is made for cycling before lockdown lifts

Cycling UK are urging the public to continue lobbying councils to make extra cycling and walking space when the lockdown lifts, to avoid going back to our previous car-clogged cities. Temporary 'pop-up' cycling infrastructure has been going up quickly across the UK, but Cycling UK say more needs to be done - yesterday we also reported that Simon Monk of London Cycling Campaign says the capital is "in real trouble" if emergency bike lanes are not built soon. 

You can check out our round-up of major towns and cities that have already installed pop-up cycling infrastructure here, and Cycling UK's form to ask councils for cycle space can be found here. Hopefully the plans for your area won't end up looking like this...

22 May 2020, 08:40
Anger over driver who allegedly hit Deliveroo rider, before fleeing and checking car for damage

Photos are being shared across social media after a woman allegedly fled the scene after knocking over a Deliveroo cyclist near London's Olympic Park. 

The witness above wrote: "Today I witnessed a woman fleeing a scene after knocking down a cyclist.

"I was just skating to the Olympic park so just instinctively chased her, she drove off to "a safe distance" where she decided to check the damage made to her car...
I just took a picture of her car and her doing her "important checks", I mean must have been a big deal to her that she didn't blink over a life she had just violated..."

The post has ben shared widely across Facebook and Twitter. It's not clear if the incident has been reported to the police yet. 

22 May 2020, 08:35
Police appealing for information after cyclist suffered fractured skull
police line (CC licensed by hugovk_Flickr)

Sussex Police say the 36-year-old male cyclist suffered serious head injuries after the collision in St Leonards-on-Sea, at around 3pm on Thursday. After initially being taken to Conquest Hospital in Hastings he was later transferred to the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton with a fractured skull.

Police are looking for witnesses, and anyone with information has been urged to call 101 quoting Operation Danson or email collision.appeal [at] sussex.pnn.police.uk

22 May 2020, 11:58

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

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