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Former footballer Peter Crouch launches bizarre rant about cyclists riding two-abreast and drinking "double oat milk"; Sagan undergoes heart procedure; Bike lane-blocking sign asks...please don't block car wash; Lefevere backtracks + more on the live blog

Almost time for the weekend, just one more day to get through... one more live blog with Dan Alexander to (hopefully) keep you entertained, and then we can all ride off into sunset...

SUMMARY

23 February 2024, 15:20
Former footballer Peter Crouch launches bizarre rant about cyclists riding two-abreast and drinking "double oat milk"

We've got a new anti-cycling ranter to bring you this Friday... introducing... former England striker and Premier League journeyman... Peter Crouch...

 The retired footballer, famous for his distinctive build and robot goal celebration, has turned into something of a media personality since hanging up his boots, regularly appearing on TV and podcasts. We can't say we've listened to it before... but the most recent episode of his own podcast, 'The Therapy Crouch', involved his wife listening, apparently fairly baffled by his disgust, while he launched into a minute-long rant about cyclists...

Crouch was clinical in front of goal early on, tapping in some of the old favourites with ease... "I do have an issue with the cyclist thing... you don't have to be a knob... you don't have to run people over on the pavement... you don't have to go through red lights whenever you feel like it..."

"You don't have to be a knob" is sound life advice, to be fair, possibly for anyone podcasting to a major audience too, perhaps? Anyway, onwards...

"You don't have to do that one, and I know the law says to do it, the one where you double bike," he continued, referring to two-abreast road positioning. Faced with the first questions from his wife, Crouch says he sees it all the time when driving...

> Why do cyclists ride two abreast?

"They do it to me on a country lane and you go, just go [single file] for one second and then I'll get past you. But they go, 'no, no, it's the rules, they told us to do it'. Piss off... and they wear them [those] silly little cleats in coffee shops."

"God, I didn't know Pete had such a hatred of bikers," co-host and wife Abbey Clancy concludes, before one more bizarre rant about cyclists not ordering normal coffees, instead going for a "frothuccino with double oat milk". Material not too dissimilar from a certain Jacob Rees-Mogg's extraordinary milk-tasting segment on GB News this week...

23 February 2024, 17:14
Fancy riding RideLondon 2024? Leukaemia UK has charity places available

Leukaemia UK has seven charity places left for RideLondon on Sunday 26 May, the charity telling us:

We would love for you to join team Leukaemia UK and be part of something spectacular! To secure your place in RideLondon, please click here https://www.leukaemiauk.org.uk/event/ride-london-may-2024/, and sign up today. We will be in touch with next steps and more information.

You'll get a Leukaemia UK jersey, challenge pack and access to the Leukaemia UK Strava group, as well as dedicated support from a cycle team lead, plus training advice. Email fundraising [at] leukaemiauk.org.uk if you're interested. 

23 February 2024, 17:00
Jonas Vingegaard is back winning bike races

Not that he ever went away... after taking it easy during yesterday's neutralised time trial, Jonas Vingegaard is back blowing up bike races again today, winning his first of 2024. That makes it two from two for Visma - Lease a Bike today, what they'd do to go two from two tomorrow... no pressure, Wout, Marianne, Christophe, Dylan and Co. 

23 February 2024, 16:47
Amazon delivery driver steals boy's bike from the garden after dropping a parcel, leaving him "heartbroken"
23 February 2024, 14:54
Pro cycling's carbon footprint — a road.cc podcast discussion
road.cc podcast episode 71 lead image

> "Our sport will wither and die if we refuse these sponsors": Sportswashing and pro cycling's carbon footprint discussed, plus LTNs vs dodgy data on the road.cc Podcast

Checked out the latest episode of the road.cc Podcast yet? In episode 71 we talk to Darach McQuaid, the former chairman and current advisor to pro cycling outfit GreenEDGE Cycling, to discuss some big elephants in the room when it comes to the dichotomy between professional cycling and cycling as a mode of transport.

A few of you who have listened had some thoughts on that...

mctrials23: "My issue with all these complaints is that unless people want the money to drain out of sport, the richest companies who can afford to prop them up are always and I mean always scummy. You don't become a multi-billion dollar company by being nice.

"In the grand scheme of things, how bad is the Tour de France? I'm sure its not great but I imagine that a few thousand people's unnecessary journeys for the year equate to something similar. People celebrate the likes of Taylor Swift and don't really seem to care that she swans around the world on private jets on a whim. Basically, try and make it better without killing the sport but perhaps go after the really big-ticket items."

IanEdward: "I would love to see them doing something about the motorcade of vehicles that follows the peloton, I was struck by the visual of a solitary climber at the head of the race, high up some Alpine climb, almost indistinguishable against the background of cars and motorbikes behind him! I love the footage we get these days but is there not a better way?"

mark1a shared one of Dave Walker's brilliant cartoons...

23 February 2024, 14:16
24 hours to go...
23 February 2024, 13:59
Peter Sagan had abnormal tachycardic episode during MTB race, will undergo heart procedure today
Peter Sagan wins 2016 road world championships (Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com)

[Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com]

Three-time world champion Peter Sagan will undergo a heart procedure having experienced an abnormal tachycardic episode during a recent mountain bike race in Spain, when his heart rate exceeded 200bpm.

La Gazzetta dello Sport broke the news, the Slovakian rider who is concentrating his efforts on competing in mountain biking at the Paris Olympics following the end of a 15-year road career experiencing the unusually high heart rate at the Chelva mountain bike race near Valencia last weekend.

The procedure reportedly involves an ablation — the heating or freezing of part of the heart to create scar tissue in an attempt to correct the arrhythmia.

23 February 2024, 12:51
UAE Tour: Cav spotted sprinting (briefly), before Olav Kooij pips Time Merlier in tight photo finish

Olav Kooij won stage five... just... 

UAE Tour photo finish (Eurosport)

The lesser-spotted Mark Cavendish, who has been largely anonymous this week, appeared at the front following some strong lead-out work by his Astana Qazaqstan teammates, sprinted for a short while before pulling the plug and dropping back through the field. Save it all for July, Cav...

That left double stage winner Tim Merlier and Kooij to battle it out, the Team Visma | Lease a Bike fastman (it's going to take a while to get used to that name) just getting in front on the line. 

Over at Tour du Rwanda, a British rider for Israel - Premier Tech won the summit finish stage at Mont Kigali. Unfortunately for any Chris Froome fans reading, that winner was 21-year-old Joseph Blackmore... not the four-time Tour winner.

23 February 2024, 11:59
Cyclists welcome plans for 24-mile cycleway along HS2 as West Midlands mayor aims to enable cycling and walking as "natural first choice for short journeys"
23 February 2024, 11:41
"Driving is a privilege and not a right. We should take dangerous drivers off the road as soon as possible": West Midlands Walking and Cycling Commissioner Adam Tranter supports calls for police to be allowed to ban drug and drink drivers at the roadside
surrey police car - via surrey police.PNG

Adam Tranter has expressed support for calls from police chiefs for officers to be able to ban drink and drug drivers at the roadside. Chief Constable Jo Shiner, the National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC) lead for roads policing, took to the press calling for the immediate action to be allowed without need for a sentencing hearing at a magistrates' court. Currently, drivers charged with such offences are still able to drive in the time before they are sentenced.

The West Midlands-based walking and cycling commissioner Tranter said: "Driving is a privilege and not a right. We should take dangerous drivers off the road as soon as possible. Ordinarily, even those who kill people when driving will be able to keep driving until the case gets to court, sometimes years later."

Chief Constable Shiner said: "The ability for us to be able to disqualify people either for drink or drug-driving by the roadside would mean that we can immediately take that risk off the road. And those people can't be behind the wheel, particularly if they've blown well over the legal limit."

Force chiefs are said to be in early discussions looking at the way tests could be enforced to allow officers to ban drink and drug drivers immediately at the roadside.

"We should have greater sentencing and far greater sentences"

Shiner went on to call for tougher punishments for those who kill while under the influence, including potential murder charges.

"We should have greater sentencing and far greater sentences, particularly for those people who do kill or seriously injure people on the roads," she told Sky News.

"I actually do believe that if someone makes that decision to get behind the wheel, under the influence of drink or drugs, that is a conscious decision they have made to get into a vehicle and therefore to put other people at risk.

"I think we really do need to work hard on making sure that we're strengthening the sentencing and making sure that we are properly using, where we can, sentencing that is already available to us."

23 February 2024, 11:34
Two-time Tour de France stage winner Warren Barguil accused of cheating... for using e-bike on school run
Warren Barguil (Arkea Samsic), stage 20 of the 2023 Giro d’Italia (Zac Williams/SWpix.com)

[Zac Williams/SWpix.com]

Team dsm-firmenich climber Warren Barguil, winner of two stages and the KOM jersey at the 2017 Tour de France, told an amusing tale on Twitter this morning, namely how he, one of the most talented cyclists in the world, was accused of cheating by using an e-bike on the school run... by a fellow parent (driving a car)...

Firstly, for those at the back, e-bikes aren't cheating (unless motor doping), more people on bikes = a good thing. Barguil wrote on Twitter...

Someone made a comment to me the other day because I bring the children to school by electric bike, the mr tells me 'it's cheating on an e-bike' the Mr drops the children off by car 🤣🤣

23 February 2024, 10:15
Dan Martin talks road safety: "Going out on the bike every day, you do have near misses constantly in cycling, and that is scary"
Dan Martin (Simon Wilkinson/SWpix.com)

[Simon Wilkinson/SWpix.com]

Former pro Dan Martin has spoken to the Irish Times about road safety, explaining how the longer his career went on the more aware he became of the dangers both in racing, and just when training out on the road.

Martin was promoting the launch of a L’Étape de Tour sportive in Ireland, visiting the country for the first time in Killarney on September 7. However, the interview also came to the backdrop of yet another cyclist death on Irish roads, John Walsh the second UCD Cycling Club member to be killed in a collision in less than a year, after Gabriele Glodenyte was killed last May.

> Bereaved partner of rising cycling star killed in collision warns roads are "like a war zone" for cyclists

"Even when we're fortunate to live in Andorra, or Girona, there are so many vehicles on the road now. Going out on the bike every day, you do have near misses constantly in cycling, and that is scary," Martin said.

"I think everyone seems to be in such a rush now, to get anywhere, rushing to get to work, wherever. It's a difficult one, it comes from both sides as well, because cycling safety comes from the cyclist and the motorist. As far as being respectful of where you ride on the road. But also with the vehicle, the cars, there does seem to be a misunderstanding that a cyclist is a human being as well.

"I do believe the more people we get on bikes, the safer the roads will become. Because if everyone motorist knows a cyclist, or knows somebody who rides a bike, they're inevitably going to become more careful around cyclists. That's why it's about pushing the sport out there as far as we can, and get the understanding this is a son or daughter on a bike, not something in your way."

23 February 2024, 09:52
"As always, my Dutch is not always well understood": Patrick Lefevere claims Alaphilippe criticism was misunderstood
Patrick Lefevere (Zac Williams/SWpix.com)

[Zac Williams/SWpix.com]

Don't worry, folks. This appears to be the final thing to say on this, hopefully we can leave the whole episode after this week...

Patrick Lefevere sought to clarify his criticism of Julian Alaphilippe and partner Marion Rousse at a press conference ahead of this weekend's classics action. With Alaphilippe in the room, sat nearby as members of the press questioned Soudal Quick-Step's big names ahead of Omloop Het Nieuwsblad much of the attention was, naturally, on team boss Lefevere and the storm he caused this week.

> CPA accused of not standing up to Lefevere's "bullying"

"This interview was three hours, the passage about Julian was three minutes," Lefevere said, HLN.be reporting the 69-year-old held clear-the-air talks with the two-time world champion earlier in the day.

"As always, my Dutch is not always well understood," he claimed. "But maybe I made a mistake to speak about this. I [talked] about November 2022, and it's 2024 now. I understand there is not much news at the moment. I can set all that aside, and I hope Julian himself can, too."

Lefevere joked that he'd only had two or three glasses of wine before laying into his star rider's own drinking habits...

"That was certainly not the intention. The interview lasted three hours, and it's not like we had already drunk three bottles of wine. Two or three glasses [...] I mentioned that I spoke with Julian, his manager Dries Smets and Marion Rousse in November 2022. I said that he had to do better and that he had to work hard, and Julian did that too.

Marion Rousse (ASO/Clara Langlois Lablatinière)

> "Unacceptable to attack our private lives": Marion Rousse hits back at Patrick Lefevere, and says she never drinks

"It was not my intention at all to offend him, but the press jumped on it, his wife then started to react, and as a result, it also spread in France. Completely unnecessary, of course. But at the same time, I realise that perhaps I should have phrased it differently."

23 February 2024, 08:57
"Please do not block the entrance of car wash," asks sign... ironically placed right in the middle of cycle lane

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner...

Car wash sign in cycle lane (@naomi_fisher/Twitter)

[@naomi_fisher]

On yesterday's live blog it was the bike lane blocked by... a bicycle hire company's truck, but this beats that, in my book. Welcome to the Ladypool Road cycle lane in Birmingham where you might find your path obstructed... by a sign advertising a car wash... that asks "please do not block the entrance of car wash". Perfection.

Car wash sign in cycle lane (@naomi_fisher/Twitter)

Naomi spotted the blockage (which was hard to miss, to be fair) and then the slightly more obscure, but tremendous, messaging on the infrastructure-impeding sign.

"First time on the cycle lane on Ladypool Rd this morning and came upon this sign with an ironic (and hidden) request," she wrote on social media.

Moseley councillor Izzy Knowles replied saying the car wash has new owners, this presumably their day job when they're not being top-tier comics, and said that she would "pop down and speak to them".

That's left us imagining the quite bizarre scene... "Hi guys, just a quick one... you know that sign you've got for the car wash? Yeah... the one that says 'please don't block the entrance to car wash'... yeah... just erm... we were wondering if... well, you know... it might be an idea not to block the cycle lane with the sign asking people not to block the car wash? It's just an idea..."

I think we've peaked this live blog too early, I fear it's all downhill from here... (which, as a saying and going on my first tangent of the day, actually sounds like a positive if you're a cyclist...)

Dan joined road.cc in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining road.cc, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.

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45 comments

Avatar
Hirsute | 1 month ago
2 likes

Very strange story here about alleged cycling without due care.
https://www.standard.co.uk/news/crime/cycling-london-helmet-camera-mobil...

Hasn't gone to trial but the police are happy to go into great detail about something that surely they would not do for any similar offences.
I wondering if any of it is true.

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wtjs replied to Hirsute | 1 month ago
2 likes

Just like all the other 'cyclist fault' excuses they have dreamed up for not taking action against offending motorists- such as sweaing when terrified by a close pass. IDtFP- that's one I have just dreamed up (not as good as BOLAS!) meaning I Despise the Police

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Hirsute replied to wtjs | 1 month ago
1 like

Not F for 'Feds' then.

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NOtotheEU replied to Hirsute | 1 month ago
1 like

The Range Rover driver must be very happy to have a senior police officer in their lodge.

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don simon fbpe | 1 month ago
0 likes

I wonder what Sagan's regular max is if over 200bpm raises eyebrows.

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chrisonabike | 1 month ago
3 likes

Presumably if you notice Crouch trying to pass you the drill is to suddenly drop back and as he does throw up your arm and yell "offside"!  Hopefully the men wearing black will see it your way...

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mark1a replied to chrisonabike | 1 month ago
8 likes

chrisonabike wrote:

Presumably if you notice Crouch trying to pass you the drill is to suddenly drop back and as he does throw up your arm and yell "offside"!  Hopefully the men wearing black will see it your way...

Or cross the white line and go down to the ground like a shot giraffe shouting "penalty!"

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chrisonabike replied to mark1a | 1 month ago
0 likes

Nice - TBF he's had a go at taking that gag on ... the chin?

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lio | 1 month ago
9 likes

Don't think I've ever been tailgated by Peter Crouch but if I have I love the ideal that it's pissed him off. The cretin is a waste of oxygen.

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ktache | 1 month ago
1 like

I lived on the Ladypool Road, just opposite that pharmacy.

No cycle route back then.

Fantastic Balti houses...

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eburtthebike | 1 month ago
9 likes

"The retired footballer, famous for his distinctive build and robot goal celebration, has turned into something of a media personality....."

Something of: that would be why I've never heard of him.

What is it with ex-footballers who got paid obscene amounts for kicking a ball, that mean their views are in any way interesting?  Do they feel they're missing out because they aren't on the telly any more?

Whatever: he's pathetic.

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Hirsute replied to eburtthebike | 1 month ago
2 likes

It's all the heading leading to brain damage.

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NotNigel | 1 month ago
21 likes

Re. Peter Crouch - "They do it to me on a country lane..."

Pretty much sums up the majority of motorist's way of thinking...all about them and any inconvenience to them taken personally.

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OldRidgeback replied to NotNigel | 1 month ago
7 likes

I must say, I'm disappointed. I always thought Crouchy was one of the more amusing ex-footballers.

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marmotte27 replied to OldRidgeback | 1 month ago
0 likes

Me too.

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Clem Fandango replied to NotNigel | 1 month ago
21 likes

What's the betting he was driving a massive Chelsea tractor down this country lane so wouldn't have been able to safely overtake anyway unless the cyclists doffed their caps and threw themselves into the nearest hedge? Twat.

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Kapelmuur replied to NotNigel | 1 month ago
5 likes

One of his co presenters on his original BBC podcast was a cyclist who tried to persuade Crouch to go for a ride with him.   Crouch was less than enthusiastic.

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Backladder replied to NotNigel | 1 month ago
14 likes

NotNigel wrote:

Re. Peter Crouch - "They do it to me on a country lane..."

Pretty much sums up the majority of motorist's way of thinking...all about them and any inconvenience to them taken personally.

I don't know about you but me and my mate are always riding around looking for Peter so we can double bike in front of him!

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Smoggysteve | 1 month ago
0 likes

How can police in the UK have powers to ban drivers due to roadside drink driving tests? 
 

Not sure anyone has ever been convicted due to a failed roadside test. Not for alcohol anyway. Certainly not this century at least. 

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brooksby replied to Smoggysteve | 1 month ago
11 likes

I was under the impression that if you fail a roadside test, all that means is you'll be taken into the station to do a more accurate test (and if you fail that, then you'll get prosecuted.  Unless you explain that you're a hard-pressed working motorist who's usually law abiding, or something…).

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Smoggysteve replied to brooksby | 1 month ago
1 like

That's the legal stance. You must fail the test at the station. I have known people fail roadside but pass the station test whether that's because in that time their alcohol level dropped below the fail mark or just the accuracy of the initial test but either way you cannot be prosecuted solely in the roadside test. It needs to be the station test. Failure/refusal to produce a sample is a separate offence to anyone who mentions it. 

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Jetmans Dad replied to Smoggysteve | 1 month ago
6 likes

Smoggysteve wrote:

How can police in the UK have powers to ban drivers due to roadside drink driving tests? 

Surely all you need to do is give the police the power to suspend the driver's licence until the case is resolved. Like this ...

  • Driver fails roadside test, licence suspended
  • Driver undergoes more accurate test and if OK licence is reinstated
  • Otherwise, driver is charged
  • Evidence goes before the court
  • If found guilty, full, timed suspension given as appropriate
  • If acquited, licence is reinstated

It is only the same principle as an accused person being held in custody until trial ... although the presumption of innocence applies, their ability to re-offend is removed while the case is in progress.

It does, hoever, put the onus on the system to deal with cases quickly and efficiently.

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Smoggysteve replied to Jetmans Dad | 1 month ago
1 like

So, the reason they do a test in the station is because the roadside test isn't deemed to be accurate enough. You want to give the police the power to suspend someone's license. Potentially costing them money or even their employment based on a potentially flawed test? Really do think about what you're suggesting 

 

it's the job of the police to report crimes to the CPS, it's not their job to act as prosecutors. Thats the magistrates or the crown prosecution service 

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Backladder replied to Smoggysteve | 1 month ago
2 likes

I think the time when the public might accept the police having these powers is long gone (if it ever existed). If they are really interested in getting these drivers off the road then arrest them and keep them in the cells overnight then allocate the first couple of hours of the magistrate's court sitting for dealing with them the next morning.

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Christopher Clifton replied to Smoggysteve | 1 month ago
3 likes

Smoggysteve wrote:

How can police in the UK have powers to ban drivers due to roadside drink driving tests? 
 

Not sure anyone has ever been convicted due to a failed roadside test. Not for alcohol anyway. Certainly not this century at least. 

Conviction is based on the test at the police station, always has been. I'm guessing that if an immediate suspension of licence (as I believe is already done in Australia) was to be introduced, this would also be based on the test at the police station, not the roadside test. If immediate suspension of driving licences was to be introduced in this country, I suspect that there would be much outcry along the lines of "innocent until proved guilty". In practical terms, however, you have been proved guilty when you fail the test at the police station. The subsequent court hearing is more about handing down the sentence than establishing guilt.

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Smoggysteve replied to Christopher Clifton | 1 month ago
0 likes

The roadside test must be confirmed at the station on the proper breathalyser. This story suggests that the police can convict on the road side. Thats the wording. So that would mean not using the station test. If its not the case its very clumsy writing as it makes it sound like an officer can pull you over and on the evidence of one test in the road side would immediately convict the driver of an offence. 
 

The guy asking for this needs to remember the police are there to police, not convict. He should get back in his box and stop trying to make the police something they are not. Giving powers like this is opening it up to corruption. Something the police needs to look at itself about anyway. 

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ride2smile | 1 month ago
6 likes

More lazy 'hate speech' from ill-informed media personality. Imagine if he was talking about women in burqas instead of people who ride bikes.

https://www.instagram.com/reel/C3lRBONsAxq/?igsh=ZzloNHU4NmlxMnUx

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Shake replied to ride2smile | 1 month ago
5 likes

Cyclists are wearing cycling clothing - no kidding

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mctrials23 replied to Shake | 1 month ago
14 likes

Do you know what I really fucking hate, its footballers wearing football boots and kit. Does my head in. 

Then again, perhaps thats the problem. Perhaps we as cycling fans need to start wearing our favourite cycling teams kit when we are out and about. Perhaps that will normalise it if Kevin, 50 does his Sunday shop in full lycra. 

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stonojnr replied to mctrials23 | 1 month ago
2 likes

Footballers with their fancy footwear lol https://youtu.be/r788VtWF8O0?si=q0tH-_9iv8ZdSFFR

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