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“I was just playing on my phone”: driver’s excuse when cyclist asked why he’d stopped; Gumtree 'entrapment' thief arrested; More nails spotted on mtb trail; 'Costagate' continues; Council get serious over planter removal + more on the live blog

It's Friday! Jack Sexty is in charge of your live blog today, with some ocassional contributions from the rest of the team...
05 June 2020, 14:19
"I was just playin' on me phone": driver's "cracker" of a response when asked why he'd stopped in the middle of the road

It would be highly amusing if it wasn't so dangerous, as the driver of this trailer-towing Ford Ranger seems to think playing on your phone is a reasonable excuse for crawling along a country lane, before coming to a stop and then moving off again.

According to the cyclist who shot the footage it happened near Kittochside in East Kilbride, where she was faced with the vehicle moving very slowly on the country lane. It then comes to a stop and the cyclist thinks he is letting her overtake, but then the vehicle starts to move. She said to the driver “I thought you were letting me past”, to which he cheerfully replied: “No, I was just playing on my phone."

The cyclist claims he then proudly showed off his mobile to advertise the fact. After hearing the driver’s explanation, the cyclist can be heard saying: “Absolute cracker". Not the sharpest tool in the box and one that hopefully can be prosecuted with a number plate clearly visible...

05 June 2020, 15:27
Miami's bike response specialized unit actually rides Trek

There's a lot to be said about this cringey 14 second clip featuring some rather unimpressive skids, not least that the name 'specialized unit' is perhaps ironic considering Specialized are the main US rival of fellow bike brand Trek. Also reminds us of something...

05 June 2020, 14:03
The Paris-Roubaix pavé squad are prepping some pain for October

The rearranged classic will now take place on the 25th October, which means those responsible for maintaining the brutal cobbles on route are back after some time out due to the pandemic.

If you weren't aware, Les Amis de Paris-Roubaix are a volunteer organisation formed in 1983, who work year-round to preserve the pavé so it's rideable in time for Paris-Roubaix each year; if it wasn't for them, it's unlikely the race would feature many of the cobbled sections at all.

05 June 2020, 13:17
Cyclist killed in collision with Ford Transit van identified as Merseyside police inspector Graeme Rooney

The incident occurred on 2nd June near Altcar in West Lancashire when Inspector Rooney was out on a bike ride with friends, and he was pronounced dead at Aintree Hospital shortly afterwards. Tributes have now been laid at the scene, including flowers and water bottles.

Chief Constable Andy Cooke said in a tribute statement: "Following the sudden and tragic death of Inspector Graeme Rooney on Tuesday evening I wanted to take time out to pay tribute to an officer who was respected across the board and served the force impeccably for more than 27 years.

"Many of you will have heard the phrase 'an officer and a gentleman', and this sums Graeme up perfectly."

Police say that the Ford Transit Tipper van that Inspector Rooney collided with was travelling in the opposite direction, and are appealing for witnesses. Anyone with information can call 101, quoting log number 1405 of June 2nd.

05 June 2020, 13:01
'Postponed' L'Étape du Tour finally cancelled

In another episode of 'how has it not been cancelled yet?', the organisers of the L'Etape du Tour de France sportive have finally called it a day and released what can only be described as a quite convoluted statement that confirms the cancellation of the 2020 event. A full story will follow shortly in which we shall try to make sense of it...

05 June 2020, 12:09
Drivers turn cycle lane into glorified car park

Hopefully a fine and/or police caution will be winging its way to the drivers of these vehicles blatantly left on a London cycle route.

05 June 2020, 12:21
Hannah Rhodes sets new women's Everesting world record

Another day, another Everesting record falls... this time it's the women's mark that has been smashed, after Hannah Rhodes ascended Kirkstone Pass enough times to complete the 8,848m of elevation required in 9:08:31. She rode just over 100 miles (163km) in the process, and the record has already been made official by Hells 500. You can check out the evidence and details on Rhodes' Strava.

The men's everesting record fell twice in a week last month, with pro mountain biker Keegan Swenson taking seven hours and 40 minutes to complete the feat on Friday 15th May... this was less than five days after former pro road racer Phil Gaimon lowered the record to 7 hours 50 minutes.

05 June 2020, 10:46
Gumtree bike theft 'entrapment' row... Superintendent Andy Cox intervenes, and the thief has been arrested

We reported yesterday that a mental health nurse named Joey had her bike stolen after a 12-hour shift on Wednesday. The theft was caught on CCTV and she found it for sale on Gumtree, which appears to be more than enough for police to trace the offender... but bizarrely, officers told her it would be 'entrapment' if they intervened because of her prior investigative work into the crime (which is completely false, just in case anyone wasn't aware). Gumtree also refused to take the ad down.

As you'll see above Joey's neighbour Jeremy Vine intervened, and then eventually Superintendent Andy Cox intervened...

And this morning, Superintendent Cox said that a male suspect has been charged with theft and has been remanded in custody. He also suggests that police colleagues who might need to do some brushing up on the law may be getting a talking to...

05 June 2020, 10:02
More nails on bike trails: horrific trap spotted on Cannock Chase mountain bike route

The latest example of mind-boggling stupidity in the form of traps that appear to have been set up to harm cyclists is this one from a trail on Cannock Chase in the West Midlands. 

Originally shared on a local Facebook group yesterday, the person responsible for setting the trap near the village of Brocton appears to have taken considerable time and effort, with spikes carefully embedded into a large tree root. One person wrote: "Someone took hours to do all that. What a spiteful potential danger to walkers, children and animals, not to mention bikers!"

It's not the first example we've seen, and unfortunately probably won't be the last, of cyclists spotting and sometimes falling victim to traps; late last month a cyclist was injured when he rode into a wire trap on a trail in South Wales, and three weeks previously two pensioners admitted on camera to laying branches across a trail in North Yorkshire in a warped attempt to stop cyclists from using it. 

05 June 2020, 11:58
Skills up to 11
05 June 2020, 10:40
Council get serious in response to planters being moved

The road under this bridge in London has been closed to motor traffic, but it appears some didn't want to play ball and decided to move the planters intended to stop cars from getting through... so the council added a couple more, including a great big massive one with a tree on it in the middle. Chapeau to those responsible!

05 June 2020, 09:15
Maryland cops looking for cyclist who was caught ripping away George Floyd protest flyer from a child

The shocking scenes were captured on 1st June in the Maryland-National Capital Park, with police now searching for the cyclist who became aggressive when he spotted the group putting up flyers in support of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement. 

Despite being told to leave the young girl alone as he approached, the man then forcefully tears what looks to be a flyer from the young girl's hands. He then runs at a man filming the incident while pushing his bike, and can be heard saying "take these signs off" towards the end of the clip.

No one was seriously injured, but local police are appealing for anyone with potential information on the suspect.

05 June 2020, 10:39
Time for bus stops to wear high-viz?

Has it never heard of 'be safe, be seen'? And while we're here...

05 June 2020, 08:15
Costagate: the redemption of Adam

The coffee chain's Twitter account manager received a fair bit of backlash yesterday for claiming that the reason cyclists weren't allowed to use their drive-thru service was because they aren't "taxed and insured to be on the road"... however Costa Adam later admitted he got it wrong, assuming this was the reason why, and later said he believed it was because of "strict health and safety guidelines".

It's still not clear what those health and safety guidelines are and why it's safer to use a car over a bike to use a drive-thru coffee service; although Adam does claim that the drive-thru lanes are "designed for motor vehicles", and that the speaker to place an order is somehow triggered by a motor vehicle when it pulls up.

The beleaguered social media manager is still batting away negative replies this morning, and has even promised to look into the policy to see if it can be reviewed; and for that, in our view it's time Costa Adam got credit where credit is due. In the meantime, it looks like cyclists who really want Costa Coffee will have to skip the drive-thru and use one of their reopened takeaway stores instead...

05 June 2020, 09:12
05 June 2020, 08:59
Schwalbe reveal limited edition Ultrabite gravel tyre with olive sidewall
schwalbe g one olive sidewall

If your gravel bike has a very appropriate earthy green-coloured frame, then you'll be wanting these tyres with an olive sidewall to match - the limited edition G-One Ultrabite Gravel tubeless tyre will be available from specialist bike shops this month, in a 40mm size and priced at €59.90 (we don't have a UK price yet).

05 June 2020, 09:12
Showers, bike storage, cycling policies... could increased levels of cycling cause a headache for companies who haven't prepared for the influx?
05 June 2020, 08:41
Police in London increase patrols to enforce 20mph and 30mph limits, and encourage use of headcam footage

Superintendent Andy Cox says that patrols have increased to support safe cycling, with headcam footage of traffic offences encouraged to deal with the problem.

Want tips on getting decent camera evidence to the police? We have a guide for that.

05 June 2020, 12:53

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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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