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"Addiction to more obese cars" means cyclists "bullied off the road", warns Cycling UK in call for govt action on manufacturers; How a carbon frame shouldn't look; Bike lane blockage; Geraint Thomas to take on Giro/Tour double + more on the live blog

Catch all the news, reaction and more on the Wednesday live blog with Dan Alexander
24 January 2024, 17:52
Geraint Thomas to take on Giro and Tour de France double

Some late Geraint Thomas breaking news: the 2018 Tour de France champ has announced he will be chasing Slovenians (and a pesky Dane) in Italy and France this year. It'll be G's 38th birthday on the penultimate day of the Giro, and with almost two decades of pro road racing and track success behind him, it seems like one heck of a challenge to be taking on the two grandest Grand Tours in a year. 

"I've never done it before, although I did in 2017 but crashed out of both," the Welshman told the Geraint Thomas Cycling Club Podcast. 

Let's hope it's less of the crashing and more of this from G in 2024... 

24 January 2024, 16:25
"Addiction to more obese cars" means cyclists "bullied off the road" warns Cycling UK in call for government action on manufacturers

There's a story on the MailOnline's website today about a new study by Transport & Environment (T&E) which suggests half of new cars sold in Britain now exceed the 180cm width of city street parking bays, with the average car width growing by one centimetre every two years.

This has wider-reaching consequences than just for parking however, what about road space and safe overtaking distances?

Cycling UK's director of external affairs Sarah McMonagle called for "government action to stop manufacturers fuelling our addiction to more obese cars" which, she says, will "lead to cyclists being bullied off the road".

The T&E study points to an increase in SUV sales. In 2013, the 'dual-purpose' sports utility vehicle represented 11 per cent of the market, now it makes up 28.6 per cent of registrations, analysis showed.

Richard Hebditch, director for T&E UK, said: "Currently we allow new cars to be as wide as trucks. This has meant our roads are now home to big SUVs and American style pick-up trucks that are parking on our footpaths, endangering pedestrians and cyclists and making everyone else on our roads less safe.

"The trend of cars getting wider has been progressing for decades and that trend will continue until the UK sets stricter limits."

24 January 2024, 17:09
Bike racing is back (and the Brits are all right)

This after Oscar Onley and Stephen Williams stage win each at the Tour Down Under, plus the Welshman winning the race overall... 

24 January 2024, 16:55
Look launches "fastest-ever" Keo Blade pedals that also offer "increased rider comfort and durability"
24 January 2024, 09:09
"Had hoped this protected cycle lane would make commuting by bike safer": Unexpected (BMW-branded) item in the cycling area

What do we have here? 

The Leeds Cyclist "had hoped this protected cycle lane would make commuting by bike safer"... we've dropped them a message to try to get to the bottom of this one because at first glance it's quite tricky to get your head around what exactly has led to the driver of a BMW being where they were.

> London cyclist films bike lane motorist driving straight at oncoming riders

After many a year of hearing words to the effect of 'we pay all that money for those bike lanes and the cyclists don't even use them', this made us chuckle...

We're hoping the truth is closer to: person makes genuine mistake and then proceeds with caution to exit situation safely for everyone involved. The near-reversing seemingly oblivious to The Leeds Cyclist behind them doesn't fill us with hope, admittedly.

"Didn't see them drive in," they told us. "The cyclist in high-vis was in conversation with the car driver when I approached. Only thing that was said to me was a shout of 'sorry' when I shouted 'woah' as the driver reversed the vehicle towards me without looking."

A couple of years back Transport for London said it would be fining motorists caught driving in mandatory cycle lanes, one previously unpunished very high-profile case seeing presenter and pro-cycling voice Jeremy Vine film a motorist seemingly taking a protected cycle lane shortcut through Hyde Park after mounting the kerb at the traffic lights.

Hyde Park cycle lane (Jeremy Vine Twitter video)

> Jeremy Vine films motorist driving down Hyde Park cycle path

Let's hope The Leeds Cyclist's incident was a genuine mistake... (even if a slightly worrying one at that)...

24 January 2024, 15:28
Right on cue...
24 January 2024, 12:49
"I felt betrayed and not recognised for everything I may have contributed": Arnaud Démare comments on FDJ departure
Arnaud Demare wins stage five of the 2022 Giro d’Italia (Zac Williams/SWpix.com)

[Zac Williams/SWpix.com]

French sprinter Arnaud Démare enjoyed plenty of success in the blue, red and white of Groupama-FDJ over the years — during his 12 and a half years with the team he won more than 90 times, including Milan-San Remo, eight stages of the Giro and two stages of the Tour.

However, speaking to France3, he has told of feeling "betrayed" and "angry and disheartened" last season when he was abruptly released from his contract and joined Arkea-B&B Hotels in August.

Arnaud Démare wins 2016 Milan-San Remo (ANSA, PERI - ZENNARO).jpg

"My feelings of anger are still present, also my incomprehension," he said. "I've always been a pro, I've always valued the team. I felt betrayed and not recognised for everything I may have contributed."

In response, team boss Marc Madiot told Cyclingnews' Alasdair Fotheringham: "I don't wish to make any comment but I maintain what I said in the past. Arnaud is a great rider and I would have liked things to have worked out differently. I bear no grudges."

24 January 2024, 12:13
Prolific thief jailed for seven months for stealing bike from railway station
24 January 2024, 11:30
Anyone else riding a Giant folding bike? Nope, just you...

PAIN.

Cracked frame (Facebook)

Couple of smug steel bike owners in the comments on this one saying this has never happened to them. Most have questioned if that seatpost is too far out, but still...

Other less helpful replies included: 

"If you can't fix it with duct tape, you haven't used enough duct tape..."

"Wouldn't have happened with rim brakes."

"I don't see an issue duct tape can't fix..."

Remind me never to share any cycling misfortune on the Roadbike Cycling Facebook page...

24 January 2024, 10:23
How to stay cycling fit over 60 — top tips to defy the years on the bike
24 January 2024, 10:10
Pro cyclist does big bike ride shocker
 

Winter miles, summer smiles... although not sure Tenerife counts as winter, to be honest. Bit chilly was it? Only 19°C and a bit overcast. Either way, just shy of 5,000m of climbing is a monster day in anyone's book. 

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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67 comments

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Wheelywheelygood | 2 months ago
0 likes

Having seen sooo many really bad cyclists I've come to the conclution that the aggresive bad car drivers are just cyclists during work hours in cars  driving as badly as they cycle 

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perce replied to Wheelywheelygood | 2 months ago
7 likes

I called in a shoe shop the other day - they had some heavily discounted shoes but they were all in black. I don't wear black shoes I wear brown. Do you have any disappointing shoe shop stories?

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don simon fbpe replied to Wheelywheelygood | 2 months ago
7 likes

Trolling isn't what it was...

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Smoggysteve | 2 months ago
3 likes

Sorry, I don't buy the argument about large cars. I drive an Audi Q5, a car I bought purely due to my partner having a disability. It's easy to blame the size of the car and ignore totally the attitude of the driver

I have been squeezed out and close passed by cars of all sizes. I wouldn't suggest at all SUVs or larger cars are more likely to cause issues. In fact I would suggest it it sometimes driver of smaller cars who think they can just pass without giving appropriate space because they think they are whizzing a mini through the narrow streets of Turin. 

Larger cars are causing issues on the roads when it comes to infrastructure size - some roads are just not designed to accommodate such big vehicles. Some suburbs are almost impossible to get down due to larger cars lining the streets on both sides. But that's not a cycling issue. 

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cyclisto replied to Smoggysteve | 2 months ago
1 like

Really sorry for your partner's disability, I hope it is a mild one. This is a very special case that excempts should be provided for any proposed measures. I have a friend that is forced to use a wheelchair at all times, yet manages to drive a modern B-segment SUV now, while previous car was an even smaller sub-4m car and on the other hand I know an even more unfortunate case that had to use a special van with wheelchair lift, so these are very special needs.

But big cars are not good for all for various reasons, here are few for a start:

1) Occupying more space for parking =>less parking spaces=>more cars in the road searching for parking.

2) More width either parked either on the road, less side safety space, creating more chances for close passes.

3) Taller vehicles can obscure visibility for other users.

4) Taller vehicles for the same weight have been proved to be more damaging to other users in crashes. It goes without saying that this happens too for heavier vehicles.

5) Heavier vehicles that are not EVs, have greater harmful emmissions that us cyclists feel them directly to our lungs as we are super close to motor traffic. I am sure the years lost of all cyclists breathing harmful emmissions are more than accidents.

(6) Taller driving position subconsiously makes you speeding more and  hesitant to stop. Not any proof, but I have noticed it.

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chrisonabike replied to Smoggysteve | 2 months ago
5 likes

It's also perfectly possible to drive a bus or a truck carefully, but for some reason most people are not keen to cycle around them. And indeed having them passing through places with vulnerable road users around is increasingly seen as something to be avoided, even in the UK.

There are a wide range of drivers in the UK because we have mass motoring and treat this as a club you only have to qualify for once. Unfortunately in the UK it's likely easier to change the vehicles (or the roads and the rules) than the drivers. Indeed the increased safety of driving over the years is mostly down to safety features in vehicles, infra improvements - and better trauma care.

Public space is not infinite - we also have growing demand on it (more people) so have to prioritise. Cars are by far the least space-efficient transport mode - even when they're moving! Bigger cars are exactly the opposite of what we want - even if we only care about "space for driving" and don't care about the same for cycling at all!

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cyclisto | 2 months ago
1 like

I am a big guy and I fit perfectly in small A-segment cars. Other than boot space there is no real reason to get such huge cars, but I see much more huge cars than roof rack boxes.

The government should tax exponentially dimensions and weight (with a small extra allowance for electric cars) and everything will be fixed.

To be honest though the sizes in US are even more absurd.

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don simon fbpe replied to cyclisto | 2 months ago
1 like

I have a large 4x4 with a bed, kitchen and bathroom in the back, it's my daily driver. Can you see an exception to your reasoning?

I also fit in the category of respecting (most) speed limits and not close passing cyclists.

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Bungle_52 replied to don simon fbpe | 2 months ago
3 likes

I have some sympathy. You have to pay out for excise duty and MOT irrespective of how often you use a vehicle so it probably makes economic sense to have one vehicle and use it for everything. A change to taxation by usage, and hence damage caused to roads and the environment, is what's needed, along with better public transport.

Thank you for respecting speed limits and not close passing cyclists but you will have to accept that your emissions (exhaust, tyre and brake) are not doing them any good.

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wtjs replied to Bungle_52 | 2 months ago
2 likes

You have to pay out for excise duty and MOT irrespective of how often you use a vehicle

Maybe in some places, but both are now optional in Lancashire, as WR56 ZVO demonstrates. First detected and reported 11.10.23

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don simon fbpe replied to Bungle_52 | 2 months ago
0 likes

Bungle_52 wrote:

I have some sympathy. You have to pay out for excise duty and MOT irrespective of how often you use a vehicle so it probably makes economic sense to have one vehicle and use it for everything. A change to taxation by usage, and hence damage caused to roads and the environment, is what's needed, along with better public transport.

Thank you for respecting speed limits and not close passing cyclists but you will have to accept that your emissions (exhaust, tyre and brake) are not doing them any good.

Why? I do, but do they have to accept that their emissions (concrete manufacture, plastics and carbon fuelled heating), assuming they don't live in Passiv Houses or houses of a similar standard, are not doing me any good?

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Hirsute replied to don simon fbpe | 2 months ago
4 likes

Drivist entitlement.

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don simon fbpe replied to Hirsute | 2 months ago
0 likes

Shouldn't you have at least some facts?

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Stephankernow | 2 months ago
0 likes

Its the boon in cobalt battery powered electric cars are the major new problem.
Very large and very heavy !

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BIRMINGHAMisaDUMP replied to Stephankernow | 2 months ago
2 likes

I was overtaken by an electric monster a few days ago.  It was huge and I still think about it. It was so close and so impatient I could 'feel' its aggressive intent.  It makes me so frustrated that drivers of these monsters don't understand how scary it is to be tailgated and then close passed. 

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chrisonabike replied to BIRMINGHAMisaDUMP | 2 months ago
2 likes

Are you sure it was electric- that sounds more like an energon monster?

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john_smith replied to BIRMINGHAMisaDUMP | 2 months ago
2 likes

Almost makes you want to fall off and be run over just to teach them a lesson. 

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Pedal those squares | 2 months ago
12 likes

If a car parks and does not fit in the bay, issue them with a ticket.  (I think I am correct in saying if you park outside the bay then you are fair game)

People will moan, but it's their choice to buy such a huge tin on wheels.  

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dubwise replied to Pedal those squares | 2 months ago
2 likes

My wife got a ticket a good few years back for exactly that.

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eburtthebike replied to dubwise | 2 months ago
5 likes

dubwise wrote:

My wife got a ticket a good few years back for exactly that.

Just how big is your wife?

 

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Terry Hutt replied to eburtthebike | 2 months ago
4 likes

Does she get a centimetre wider every two years?

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IanGlasgow replied to Terry Hutt | 2 months ago
5 likes

Terry Hutt wrote:

Does she get a centimetre wider every two years?

We all do.

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Kendalred replied to Pedal those squares | 2 months ago
6 likes

I saw this in a local multi-storey car park recently - had to take a photo...

 

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Matthew Acton-Varian | 2 months ago
6 likes

"The T&E study points to an increase in SUV sales. In 2013, the 'dual-purpose' sports utility vehicle represented 11 per cent of the market, now it makes up 28.6 per cent of registrations, analysis showed."

so 30% of cars sold are SUVs.

Yet about 0.3% of them at best will ever do more than a mile off-road.

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brooksby replied to Matthew Acton-Varian | 2 months ago
15 likes

Does it count as "off road" if they're on the footway?  3

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ROOTminus1 replied to Matthew Acton-Varian | 2 months ago
2 likes

Part of that statistics is that car manufacturers have shifted models into the SUV category, eg, the Ford Kuga a mini-suv, replaced the b-max a cutdown mpv. Both are about the same maximum dimensions, but the newer vehicle is more "rugged" in its styling and the category of vehicle has shifted accordingly.
Not saying it's right, but there are fewer non suv options if you're looking for a new vehicle.

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Hirsute | 2 months ago
9 likes

The two drivers were less lucky than the bmw one.

//pbs.twimg.com/media/GEm1K08XkAATLeB?format=jpg&name=900x900)

#Cyclingmafia

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brooksby replied to Hirsute | 2 months ago
1 like

Is that a photo you've taken or is it from the meeja?

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Hirsute replied to brooksby | 2 months ago
0 likes

twitter - but not everyone on here wants to login to X !

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eburtthebike replied to Hirsute | 2 months ago
4 likes

And abroad.

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