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11 things we've learned this week

Froome approaching immortality, motorway madness and no one's ashamed of tan lines. Here are 11 things we've learned this week...

1.Chris Boardman has been justly rewarded for his tireless cycle safety campaigning with his a position as Greater Manchester's cycling and walking commissioner

Chris Boardman and Andy Burnham.jpg

The cycling legend is a fervent cycle safety campaigner, and Manchester residents are lucky to have someone so dedicated to the cause representing them. Boardman said that the justice system was failing cyclists and their families, a year on from his mother Carol being killed while riding her bike in North Wales.

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2. Chris Froome is edging closer to absolute Tour de France immortality, and is looking good for the Vuelta

Chris Froome - Le Tour de France video stage 21 summary.png

Some would argue he's more than achieved legendary status already, but Froome just needs another Tour win to draw level with Anquetil, Merckx, Hinault, and Indurain and as five-time Tour winner. He's already the favourite to win next year and also the upcoming Vuelta Espana, and who would bet against him with such a strong support crew in Team Sky. 

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3. Spines are overrated...

Dan Martin getting off his bike (via YouTube).jpg

“You don’t need to straighten your back on the bike. No problem. [But] I wasn’t able to get out of the saddle. I could sprint, but I couldn’t climb out of the saddle because of the hip angle. That was the biggest challenge.” If you say so Dan, but we reckon it's definitely somewhat beneficial to have a fully functional spine in order to compete in the world's toughest bike race. It was revealed after a scan Martin did much of the race with two fractured vertabrae. Ouch...

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4. Tan lines are a "badge of honour"

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We reported on the new Solair jersey by Ekoi that purports to allow the wearer to avoid tan lines by letting in UVA rays and blocking more harmful UVB's. Ekoi may have a hard time's crowd to part with cash for the Solair, judging by the reaction in our comments section...

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5. If you need to get somewhere by bike, it's probably best not to take the M5...

Hard shoulder of the M5 (via StreetView).jpg

...Although the eccentric protagonist certainly won some fans after excerpts from his court appearance were reported. Balin Hobbs was trying to get to London, and said that it was "against his spiritual beliefs" to transport himself with a petrol or diesel vehicle. He'd also ridden for three days to attend his hearing at Exeter Magistrates Court. 

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6. And it appears the motorway is becoming an increasingly popular place to ride... 

Motorway (licensed CC BY 2.0 by Ozzy Delaney on Flickr).jpg

In other cyclists-cycling-where-they-shouldn't-be news, it was also reported that Police in Lancashire were called out twice within the space of hours to escort cyclists off the M65. In the first incident a man was spotted at about noon on Tuesday riding in the fast lane in the direction of Accrington near Junction 8, and the second cyclist was seen at around 11.45pm, alledgedly weaving in and out of the hard shoulder and the slow lane between Junctions 6 and 7. 

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7. Age is just a number at both ends of the spectrum...

Alfie Earl on the Galibier (Steve Earl).jpg


Alfie Earl has cycled from London to Paris, climbed Mount Venteaux and now the Col du Galibier, all by the tender age of 9. Alfie said: "I want to try to be the best young rider that I can be. But going up mountains can be fun too and I love the views. I'm going to think about what's next, but whatever I do I have learned to take on challenges. One day I'd like to climb the Aubsique and the Peyresourde because of the history, but maybe even the Angliru in Spain and the Zoncolan if I feel like it. And perhaps Paris-Roubaix.” Chapeau, Alfie! 

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8. The mainstream media needs to consider the way they report on cycle-related road incidents

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Research published this week shown that many media outlets reporting on road traffic collisions involving a cyclist often report in a way which shifts blame onto them, even when the cyclist is the victim.  in which someone riding a bike is the victim  the way such incidents are reported often shift responsibility away from the motorist towards the bike rider. Joëlle Gélinas cited the phrase, “The cyclist fatally hit by a lorry was not wearing a helmet” as an example of victim-blaming evident in news reporting, something news outlets need to be more responsible for to encourage greater awareness amongst drivers. 


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9. Dockless bike share schemes need smoothing out

Mobike in Manchester (Sian Dibben)

The European Cyclists Federation has expressed concern about the arrival and rapid expansion of dockless bike share schemes, saying that some firms expanding in Europe have previously displayed a lack of cooperation with local authorities.There have been dockless bike share schemes in several UK towns and cities for a while now, but there has been a recent surge in interest following the high profile launches of Mobike in Manchester and oBike in London. While there is enthusiasm for the concept in a broader sense, both of these schemes have since attracted unwanted attention with reports of bikes being deliberately damaged and at least one council considering parked bikes “obstructive”. Either the system needs to be worked on or people need to grow to accept dockless bikes if they are the ultimate urban cycling solution. 

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10. This sticker doesn't help anyone or anything

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You weren't happy about the ill-informed sign on the bike of a BT OpenReach lorry, suggesting that cyclists undertaking on the left were committing "suicide". It is not illegal to pass slow or stationary traffic on the left – and where there is a cycle lane, a cyclist is highly likely to be passing a queue of stationary traffic to their right. 

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11. The message might finally be getting through about dangerous potholes on British roads...

Surrey pothole (Barzi28 via Twitter).jpg

Going down the compensation route might be a lengthy process, but you were generally positive towards the case of a Twitter user who detailed his successful case against Surrey Council for damage his bike sustained while going over a deep pothole. Hopefully this might set some sort of deterrent, and it's the start of councils being quicker to fix dangerous potholes on UK roads in the future. 

Read more here 





Arriving at in 2017 via 220 Triathlon Magazine, Jack dipped his toe in most jobs on the site and over at eBikeTips before being named the new editor of in 2020, much to his surprise. His cycling life began during his students days, when he cobbled together a few hundred quid off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story) and bought his first road bike - a Trek 1.1 that was quickly relegated to winter steed, before it was sadly pinched a few years later. Creatively replacing it with a Trek 1.2, Jack mostly rides this bike around local cycle paths nowadays, but when he wants to get the racer out and be competitive his preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking - the latter being another long story.  

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harman_mogul | 6 years ago

Young Alfie Earl climbed Mont Ventoux (sic).

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