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New Grand Theft Auto features bike lanes (yes, really); Locals install homemade 30mph signs to stop drivers “speeding at 70mph” through village; Gordon Ramsay reviews Spesh Tarmac SL8; Contraflow cycleway an “appalling death trap” + more on the live blog

It may be another cold, dark, and damp Wednesday in December, but don’t worry – Ryan Mallon is here to brighten up your middle of the week with more cycling news and shenanigans on the live blog!

SUMMARY

06 December 2023, 10:25
“GTA getting bike lanes before my town”: Grand Theft Auto does… errr, cycle lanes (yes, really)

Yes, you read that right.

After a decade-plus absence from Game shops around the world (they still have those, right?) Grand Theft Auto – the staggeringly successful and desensitising video game designed in Dundee (naturally) where players steal cars, drive recklessly, run people over at their leisure, and generally do heinous things – is back in the news, after the trailer for its eighth instalment, helpfully entitled Grand Theft Auto 6, was leaked.

And, while the series could be credited with convincing a whole generation of youngsters that driving a car like a lunatic is fun, the new trailer featured something that shows the game’s creators may be moving with the times (and no, I’m not talking about the Tom Petty song) – the presence of bright green-coloured cycle lanes:

While the lack of clear protection worried some, many potential gamers were amazed they are even included at all.

“GTA 6 getting bike lanes before most roads in my town,” said Ben, echoing the thoughts of many when they saw the trailer.

“They can do bike lanes in a big Budget video game. But they can’t do them in real life,” added Bike and Bow.

“Investors will pay to draw fake bike lanes, more than local government will pay to put them in real life?”

“Knowing it’s basically gonna be Florida, they’re more like ‘go ahead f***ing die’ lanes,” noted Jim – although that’s probably the point, unfortunately.

Or maybe the game’s designers are simply trying to appeal to my brother and I, who would – instead of perusing the usual gangster crime storyline – spend hours on an early 2000s iteration of GTA grabbing a bike and finding the nearest big hill where, using a stopwatch, we would create our own unofficial Grand Theft Auto mountain time trial.

Yes, we were those kind of children…

06 December 2023, 16:49
Van Aert and Van der Poel duel at the 2023 UCI world cyclocross championships (Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com)
“We have to adapt to the cyclocross calendar, not the other way around”: Mathieu van der Poel weighs in on the great ‘cross schedule debate, as Dutch rider says he wants to reach seven world titles in the discipline

With the jampacked nature of the cyclocross calendar coming under increasing scrutiny in recent week, especially following UCI president David Lappartient’s recent controversial criticism of certain riders skipping World Cup events, it was only a matter of time before one of the men’s sport’s big three weighed in on the debate.

And despite delaying the start of his own cyclocross season until just before Christmas – instead preferring to get the winter miles in on sunny Spanish roads – five-time world ‘cross champion, and current world road race champ, Mathieu van der Poel believes that the current calendar is fine as it is, and shouldn’t be adapted to suit the sport’s multidisciplinary talents.

“I don't think it should be adapted to us,” the Alpecin–Deceuninck rider told Sporza today. “Cross is a separate discipline. We have to adapt to the calendar if we want to cross, not the other way around. I think the current calendar can continue to exist, I have no problem with it.”

> Lance Armstrong’s former boss Johan Bruyneel brands David Lappartient a “dictator” after UCI president threatens to ban cyclo-cross riders who skip World Cup events from world championships

When asked about Lappartient’s threat to ban riders who miss World Cup events from the world championships, Van der Poel, who initially insisted he had “no opinion” on the matter, said: “Anyone can ride the world championships, even if you ride zero races. That’s your right. You don’t have to ride crosses to do that.

“I understand that it is not that fun for [the UCI], but they have somewhat contributed to it themselves. I am not really concerned about it,” he added, echoing Lucinda Brand’s assertion to road.cc that the UCI’s own rules enable multidiscipline riders who don’t commit to a full season of cyclocross to ride the worlds.

2023 UCI Cyclocross World Champs Mathieu Van Der Poel © SWpix.com (t-a Photography Hub Ltd) - 3

(Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com)

The 2023 Paris-Roubaix and Milan-Sanremo winner, notably, also praised rival Eli Iserbyt, the current leader of the World Cup standings, because the Belgian “rides everything and doesn’t really complain”.

> road.cc Podcast: Lucinda Brand and Eli Iserbyt on the future of cyclocross

Meanwhile, when asked whether he was “itching” to get back on the ‘cross bike, the 28-year-old superstar laughed: “I’ve been doing it a little too long for that, and maybe I’m also enjoying it a little too much here in Spain.

“Last week I returned to Belgium for a few days and did one cross training. Today I trained on the beach for the second time here in Spain. My form on the road is good, but that is not always a reference for the cross.

“I will definitely have to be in my best shape at the world championships, whether Wout van Aert and Tom Pidcock are participating or not. I have to be 100 percent.”

Van der Poel also asserted that, despite occasionally hankering for a “quiet winter” in Spain, he will continue to race cyclocross for the foreseeable future, with his eyes firmly set on matching and surpassing Erik De Vlaeminck’s record of seven world championship victories.

Mathieu van der Poel outsprints Wout van Aert to win 2023 cyclocross world title (Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com)

Van der Poel outsprints eternal rival Wout van Aert to win the 2023 cyclocross world title, the fifth of his career (Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com)

“It’s one of the reasons why I keep racing,” he says of the record. “Other than that I don’t have many goals in the field. That record is a big challenge, but so is becoming world champion.”

Asked if he has any intention of returning fully to cyclocross in the twilight years of his career, the Dutchman, again laughing, said: “Someday, maybe in the distant future. But it’s certainly not in my mind right now. It’s possible one day, if I can call it venturing out, with some MTB riding in the summer. I still like to do it, but it must continue to be useful.

“If the team thinks that I can reach a better level without ‘cross, then that is something to think about. A quiet winter in Spain would also be nice.

“But I have had my best road season with a ‘cross winter. That's why I’m still doing it. I don’t believe it has a negative effect, certainly not for me. I can always use competition, although it does take energy of course.”

06 December 2023, 09:06
Homemade 30mph sign, Glasfryn, Wales (Gwennol Ellis, Facebook)
“Children fear for their lives”: Locals install homemade 30mph signs to stop drivers “speeding at 70mph” through village

While all the talk about road safety in Wales over the last few months has focused on the government’s controversial new default 20mph limit through built-up areas, residents of one Conwy village have this week launched a very different criticism of the country’s speed limits.

> Confusion as driver blames 20mph zone for preventing her overtaking cyclists... despite them riding at the speed limit

In Glasfryn, where the Welsh government placed 60mph signs either side of the village 18 months ago, residents and local politicians say motorists are driving at excessive speeds near homes and a playground, prompting the area’s children to “fear for their lives” and leading their parents to argue that it’s only a matter of time before someone is seriously injured or killed.

So, in response to the clear dangers posed by the dubiously placed national speed limit – as well as the lack of response from the Welsh government to their concerns – Glasfryn’s locals have this week taken matters into their own hands, by installing a series of homemade 30mph signs through the village.

The guerilla speed limit markers include two mega-sized signs positioned on hay bale and – in keeping with the festive season – several 30mph and ‘Slow’ baubles on the communal Christmas tree, which was switched on as part of the campaign last night.

“We woke up this morning, and we think that either Santa’s little helpers or the Christmas elves have decorated the village and put up some 30mph speed limit signs,” local resident Euan Robertson told the BBC.

> "Far more pleasant for walkers and cyclists": 20mph speed limit analysis hailed "astonishing", with drivers' journeys just 45 seconds longer

Euan added that the rogue signs were necessary due to the close proximity of the playground to the A5, while noting that he often sees motorists overtaking other drivers as they head through the village.

“I walk my dogs along the A5 every morning, and traffic is coming rushing past, often in the dark and the wet, so I’m having to wear hi-vis and head torches.

“The dogs have even got lights on them now, to make drivers aware. We’ve got lorries travelling through the village too at high speeds. It can be terrifying.”

> Cyclists fear safe time trial courses will be lost as governing body introduces ban on events in 20mph zones

Meanwhile, mum-of-three Angharad Roberts said: “There are a lot of children living in the village. We have to walk across the road to get to our cars or to get to the park.

“People don’t slow down when they see children walking, but when the lorry passes at speed, there is a rush of wind that comes from the lorry when they pass, and it is strong enough to take a child into the road.”

Local councillor Gwennol Ellis also said that she has witnessed motorists driving at 70mph through Glasfryn, and that residents had previously complained to the Welsh government, without success.

“The signs are in farmers’ fields, so they can’t do anything about that, can they?” Ellis asked. “But we have to be careful not to scare the children because, at the end of the day, it is their home.

“But they do fear for their lives. The school bus picks up on the A5, and I'm just scared somebody is going to drive into the back of that one day.”

“Why did the Welsh government need to put those national speed limit signs up? It doesn’t make any sense at all.”

Responding to the campaign, a Welsh government spokesperson said: “We are currently updating guidance on local speed limits. During this time reviews on speed limits have been paused. Once the new guidance is available, we will be reviewing speed limits across the road network.”

06 December 2023, 16:19
London cycling journeys up 20% compared with before Covid pandemic

As mentioned earlier on the blog, new figures published by Transport for London suggest that “investment in London’s cycle network is enabling more people to cycle”, with 4.5 percent of all journeys in the capital now made by bike, an estimated 1.26 million journeys a day.

Cyclists at traffic lights, London © Simon MacMichael

Read more: > London cycling journeys up 20% compared with before Covid pandemic 

06 December 2023, 11:54
Bjarne Riis (via YouTube)
“Just because I did something wrong once doesn’t mean I’m a bad person”: Mr 60 percent Bjarne Riis finally bows out of cycling to sell heat pumps, laundry appliances, and electric vehicle charging stations

Bjarne Riis – the 1996 Tour de France winner who infamously flew up the Hautacam in the big ring on his way to the yellow jersey, his blood coursing with enough medical assistance to wipe out an entire stable of racehorses – has announced that he is finally waving goodbye to professional cycling after almost 40 years as a rider, manager, and team owner.

Mr 60 percent Riis, so named for his ludicrously high haematocrit levels during cycling’s wild west period of systematic blood doping, confessed in 2007 to EPOing his way to his Tour victory, before nabbing a few more yellow jerseys, this time as the boss of the dominant CSC-Saxo Bank team, courtesy of Carlos Sastre in 2008 (which Riis proudly proclaimed to Tour director Christian Prudhomme as a ‘clean’ win) and Andy Schleck, after the fact, in 2010.

But now, following a final short-lived ill-fated stint as manager and co-owner of the NTT outfit – during which he was the subject of more doping allegations by former CSC riders Tyler Hamilton and Michael Rasmussen – the Dane says his time in the sport is a “finished chapter” as he moves onto new business ventures.

Bjarne Riis

The 59-year-old, who also confirmed he has relocated back to Denmark from Switzerland with his family, has recently co-founded Riis Energy, selling heat pumps imported from Lithuania. He has also become a board member of Nørtec, a company selling laundry appliances and electric vehicle charging stations.

“The last few years down in Switzerland, I’ve been thinking a lot about what I should do going forward, and in that process, I’ve come to the point that cycling, where I’ve been – that’s a finished chapter. I think I want to do something else,” Riis told Danish newspaper Børsen.

“But I still follow along – probably a little too much, if you ask my wife – and if you look at Jumbo-Visma, they are just so talented. Of course, they also have a large budget, but nothing is left to chance and they do everything they can to chase the marginal gains that can give them a competitive advantage. In terms of communication, they could do better, I think, but in all other areas, they are so far ahead of the rest.”

> 3 in 4 Danes say Tour de France can't be won clean - Bjarne Riis says they're misinformed

Meanwhile, Riis said that his doping past shouldn’t cloud his future outside cycling, citing his old protégé, and Tour successor, Jan Ullrich as evidence of how constant suspicion can weigh heavy on an ex-pro.

“I just thank myself for being a strong person and for having a good family behind me,” he said. “Of course, I have had my crises. If I hadn’t been strong, I probably would have had a slightly different life. Just take Jan Ullrich, you don’t have to look any further.

“I’ve never hid and I've always stood up to a beating over the years. I’ve acknowledged my mistakes and moved on, but just because I did something wrong once doesn’t mean I’m a bad person. I can still be a good leader and I can still inspire people.”

As Riis prepares to turn his back on the world of professional cycling, it would be remiss of me not to bring up one of the original, and still arguably one of the greatest, examples of online cycling satire, paving the way for all that was to come. Enjoy…

06 December 2023, 15:56
My favourite thing about professional cycling? The Tro-Bro Léon promo posters, of course

You can have your bike supplier announcements and new kit leaks, but the best part of the road off-season for me will always be the unveiling of the ridiculously arty poster for the following year’s Tro-Bro Léon, Brittany’s madcap and always entertaining answer to Paris-Roubaix.

And this year’s super-Breton offering certainly does not disappoint:

Pigs will literally fly before any other bike race comes close to designing as epically cool a poster as this. E3 Saxo Bank Classic organisers, don’t even think about trying…

06 December 2023, 15:25
Reading Station underpass (Reading Borough Council)
Cyclists to be allowed to ride through underpass at Reading station

Cyclists will soon be permitted to ride their bikes through the underpass at Reading railway station, after a consultation found that 73 percent of respondents were in favour of scrapping the rule which required people to dismount and push their bikes.

The underpass that runs below the station was opened as part of a major upgrade in 2014, and provides a shortcut between the south exit towards the town centre, and the north exit towards Caversham.

> Councillor calls for anti-bike barriers to prevent “dangerous” cyclists “zooming across” foot tunnel

Last week, at a meeting of Reading Council’s access and disabilities working group, highways and traffic services manager Sam Shean confirmed that cyclists will now be allowed to use the subway, once safety improvements on the ceiling are carried out.

“We hope to be able to confirm plans in January, with the aim of work starting by the end of February,” a council spokesperson told RDG Today.

06 December 2023, 14:52
Tom Pidcock in action at 2023 UCI World Championships at Glentress (copyright Thomas Maheux, SWpix.com)
UCI Cycling World Championships worth over £6 million to Scottish Borders, councillors told

The Scottish Borders Council’s Executive Committee was told this week that August’s UCI Cycling World Championships – the cross-country mountain bike events for which were held at Glentress Forest, near Peebles, where rainbow jersey winner Tom Pidcock proved the star attraction – are estimated to have had a direct economic impact on the region to the tune of £6 million.

“Glentress was an outstanding venue for the World Championships, and I am delighted at the incredibly positive results that have been presented to us today,” Scott Hamilton, the council’s executive member for community and business development, said after being told of the championship’s economic benefit.

> Scotland could soon host Tour de France stages after "successful" World Championships

“The boost to the local economy from competitors, support staff, spectators, event staff, and volunteers is substantial, and provided a huge return on our investment in the event.

“These results emphasise the very positive impact that the Council’s investment into bringing national and international scale events to the area can have, and we remain committed to continuing to do this, whilst also supporting existing local events to grow and new events to take place.”

Trudy Lindblade, the championships’ Chief Executive Officer, said that the economic impact demonstrated the benefit of spreading the different cycling disciplines throughout Scotland, adding that “it was tremendous to see so many international and local visitors descend on the region, providing a significant boost for the economy and supporting the legacy ambitions of South of Scotland Cycling Strategy which will further embrace the power of the bike.”

> Over half of world championships funding for the Scottish Borders remains unspent, as groups urged to apply for grants to “encourage and inspire new and existing cyclists”

Professor Russel Griggs, Chair of South of Scotland Enterprise, said: “What a great event it was and the economic impact of the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships on the Scottish Borders really does really highlight the power of the bike.

“Cycling offers significant economic opportunities for our region, and as well the South of Scotland Cycling Partnership believes it can positively impact many other aspects of our society. These include addressing fuel poverty, transport issues, community isolation, health and wellbeing, workforce and education inclusion, and diversity and equality.

“After such a positive year for the South of Scotland, we now want to build on this success and continue to make progress, with the South of Scotland Cycling Partnership Strategy, and our ultimate aim of making the South a world-class cycling location.”

06 December 2023, 14:25
‘Yeah, but is anyone really going to use it when it’s dark and freezing in December?’

It turns out that yes, they will use it. Lots of them.

We’ll be taking a more in-depth look at London’s latest cycling figures later on, as TfL’s newly released data shows that the number of daily journeys by bike in the capital has increased to 1.26 million in 2023, up six percent on last year’s figures and a whopping 20 percent increase on the pre-Covid numbers. Encouraging stuff.

06 December 2023, 13:54
When you turn up for a fight and a bike race breaks out

I didn’t know Gianni Moscon was into mountain biking… 

06 December 2023, 13:22
King Street Cycle Lane Revisited

> “Alexa, can you show me how many traffic violations it's possible to fit into 30 seconds of driving?” Motorist pulls out in front of Jeremy Vine on cycle lane, tells him to “f*** off”… then drives through no-entry signs 

06 December 2023, 12:56
2023 Mark Cavendish Wilier Filante TdF bike
Bike sponsor transfer season continues, as Groupama-FDJ confirms new partnership with Willier Triestina

The seemingly never-ending merry-go-round of pro team bike suppliers continues today as – following Lotto Dstny’s messy split with Ridley, AG2R swapping BMC for Decathlon’s Van Rysel bikes, and yesterday’s news that TotalEnergies will be partnering with Enve for 2024 – Groupama-FDJ have today confirmed that they will be using Willier Triestina bikes next season.

The news brings an end to the 22-year-long collaboration between Dijon-based bike brand Lapierre and France’s most emblematic team, a partnership which yielded over 300 victories courtesy of the likes of Philippe Gilbert, Jacky Durand, Bradley Wiggins, Arnaud Démare, and, of course, the retiring Thibaut Pinot.

Thibaut Pinot, stage 13, 2023 Giro d’Italia (Zac Williams/SWpix.com)

> The end of another era at Groupama-FDJ, as French team ends partnership with bike supplier Lapierre after 22 years

It also means that Willier will be represented by two WorldTour teams next year, with Astana and Mark Cavendish riding the Italian brand’s bikes to sprint success in Rome at the Giro.

Groupama-FDJ are set to ride that very Willier Filante SLR on the road in 2024, while using the Willier Turbine SLR for time trials.

2023 Tour de France Stage 6 Mark Cavendish © SWpix.com (t:a Photography Hub Ltd)- 1

Cav on board the Willier Filante SLR at this year’s Tour de France (SWpix.com)

“I am delighted and honoured to announce today that Wilier Triestina has joined the Groupama-FDJ cycling team family as an Official Partner,” team boss Marc Madiot said in a statement today.

“This is the start of a great adventure with a renowned Italian company that has left its mark on the history of cycling.

“Their enthusiasm and the quality of their technical and engineering teams immediately echoed the standards and attention we pay every day to the quest for the highest performance.

“The spirit of all our technical partnerships is to develop together and use our respective expertise to move up the range, and that's what appealed to us about Wilier Triestina's approach.

“Together, we're going to write a new page in the history of Groupama-FDJ and showcase these new machines on the road from the very first day of the 2024 season.”

06 December 2023, 12:49
Won’t somebody please think of the sports cars?

A councillor in New Zealand has made an eyebrow-raising objection to plans to build a $14 million protected cycle lane, claiming that he would not be able to move out of the way of emergency service vehicles without risking scraping the bottom of his sports car on the infrastructure’s segregation.

Yes, that is the level of cycle lane discourse we’ve reached. Well done, New Zealand…

Cycle route (New Plymouth District Council)

Read more: > Councillor opposes protected cycle lane plan... because it might damage his sports car, he claims 

06 December 2023, 11:26
And the Specialized Tarmac SL8 review you’ve all been waiting for is finally in…

No Ramsay’s Tarmac Nightmares for Gordon, then. Now, whether you’d prefer to listen to the sweary chef or our resident tech expert Jamie, that’s entirely up to you…

> Here's why I won't be upgrading to the Specialized Tarmac SL8

06 December 2023, 10:53
Ah, good to see USADA are back focusing on the big fish… Oh, wait
Anti-doping (CC BY-SA 2.0 DEED by Richard Masoner / Cyclelicious)

> 65-year-old tandem time trial cyclist banned for two years over anti-doping violation

Cleaning up the sport, one tandem-riding pensioner at a time…

06 December 2023, 09:42
Colchester North Station contraflow cycle lane (Sir Bob Russell)
Contraflow cycle lane branded an “appalling death trap” – but cyclists say “Rome wasn’t built in a day”, as council removes redundant road markings

Essex Highways says “redundant” road markings will be removed this week as work continues on a newly permanent cycle lane in Colchester – described by a former MP last week as an “appalling death trap”.

The two-way contraflow cycle lane on Station Way, first introduced in 2020, with Essex County Council confirming earlier this year that it was to be made permanent, has been the subject of longstanding criticism from opponents who believe its layout is confusing and dangerous.

Last week, the High Steward for Colchester and former Lib Dem MP Sir Bob Russell claimed that the lane would result in cyclists colliding with vehicles stopped at a bus stop.

> Council says green paint “will heighten drivers’ awareness”, as cyclists blast “dreadful” new contraflow cycle lane as “an accident waiting to happen”

“Highways engineers should be designing road safety dangers out of schemes, not putting people at risk, which is what has happened here in Station Way to the south of the railway bridge at North Station,” Russell told the Daily Gazette.

“The whole set up is appalling. The death trap is not the only thing I shall be telling the Transport Minister about.

“The nearby pavement has been marked as a two-way cycle path, also used by pedestrians, but this does not comply with the dual-use width requirements of the Department for Transport.”

Meanwhile, Colchester Cycling Campaign – usually on the opposite side of the fence to Sir Bob when it comes to cycling infrastructure projects – agreed that the lane’s layout, and its interaction with the bus stop, wasn’t “ideal”, but insisted that “Rome wasn’t built in a day”.

“For once, Sir Bob Russell is right: the segue between the bus lay-by and the cycleway is not ideal,” the group’s Will Bramhill said.

“That said, Essex is awaiting further funds to complete the project and we hope to see a solution soon. At least we now have a short section of cycleway that is top class.

“The bus stop connection is not ideal but Rome wasn’t built in a day; I do hope Sir Bob has had a lightbulb moment and will now get behind our aspirations which will improve the mobility of everyone who doesn’t have a car or who chooses not to drive.”

> New ‘protected’ contraflow cycle lane opens on one-way road – and drivers immediately begin parking in it and crashing into bollards

And now, Essex Highways has said that redundant road markings will soon be removed and replaced, to provide road and cycleway users with a clearer grasp of the new layout.

Some of the markings shown in the pictures are from the previous layout and are now redundant,” a council spokesperson said.

“These will be permanently removed this week and have been painted over in the interim. Northbound cyclists should use the shared footway/cycleway facility past the bus stop to join the segregated facility under the bridge.”

“The two-way segregated cycle facility is part of our aim to make the transport network safer, greener and healthier, with around 40 percent of all journeys under 5km in Colchester currently taking place in cars.

“The cycle facility will address the pinch-point under the Station Way bridge and improve overall north-south Active Travel infrastructure, while boosting green transport. These measures will help support a safer cycling network at this location, while the local bus network and city centre will benefit from wider improvements to bus infrastructure across Colchester through the Rapid Transit Scheme (RTS).”

I suppose it could be worse – they could have installed a contraflow ‘cycle lane’ like the ones opened this year in Darlington and Altrincham… Now that’s what I call appalling cycling infrastructure.

Ryan joined road.cc in December 2021 and since then has kept the site’s readers and listeners informed and enthralled (well at least occasionally) on news, the live blog, and the road.cc Podcast. After boarding a wrong bus at the world championships and ruining a good pair of jeans at the cyclocross, he now serves as road.cc’s senior news writer. Before his foray into cycling journalism, he wallowed in the equally pitiless world of academia, where he wrote a book about Victorian politics and droned on about cycling and bikes to classes of bored students (while taking every chance he could get to talk about cycling in print or on the radio). He can be found riding his bike very slowly around the narrow, scenic country lanes of Co. Down.

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32 comments

Avatar
NPlus1Bikelights | 2 months ago
1 like

Watchdogs 2 (2016) by the way.

Avatar
ktache | 2 months ago
4 likes

Don't know what it was about today, maybe the banks of mist, but I received several weeks of close passes in one day.

Avatar
ktache | 2 months ago
2 likes

Great news about the Reading Station underpass, as I understand it the built it with the ceiling too low for cyclists, but was also too low for pedestrians too. But to ban them would have seemed like madness...

Thing is, whenever I pushed my bike through it, I was the only one. The no cycling roundall has disappeared from the Reading side, still there on the Caversham side though. Be nice if/when they they reinstate the amphitheatre steps on the Reading side.

Avatar
Secret_squirrel | 2 months ago
7 likes

Given Lapierre have been binned as a supplier and they are based in Dijon does that mean that their bikes no longer cut the mustard at WT level?

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mark1a replied to Secret_squirrel | 2 months ago
0 likes

👏👏👏👏👏

Avatar
check12 | 2 months ago
1 like

Gordon in his little chain ring halfway down the block and tagging manufacturers in to his post - what a bell

Avatar
Rendel Harris replied to check12 | 2 months ago
14 likes

check12 wrote:

Gordon in his little chain ring halfway down the block and tagging manufacturers in to his post - what a bell

Do you reckon you could do the Hawaii Ironman triathlon in under 15 hours at the age of 47? Ramsey did, which I think says rather more about his credentials than the fact that you've spotted him in the small chain ring (when you have no idea what he's just ridden up before stopping). He presumably will have tagged the manufacturers because he will have been loaned or comped the bike in return for a few mentions on social media. I'm neither a fan nor a detractor of Mr Ramsey, but why be nasty just for the sake of it?

Avatar
Patrick9-32 replied to Rendel Harris | 2 months ago
9 likes

Rendel Harris wrote:

why be nasty just for the sake of it?

Because the internet. 

Avatar
eburtthebike | 2 months ago
10 likes

Jeremy Vine's apology, at least as sincere and heartfelt as those of Boris, in response to all the people pointing out that he was at fault, not the driver, is well made, and I hope he's learned from it.  In any altercation between a cyclist and a driver, the rules of the road are suspended, and it's always the cyclist's fault.

OK, tongue out of cheek, the real question is do those people actually believe that Vine was wrong?  If so, should we remove their licence to drive as they clearly aren't intelligent enough to be in charge of a machine that can kill in public.

Avatar
Dicklexic | 2 months ago
2 likes

I looked forward to the new default 20mph limit being brought into Wales, and still support it, but alas I fear it has had the complete opposite of the desired effect for far too many drivers. Instead of everyone slowing down a bit in built up areas, and roads being safer for pedestrians and cyclists, we now instead have SOME drivers slowing down, and many more simply ignoring the 20 limits. I have no data to back it up, but I honestly feel that if anything, a lot of those drivers now go even faster! The new limits have instead turned Wales into a nation of speeders. Already it seems most are now used to ignoring the 20 limit, and have come to the conclusion that if they are speeding anyway, they may as well speed properly! In my area there were some 20 zones, which I always respected and quite a lot of drivers did, but now the 20 zone signs have gone, people are often driving faster through them than they used to. For now at least there simply isn’t any enforcement either, so it relies entirely on the driver to ‘do the right thing’, but we all know how that usually works out.

Avatar
Simon E replied to Dicklexic | 2 months ago
1 like

Dicklexic wrote:

The new limits have instead turned Wales into a nation of speeders.

That's a ridiculous claim. Are you a headline writer for Wales Online?

Have you checked vehicle speeds in lots of towns and cities around Wales since the new limits were introduced or is this just based on some local streets where you live?

The places I've experienced it have all felt safer after its introduction. Most drivers I've seen are driving slower, though are a minority who don't give a shit and will drive like selfish bastards anyway, just as they did before.

Enforcement would be great but that costs money and, along with a lot of other things, central government doesn't seem to want councils and police forces to do.

I drive through Glaslyn regularly and there is no legal reason for drivers to slow down as it's pretty straight with good sight lines and a 60 mph limit. There have been homemade 'slow down' signs at either end of the village for over a year [street view] but I doubt they make any difference. Nearby Pentrefoelas has a 40 mph limit and there has been a dummy in a hi-viz jacket propped up against a pole for a number of years in an attempt to get drivers to slow down.

Avatar
chrisonabike replied to Simon E | 2 months ago
0 likes

Bonus info - not that this changes "but this is what I see on my journeys" or "it feels much worse!":

BBC has an article covering the initial review after a week and some data (only two locations) a month on - both showing a reduction and specifically a reduction of the fastest speed group. (Here's a document on the original research carried out just after the change).

If people didn't check them already the Senedd had a couple of articles reviewing the situation pre-changes for good background, plus various articles tackling queries (e.g. here one addressing "but journey times will massively increase!").

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HarrogateSpa | 2 months ago
14 likes

The immutable law of cycle infrastructure is that any new facility will always be described by the anti-cycling mob as 'a death trap' or 'an accident waiting to happen'.

This is faux concern for the safety of people on bikes, and used as a smokescreen for opposing all cycle improvements.

They do not want better designs, they want no cycle infrastructure at all.

What they fail to understand is that sharing busy roads with motor vehicles is 'a death trap' and 'an accident waiting to happen'.

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chrisonabike replied to HarrogateSpa | 2 months ago
5 likes

Indeed. If not unexpected concern for those cycling then it's sudden interest in the welfare of those with disabilities, visual impairments, the old, the children, emergency services...  Strangely such considerations don't generate any noise when we're failing to provide adequate footways or crossings.  Or for failures to get on top of businesses using the footway / cycle way to store stuff, or pavement parking / blocking non-motorised access ...

It's selective concern.

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Homebaker replied to HarrogateSpa | 2 months ago
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I live over here in Colchester. That line is truly awful. Its contraflow against the bus lane. The difficulty is road with this set by the railway bridge. You will have noted CCC's Will Bramil wasn't particularly pro it either.

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Hirsute replied to Homebaker | 2 months ago
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I did go past it last night. Couldn't really tell what it will be like, but I'd only use it for going south.
Be interested to see the ease of joining if you come from mile end road.

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stonojnr | 2 months ago
2 likes

That bus layby in Colchester has always been a dogs breakfast, even as a pedestrian crossing the road there it's clunky, I doubt adding the cycle bit makes it any worse than it already is.

But its what you get if you build a major out of town retail park, next to the main train station, hooked off the main northern approach road off the A12 into Colchester, just invites traffic chaos and wont ever be a pleasant or safe area to cycle.

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Patrick9-32 | 2 months ago
10 likes

We are talking about a village that is less than 1km long. Slowing down to a reasonable village speed (20mph) from an illegal 70mph would cost drivers about a minute. 

Ask any reasonable human whether they would rather be 1 minute late or risk killing a child?

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bigwheeler88 replied to Patrick9-32 | 2 months ago
19 likes

Asking a reasonable human is not the same as asking a car driver.

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belugabob replied to bigwheeler88 | 2 months ago
6 likes
bigwheeler88 wrote:

Asking a reasonable human is not the same as asking a car driver.

Car drivers aren't the problem - unreasonable people are ( let's not slip into the same tribal thoughts as others do)

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hawkinspeter replied to belugabob | 2 months ago
4 likes

belugabob wrote:

Car drivers aren't the problem - unreasonable people are ( let's not slip into the same tribal thoughts as others do)

Although it's easy to ignore an unreasonable pedestrian (or unreasonable cyclists), an unreasonable driver can cause a lot of harm.

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belugabob replied to Patrick9-32 | 2 months ago
4 likes
Patrick9-32 wrote:

We are talking about a village that is less than 1km long. Slowing down to a reasonable village speed (20mph) from an illegal 70mph would cost drivers about a minute. 
.

Ask any reasonable human whether they would rather be 1 minute late or risk killing a child?

It's not the reasonable ones who are the problem

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Patrick9-32 replied to belugabob | 2 months ago
3 likes

Ask the reasonable ones, tell the unreasonable ones through peoper enforcement. 

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Kapelmuur replied to Patrick9-32 | 2 months ago
13 likes

Patrick9-32 wrote:

We are talking about a village that is less than 1km long. Slowing down to a reasonable village speed (20mph) from an illegal 70mph would cost drivers about a minute. 

Ask any reasonable human whether they would rather be 1 minute late or risk killing a child?

After retirement I had a short time as a lollipop man, most drivers were OK but  every day some would ignore me as I stood in the road with the 'stop' sign and drive through, on one occasion hitting a child a glancing blow.

Plus there was the one who used the pavement to pass standing traffic forcing children to jump out of the way.

 

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andystow replied to Kapelmuur | 2 months ago
8 likes

Kapelmuur wrote:

After retirement I had a short time as a lollipop man, most drivers were OK but  every day some would ignore me as I stood in the road with the 'stop' sign and drive through, on one occasion hitting a child a glancing blow.

Plus there was the one who used the pavement to pass standing traffic forcing children to jump out of the way.

The lollypop pole should have a knurled steel ball on the bottom, and it should be 100% legal for a lollypop man or woman to scratch the precious paintwork of naughty drivers.

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Patrick9-32 replied to andystow | 2 months ago
7 likes

We could start making part of the Royal Marines Commandoes and SAS retirement and repatriation program being a lollypop man for a while. Allows them to reintegrate into civilian life in a way that makes them super conneted with the society they spent their lives protecting and makes sure nobody, ever, fucks with a lollypop man. 

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chrisonabike replied to Patrick9-32 | 2 months ago
1 like

"Bollard man", maybe?

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Backladder replied to andystow | 2 months ago
3 likes

andystow wrote:

Kapelmuur wrote:

After retirement I had a short time as a lollipop man, most drivers were OK but  every day some would ignore me as I stood in the road with the 'stop' sign and drive through, on one occasion hitting a child a glancing blow.

Plus there was the one who used the pavement to pass standing traffic forcing children to jump out of the way.

The lollypop pole should have a knurled steel ball on the bottom, and it should be 100% legal for a lollypop man or woman to smash it through the windscreen of naughty drivers.

FTFY

<Gandalf> You shall not pass!</Gandalf>

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IanMK replied to Patrick9-32 | 2 months ago
0 likes

A couple of things bothered me about this story.

On a single carrageway road I think it will be the national speed limit sign. For  vans with a laden weight of more than 2.05t that would be 50mph - many of the large crew cabbed trucks are actually already over 2.05t before loading so automatically fall in to this category (not that you would ever know if you see them on the road).

In Scotland goods vehicles over 7.5t would be limited to 40mph. I'm surprised that Wales have not adopted this.

Can the Welsh government really be responsible for the signs (serious question)? In England it would be National Highways and I would assume they work to rules regarding the placement of signs prescribed by the DfT & therefore UK government. Have Wales changed this?

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Smoggysteve replied to IanMK | 2 months ago
0 likes

In circumstances like this, I can't see why the local council cant place a chicane at the limits of the village. Add in a speed bump and that should slow drivers down sufficiently. There are dozens of roads I see like this all over where some drivers will just plough on without slowing for the few moments it takes to pass through with zero regard for locals. This type of infrastructure is cheap and easy to implement. Even a few large planters with  a 30 limit on them would be something. 

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