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Peloton reckon they're the perfect Mother's Day gift; Cycling bad for your health, says former French minister for... health; Cyclist knocked off by 10ft wave from 4x4; The worst road in Britain?; New petrol to give city cyclists cleaner air?; & more

All of the latest news from around the web
05 March 2020, 21:28
Peloton reckon they're the perfect Mother's Day gift
peloton ad mother's day - via facebook.PNG

Stuck for something to make yer mam feel particularly special this Mother's Day? Well nothing says 'I love you' like squandering two and a bit grand on a exercise bike that she will have to then continue paying an expensive subscription for to continue using, according to Youtuber-suing, supposedly sexist ad-making, heavy loss-making spin bike corporation Peloton via an ad from their Facebook page

That's right, Peloton are inviting prospective customers to "treat Mum to the ultimate fitness experience"... and mother even gets a free gift to sweeten the deal, what looks to be either a branded trucker cap or a fire extinguisher. 

The comments are of course absolute gold... 

peloton ad.PNG


05 March 2020, 14:49
Cycling "bad for your health", says the actual former French health minister
Rue de Vaugirard after (Paris en Commune)

In her bid to become the next mayor of Paris, the former French Minister for Health Agnès Buzyn has claimed on a national TV debate that cycling is bad for your health due to breathing in polluted air.

It appears that Buzyn is rather against plans set out by current mayor Anne Hidalgo to build a bike lane on every Parisian street. The plan would see Paris become "100%" bike-friendly by 2024, and policies under Hidalgo have already reduced motor traffic by 22.6% from 2014 to 2020. Last year alone, motor traffic dropped by 8%.

The fact that increasing active travel levels generally results in cleaner air seems to have passed Buzyn by. French speakers can try to make sense of her rather misguided logic in the clip below...

Last year, after pension reform strikes brought the city's transport system to a near-halt, many Parisians took to their bicycles to get around. As we reported last month, many seem to be sticking with it. 

05 March 2020, 14:00
British Cycling get one million more women on bikes

British Cycling has achieved its goal of getting 1 million more women cycling.

The NGB set the goal in 2013 with the aim of meeting the target by 2020. It's a great sign of the growing popularity of cycling in Britain and they're aiming to push on in the future.

In the video, we see some of the stats showing the growth in women's participation. According to BC 1,023,271 more women are now cycling, while at the competitive end of the spectrum, British women have won 57 elite world titles, 8 Paralympic titles and 2 Olympic titles.

Back in 2012, a study suggested that nine in ten women aged over 30 were scared to take part in outdoor exercise due to varying factors.

05 March 2020, 12:29
Is this the worst road in Britain?

The Shropshire Star is reporting on a local B-road that residents are suggesting could be a danger to life.

One of our favourite Facebook pages, Angry People in Local Newspapers caught on to the story about the offending road, which after a bit of digging (pun absolutely intended), turns out to be the B4379 which forms part of National Cycle Route 81.

So, what would you take down this road? Aero race bike, winter hack, or maybe a full-sus MTB. 

Also, if you've seen a worse road and have photo evidence, we'd love to see the pics down in the comments below.

05 March 2020, 12:27
Cyclist knocked off bike on A4 by wave from 4x4 driving through standing water
Car_water_splash via WikiCommons

Thatcham North East Lib Dem Councillour, Lee Dillon, has claimed that he witnessed a cyclist on the A4 being knocked off their bike by a 10ft wave created when a BMW 4x4 passed them through standing water.

The Reading Chronicle reports that Dillon made the claim during a debate around adding extra funding to tackle flooding. 

Fixing the issue of standing water is not easy and Dillon pointed out that “the only way that you can deal with these types of drainage issues, is by sending out pumping trucks to be able to go and pump the drains there and then."

Acording to the Reading Cronicle, Dillon and opposition councillors are asking for an extra £50,000 for unblocking drains. "This money can help us towards that, making the district safer for us all.”

05 March 2020, 11:20
Strade Bianche officially postponed
Jakob Fuglsang (right) with Julian Alaphilippe at 2019 Strade Bianche (picture credit RCS Sport).JPG

If you were planning on watching the modern classic on Saturday then we're sorry to break it to you, but the race has been postponed. 

RCS, the race organiser has reportedly informed teams that the race on the chalk roads of Tuscany will not take place on Saturday.

We're yet to get the details from RCS, but the race is likely to be run at a later date.

More to follow.

05 March 2020, 09:35
Cleaner air for city cyclists from new petrol standard?
Petrol pump (licensed CC BY 2.0 by isox4 on Flickr)

The Government is currently assessing a move to a new standard petrol grade which could cut CO2 transport emissions by 750,000 tonnes per year, improving the air quality for city-centre cyclists.

A move from an E5-grade to an E10-grade fuel would bring the UK into line with countries such as Belgium, Finland, France and Germany where the cleaner fuel is already standard. The benefit of the E10 fuel is that it contains less carbon and more ethanol than the current E5.

According to the Department for Transport, the move could cut CO2 transport emissions by 750,000 tonnes per year. The new fuel policy could be brought in at the start of next year, but will this result in cleaner air, especially in cities? 

05 March 2020, 10:16
Canadian brand Louis Garnaeu to file for bankruptcy protection
Garnaeu Logo

Bicycle Retailer is reporting that the Canadian cycling brand Louis Garneau will also lay-off 66 employees at its HQ in Quebec.

In a statement, the founder and president Louis Garneau said that the cause was two large European clients filing for bankruptcy 36 months ago that created 'a significant strain on our cash flow'.

Louis Garneau was exclusively distributed in the UK by a well-known cycling retailer, but the statement does not point the blame at a specific name.

We'll have more on this as we get it.

05 March 2020, 10:28
Is a Boonen comeback a possibility?
Tom Boonen wins Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic 2016 (pic - RideLondon).jpg

Tommeke might be on his way back to professional racing after apparently being inspired by fellow Belgian legend Kim Clijsters.

The tennis star recently announced her return to the court after a seven-year absence and it seems to have got Boonen thinking about a possible return.

Speaking on a radio show after a listener posed the question about a return, Boonen said "I sometimes wonder about this. Last week I asked myself, 'How easy or difficult would it be?' I sometimes ask myself this question. Certainly a little more since Kim's return, who is on everyone's lips.  I ask myself this question because I will be 40 at the end of this year. If I have to do it once, it's now or never. But I haven't said anything and decided yet"

Boonen has switched over to racing cars, so he's been keeping in good shape. We might be clutching at straws here, but to see him try for a fifth Paris-Roubaix win would be great.

05 March 2020, 09:09
Team Ineos withdraw from racing until 23rd March
chris froome ineos 2020 autographs

Citing the tragic news of the death of their Sports Director Nicolas Portal and the current Coronavirus confusion, Team Ineos has decided to suspend their race calendar until Volta a Catalunya.

The move sees the team pulling out of several major Italian races alongside some Belgian Semi-Classics and short stage races. 

In a statement posted on the team's website, team boss Sir Dave Brailsford said:

"This is a uniquely sad moment for everyone at the Team. We have lost someone we all loved very much and are all grieving for Nico. I would like to thank everyone for their messages following the tragic news yesterday. They have really meant a lot to us all as we try to come to terms with this terrible news. Nico meant the world to us as a Team and it is genuinely touching to know how much he also meant to everyone else across the sport.

We are taking this decision to put a temporary pause on racing today because of this unique set of circumstances we are facing. It is right for the Team given what has happened but I also believe it is in the best interests of both cycling and the wider public.

Cycling is a uniquely mobile sport. We have a duty of care both to our riders and staff but also to the people living in the areas where we race. We do not want to be in a position where our riders become potentially infected or quarantined on race as has already happened. Equally, we are acutely aware that these are difficult times for all local health services and we do not want to put any additional pressure or burden whatsoever upon them when all their focus should rightly be on their own local population. Recent events at the UAE Tour have illustrated some of these challenges for cycling as a sport. 

This pause will give us the time to grieve for Nico in private, to support each other at what is a very sad moment and to treasure the memory of a great and much-loved teammate and friend. We hope everyone will understand why this is so important to us."

The team will return to racing at the Volta a Catalunya, a week-long stage race in Catalunya.

05 March 2020, 08:54
Construction begins on Europe's longest cycling bridge. Can you guess where it is?

Congratulations, Holland was indeed the correct answer.

The bridge is being built to connect a new-build village to the closest town and spans a nature reserve, a river and a motorway.

Speaking to local newspaper Dagblad van het Noorden, Reinder Lanting, who worked on the project, said that the "bridge is not going to rot. That is because it is technically well designed. The wood is not pressed together but has a sort of venting system".

That 'ventilated' wood means that the bridge is designed to last for at least 80 years and pitches to a maximum gradient of 2.5%. 

Currently, the longest cycling bridge in Europe measures 756m and is located in southern Sweeden. Neither bridge comes close to the Chinese effort of 7.6km.

You can read our story on that one here.

05 March 2020, 08:50
295km Milan to SanRemo TT anyone?

A very painful idea in our eyes, but one guy is keen. Would you be up for this? Time trialists, let us know in the comments below.

05 March 2020, 08:34
Where are we at with races being cancelled?
coronavirus pool noodle - credit unknown

Seeing as this is all getting a tad confusing, let's start with a run-down of the latest situation.

Firstly, the Italian Government is stating that all sporting events will be required to play-out behind closed doors. What does this mean for bike races? Well, that's bad news as the organisers have no control over roadside spectators.

Not that the race organisers have provided a clear picture yet. RCS is yet to release a statement on the block of races coming up in the next few weeks.

Their hand may be forced by the teams who are gradually pulling out of varying numbers of races. Some, like FDJ, Cofidis, and Team UAE Emirates have riders and staff quarantined until 14th March, so could not field a team anyway.

Others, like Mitchelton-Scott and Team Ineos are taking the cautious approach of withdrawing from all races for the time being. They may well have seen the situation in the UAE and decided that they'd rather avoid a quarantine situation.

The UCI, well, they've imposed some guidelines and announced that no races are currently cancelled. Those guidelines include

  • Increasing the distance between the public and riders, particularly in the start and finish zones.

  • Respecting a strict medical protocol, variable depending on the country, but in any case including a process for dealing with suspected cases and the provision of a detailed map of establishments capable of carrying out diagnostic tests for the coronavirus.

  • Limiting the number of teams staying in each hotel.

  • Respecting certain hygiene measures, for example avoiding the use of the same pen by riders signing in at the beginning of the race.

Clear now? Yea, we thought not...

Add new comment


eburtthebike | 4 years ago

 E10 petrol saving the planet?  No.  I knew I'd seen this somewhere. 

"New cars producing more carbon dioxide than older models"

peted76 | 4 years ago

I must say that whenever I've ridden in Shropshire, it makes me very grateful for my local roads, which frankly aren't the best, but they're not.. y'know.. #Shropshireroads

Is this the UK's worst county for road repair?


eburtthebike | 4 years ago

I'm slightly confused by BC's claim to have got a million more women cycling: where are they?  Especially when there are plenty of reports and data of cycling rates falling or remaining steady

and the graphs on this CUK page

If there are a million more women cycling now than in 2013, why don't the figures reflect that?

Philh68 replied to eburtthebike | 4 years ago

Must be including all the men who bought their wife a Peloton as a gift 

eburtthebike replied to Philh68 | 4 years ago

Possible, but not listed in the video as one of the reasons so many women are now cycling.  Or are they?  A million new people start cycling but the data shows no change or a decline in cycling?

Awavey replied to eburtthebike | 4 years ago

its supposed to be measured through the British Cycling Annual survey, in the past it was stated they had GfK NOP survey about 10,000 people, and then extrapolate the results to the population as a whole. You get counted then if you cycle "regularly" which they define as at least once per month, or "frequently" once per week, so technically if you cycled 11 times one year, and 12 the next, and been influenced to increase your cycling by a British Cycling programme, youd be counted.

Im presuming the methodology theyve used is comparable since they started the campaign 7 years back, and its simply the numbers churning out are now 1million higher for women cyclists, whether that should tie in with other cycling surveys numbers I doubt

hawkinspeter | 4 years ago

What is it with ministers/politicians and focussing on the wrong aspects of things?

If you've got poor air quality, then the obvious solution is to stop putting out so much polution into it - not reduce how much breathing that people do.

There's also the argument about whether you get exposed to more pollution by cycling or sitting in traffic, but I don't think the evidence is very strong either way for that (which is also a reason why it shouldn't be "driving" policies).

dobbo996 replied to hawkinspeter | 4 years ago

She's talking to her base, in this case drivers who feel they're being pushed off the streets of Paris. Facts, truth and common sense don't come into it. Many politicians use this tactic, and it works.  

hawkinspeter replied to dobbo996 | 4 years ago
dobbo996 wrote:

She's talking to her base, in this case drivers who feel they're being pushed off the streets of Paris. Facts, truth and common sense don't come into it. Many politicians use this tactic, and it works.  

You're right, but personally I don't see how cycle lanes will make much difference to the drivers in Paris - the roads are very congested. They've got a good metro system though, so maybe drivers aren't the majority there.

Philh68 replied to hawkinspeter | 4 years ago

It’s the planned removal of 72% of on-street parking to make room for the cycle lanes, there’s no point of driving a car if you can’t find 12m2 of public space to store your vehicle for hours on end both near home and work. If it gets too hard to enjoy a car, more will give them up and use alternatives, reducing traffic congestion. This Hildago policy exposes the hypocrites who want cyclists out of their way and in their own space, but don’t want to give up their own selfish use of space to achieve it. But they’ve got no answer to it, so they resort to absurd statements.

HarrogateSpa replied to Philh68 | 4 years ago

I believe the plan is 50% of parking spaces to go - source here - but I could be wrong.

I also think are wrong when they say she is planning a bike lane on every street. She says every street should be cycleable, which is not the same thing. It seems it might be a network of 15 bike routes, 170m in total. Still great.

brooksby replied to HarrogateSpa | 4 years ago
HarrogateSpa wrote:

I believe the plan is 50% of parking spaces to go - source here - but I could be wrong.

I also think are wrong when they say she is planning a bike lane on every street. She says every street should be cycleable, which is not the same thing. It seems it might be a network of 15 bike routes, 170m in total. Still great.

Wow - 170 metres really isn't all that ambitious...  3


Dangerous Dan replied to hawkinspeter | 4 years ago
1 like
hawkinspeter wrote:

They've got a good metro system though, so maybe drivers aren't the majority there.

Indeed.  My fondest memory of my time in Paris last fall was having a team of pickpockets on the Metro try the push and grab to get my wallet from my cargo pants, and the fun of slaming the grabber into the wall of the train car and pinning him there by the throat until I verified that I still had my wallet.

The tandem had broken down and we had to take the metro. The 5Km trip took as long as it would to ride. If I lived there riding year round would be the way to go.

This is stupid political posturing at its worst. I consider myself a small government conservative / libertarian, so I can't see why automobiles should get a huge subsidy.  Oh well, what do I know.

2Loose replied to hawkinspeter | 4 years ago

Agreed, but plenty of different reports\studies out there which show drivers breathe in more polution than cyclists.  Even taller pedestrians are better off.

carlosdsanchez | 4 years ago

It's not nice being hit by a puddle, or muddy field run off in this case

If I'd got clear footage of the numberplate the police said they would have prosecuted the driver.

S13SFC | 4 years ago
1 like

The road in Shifnal is a shocker and has, basically, fallen apart this winter.

What's even more of a concern for me is that the roads get even worse just a few miles away when you crossover into Staffordshire.

Richard_pics replied to S13SFC | 4 years ago

That is utter pony!! I know Shifnal, and its a relativley nice little town. This is shameful!

kil0ran replied to S13SFC | 4 years ago

I'm guessing it's a bit of a rat run to the M54 if it's the one I think it is, people hopping across from the A5 there rather than going through central Telford.

Down here in Hampshire it's much the same. Permanent standing water plus heavy traffic just seems to grind away the surface. Two massive holes in the road I live on have just had the white paint treatment, which is handy because there's huge chunks of aggregage strewn across the road.

Simon E replied to S13SFC | 4 years ago

Going by the photo in the Star article it's much worse than a section of Welshpool Road in Shrewsbury. Scrolling down to the comments I see two people have already said the same.

That French politician is merely trying to differentiate herself from Hidalgo. She also probably hasn't considered that anything "good for cyclists" is good for pedestrians - which is everybody once they get off a bike or out of their car.

The European Environment Agency (EEA) said last month that "Switching to cycling and public transport is 'essential' to hit sustainability targets":

TfL's Will Norman subsequently tweeted that 2 million people are at risk of type 2 diabetes and 1 in 6 NHS beds are occupied by people with diabetes. And that's just a single condition linked with the current obesity epidemic, before we even being to consider issues like the impact of road casualties or the role of transport-based air and noise pollution affecting health.

As we know already, the answers are staring us in the face.

eburtthebike replied to S13SFC | 4 years ago
1 like

There is a pothole near me which has been repaired three times, last time in January; less than a month later, it was worse than ever, so I reported it again.  They had no explanation as to why the repair hadn't lasted even a month.  More than a month later, it's still not filled in.

The problem is that the government have taken so much money from local authorities that they can no longer manage the work load of the existing road network, but the government plans to construct more roads, creating more traffic, wearing out the roads quicker.  When I say government, I use it in the loosest sense, not the logical ordering of events by rational people.

Captain Badger | 4 years ago

RE cyclist knocked off by 10 foot wave, the article states that

A CYCLIST was knocked off his bike after a car splashed a 10-foot wave, caused by blocked drains, a councillor has claimed.

Of course, the wave was not caused by blocked drains, more by careless driving. 

brooksby replied to Captain Badger | 4 years ago
1 like
Captain Zhap wrote:

RE cyclist knocked off by 10 foot wave, the article states that

A CYCLIST was knocked off his bike after a car splashed a 10-foot wave, caused by blocked drains, a councillor has claimed.

Of course, the wave was not caused by blocked drains, more by careless driving. 

I don't think it's necessarily careless driving.

It falls somewhere betweeen utter laziness ("What? Turn my wheel, or wait, so I don't drench the plebs on the footpath?") or even a You've Been Framed type game ("Oooh - let's see how big a splash I can make!").

Captain Badger replied to brooksby | 4 years ago

My understanding is that it can fall under driving without due care and attention.

I was (poorly) making the point that the media is yet again making the incident the fault of anyone but the motorist. In this instance, it's the condition of the drains. Although the drains issue is unacceptable, it is the motorist's responsibility to drive to the conditions at all time.

I agree wholeheartedly with your second paragraph, but I'd add that the game might be that of splashing the cyclist.


Hirsute replied to Captain Badger | 4 years ago

RAC says

Under section three of the Road Traffic Act 1988, it is illegal to splash someone as it amounts to driving “without reasonable consideration for other persons.”

Those found guilty of deliberately driving through puddles and splashing pedestrians will likely be hit with a £100 fixed penalty notice and three penalty points if caught by police.

However, should motorists be deemed to be driving in a manner that “amounts to a clear act of incompetence, selfishness, impatience, and aggressiveness” then the maximum punishment of a £5,000 fine could be levelled.

If the Cllr got the reg, they should report it.




brooksby replied to Hirsute | 4 years ago
hirsute wrote:

Those found guilty of deliberately driving through puddles and splashing pedestrians will likely be hit with a £100 fixed penalty notice and three penalty points if caught by police.

I wonder: does "deliberately" mean that they turned the wheel to go through the puddle or does it mean that they didn't turn away from the puddle despite knowing what would happen?

Hirsute replied to brooksby | 4 years ago

As ever, 'context', 'reasonableness'.

Sounds like water was clearly deep and/or witnessed to be clearly deep, so any reasonable person would know the outcome of driving at speed through said water.


quiff replied to brooksby | 4 years ago
1 like

The offence is driving without reasonable consideration, and CPS charging guidance says is it's appropriate "when the driving amounts to a clear act of incompetence, selfishness, impatience or aggressiveness in addition to some other inconvenience to road users", including "driving through a puddle causing pedestrians to be splashed". So I'd say incompetently driving through a puddle and splashing someone is caught, even without malice.  

brooksby replied to Captain Badger | 4 years ago
1 like

Fair enough, Cap'n, I wasn't meaning to have a go yes

Captain Badger replied to brooksby | 4 years ago

Touche, I posted, and then thought, that sounds a bit grumpy!

Note to self, reread before hitting save!

Rik Mayals unde... replied to brooksby | 4 years ago
1 like

See what the dickhead was driving? BMW. Enough said. 


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