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16-year-old arrested after cyclist's altercation with four car occupants; Pimlico Plumbers edit "cycle fascists" rant; Islington protest against LTNs; 'Road rat' Facebook post backfires; Everesting record smashed (plus bike check) + more on the live blog

Friday's live blog is brought to you by Jack Sexty, with the odd contribution from the rest of the team...
31 July 2020, 14:15
16-year-old boy arrested following altercation between cyclist and four car occupants
kingston road - via google maps.PNG

Surrey Police are appealing for witnesses after an altercation between a cyclist and four car occupants on Kingston Road, Camberley.

At around 3:15pm on 29th July, Surrey Police say a black Peugeot containing four men was involved in a near collision with a cyclist at the junction, adding: "The cyclist and men from inside the car were then involved in an altercation, during which, damage was caused to the doors, windscreen and tyres of the car. The men in the car left the scene followed by the cyclist."

The cyclist was described as Asian with black hair and brown eyes, and was wearing a grey hooded top with grey jogging bottoms during the altercation. A 16-year-old boy has now been arrested on suspicion of attempted GBH, robbery and possession of an offensive weapon, and he is currently in custody.

Surrey Police have appealed for anyone with information or dash cam footage to contat them quoting the crime reference number PR/45200079183. 

31 July 2020, 14:53
Vuelta Bargos: Sam Bennett wins stage 4

The Irishman took the penultimate stage of the Spanish road race, mounting a surprise attack about 800 metres before the line and holding on comfortably. 

31 July 2020, 15:40
Your bike hates you
bamboo bike held together with gaffer tape - credit Simon MacMichael.PNG

Spotted by our news editor Simon out and about in London today. Hopefully that gaffer tape won't melt in the sun...

31 July 2020, 15:13
President of India gifts Bianchi to schoolboy to "become an international cycling champion and realise his dream"

It looks like President Ram Nath Kovind wants an Indian cycling champion, so has given this schoolboy a celeste-coloured helping hand to start his journey. 

The President of India Twitter account added: "The bicycle delivered to Riyaz today, a day before Eid-al-Adha, comes as Eidi in true spirit of the festival that is marked by gifts given by elders to youngers. Riyaz is a student of Class 9 at Sarvodaya Bal Vidyalaya in Delhi and works as a dishwasher in an eatery in Ghaziabad. 

"President Kovind wished him very best in the life and said that his story should serve as worthy of emulation for the country’s youth who must come forward for nation-building by dint of their dedication, hard work, courage and honesty."

31 July 2020, 13:55
'Road rat' Facebook post not going very well

The 'Fife jammer locations' account claimed a cyclist at the front of this group was "shouting abuse at every car that passes them"; although there's no evidence of this from the footage. 

fife jamme locations fb comments.PNG

Not only do the large number of those commenting back appear to disagree, but it's also highlighted that the person filming has also captured a close pass that is most likely prosecutable. 

31 July 2020, 13:20
The new Everesting record holder's bike is a truly intriguing mishmash

As we reported this morning, Ronan Mc Laughlin has destroyed the Everesting record, taking it down to 7:04:41 from Alberto Contador's 7:27:20 set earlier this month. As you can see on these photos shared by Global Cycling Network, Mc Laughlin's bike was built for the job and it's a franken-bike in every way. So far we've identified that he was riding a Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL6 frameset with a current Campagnolo Record single chainring, previous generation Campag Super Record brake levers with a TriRig Omega X front brake and Shimano Dura-Ace C35 wheels. There's a CeramicSpeed Oversized Pulley Wheel System on the rear mech, and up front a set of 3T bars with the drops sawn off are attached to a slammed Deda stem. According to CyclingTips, Mc Laughlin also had his shifting modified so there were just three working gears.

Mc Laughlin - who still races at elite level on the national scene but now works full time as a cycling coach - was also fundraising for the Community Rescue Service, and is aiming to raise £8,848 (yep, that's the total elevation needed to complete an Everesting attempt). He's currently at just over £2,200, click here to donate. 

31 July 2020, 11:32
Pimlico Plumbers: blog post is toned down significantly following backlash

Originally, the blog post talked of "cycle fascists" and was accompanied by a mocked up TfL image that said cyclists were "taking f**king liberties", with a drawing of a cyclist struggling to carry plumbing equipment. The image has now had the text and mocked up logo removed, and the blog post is now titled: "It's illogical to expect businesses to thrive on scraps of roadway when the blue bike-lanes are empty". Some of the more inflammatory language (you can read it in full further down this page) is also toned down. 

This comes after the Pimlico Plumbers boss Charlie Mullins - who reportedly had a net worth of £70 million in 2018 - had a 40-minute telephone conversation with Carlton Reid of Forbes.com, who published an article on the blog post tirade yesterday. Mullins revealed that he instructed his PR team to craft the blog post, written in the first-person as if it was Mullins himself. 

Complaining about delays his plumbers face getting to jobs, he told Forbes: “I just don’t feel that the way the TfL have dealt with it is the correct way. 

..."There is no such thing as a quick journey anymore. Journeys that used to take an hour to get somewhere in London now take another half hour longer.

“You know, if you go to Park Lane or Euston road, or the Embankment, no one is using the blue (bike) lane and yet you’ve got massive traffic jams.”

31 July 2020, 10:34
Low Traffic Neighbourhood protest takes place: which looks like a pretty good advert for Low Traffic Neighbourhoods

Protests took place in Islington yesterday against 'people-friendly streets' introduced by the council recently to curb pollution, make roads safer and stop rat-running drivers in residential areas. 

Some noted the irony that the protests were actually a pretty good advert for people-friendly streets; however some of those against the council's measures cite reasons such as lack of consultation, concerns about emergency vehicle access and congestion on the surrounding streets. 

Rebecca Kelly told the Islington Gazette: “We’re not cabbies - I’m not even a motorist, I’m a cyclist. Those roads in East Canonbury are big enough for everyone. I don’t think they need to be exclusively for cycles. There’s no problem with social distancing down there. They’re not congested roads but the roads around them are congested.

“Why not give residents access? We’re not a cash cow.”

“It’s about pro-democracy. We weren’t given a say. There’s no impact report, impact statement, about how it affects the needs of the community. It isn’t so simple for everyone to just jump on a bike.”

Councillor  Rowena Champion said the council was taking a "once in a lifetime opportunity” to improve the streets, adding: “Local people know their streets better than anyone else, and we are listening closely to the views and suggestions they have given us via our Commonplace webpage

"In addition, we will be consulting with local people 12 months into each people-friendly streets scheme to ask if they would like the measures to remain in place permanently."

31 July 2020, 11:10
Cyclist attacked by youths in Derby park suffers punctured lung
mackworth park - via google maps.PNG

Derbyshire Police are appealing for help identifying three youths after a man was left with a punctured lung following an attack in Mackworth Park. 

They said in the appeal: "The 43-year-old man was cycling along the bridle path off the A38 in Mackworth Park at around 10.30pm on Thursday 23 July when he spotted three young men aged between 16 and 18 sat on a bench.

"As he cycled past the trio, two of whom were white and a third who was described as mixed-race with an afro hairstyle, one of the group reached out and grabbed the handlebars of the bike causing to him to fall from his bike.

"The man managed to ride home but eventually had to attend hospital where it was found he had suffered a punctured lung."

Derbyshire Police say they are keen to speak to people who were in the area at the time or anyone who believes they know who the youths might be, and have asked those with information to include the reference 20*386474 in any correspondence. 

31 July 2020, 10:53
Cycle Surgery knock 10% off web prices before closing for good next month
Cycle Surgery logo.PNG

After 30 years of trading, Cycle Surgery's last high street store in Bishops Square closed today, with the website set to cease operations on 31st August. All online sales through the month of August will come with an extra 10% discount. 

Cycle Surgery said in a statement: "As the brand closes its doors for the last time, it thanks all its loyal customers for their support over the years and leaves them in the capable hands of its sister brands within the Outdoor and Cycle Concepts group. 

"Cotswold Outdoor, Snow+Rock and Runners Need will continue to trade and support those customers in search of quality cycling gear from the best brands by offering a small range of cycling product online. The group still prides itself on providing quality product from the best brands, alongside friendly service delivered by passionate experts."

31 July 2020, 10:19
Rouleur magazine will sell direct "to save over 1,000 kilograms of waste per issue"
rouleur mag cover - july 2020.PNG

The British cycling magazine say they will now sell direct to avoid the waste paper generated by seling through supermarkets and newsagents. They explain: 

"Unsold copies of magazines produce a staggering amount of wasted paper. Even though we were more cautious than most on the newsstand, each time we distributed Rouleur in supermarkets and newsagents we were responsible for more than a tonne of wasted paper.

"That's because when they don't sell an issue, instead of sending the whole thing back - which would be expensive - the barcode is returned for a refund. Retailers usually do that by simply tearing off the cover. The rest is pulped.

"It's a painful thing to imagine, but most importantly it's an unnecessary wastage that we just need to stop. This crisis and the amazing support that we have received from new subscribers has given us the conviction to make this change that we have long wanted to make.

"So for the foreseeable future, aside from a handful of the best bike shops and magazine specialists, the place to buy the magazine is from Rouleur.cc." 

31 July 2020, 09:15
Pimlico Plumbers continued

Do they want all the cyclists back in cars? How do you become a 'cycle fascist'? Questions questions...

31 July 2020, 08:43
Pimlico Plumbers publish article describing "cycle fascists whining about their precious road space"

In an, erm, 'bold' move that appears to have ruffled a couple of high profile feathers, the owner of the London plumbing company has took the time to commission the above image accompanied by an extraordinary rant against cycle lanes. It says:

"I’ve had enough of cycle fascists whining about their precious road space when what they really want is to run all non-cycles off the road; and I’m also sick of the bike bureaucrats who have taken over TFL, and who as we speak are painting great swathes of Central London's roads blue, making it next to impossible to run any kind of service business.

"Businesses like mine, and many others that rely on the transport of large amounts of equipment, tools and goods about the city cannot operate on bicycles. It is a ridiculous proposition. Any fool can figure out it doesn't work. And please don't tell me to get a cargo bike because unless they are the size of a van or a lorry and can be made secure they are exactly as useful as a chocolate teapot.

"London is a city of commerce but that cannot continue if we hand the roads to these freeloading helmet heroes who believe they have a god given right to the roads to the detriment of all other users.

"The level of stupidity at play here is unbelievable. But then we are dealing with people who care about nobody but themeslves (sic) and where they can go, at the expense of their fellow Londoners, in their precious blue bike lanes."

The person behind the Pimlico Plumbers Twitter account claimed they actually have "nothing against" cyclists, replying to one comment: "As a cyclist there's no animosity towards you here & as a customer the issue is that increasingly we cannot get to you in reasonable time because of jams caused by allocation of space for cycle lanes that are often empty."

Anyone wanna tell them? 

31 July 2020, 09:05
Should e-bike speeds be increased?
Riese und Muller Nevo speed pedelec -1 (1)

A petition is steadily gaining support that calls for UK law on e-bike speeds to be brought in line with the US, where larger motors are permitted that cut out at speeds of 20mph (32.18kph). Full story on eBikeTips

31 July 2020, 08:30
Everesting record smashed again, this time by over 20 minutes

After Alberto Contador broke the record earlier this month in a time of 7:27:20, it's now been blown out of the water by 33-year-old Irishman Ronan Mc Laughlin in a time of 7:04:41. Mc Laughlin isn't a full time professional cyclist, but raced for Ireland at the 2012 Road World Championships and for the An Post/Sean Kelly/Chain Reaction team between 2008 and 2013.  

Is a sub-7 hour clocking on the cards? We probably won't have to wait long at this rate...

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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