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“Hardly convinced the UK is ready for a cycling revolution”: Former GB News producer becomes the “pedestrian version of Jeremy Vine” and films cyclists; Pidcock to skip Cyclocross Worlds; Christmas tree with sprockets? + more on the live blog

It’s the middle of the week cycling live blog and Adwitiya is back in the not-so-hot-anymore seat with another helping of cycling news, reactions, and hopefully some funny videos too

SUMMARY

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29 November 2023, 09:24
“Hardly convinced that the UK is ready for a cycling revolution”: Former GB News presenter becomes the “pedestrian version of Jeremy Vine” and films rule-breaking cyclists

Hooray, everyone's favourite (former) GBNews producer and anti-cycling bingo enthusiast Charlotte Gill is back at it, this time with something a bit more flamboyant and swashbuckling than what her previous attempts have been, some might say.

Her hall of fame highlights include the article in the eye-openingly conservative magazine The Critic, criticising a new study on Low Traffic Neighbourhoods, despite failing to address any of the study’s findings, as well as the elite, deluxe edition of the anti-cycling bingo with a top of the shop entering, ticking off every single uninspired checkbox: from "a war is being waged against car drivers", "a ‘Lycra Lobby’ of cycling activists and eco wonks", "I don’t drive, enjoy cycling and probably have a relatively low carbon footprint", "an assault on democracy"…

Oh before I forget, she was also behind bringing up an argument on Twitter in March that it’s mums who should stand up and oppose the dreaded Lycra lobby – because they can’t “cart around children” by bike, apparently – a claim swiftly shut down by loads of women posting pictures of them doing exactly the same activity, including Bath's bicycle mayor Saskia Heijltjes.

> “Oh dear, can you imagine being a mum carting around children”: Bath’s bicycle mayor shuts down GB News producer’s claim that mums need cars

Gill, who last month left her role as producer at GB News, was most recently under fire for comparing the 20mph speed limit in Wales to cyclists needing stabilisers. I know the list is long...

Well now, Gill has been on an expedition on the streets of London, and for once, she couldn't stop herself from applauding a cyclist, albeit only for a tiny bit of inspiration. Following in the footsteps of one "lycra-loving" Jeremy Vine, she strapped on a body cam (her iPhone) and took to the streets, becoming the "pedestrian version" of the Channel 5 presenter and "play cyclists at their own game, filming their transgressions".

Lo and behold, the inception of the one and only 'Chaz Cam', as christened by her.

> “Perhaps cars should have great big beanbags taped to them, too?” GB News producer slammed for comparing 20mph speed limits to cyclists requiring stabilisers

She wrote on her blog: "It goes without saying that cyclists aren’t as dangerous as cars on average, and of course, not everyone cycles badly. But too often you hear “it’s only a few bad eggs giving others a bad name” to minimise the number of naughty cyclists - when the issue is actually quite pronounced, as I have found. I would guess it’s more like half of cyclists behaving badly on the road, not a minority."

And in case you didn't feel like clicking on the link above this very fine day, worry not! Your live blog host has done his homework and read through Gill's handiwork, laying down all the horrible, spiteful and malicious deeds cyclists are responsible for.

It begins with probably the most common one — one which we at road.cc have also brought up in our discussions on the live blog: Going through red lights. "I lost count of the number of cyclists doing this on my day out with the Chaz Cam," she wrote.

"Although you might say I was being pedantic (well, I was pretending to be the pedestrian version of Jeremy Vine) and that cyclists may as well go through the light if no pedestrians are waiting, I found they do even when a pedestrian is there. One female cyclist dashed out at me as soon as the pedestrian light went green (see below).

> Are red-light jumping cyclists "great adverts" for cycling? Jeremy Vine seems to think so...

Alright, next up, cyclists on phones. She said: "It wasn’t unusual to see cyclists riding with one hand or none on their handlebars, as if thinking they looked extremely cool while doing so.

"One cyclist, who a van white beeped at, due to his being dangerously close in front, sped away, only to look at something other than the road (my guess being his phone)."

Cyclist jumping red light (Twitter)

> "If you don’t like cyclists going through red lights, support proper cycling infrastructure": Calls for better cycling infrastructure after cyclists jumping lights goes viral

Also in the findings of the investigation were the age-old "lighting issues" and "riding on the pavement" (cough, yesterday's live blog comes to mind, cough). And finally, she took aim at another easy target, delivery riders, claiming that they were just "bad cyclists" rushing through people for "tiny sums of money".

In conclusion? She said that the "Chaz Cam investigations" have hardly convinced her that "the UK is ready for a cycling revolution".

"The reality, in my opinion, is that half of cyclists behave well, and half of cyclists don’t. It’s definitely not the case that 'most cyclists follow the rules'," she said. "They don’t - because they perceive themselves as "the green and the good" of British society. It’s also generally my experience that most cyclists are male (and young), and the most aggressive ones almost always so, countering councils’ propaganda of inclusive transport."

So if not all cyclists are bad, and the ones which are do not cause nowhere nearly as harm or damage as a bad motorists, shouldn't by the same benchmark we all should be in agreement that the UK is also not ready for a driving revolution? Ah well.

That was quite a way to start my Wednesday, is this all a painstakingly wonderful and detailed attempt at parody or just a lousy attempt with poor arguments for cheap clicks? I feel I'm losing my mind here, help me figure this out...

29 November 2023, 13:16
Charlotte Gill's "pedestrian Jeremy Vine" impression: Your reaction

As you may have noticed, the internet has been set alight today, Jeremy Vine has been dethroned, for there is a new Jeremy Vine, albeit on foot, filming all sorts of malicious cyclists out to terrorise everyone, from motorists to pedestrians. Let's see what road.cc readers had to say about all the kerfuffle...

First off, setting the record straight, long-time reader Rendel Harris: "The pedestrian Jeremy Vine? Come off it, not a single inset meme, migraine-inducing flashing arrows or throbbing texts and no confusing 360° revolving spins of the environment from above, not a patch on our Jeremy!"

An interesting question from HoldingOn: "Do we think Charlotte Gill would have felt safe enough to run into the road waving her arms if she had just witnessed a car going through a red light?"

A couple more detailed, in-depth and passionate responses below.

Patrick9-32: "I would suggest that the iPhone Jezza take a better look at the footage she is saying is evidence of danger and ask herself, who is in danger? If a cyclist runs a red light or isnt paying attention to the road who is at risk? And if a car driver does the same, who do they endanger?

The cyclists should be obeying the traffic lights and the highway code and should not be using their phones, we should all be safe and careful, especially around pedestrians but, if things go wrong the most likely outcome is that they themselves get injured possibly with an "and...". In the case of drivers doing those same things (which they do with just as high a frequency) the likely outcome of it causing a collision is they will be completely fine and only someone else will be injured.  

If we lived in a world where car drivers were 100% safe and cyclists were still riding as they do now this would be a reasonable complaint but its completely unhinged to act like there is anything a cyclist could do that is even on the same order of magnitude of danger as a speeding driver."

OnYerBike: "I think that Gill has actually demonstrated why we do need a "cycling revolution" - because everything she captured simply demonstrates that we need proper infrastructure that meets the (separate) needs of motorists, cyclists and pedestrians. At the moment, cyclists are mostly expected to use infrastructure designed for motorists, or occassionally use infrastructure designed for pedestrians. 

For example, take the cyclist who "dashed out at me as soon as the pedestrian light went green". It seems pretty clear that the cyclist was waiting until the pedestrian phase in order to cross the junction, presumably because she didn't feel safe sharing the junction with moving motor vehicles. (Let's ignore the fact that the cyclist hardly "dashed" out and certainly not "at" Gill).

Similarly, if "most cyclists are male (and young)" that's precisely why we need better infrastructure. If it's young males at the moment, its because you need to be brave and fit to feel (relatively) comfortable sharing the road with motorists. Other groups don't cycle because they don't feel safe doing so."

Meanwhile, some reactions also from Facebook. James Thorpe said: "Much as it pains me, she probably has a point with lights and delivery app cyclists who do have a collective habit of riding like dingbats. But the rest is down to London being the (all types of) traffic Wild West and badly designed car-centric infrastructure."

Rob Wagner also commented: "I just don't get what this proves. Do cyclists do dumb things? Yes. Do they kill 100s every year, harm the environment, the local population, and contribute to the poor health of their users? No."

29 November 2023, 17:29
“Misleading” Wahoo Kickr Black Friday deal result of “simple human error”, company says
2023 Wahoo Kickr Bike Shift - 2.jpg

In September, Wahoo introduced the new Kickr Bike Shift indoor smart bike, which at £2,699.99 represented a much more affordable alternative to the existing, original Kickr Bike, priced at £3,499.99.

Wahoo has said that “confusion” around its Black Friday deals, particularly around the inclusion of a year-long membership to Zwift, was due to a “simple human error”, after one customer complained that the ‘reduced’ pricing of the fitness company’s new Kickr Bike Shift was “misleading” and a “violation of marketing laws”.

Read more: “Misleading” Wahoo Kickr Black Friday deal result of “simple human error”, company says

 

29 November 2023, 15:59
David Millar's very cool, very awesome Decathlon from back in the day (+ Jaan Kirsipuu's Penta Pro, of course)

With Decathlon announcing a return to the world's pro peloton, along with becoming the title sponsors for Team AG2R (oh and the much bemoaned loss of brown shorts too), it was only fair that the latest edition in the Bike@Bedtime series on road.cc feature one of the last few times that the French sports retailers marked its presence on the world stage, not just being ridden by none other than Team AG2R (surprise surprise), but also by Jaan Kirsipuu, becoming the first Estonian rider to win a stage in the Tour de France with his Decathlon Penta Pro.

Bike at Bedtime 2024 November 28 Decathlon Penta Pro  - 9.jpeg

> Fancy racing the Tour on this? Check out AG2R’s 2001 Decathlon Penta Pro

Sorry, allow me a second to just pause and admire this beautiful piece of machinery. They just don't make them how they used to, do they?

But besides Kirsipuu, it was brought to our attention on Twitter by James Payne, that Scottish cycling star with Tour, Giro and Vuelta stage wins under his belt, also used to be sat atop a Decathlon bike in the early noughties.

Just looook at this beauty! What a sad turn of events that Millar has now instead soured his own palette and developed an affinity for big, ugly, metal tanks.

> "When cycling superstars promote SUVs, you know we have a very big cultural problem": Former Scottish pro and national champion David Millar blasted for showing off his Ineos Grenadier

29 November 2023, 15:03
MP duped by Daily Mail article, criticises Will Norman for cutting down the famous London palm tree when it's only being relocated

Well, the Conservative MP for the Cities of London and Westminster, Nickie Aiken has just had her oopsie moment.

Using a Daily Mail article as evidence that the famous palm tree, sitting in the middle of a roundabout on the north side of Lambeth Bridge near Westminster, was going to be felled to make space for new cycle lanes.

Only that wasn't to be the case, and the Walking and Cycling Commissioner of London was quick to shut her down.

"As you know Nickie, the tree isn’t being chopped down it is being relocated to make London’s most dangerous junction safer for road users. We do not want any more fatal collisions at this location," wrote Norman, adding: "As the sign says, the [tree] is being moved not chopped down."

We all have our off days, I guess this was just one of those days for Ms Aiken.

29 November 2023, 13:31
Environmental activists oppose new cycle lane plans due to proposed relocation of trees that survived “chainsaw massacre”
Trees cut down on Armada Way, Plymouth (STRAWPlymouth)

“We need to find the right balance between creating a modern-day city centre and one that has strong environmental credentials,” the council says, arguing that moving the trees is a “vital part” of the lane’s design and will be carried out successfully.

Plans to install a new city centre cycle path on Plymouth’s Armada Way – where over 100 trees were felled by the local authority in March this year, prompting a High Court injunction and widespread protests – have been opposed by local campaigners, who have described the council’s proposal to relocate six trees that survived the so-called “midnight massacre”, to make way for the lane and a new drainage system, as a “shame”, claiming that they are unlikely to survive the relocation attempt.

> Environmental activists oppose new cycle lane plans due to proposed relocation of trees that survived “chainsaw massacre”

29 November 2023, 12:30
Christmas by cargo bike! What presents has Santa got the road.cc team this year?

Featuring our very own Santa, you may know him as Dave... Well worth a watch I'd say, just for the shenanigans and gags!

Hmm, now I wonder when does the hard-working news team at road.cc get their gifts? Surely we're not on Father Christmas' naughty list? Surely?!!

> What are the staff at road.cc getting for Christmas? Find out what's in Santa's cargo bike for some superb cycling-themed gift ideas

29 November 2023, 12:04
Proof that cyclists will make anything with bike parts #498

"Can you take a look at my bike, the gears are making a tinselly noise"

A Christmas tree with some 250 sprockets? I see we've got some very different interpretation of what a Christmas tree is...

 
29 November 2023, 11:50
No Cyclocross Worlds Championship for Tom Pidcock

Tom Pidcock's winter calendar is out, and it crushes my heart to see that the mercurial young Brit will be giving the UCI Cyclocross World Championships, to be held in Tábor in February a pass.

But Pidcock will at least try to keep us entertained in road racing's off-season by taking part in at least six of the CX World Cup events, starting with the race in Namur, Belgium on December 17, before saying adiós in Benidorm, Spain (or as some may call it, the natural hunting ground for Brits seeking warmth), and preparing for hopefully another spectacular road season.

And if you're really in need of all the races that the Big Three (MvdP, WvA, TP) will be showing up for, we've got you covered.

29 November 2023, 11:43
"What's in the box?!" "A joke, sir"

An absolutely hilarious product found by Ryan on the Zwift Riders' group. You can rest assured we wouldn't peddle any such non-sense on our Black Friday/Cyber Monday/Deals November/Deavember blogs.

Bicycle seat belt
29 November 2023, 10:57
Time for some very meta blogging...

A very meta-Wednesday with this post on the live blog; road.cc reporting on the live blog about the reaction to London Cycling Campaign reporting about Simon’s cargo bike blog on road.cc.

There were, as usual, a few naysayers and disbelievers in the power of the cargo bike, but LCC wasn't going to let them have their way.

29 November 2023, 10:24
"Tell me you don't pay for your own bike without telling me you don't pay for your own bike": Ben Swift dips his wheels in the National Cycling Network pool

I mean if I had free access to as many shiny new bikes with shiny new tech, I won't mind dipping into this stretch of the NCN with my teammate and cousin...

> National Cycle Network or the world’s hardest cyclocross course?

The real question now is, when do we see the Swift cousins trace their way through a treacherous, watery, muddy CX course? Hold on, I'll send an email to Ineos and ask them...

Adwitiya joined road.cc in 2023 as a news writer after graduating with a masters in journalism from Cardiff University. His dissertation focused on active travel, which soon threw him into the deep end of covering everything related to the two-wheeled tool, and now cycling is as big a part of his life as guitars and football. He has previously covered local and national politics for Voice Wales, and also likes to writes about science, tech and the environment, if he can find the time. Living right next to the Taff trail in the Welsh capital, you can find him trying to tackle the brutal climbs in the valleys.

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91 comments

Avatar
mattw replied to OnYerBike | 4 months ago
2 likes

I think a cycling revolution, or similar, will happen, and Charlotte Seagull will not even notice.

Avatar
chrisonabike | 4 months ago
1 like

Journalist will obviously be writing stuff worrying about providing sufficient, proper quality cycle infra, where those cycling are given clearly demarcated space from pedestrians and the infra continues at pedestrian crossings and junctions.

Was I right?

Avatar
Rendel Harris | 4 months ago
8 likes

The pedestrian Jeremy Vine? Come off it, not a single inset meme, migraine-inducing flashing arrows or throbbing texts and no confusing 360° revolving spins of the environment from above, not a patch on our Jeremy!

Avatar
brooksby replied to Rendel Harris | 4 months ago
1 like

Rendel Harris wrote:

The pedestrian Jeremy Vine? Come off it, not a single inset meme, migraine-inducing flashing arrows or throbbing texts and no confusing 360° revolving spins of the environment from above, not a patch on our Jeremy!

yes

Avatar
peted76 | 4 months ago
10 likes

Charlotte Gill is an odious toad of a clickbait journalist, please don't give her more publicity. 

Avatar
David9694 replied to peted76 | 4 months ago
4 likes

peted76 wrote:

Charlotte Gill is an odious toad of a clickbait journalist, please don't give her more publicity. 

 

bravely filming cyclists navigating a car dominated world 

Avatar
tigersnapper | 4 months ago
2 likes

The problem with all these 'exposes' regarding driving and cycling is that they are in London.  My visits to London say that the level of all travel (including pedestrians) is awful as large numbers of people are in a hurry and think their life is more important than every one elses.  I have found this less so than most other places I have visited around the country - although bigger cities tend to be at the worse end.

Avatar
chrisonabike replied to tigersnapper | 4 months ago
0 likes

True, but... While London overall has a population an order of magnitude greater than Amsterdam or Copenhagen remind me again if they're known as being places where it's possible to cycle and walk?

(I agree that some natives of those countries would not call them the best places in their respective nations, but isn't even Copenhagen several orders of magnitude better than London in this respect? )

Avatar
Secret_squirrel replied to chrisonabike | 4 months ago
1 like

chrisonatrike wrote:

True, but... While London overall has a population an order of magnitude greater than Amsterdam or Copenhagen remind me again if they're known as being places where its possible to cycle and walk?

I would give a qualified yes to this about London.  Its a gazillion times better to cycle in than any other UK city I have cycled in - except perhaps Newcastle, but I was recreational cycling there rather than commuter cycling - so different types of routes with different types of expectations.  

Leaving aside the Imperial remnant of LBKC of course....

Avatar
Legin | 4 months ago
1 like

Is it just me that hopes some people will just **** off and die?

Avatar
hawkinspeter | 4 months ago
14 likes

Quote:

One cyclist, who a van white beeped at, due to his being dangerously close in front…

Ummm, how does a cyclist get to be dangerously close in front? Is it all those reversing cyclists that we hear so much about?

Avatar
tigersnapper replied to hawkinspeter | 4 months ago
6 likes

Glad it's not just me that puzzled over this.  I had to read it twice as I thought I must have misread it the first time.

Avatar
brooksby replied to hawkinspeter | 4 months ago
3 likes

Teleport.

Avatar
chrisonabike replied to hawkinspeter | 4 months ago
6 likes

BeCaUsE tHeY aRe In ThE wAy! (Before they "sped away" - Schrodinger's cyclist by definition has both inconveniently slow and dangerously fast components. )

Avatar
GMBasix replied to hawkinspeter | 4 months ago
2 likes

The pretentious use of a possessive gerund is a telltale of the supercilious tone of the whole 'article'.

Avatar
quiff replied to hawkinspeter | 4 months ago
6 likes

I once saw a white van driver losing it with a cyclist for "cycling dangerously in front" of him and thus apparently endangering the driver's daughter. In that case he was complaining about a cyclist filtering, using the gap in front of his van to move from the nearside to the offside. And the greatest risk to his young-ish daughter was that she was not using a child seat as legally required.      

Avatar
Patrick9-32 | 4 months ago
1 like

I would suggest that the iPhone Jezza take a better look at the footage she is saying is evidence of danger and ask herself, who is in danger? If a cyclist runs a red light or isnt paying attention to the road who is at risk? And if a car driver does the same, who do they endanger?

The cyclists should be obeying the traffic lights and the highway code and should not be using their phones, we should all be safe and careful, especially around pedestrians but, if things go wrong the most likely outcome is that they themselves get injured possibly with an "and...". In the case of drivers doing those same things (which they do with just as high a frequency) the likely outcome of it causing a collision is they will be completely fine and only someone else will be injured.  

If we lived in a world where car drivers were 100% safe and cyclists were still riding as they do now this would be a reasonable complaint but its completely unhinged to act like there is anything a cyclist could do that is even on the same order of magnetude of danger as a speeding driver. 

Avatar
HoldingOn | 4 months ago
2 likes

Do we think Charlotte Gill would have felt safe enough to run into the road waving her arms if she had just witnessed a car going through a red light?

Avatar
HoldingOn replied to HoldingOn | 4 months ago
5 likes

Just watched her video again - the "WAIT" light at the pedestrian crossing goes out just as the cyclist passes, so the "Green man" wouldn't have been showing for her until then.

Wasn't there someone on here spouting nonsense about "established reds"? If drivers can claim that nonsense, then it wasn't an "established red" for the cyclist....

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Hirsute replied to HoldingOn | 4 months ago
3 likes

Nigel !

(Surely time for his next regeneration)

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quiff replied to Hirsute | 4 months ago
0 likes

Hirsute wrote:

Nigel ! (Surely time for his next regeneration)

The tragedy is that although he's not (or at least not overtly...) here at the moment, he's still occupying our heads.

Avatar
perce replied to quiff | 4 months ago
3 likes

Time will tell, but I think he may be back already.

Avatar
Rendel Harris replied to perce | 4 months ago
3 likes

perce wrote:

Time will tell, but I think he may be back already.

He definitely is, no time needed to tell.

Avatar
wtjs replied to Rendel Harris | 4 months ago
3 likes

He definitely is, no time needed to tell

There seem to be two of the usual sort of trolling nutter supporting each other below. Is that the same one replying to himself. Maybe he changes hats and uses different computers?

Avatar
Rendel Harris replied to wtjs | 4 months ago
4 likes

wtjs wrote:

He definitely is, no time needed to tell

There seem to be two of the usual sort of trolling nutter supporting each other below. Is that the same one replying to himself. Maybe he changes hats and uses different computers?

No, Lefty is a PBU who was banned once as thisismyusername and has since returned and changed his username five times, an alt-rightist cycle hater but who isn't totally dedicated to trolling, seems to be a part-time hobby; Nigel/Rakia/Blender etc x10 has been here much longer, banned at least seven times and is psychopathically dedicated to their trolling. Obviously they're two cheeks of the same arse but pretty sure not the same person.

Avatar
quiff replied to Rendel Harris | 4 months ago
2 likes

Yep, spoke too soon.

Avatar
Hirsute replied to perce | 4 months ago
4 likes

I emailed the mods.

Hopefully they will act swiftly.

Avatar
Rendel Harris replied to Hirsute | 4 months ago
3 likes

So did I, he seems to have been binned with commendable speed, thank you mods!

Avatar
Hirsute replied to Rendel Harris | 4 months ago
3 likes

It's the shadowy folk, the men in grey suits, Dr no who really control the site!

Avatar
ktache replied to Hirsute | 4 months ago
3 likes

So it was you called who it back...

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