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London Edinburgh London cyclist breaks bike, builds up new one, finishes anyway; Dan Bigham attempting Hour record next week; Mads 'Picasso' Pedersen; Mayor of Okehampton talks cycling; Ride with Pidcock (on Zwift, in a heatwave); + more on the live blog

It's Friday, everyone's off on holiday so Jack Sexty is running a slightly reduced live blog service for you today, with a terrible connection (cheers BT). It'll be fun, promise...
12 August 2022, 14:40
Jean-Jacques Sempé, France's most famous cartoonist who created numerous great cycling illustrations, dies aged 89
Jean Jacques_ Sempé - CC BY-SA 3.0 wikimedia commons

Sempé died a few days before his 90th birthday, and as well as his children's book illustrations and works depicting the countryside and cities, he also created over 100 covers for the New Yorker, including a number of cycling-themed ones... 

12 August 2022, 14:34
Michael Hordern on an ice cream trike? BBC Archive, you're spoiling us!

For many he was a theatre giant and the voice of Paddington Bear, but did you know the late great Sir Michael Hordern also used to ride around an airfield on a trike to prepare for World War Two? Enjoy this delightful footage from 1981... 

12 August 2022, 13:31
#WATCH out for Chris Froome at the Vuelta

Apparently Chris Froome is ready for the rest of the season, and his watch sponsor Withings definitely had absolutely nothing to do with him telling us so on social media. Between this and the UCI Hour Record timed by Tissot, we're also looking forward to the cycling next week and the additional promotion it will bring to luxury wristwear brands. 

12 August 2022, 13:28
More fan mail
roadcc fan mail

Our readers come from all walks of life... keep 'em coming!

12 August 2022, 13:09
Stepan speaks! The guy who broke his bike and built up a new one to finish London Edinburgh London
Stepan Aubrecht LEL bike 4 - credit Stepan Aubrecht.JPG

Thanks to the LEL organisers we've been put in touch with Stepan Aubrecht of the Czech Republic, who was having none of it when his seat stays gave way and simply built a new bike to complete the brutal 1,500km audax. 

> What do you need to ride London Edinburgh London? Matt Page's bike and equipment

For many of us fixing a puncture mid-ride is frustrating enough, but Stepan went into town, bought a frameset and did a full rebuild; this was only just past the halfway point. 

Stepan Aubrecht LEL bike 3 - credit Stepan Aubrecht.JPG

As you can see Stepan didn't scrimp on the new frame he hastily bought, going for a carbon Cinelli Veltrix, and with what looks like Di2 shifters on the tri bars this wouldn't have been a super straightforward rebuild either. Other parts saved from the broken bike include some AbsoluteBlack oval chainrings, Hunt wheels and Alpkit framebags. 

Stepan couldn't speak for long as he tells us he's on his way back to the Czech Republic right now, but says the exhaustion isn't quite so bad because he had "that long stop at Dunfermline"... this definitely calls for a great big chapeau! 

12 August 2022, 12:51
Experience Blackpool illuminations by bike
Blackpool Illuminations Ride the Lights 2019 (VisitBlackpool)

The popular and sometimes notorious seaside town of Blackpool is having its annual illuminations switch on event in September as usual, with comedian Johnny Vegas doing the honours this time. If you have a bike and want to get a preview, though, you can head to Blackpool on Tuesday 30th August when the roads will be closed to motor traffic to give cyclists the chance to enjoy the illuminations three days before the official switch on. Roads are closed to cars from 6.30pm till 10.30pm, and the ride is happening between 7pm and 10pm. 

12 August 2022, 12:42
Must be the heat...

We reckon Killer Steve possibly isn't in on the joke here... 

12 August 2022, 12:20
Another great story from London Edinburgh London

After our own Matt Page became the first to finish earlier this week and another rider decided he was done and donated his bike in Dunfermline, we've just heard the story of Stepan Aubrecht from the Czech Republic who broke his rear seat stays, bought a new frameset, built it up with parts from his old bike and still managed to finish; strangely, this also happened somewhere around Dunfermline.

We'll be looking to speak to Stepan in the coming few days after he's had a rest... it's been an eventful return for LEL that's for sure! 

12 August 2022, 11:46
"Might is not right": one of those new Highway Code rules in action

This is nice to see, although an article we'll be publishing later has a slightly less positive take on how cyclists and pedestrians feel since the Highway Code changes were made earlier this year. Stay tuned... 

12 August 2022, 10:24
Ride with Tom Pidcock... on Zwift, when it's 30c outside
Tom Pidcock on Zwift (Zwift)

To be fair there is some rain forecast on Monday when the Zwift ride is taking place so perhaps it's perfect timing, but even so if you're interested it's going to be a clammy one. Pidcock is leading the ride to celebrate his victory on Alpe d'Huez during this year's Tour de France, which he says was "was one of the best experiences of [his] life."

The ride will of course be on the virtual Alpe du Zwift route, and we have it on pretty good authority Pidders will be pedalling despite his running talents. It starts at 6pm UK time, Monday 15th August, and you can sign up here

12 August 2022, 09:41
The Mayor of Okehampton 'speaks to Australia and New Zealand' in cycling podcast
Mayor of Okehampton Bob Tolley - via facebook
The Mayor in his finest regalia (via Facebook)


We were quite bemused by this headline from Okehampton Today, and had to do a bit of digging...

It turns out Bob Tolley, the Major of Okehampton, was invited onto the Trail Towns podcast to talk about what Devon has to offer for cycling tourists, as the presenters of Trail Towns happened to be visiting. 

After some ribbing of us Brits for not being able to cope with 40c temperatures, the presenters talk to the "anxious" Mayor Tolley from around 29 mins into the podcast, who talks about new infrastructure in Okehampton and the 99-mile Devon Coast to Coast route that passes through the town. Have a listen here, and after that do listen to the Podcast of course if you haven't already... 

12 August 2022, 09:18
Mads 'Picasso' Pedersen

We actually thought this was serious for a minute, but it appears Mads isn't mad and is fully in on the joke. I just sent this to our graphic designer who is taking the rest of the day off to recover from a vicious Comic Sans-related assault... 

12 August 2022, 09:05
Dan Bigham to take on the UCI Hour Record next Friday 19th August
Dan Bigham breaks British Hour Record

Less than a year after breaking Bradley Wiggins' British Hour Record with a distance of 54.723km, the aero supremo and very very good cyclist Dan Bigham will be taking on the world best mark of 55.089km, currently held by Victor Campenaerts.

> Dan Bigham on the podcast

Bigham's day job is as the performance engineer for Ineos Grenadiers, and we're continually impressed by his ability to balance this with being an elite time trial and track rider who is up there with the best. Just last week, Bigham was competing at the Commonwealth Games and was second behind Rohan Dennis through the first checkpoint of the road time trial, before suffering a heavy crash and eventually finishing down in 12th.

Bigham won't be going too far in his search for the perfect high altitude velodrome (Campenaerts' attempt took place in the Velodromo Bicentenario in Mexico) but he will be heading to the suitably high up Tissot Velodrome in Grenchen, Switzerland for his attempt. The day before Bigham broke the British record here last year, his partner Joss Lowden also broke the women's Hour Record with a distance of 48.405km. 

Here is Bigham's full quote we've been sent from Ineos, which seems unusually honest and real for press material apart from the 'timed by Tissot' bit. We doubt he said that...

“The UCI Hour Record timed by Tissot has been a massive thing in my life for the past few years, since I first attempted one as a student in 2014. I’m excited about the prospect of seeing what I can do against the clock again, with the support of the team behind me.
“Physically I’ve moved on since becoming a part of the INEOS Grenadiers. As much as my workload is high, it’s been nice to have everything I do consolidated within one place. It means I can be so much more organised in how and when I can train, while having the full support of the team - not just in allowing me to train, but enabling me to train efficiently. It’s been great to bounce ideas off so many fantastic people within the team and I’ve been welcomed with open arms.
“And having access to all of the team’s partners has been massive for me. The amount of support that Pinarello have put into this project by bringing a new, incredibly high-level bike to the table in such a short space of time is pretty astronomical. We’ve done a huge amount of skin suit testing with Bioracer over the past six months too. It’s been really impressive and I feel like I’m in a really good position on that front. Some of the ideas that we’ve implemented across the whole package have been left field but wholly adopted. It’s been such a progressive project to be involved in.
“We want to create a blueprint for future UCI Hour Record timed by Tissot attempts but it’s not just limited to track - every single week the team are competing in time trials on the road and there’s a huge amount of detail that we’ve gone into that will help improve our time trialling in many different respects. Whether that’s pacing strategies, thermal management or equipment development, it all ties in. There’s so much that we can bring forward to keep the team ahead on the road.”

Anywhere there ya go, something to look forward to next Friday. We haven't been told a time yet but we're presuming it will be in the afternoon, and the attempt will be streamed for free on the Ineos Grenadiers’ YouTube channel and Facebook page.

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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wycombewheeler | 1 year ago

I can't help but wonder, if carrying a workstand and all the tools required to rebuild a bike might have been the reason for the chainstays failing.

wtjs | 1 year ago
1 like

I just want to thank for bringing us that fantastic clip of Michael Hordern's early wartime experiences! I have never heard of that particular training technique before. Hordern was right on the ball, correcting himself immediately after describing it as a lot of fun by pointing it out that being killed in a fighter aircraft wasn't so much fun.

Cocovelo | 1 year ago

Hope your gears were indexed well Stepan! Asking for a friend....

Owd Big 'Ead | 1 year ago
1 like

7 measly months for taking another person's life?
Even with a previous conviction for careless driving and using excessive speed leading up to the unfortunate incident on a clear, straight road.
The judge will be getting some incoming post in the next few days as his thoughts on the case are so pro-motorist that he needs a reminder that bias shouldn't affect his judgement.
Oh, woeful reporting by the local rag for good measure!

AlsoSomniloquism replied to Owd Big 'Ead | 1 year ago

Judge "This was not a prolonged case of very bad driving....."

Also Judge "Also, it is a fact that three minutes earlier you had been behind a Peugeot speeding and you had to take evasive action to avoid that Peugeot, you had to move over the white centre line because you were too close."

So how many minutes of speeding does it take for it to be a prolonged case of bad driving?

nosferatu1001 replied to AlsoSomniloquism | 1 year ago

"Was there inappropriate speed? Yes, it's not excessive speed but you were driving at above the speed limit."
how can being above the speed limit not be, by bloody definition, excessive?!

IanMSpencer replied to nosferatu1001 | 1 year ago
1 like

The judge also thinks that momentary inattention appears to be a mitigation for a lorry driver.

I wonder if, trying a doctor in a case of wrongful death during surgery, would he consider it acceptable that the doctor nicked a bowel during a momentary lapse or removed the wrong kidney?

Given that driving without due care and attention is in itself an offence without causing any other harm, how come not paying attention to the road is, by inference from his comments, an acceptable and understandable behaviour in a fatal accident?

I'd like to see sentencing guidelines that treat momentary lapses as an aggravating factor, not a mitigation because it tells us people are not taking driving seriously..

Secret_squirrel | 1 year ago

Stepan FTW at next years TCR!

mdavidford | 1 year ago

All walks of life - but perhaps not all walking and chewing gum at the same time...

Patrick9-32 | 1 year ago
Mungecrundle replied to Patrick9-32 | 1 year ago

Pensioners are the new scapegoats of road safety. But it's Cambridge, they'll be back to complaining about cyclists not paying red light tax or something soon enough.

David9694 replied to Mungecrundle | 1 year ago

Tell me again about the killer cyclists 

Oldfatgit replied to Mungecrundle | 1 year ago

The 80 year old that hit me, left me unable to walk for 4 months, and gave me life changing injuries got 6 points.
As he agreed to driving carelessly at the roadside, it was dealt with by FPN.

AlsoSomniloquism replied to Oldfatgit | 1 year ago
1 like

Apparently being hit by a pensioner is a rare occurence. 

David9694 replied to Patrick9-32 | 1 year ago

This seals it. If you can be let off Careless Driving by pleading dementia or whatever then the system has to be far greater supervision and testing - for older drivers a a minimum, but I'd be happy to include all.

brooksby replied to Patrick9-32 | 1 year ago


Mrs Robertson, of Stables Yard in Waterbeach, was driving home from the supermarket when she turned into the path of an oncoming van, forcing it on to the pavement where it hit the mum and baby, the trial heard.

Louis [Thorold, the baby] was pronounced dead on arrival at hospital.

Mrs Thorold [his mother] spent 10 days in a coma and 118 days in hospital, with her husband Chris describing her survival as "miraculous".

Mrs Robertson denied causing the infant's death by careless driving.

During the trial, James Leonard, defending, said Mrs Robertson was "ill-equipped to negotiate" the junction due to her dementia, while prosecutor David Matthew said that while there was "strong evidence" she had dementia, there was the question of "where on the slope of dementia Shelagh Robertson was in January 2021".


The judge, Mark Bishop, told jurors that if they were satisfied on the balance of probabilities that the defendant had dementia at the time, and either did not know what she was doing or did not know that what she was doing was wrong, they could return a special verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity.


Speaking after the trial, Det Sgt Mark Dollard, from the road policing unit for Cambridgeshire, said: ... "I would urge anyone who is concerned about a family member or friend and their ability to drive to speak up, discuss your concerns with your loved one or alternatively speak to your GP who can submit their concerns to the DVLA."

Quite unbelievable, really...


Awavey replied to brooksby | 1 year ago
1 like

Dare we ask if the pensioner driver concerned has given up their licence to drive now ?

brooksby replied to Awavey | 1 year ago

That's the thing, isn't it?  If she was found 'not guilty' then nobody can actually take it off her...

nosferatu1001 replied to brooksby | 1 year ago
1 like

The court would report this to the dvla. No chance of her retaining her licence. 

mdavidford | 1 year ago

Right now, a bit of rain would seem like an excellent reason to go for a ride outside.

brooksby | 1 year ago

"Might is not right" - Wow.  Someone's spouse must ride a bike... 

TheBillder replied to brooksby | 1 year ago

And an Audi... Many others need to learn this - I saw a fairly close left hook on an electric wheelchair user just this morning, on the infamous zig-zag Leith Walk lane in Edinburgh. No suggestion at all that the driver had seen the wheeler or thought it wasn't the greatest idea. Shrug from the wheeler made me think this was fairly normal.

BalladOfStruth | 1 year ago

Title's confusing me, "A third of UK cyclists Dan Bigham to take on the Hour record next Friday".


Rich_cb replied to BalladOfStruth | 1 year ago

I knew cycling had a low modal share in the UK but I didn't realise we were down to just three of us.

BalladOfStruth replied to Rich_cb | 1 year ago

Must be the heat. Bloody part-time commuters.

Jack Sexty replied to BalladOfStruth | 1 year ago

We're experiencing connection issues, bear with us. Just to clarify as good as Dan Bigham is he is not one third of UK cyclists!

PRSboy | 1 year ago

Good luck Mr Bigham!  Will be tuning into the live stream to cheer you on.

Its only another 367m, how hard can that be...

SoliD | 1 year ago

When is Ganna attempting it, was supposed to be in the month post TDF

Joe Nation replied to SoliD | 1 year ago
1 like

He was due to go in august I think, but put it off a couple of weeks ago. Maybe that's why Dan's got a shout now, because the team had arranged everything for Ganna.

Meanwhile in my head, all I can hear is "At the third stroke the time, sponsored by Accurist, will be...".

Rendel Harris replied to SoliD | 1 year ago
1 like

SoliD wrote:

When is Ganna attempting it, was supposed to be in the month post TDF

He said in July that it wasn't a priority for him and that he although he had it pencilled in for August 23/24th he didn't want to lose focus on the Tour so was putting it off until after the World Championships at least and possibly into 2023.


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