I believe I'm the first person to cycle up the redesigned Park Lane on a penny farthing pic.twitter.com/3cSfSyFK0W
— Jeremy Vine (@theJeremyVine) May 27, 2020
The broadcaster is well known for posting his various trials and tribulations of cycle commuting around London... and now he claims to be the first person to take to Park Lane's new pop-up cycle lane on a penny-farthing. Is he though? Our news editor Simon spotted this fella and a couple of other around the Hyde Park area recently, so there's a possibility that might not be the case...
And that's not the only thing that needs debunking from this video. A number of people in the comments appear angry at Mr Vine for not wearing a helmet...
You just show how irresponsible cyclists can be. No helmet and videoing yourself whilst stirring with one hand. 😡
— Debbie (@pots1005) May 27, 2020
However, the chin straps under what looks like a flat cap on his head reveal that he's wearing what we believe to be a rather fetching Tweed Helmet Cap from Beg Bicycles. He's also criticised a number of times for filming himself while riding; and while it takes a certain level of confidence to do so on a penny-farthing, this is not illegal in the United Kingdom.
The Constabulary noted that a number of anti-cycling comments had appeared on their feed whenever bikes were mentioned; but say that during the lockdown as more families have started cycling, feedback was becoming more positive: "If you do something you understand it and support it", says the post above.
They also add: "Let’s not forget cycling saved the day for a lot of people during lockdown. Families connected on their bikes. People started riding to work. The joy of just doing something because it was fun was rediscovered by many. These people are the majority of cyclists, like car drivers or motorbike riders only a few let the side down sometimes. Don't judge all just because of the actions of a few!"
I've just been turned away from the recycling centre because I'm not in a car!?! I don't own a car @DevonCC.
What greater risk do I pose than a driver? What I do help alleviate is the queue of polluting cars waiting to get into the recycling centre. pic.twitter.com/jswnrKDRpo
— Caspar Hughes (@countcaspargh) May 27, 2020
Caspar Hughes says he was turned away from an ECC recycling centre in Marsh Barton, Exeter because he arrived by cargo bike rather than a car. He also added: "I asked to speak to the boss and he came straight up to me, without respecting any social distancing. I had to take a step back."
I just clarified this through my councillor with @DundeeCouncil and they are fine with me showing up at the recycling centre with my freight bike, so clearly at least one local authority doesn't see a problem.
— Peter Clinch (@pj_clinch) May 27, 2020
Had the same happen in Dewsbury @KirkleesCouncil - privately run site, turned away due to h &S, despite being in hi-viz and helmet. probably more visible than on site workers.
— Ian_b (@Ian_in_Spen) May 27, 2020
Numerous people replied to say they have been allowed into their recycling centre when arriving by bike, while the reasoning for turning away bikes are reportedly because of visibility, or the current pandemic - neither of which it seems would pose more of a risk than driving onto the site.
So far it doesn't appear anyone from Exeter City Council has responded. Have you had a similar experience at your local tip?
Resurfacing was successfully completed on the Sydenham Bypass and adjacent cycle lane over the weekend between Dee Street and George Best Belfast City Airport pic.twitter.com/MpfgXrCi6G
— Dept Infrastructure (@deptinfra) May 27, 2020
When more cycling infrastructure was promised during and after the pandemic in many parts of the UK, this is probably not what Belfast residents had in mind - the cycle lane is separated only by paint and is placed next to a two-lane dual carriageway. The tweet from the Department of Infrastructure in Northern Ireland has provoked a furious response.
Imagine tweeting this like you're proud of it.
What an embarrassment.
— Gordon Struth 🐑 (@gordon_struth) May 27, 2020
If your paint works, ask yourself why architects don’t paint guardrails into buildings, why do we insist they provide physical balustrades?
Once you’ve answered that, have another look at what you’ve just done.
— Michael - Test, Trace, Isolate (@baoigheallain) May 27, 2020
That looks like it's specifically designed to get people killed. Have a word with yourselves. Deathtrap.
— Henry Sugar (@glintingframe) May 27, 2020
That cycle lane! 😬😬😬 thats terrifying. I want to cycle round Belfast more but I won’t be using that death trap 🙃
— erin audrey (@ferris_erin) May 27, 2020
Would you ride on it?
*When we first published this post we described the cycle lanes pictured as 'two-way' , but we've since learned it is one-way. Apologies for the confusion.
Worst thing about lockdown is a whole generation of new cyclists now cycling with no lights and no clue.
— Ricky Ross (@rickyaross) May 26, 2020
Following on from the popular topic of drivers' eyesight, now the lead singer of the once-popular pop rock band Deacon Blue says that "a whole generation of new cyclists" are now riding without lights and have "no clue." Not everyone agrees, or believes this is feasible...
It's not really, though, is it, Ricky? It's not in the top 100. But it's pretty close in many people's to being literally the ONLY good thing.
— Ned Boulting (@nedboulting) May 27, 2020
Who are all these people that are cycling FOR THE FIRST TIME without lights between the hours of 9.44pm and 4.45am that are getting Ricky so riled up?
"Fancy a 2am ride Johnny?"
"Well I've not ridden in years and I've not got any lights but, fuck it, why not?"
— Michael Crebbin (@swissmikey) May 27, 2020
If you're concerned about safety, there are about 500 other issues that you could have highlighted as the worst thing about lockdown. It's a total fail on safety evidence & sense of proportion of what's happening here & globally. Hence the replies to you.
— Simon Munk (@psimonk) May 27, 2020
In a later exchange with presenter Ned Boulting, Mr Ross said he "totally gets" the positives of cycling and meant no harm with his comments, but others have pointed to the reported spike in anti-cyclist behaviour as the potential consequences of expressing such views on a public forum.
Then you should know better than to tweet anti-cycling dogwhistles to a big audience. You make it sound like there are thousands of people swarming the roads after dark - really how many new cyclists are going out after 10pm?
— Hannah 🚲 (rage ➡️ watts) (@theeyecollector) May 27, 2020
New Specialized Tarmac SL7? pic.twitter.com/xXb8vH0s6z
— david arthur (@davearthur) May 27, 2020
Here's what looks to be a Spesh Tarmac with a completely clean front end and blingy new paint job - has their revamped flagship all-round race bike been leaked? In any case, wise to make use of that Sheffield stand rather than leaning it against a tree for too long before it attracts the wrong kind of attention...
“So many cyclists are thoughtless with their clothing choice regarding visibility by motorists. What they don’t understand is many motorists have less than perfect eyesight.” https://t.co/jpfUflZC8O
— Michael O'Reilly (@MichaelOReilly_) May 27, 2020
The letter in Adelaide Now says: "So many cyclists are thoughtless with their clothing choice regarding visibility by motorists. What they don’t understand is many motorists have less than perfect eyesight and light conditions affect visibility.
"I would like to see mandatory hi-vis vests compulsory for motorcycles and bicycles, just as helmets are. Motorists are victims, too, because having to live with causing an accident because you didn’t see is traumatic."
Wow. "I can't operate this machine safely so you'd better protect yourself from me". We know this is how people think, but it's rare to see it said
— Ian Walker (@ianwalker) May 27, 2020
It's not my job to worry about your eyesight. There is a licensing department for that. Also a motor vehicle is a responsibility that you should take seriously so if you aren't fit to drive fix it or stop driving.
— Nathaniel Offer (@nathanieloffer) May 27, 2020
It's difficult to decipher which sentence is more absurd, with many pointing out that a driver who cannot see a cyclist in less-than-perfect conditions should probably consider if their fitness to drive may be more of a problem than the clothing worn by those around them.
Perhaps a trip to the UK (more specifically Barnard Castle) to check the eyesight before driving would be a sensible idea*...
So, not irony? Or written by Dominic Cummins?
— AlburyBibleChurch (@AlburyBC) May 27, 2020
*Definitely not a sensible idea.
A South Gloucestershire councillor took to a community Facebook group to ask residents for their opinions on a new pop-up cycle lane on a busy ring road in the Bristol suburb of Bromley Heath; with the overwhelming response from residents being negative.
The councillor wrote: "They (the council) wish to temporarily convert the inside lane of the Ring Road between Bromley Heath roundabout and the Hambrook traffic lights to a cycle lane. Their reasoning behind this was that traffic flows have decreased and cycling has increased significantly. Buses are not able to run anywhere near capacity so public transport is limited. There is a pinch point on the cycle lane in this area which makes the volume of cyclist and walkers difficult to manage. They would be looking at implementing this at the end of this week/ start of next week. We have raised several points and concerns about the scheme this morning but wanted to open this up to residents views before we give our final view to officers."
Many of the comments expressed concerns about the levels of traffic increasing as the lockdown begins to lift, and the lane would simply be a case of too little, too late. Others say that it should have been done a month ago, with one commenting: "Crazy idea, wait a few months when everyone is back to work just for the winter when cycling drops off and nobody wants to take the bus."
The councillor later commented: "The concerns raised echo the ones that we raised this morning with officers. Our view was that this scheme should not go ahead but I did not want to state that initially so that residents could comment with an open mind. We are committed to increasing the use of alternatives to car travel and that this must be done in a safe and sustainable way."
With the government encouraging commuters to cycle and walk where possible and Transport Secretary Grant Shapps delivering a funding boost for temporary cycle lanes, many would argue that the need for social distancing post-lockdown will remain for some time... what do you think?
.@thesundaytimes Hello. I wrote your editor a letter. It's the first time I've ever done that in my life. But you won't publish it, so I will. (And it's not even about Cummings). pic.twitter.com/jqyB8wypeV
— Ned Boulting (@nedboulting) May 26, 2020
The broadcaster's words sum up the frustration and disappointment felt by many of those who were unfortunate enough to stumble across Liddle's Sunday Times article over the past few days. He also said: "Even as I post this, I am aware that it's probably echoing in a chamber. The most important thing we can do it spread this simple message to other folk who may not cycle or even care about it, but need to get from A to B on our roads."
Great work. Protecting the precious space on public transport for those that don’t have a car is essential.
If people ride or walk where possible we can prevent overcrowding on 🚃 🚆 🚌 which would risk a second peak. Measures like this make them fee safe enough to do that. https://t.co/Pp70OA38I6
— Chris Boardman (@Chris_Boardman) May 27, 2020
The major route into the city centre is now safe for cyclists, which gets the Chris Boardman seal of approval.
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.