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"We are not a nation of motorists": Led By Donkeys projects moving 20mph speed limit video onto Houses of Parliament, after PM's pledge to end "war" against drivers; Hi-vis victim-blaming; When you win a race without noticing + more on the live blog

Whisper it quietly... the site might be working normally again! Dan Alexander is on duty for a celebratory live blog this Wednesday


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04 October 2023, 13:39
"We are not a nation of motorists": Led By Donkeys projects moving 20mph speed limit video onto Houses of Parliament, after PM's pledge to end "war" against drivers

Several cycling campaign groups, including Cycling UK and the London Cycling Campaign have shared this work by Led By Donkeys on social media, a video projected onto the Houses of Parliament hearing the story of a mother who lost her son Bobby Colleran to a road traffic collision outside a school. 

During the video Joanne questions the prime minister and his government, who at this week's Conservative Party Conference further outlined their 'Plan for Motorists' to tackle the "war" against drivers, namely their plan to "update 20mph zone guidance" to prevent blanket measures...

"For you not to support it... Why? Why?" she asks. "Because our children should be safe and should be here. You're five times more likely to be killed when you're hit by a vehicle travelling at 30mph. Prime minister, we are not a nation of motorists, we are a nation of families."

The London Cycling Campaign shared the video, thanking Joanne and saying "we demand safe streets for our children". Head of campaigns at the LCC, Simon Munk commented, "When politicians pit 'drivers' against families, we all lose".

"The 'Plan for Drivers' is a plan for congestion, collisions, children maimed and killed, a plan for increasing emissions, pollution and inactivity. It's truly horrifying culture war rubbish to shill votes from idiots," he continued.

Cycling UK shared it too, earlier this week the charity accusing the Conservatives of an "ill-fated attempt to win" votes with pro-motoring policies that risk "undermining" active travel success.

Those comments came after transport secretary Mark Harper used his speech at his party's conference to build upon Rishi Sunak's pledge to end the "war on motorists". On Monday, Harper said the Conservatives are "proudly pro-car" and said the Department for Transport would review guidance on 20mph speed limits in England and opposes their blanket use, would continue the review into low-traffic neighbourhoods, and aims "to stop councils implementing 15-minute cities".

Cycling UK's chief executive Sarah Mitchell called on the government to instead come up with a "holistic plan", not one that "zooms in on one particular mode of transport".

> Rishi Sunak’s 'Plan for Motorists' will "rob people of choice" and force them to drive, say cycling and walking campaigners

She said: "A plan that gives us the freedom to choose how we travel, maximising our ability to opt for healthy, cheap and convenient options.

"Better public transport, and safer ways for people to cycle and walk are entirely compatible with driving. Focusing on one way of travelling is like trying to complete a jigsaw with half the pieces missing.

"No.10 seems intent on undermining some of the government's most successful transport policies of recent years. Ministers should be proud of their achievements on walking and cycling rather than ditching them in an ill-fated attempt to win support in advance of the general election."

04 October 2023, 15:49
Lee Williams sets new Pembroke to Great Yarmouth coast-to-coast record
Lee Williams (FTP Racing/Facebook)

Lee Williams of the FTP Racing team has set a new RRA record for the coast-to-coast Pembroke to Great Yarmouth, 350-mile course. From South Wales to Norfolk in 14 hours flat at an average speed of just under 25mph (40km/h), to take more than one hour 20 minutes off the previous best.


04 October 2023, 15:40
A "war on motorists" triple header

That's a hat-trick. Elsewhere in the United Kingdom...

04 October 2023, 15:30
Protected cycle lane on busy city road could "unintentionally deliver a more dangerous environment" by creating rat runs, councillor warns
04 October 2023, 15:24
Bell helmets introduces 100 per cent crash replacement scheme
2023 Bell Falcon XR LED MIPS Road Helmet.jpg

Bell Helmets has introduced a 100 per cent crash replacement scheme... for all helmets bought during October and November. Sorry September 30th buyers, no replacement for you.

Oh, and you have to replace your helmet within 12 months of purchase. For the rest of you they've got the usual 40 per cent scheme "aimed to provide riders with support if they encounter unfortunate accidents".

04 October 2023, 14:11
CONFIRMED: Michael Mørkøv and Vasilis Anastopoulos join Astana Qazaqstan for Mark Cavendish's encore
Michael Mørkøv and Mark Cavendish, 2023 Tour de France (Alex Whitehead/

[Alex Whitehead/]

In the last hour it's also been officially confirmed that Astana Qazaqstan will be bolstered by leadout king Michael Mørkøv and the coach, Vasilis Anastopoulos, who played a key part in Mark Cavendish's 2021 renaissance to win four Tour de France stage wins and equal Eddy Merckx's record.

Of course you all know by now that Cav is sticking around for another year, another Tour, and another shot at the record...

> "Just one more year": Mark Cavendish to continue racing in 2024 and target Tour de France record

Speaking about his transfer Mørkøv said "of course, I am happy to reunite with my former teammate Mark Cavendish to chase the new victories for him".

"Besides, the upcoming year is a year of the Olympics and I have a big ambition to fight again for the gold medal in Madison. The team is ready to provide me a good support in chasing this dream and I am really grateful for it. In general, I am happy and ready to provide all my experience in cycling to help the team to reach its biggest goals throughout the next season," he said.

You all better do your homework before next year...

> Mark Cavendish's top 10 greatest Tour de France stage wins

04 October 2023, 10:06
"Just one more year": Mark Cavendish to continue racing in 2024 and target Tour de France record
04 October 2023, 09:46
"It's down to us adults to enable more of this for more children"

Remember, kids, it doesn't get easier, you just go faster... 

04 October 2023, 08:55
Amusing cycling press releases #253: Ride the Maratona dles Dolomites where everything is... "Anatta, as taught by the Buddhist"
Maratona dles Dolomites - scenic

One of cycling's most iconic, bucket list events is back in 2024 — the Maratona dles Dolomites. Here's why, in the words of president of the organising committee Michil Costa, he thinks you should make it your goal for next year...

In the nocturnal silence of the Dolomites. Everything is Anatta, as taught by the Buddhist. The lack of a permanent self, of its independence. Nothing is self-sufficient, everything that exists lacks its own autonomy.

The body parts, even the legs that serve to push the pedals, the hands that grip the handlebars, the eyes that gaze at the Dolomites, are a non-self, and we humans can only exist when we are in relation. In relation to others and in relation to the non-human.

This is precisely the principle of 'mutatio', because everything changes continuously. Will the Maratona change? Certainly, it will change. Just as you change now, as you are reading this. Panta rei, everything flows...

Well, that's me sold...

Online pre-registration is open between October 10 and November 6 before the ballot in the second half of November. The 8,000 starting places will be split 50/50 between Italian and foreign cyclists.


'But what about the event's logo?' I hear you ask...

We began with artistic research, drawing on literature and art. Literature immediately makes us dream in the texts of Kafka and Ovid; visual art, on the other hand, is a journey into the world of Henry Matisse, Heronymus Bosch, up to the most modern artists of optical art, above all Victor Vasarely.

From this research, we first of all extrapolated the colour violet, the colour of metamorphosis, transformation and the union of opposites. Thanks to this colour, we developed the first concept we wanted to express, that of creating a lettering that is impalpable, ethereal, incomplete... mutable.

The result is an open form that has no boundaries, almost at the limit of legibility, because it is still alive and mutating.

04 October 2023, 08:37
Met Police victim-blaming storm over advice for cyclists and pedestrians to "be seen"... using discredited, edited picture

It's that time of year, with the nights drawing right in, for police force social media teams to earn a kicking by uploading something like this...

That photo in particular has been discredited by many, Fiets.UK doing an at-length run through of all the problems with it, primarily that it appears to have been edited with filter applied to reduce colour, high contrast levels to crush black colours, and is overall "not a realistic view; not what the eye would see in the real world", Fiets.UK concluded.

Then there is the victim-blaming accusations we all signed up for...

I think we can say we've all experienced first-hand and heard of enough riders hit by motorists, despite wearing hi-vis and having lights on their bike, to know it's not quite as simple as "be seen" and you'll be fine. Ahem...

> Near Miss of the Day 838: "Tell me again about hi-vis and lights!" — Cyclist narrowly avoids collision at mini roundabout

> Near Miss of the Day 850: "Lights, reflectors and hi-vis — if they ain't looking they won't see you"

Another respondent asked the force to "please don't use this fake image, and please don't blame children for existing when it's the car that poses the deadly threat." 

04 October 2023, 08:25
Jumbo-Visma pro wins race, doesn't realise, keeps riding

Per Strand Hagens of Jumbo-Visma's development team took another pro win yesterday, even if he didn't seem to know he had at the time...

The 20-year-old, born in... *checks notes*... 2003 (disgusting, I know), did eventually stop to take the rather amused acclaim of his team's staff...

04 October 2023, 07:39
"It's not over yet": Astana Qazaqstan confirms Mark Cavendish will continue racing in 2024

Good morning...

We'll bring you more as we get it, Cav's team dropping this hardly cryptic video as a way of announcing their star man will be hanging around for another season. Let's be honest, he was never going to go out like that, was he?

A mid-stage crash at the Tour de France was never the Hollywood ending the career of a 35-time stage winner deserved, and it seems we're going to get one final chapter in 2024.

> Mark Cavendish's Tour de France bikes through the years — from Scott to Specialized, every bike the Manx Missile won his 34 Tour stages on

Oh, and did I mention Astana have reportedly already secured the services of leadout extraordinaire Michael Mørkøv and Cav's 2021 coach Vasilis Anastopoulos for next season too? The pair who played major parts in the Manx Missile's quadruple stage haul two years ago. Yep, it's not over yet...

Dan joined 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, 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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brooksby replied to essexian | 4 months ago

Two miles is nothing.  I'd think twice about even getting the bike out, for a two mile walk.

(That said, I only did the Long Walk the first day.  I've got the bus after that.  I had forgotten that First buses form one of the circles of hell...).

Cugel replied to essexian | 4 months ago

essexian wrote:

You walked....six miles.....!

Actually, as I am sure you knew, you were doing just what most people from the 12th C onwards would do to get to market. As outlined in this webpage: most markets were placed 12 to 13 miles apart this meaning no one lived more than a reasonable six mile walk from one.

Indeed, walking to market was still a thing when the railways were built. In the town I know live, there was a line built in the mid 1850's which went via a small village 2 miles from the market town. Given how little distance there was between the two places, no station was built as the company felt that people would prefer to walk rather than spend money on the train fare. No one from the village now walks to town...apart from the EU national field workers who can often be seen striding away carrying their shopping while the fat and unfit locally born individuals sit in the kiddy killing car. 

Long ago (in my twenties) I rode a bike everywhere (I had no car) but rarely walked more than a mile. One day I was invited on a fell walk, which was 7 miles with considerable up&doon. I ached for days!

Later, I became owned by a dog so was required to walk many miles each and every day. Walking became easy and routine to the point that 3 hours of it a day somehow created more energy for the rest of the day rather than less.

When living in NW England with two fit dogs, I walked at least 6 miles a day and often ten. At least once a week, me and t'wife would also walk 11 miles to and from the local town via the canal towpath, which we regarded as our private footpath as we rarely saw anyone else once a half-mile from the village we lived in or the town that we walked to & from.


As you illustrate, walking is a natural activity for humans in that it was the only mode of AtoBing available as we evolved for a few millenia. Even in the 1950s, many walked miles to and from school then work, as it saved the threepenny bit (or even sixpence) bus fare.

Then came the car-for-all years. Along with the junkfud-for-all, it's transformed us into a nation of blebs, hardly able to get up from the tele-sofa to stumble to the 4-wheeled killer-armchair. Morbid obesity and type 2 diabetes are eveerywhere, along with a thousand other ills & degradations that might fade away if the habits of self-neglect, self-indulgence and self-abuse induced by consumerism were discouraged or even banned like the fag.

Perhaps cars should all come with a large warning printed on 'em in 3 foot high letters. "DRIVING KILLS - YOU AND OTHERS!"

henryb | 4 months ago

For me, what Cav missed out on this year was not the extra TdF stage win (no one who doesn't already think he's a great sprinter is going to think he's a great sprinter because of one more win, and no one who doesn't already think he's a better all-round cyclist than Merckx (which he's not) is going to think he's a better cyclist than Merckx because of one more stage win). What he missed out on was the tearful, processional farewell on the Champs-Élysées with fans and other cyclists giving him a proper send-off. Unfortunately this won't happen in 2024 either because the final stage is a time trial in Nice but it'll be better than this year's exit at least.

Surreyrider replied to henryb | 4 months ago

You're assuming he'll get there.


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