Some reaction to this...
Exceptional hardship is felt by crash victims left devastated as a consequence of road crime. A points based system enables drivers to learn, reflect, and improve. I have no sympathy for those who fail to do so and continue endangering others. Frustrating!https://t.co/IOo7NlzcNm
— Andy Cox (@AndyCoxDCS) May 30, 2023
This is the news that comedian Jim Davidson has seen his year-long driving ban, imposed after being caught speeding at 36mph in a 30mph zone last year, cut in half by a judge after the television presenter claimed "exceptional hardship".
Davidson was fined £333, given three penalty points, plus the 12 month driving ban, however the comic's team noted his court success on his website, writing: "Jim represented himself in court as his barrister was stuck in another trial and the court refused to adjourn the hearing.
"Judge Peter Henry praised Jim for his presentation and accepted that there was some exceptional hardship but not enough to overturn the ban completely. Following the decision, Jim had to leave his car outside the court and walk two miles in blistering heat… and is now downing his third pint of lager."
"Not a road user I want anywhere near me"
CyclingMikey called it "pretty sickening and frustrating", adding that "I seem to remember he was virulently hating on cyclists some time ago. Not a road user I want anywhere near me on the public highway."
Davidson has criticised London's CycleSuperhighways in the past, among many other things and, in 2019, claimed he's never coming to London again (due to Sadiq Khan who has apparently "f***** my home town up")... only to be reminded of the fact he was due to appear at the Dorchester to 'entertain' people literally that evening.
Back to the reaction to the exceptional hardship claim...
Safe cycling campaigner Ruth Mayorcas called the reduced ban "utterly disgusting", FamilyByCycle adding: "Pray, what was the exceptional hardship, and why did it only cover the second six months of a ban?"
It would be nice to know what his exceptional hardship was. Doesn’t say in this or other articles.
He has been banned before. He should know better.
— Daniel Fox (@Renard67) May 31, 2023
Writing on social media today, reacting to the news that the Great Britain Cycling Team will soon no longer be sending U23 riders to some of the biggest age group races, such as the Tour de l'Avenir, Paris-Roubaix Juniors and Nations' Cup events, Tim Hayter said he "can't understand" the decision...
"Money must be very very tight at GBCT, otherwise I can't understand cancelling the men's road U23 academy to 'focus on track'. From Thomas, Kennaugh, Cavendish, Doull etc, through to Matt [Walls] and Ethan [Hayter] at Tokyo, the road/track set-up has consistently produced Olympic medallists."
The French government has unveiled a plan for €2 billion of investment into cycling infrastructure, doubling the nation's bike lane networks. The money, to be invested until 2027, was announced by transport minister Clément Beaune who noted "half our trips by car are less than 5km".
"That's immense potential for bikes," he said. "With the Plan Velo, we're mobilising €2 billion to accelerate the deployment of bikes everywhere in France. The state's bicycle effort is unprecedented and massive."
France currently has 50,000km of bike lanes, the government aiming for 80,000 by 2027 and 100,000 by 2030.
The Plain roundabout in Oxford has sadly been the centre of plenty of coverage here on road.cc in the past year or so. Last September, Robert Whiting, an unlicensed HGV driver was jailed for eight years for killing cyclist Dr Ling Felce while under the influence of cocaine as he drove his lorry at the roundabout.
Subsequent campaigning has led to a series of safety changes being implemented at The Plain — the council making amendments to road markings and traffic signs and installing light bike lane segregation, road studs, bollards, and cycle stands, as well as banning peak-hour deliveries.
That's the context for this video from Oxford cycle couriers Pedal & Post, who said while they "do like the new lanes, dangerous driving does highlight the road design hasn't stopped this conflict yet"...
Watch the @RoyalCarsOxford taxi in this clip
What do you think to this manouver at the plain roundabout?
— Pedal & Post Oxford (@PedalandPost) May 30, 2023
One bus driver from the city said: "The Plain is just a nightmare. The safest thing anyone can do is just don't overtake or undertake there, that taxi got impatient and how much time did it save them? Maybe a couple of seconds, not worth it."
Pedal & Post confirmed: "Not even a few seconds. Our courier (who's speed limited to 15.5mph) was right there with [the] taxi driver until the rider turned off onto East Avenue for deliveries. Do like the new lanes, dangerous driving does highlight the road design hasn't stopped this conflict yet."
Thank you it's appreciated, we know generally most drivers are great however feedback is always key to improving 👍💙📦
— Pedal & Post Oxford (@PedalandPost) May 30, 2023
Riders from across the world flock to Belgium for cobbled cycling pilgrimages, taking in the stone-covered bergs of Flanders. Little did we know you could 'enjoy' a fraction of the enjoyment simply by a day trip to Folkestone...
What surface shall we make the cycle lane out of, I know pic.twitter.com/6uDa41fts8
— Will Petty 🌳🌳 (@Microlambert) May 30, 2023
That's right, save yourself the Channel Tunnel trip, the queues and simply do a lap around the town centre. Admittedly, it's not quite got the same lure as the Koppenberg, the Muur or Kwaremont but hey, for a second or two you can dream of being in Flanders... until you hit the pedestrian crossing dead end and are reminded you're still on British soil (cobbles)...
You might have heard...
Campagnolo ditches iconic thumb shifter and goes wireless with new Super Record Wireless electronic groupset... and it'll cost you £4.5khttps://t.co/YLBIkbzoy4
— road.cc (@roadcc) May 30, 2023
Something the vast majority of us will never part with the large wheelbarrow of cash required, but still won't stop us all having an opinion on...
Sevenfold: "Four and a half grand! For a groupset? Someone's having a 'tin bath'. And it weighs more than the wired predecessor too! Ok it's only 20 grams but it that 'progess'?"
Destroyer666 reckons the front mech looks like a bobblehead alien. Yep, that's the front derailleur that's attracting most of the aesthetics-related heat online...
Such beauty. pic.twitter.com/M547JNdhUy
— Simon Warren (@100Climbs) May 30, 2023
Having said that the infamous grouse "likes the look of the rotors, lots of ventilation/clearing".
SimoninSpalding: "I do like Campag, but never really wanted to go the whole hog of Super Record, Chorus will do me nicely. I do like the thumb levers, but I am sure I would adapt, and I shall start saving my pennies for when the wireless Chorus arrives..."
a1white: "Let's be honest, this is a pro-level groupset so the price is largely irrelevant as most of us won't be buying this. Campag had to bring this out or face extinction on the pro-level peloton. in that respect it is a good move. Only tried the thumb shifer out once before and I can't reach it from the drops. Hope this will see, at least a partial, resurgence of Campag."
Off the back: "The price is still very relevant. Campag can't survive selling groupsets to pro teams alone. There has to be a large enough customer base and it has to be worth it more than just being Italian = cool. It's no longer a two-horse race with Shimano, Sram are really hurting Campagnolo. Shimano will always be comfortable with the knowledge they produce groupsets for nearly every bike going from world Tour bikes to £300 Halfords specials. That's not Campagnolo's game. They need top end sales and is this really over £1k better than Sram Red?
peted76: "It looks very pretty and the shifters look comfy.. Campag does that best IMO.. add in wireless and that'll be enough for the Campag tifosi to 'splode over it and I can see why in a money no object kind of way. Me, I'm happy with the famous fishing brand Shimano, widely available and comparatively cheap for parts in relation to SRAM or Campag."
We'll finish with some fan mail, it's a cycling website reports major groupset launch shocker...
"Yet more expensive nonsense tech promoted by road.cc who are only motivated by their cut, not the sport. It lightens the wallets of middle aged fools and puts cycling out of reach for young people. None of this idiocy makes you go faster."
Top secret, but not so top secret that we don't have live blog coverage... Patrick Lefevere is going to be furious we've got access to this...
Alaphilippe treinando com carga 🤣 pic.twitter.com/NbjMK3TAvj
— O País do Ciclismo (@opaisdociclismo) May 30, 2023
Want to get in yellow jersey-taking, stage-winning shape by the start of July? Apparently all you need is a kid and a bike trailer (if starting from scratch the latter plus equivalent weight in non-child items might be an easier solution)...
Add the weight, find a climb, push a big gear, you'll be flying once the kids are back in school. Alternatively, leave the kid and trailer at home, find a hill, ride up it as hard as you can... à la this mind-boggling Alaphilippe training footage from a few years back...
Directeur sportif blaring horn at start and end of interval is optional... but then again I guess it is good training for those of you riding on British roads...
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.