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Cyclist blasts “childish” motorist who left “polite notice” claiming parked bike was “restricting parking for residents”; A-list reaction to Cav’s retirement; Lance Armstrong and Jonathan Vaughters’ Twitter spat rumbles on + more on the live blog

It’s Tuesday, the Giro d’Italia is set to (finally) erupt in the mountains today, and Ryan Mallon’s back with all your latest cycling news and views – if he can remember how this whole live blog thing works…
23 May 2023, 08:09
“If another car had been parked there, I doubt a note would have been left”: Cyclist blasts “childish” motorist who left “polite notice” claiming parked bike was “restricting parking for residents”

Ah, the “polite notice”, just the thing you want to find attached to your bike…

Well, that was the sight which greeted Scottish cyclist Alan Gordon as he made his way back to his parked bike, locked to a roadside railing, in the Edinburgh suburb of Colinton last night, after attending a volunteer start-up session for the area’s new tool library:

“Parking your bike here is restricting parking for residents (tricky on the best of days),” the polite notice read. “Please consider us. TY.”

As avid readers of the live blog – and our ongoing fascination with bike hangar debates – will know, the issues around parking spaces, and in particular the imagined (or otherwise) hierarchy of car and bike parking, can stir up some strong emotions.

> Subsidise bike hangar costs by raising car parking charges, says councillor – but opponent warns move would “pit drivers against cyclists”

So, I think it’s fair to say that Alan, who pointed out that there is a “serious lack of secure bike parking in Colinton”, wasn’t too pleased with the resident’s note.

“If another car had been parked there, I doubt a note would have been left on that. Childish stuff,” he tweeted last night.

To underline his point, he also posted an image from Street View which shows the contentious spot he was blocking… filled at the time the Google van passed with bins and a parked motorbike (“which are clearly fine,” noted Alan.)

“How do you go about requesting some secure on road bike parking in Colinton anyway, so I can access the local businesses without upsetting local people?” he asked.

However, while some cyclists responded to Alan’s tweet by agreeing that the note smacked of “motorist entitlement”, others pointed out that the whole thing may have simply been a case of a resident being “very possessive” over their parking space, regardless of the type of vehicle parked in it.

What do you reckon? Was Alan’s note a classic case of driver entitlement and exceptionalism, or just the result of a concerned local who had to park a bit further down the road?

23 May 2023, 16:41
Comment of the day

Olly on Facebook has come up with what he reckons is the perfect solution to Alan’s bike parking conundrum in Colinton:

Live blog comment 23 May 2023

Genius. Not sure it’s the most affordable alternative, however...

23 May 2023, 15:56
Where’s Matt Page? contributor is over 11 hours into his NC500 record attempt

Matt Page must surely be feeling the pinch right about now. The long-distance cyclist, and contributor, and world-leading castle botherer is around 11 hours into his attempt to break Mark Beaumont’s North Coast 500 record, having set off from Inverness at the crack of dawn this morning.


A post shared by Matt Page (@mattpage24)

For all you dot watchers – who can keep up to speed with Matt’s ride on the live tracker – our man has already crested the fearsome Bealach na Bà, which he conquered at around 10am (when the rest of you were still nursing your morning coffee), and is currently cruising his way along a fairly fast portion of the west coast of the Scottish Highlands.

As Matt eased into the fairly daunting task ahead (the current record for the 516-mile route stands at 28 hours and 35 minutes), Beaumont took to social media to sportingly wish his potential usurper good luck:

If Matt can break the record, you’ll hear all about it bright and early on tomorrow’s live blog…

23 May 2023, 15:01
Geraint Thomas outsprinted by João Almeida as Primož Roglič loses time in first round of Giro GC battle; Thomas back in pink jersey

The Giro comes alive!

After two weeks of uninspiring but completely expected GC stalemate, this year’s battle for the pink jersey finally erupted on the rain-soaked slopes of Monte Bondone today, as Geraint Thomas and João Almeida kicked off the Giro’s decisive week in the mountains by landing a strong, if not killer, blow on pre-race favourite Primož Roglič.

After a dominant showing from his UAE Team Emirates on the long, tough slog to the finish – including, conspiracy theorists will note, from the reportedly disgruntled stage hunter-turned-gregario Jay Vine – Almeida pushed on the pace himself before launching a concerted dig with six kilometres to go.

Deemed a follower, a steady if unspectacular figure near the front of grand tours since his breakthrough at the 2020 Giro, the 24-year-old Portuguese pretender suddenly turned courageous attacker, bending the race to his will and putting his rivals for the pink jersey – Thomas, Roglič, and now, the sensationally dogged Eddie Dunbar – under serious pressure.

As Almeida’s refurbished diesel engine found another gear up ahead, Thomas, two days shy of his 37th birthday and with years of Giro near misses under his belt, sensed the danger, bridging up to the UAE Team Emirates rider and heading straight to the front, playing like a thoroughly convincing 2018 tribute act.

As the two leaders – so similar in their rouleur-climber builds – forged ahead, Sep Kuss did his best to limit the losses for Roglič, who seemed to lack his characteristic zip in the rain. The Slovenian would nip past Dunbar, putting in a breakthrough ride at the head of a grad tour, for the bonus seconds at the finish, but the important seconds were already up the road.

Almeida would take the stage, Thomas the pink jersey, Bruno Armirail’s brave stint in the race lead finally over. Both, meanwhile, would most importantly put a decent chunk of time into Roglič, who now sits in third, 29 seconds behind the Ineos leader and 11 behind the white jersey Almeida.

The Slovenian may be reeling from the first heavy blow of this Giro, over two weeks in, but the experienced Thomas – now shorn of one of his key domestiques, Pavel Sivakov, who abandoned earlier in the day after seeming to have inherited his leader’s penchant for bad luck in Italy – knows all too well that haymakers can come thick and fast in the race’s final week.

But, as far as opening jabs go, this wasn’t a bad one.

23 May 2023, 14:39
Cycling retailer ProBikeKit to be bought by Mike Ashley's Frasers Group, reports suggest
23 May 2023, 14:02
A “victim-blaming” game of Spot the Difference?

A decent attempt by a local council to teach kids how to ride a bike safely, or just another attempt at car-brained victim blaming? I think it’s best if I leave that up to you…

Though perhaps Sam spotted the real, key difference in the images:

23 May 2023, 13:36
Tom Pidcock Alpe d'Huez Tour de France 2022 stage 12 (ASO / Pauline Ballet)
Netflix Tour de France documentary set for second series, covering 2023 race

We might have to wait until 8 June for our first glimpse of the long-awaited Tour de France Netflix documentary series, the super imaginatively titled Unchained, but reports suggest that the cameras are already rolling on a second season.

According to a report in Cycling Weekly, sources close to the producers – the team behind the F1: Drive to Survive phenomenon, lest we forget – have confirmed that a second series, focusing on the build-up and action of this year’s Tour, is happening.

Tour organisers ASO, meanwhile, have declined to comment.

A second series being signed off on by now makes sense, as filmmakers would already have to be embedded within the participating teams, which may or may not include Tadej Pogačar’s UAE Team Emirates, who declined to take part in the much-anticipated series last year.

Meanwhile, the first season is nearly upon us, and its eight episodes will be released on Netflix on 8 June, during the Critérium du Dauphiné (so the middle of June will be, ahem, busy for me then).

Episodes are reported to focus on Tour winner Jonas Vingegaard’s path to the yellow jersey (naturally), as well as Tom Pidcock’s triumph atop Alpe d’Huez.

23 May 2023, 12:57
Bike check: Alex Dowsett’s Specialized Diverge Expert

Check out the “off-the-peg” Specialized Diverge Expert raced by the former Israel-Premier Tech rider (who’s enjoying a relaxing retirement by, you know, running marathons and competing off-road) at the Gralloch, the UK’s first ever UCI gravel race, at the weekend: 

2023 Gralloch - Alex Dowsett

> Bike check: Alex Dowsett’s Specialized Diverge Expert

23 May 2023, 12:28
(Don’t) Let It Rain…

Just as I was extolling the virtues of a sunny day in the mountains for a peloton that has ‘enjoyed’ its fair share of drenchings over the past two weeks, the Giro gods promptly turned the skies a darker shade of blue and allowed yet more drops of rain to hit the cameras:

Surely the riders must be thinking by now: ‘Why can’t we have nice (dry) things?’

Luckily, the showers on the descent of the Matassone appear to have been quite localised, so there’s hope yet for a nice, non-rainy finish…

Or maybe not... 

23 May 2023, 11:54
Dear BBC…

Not the first time, of course, that the Beeb – and Radio 4 in particular – has come in for criticism concerning their use of the word ‘accident’ when describing road traffic collisions.

Back in November, the BBC’s Complaints Team told one disgruntled listener that “our job is to write radio scripts that are relatable and understandable, and we try to use language that ordinary people use, not the language contained in reports and documents”.

> “We try to use language that ordinary people use”: BBC defends use of “accident” to describe road traffic collisions 

23 May 2023, 11:23
Lime e-scooter riders in Paris (copyright Simon MacMichael)-01
Imposing slower e-scooter speeds may encourage more pavement riding, study finds

An interesting bike-adjacent story here from our friends over at ebiketips, who have reported on a study carried out by the US-based Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), which concluded that mandating lower speeds for e-scooters may result in more users riding on pavements.

Comparing rider behaviour in Austin, Texas, which caps shared e-scooter speeds at 20mph, and Washington DC, where the maximum is 10mph, the researchers found that in both cities e-scooter riders “overwhelmingly” rode in bike lanes where they were available.

However, where there were no bike lanes, DC riders were 44 percent more likely than Austin riders to choose to ride on the pavement.

Read more here: > Imposing slower e-scooter speeds may encourage more pavement riding, study finds

23 May 2023, 10:56
Snakes on a hairpin

On a day the Giro d’Italia peloton can finally bask in some sunshine and lovely warm weather (and the small matter of four whacking great Alpine brutes) after two of the grimmest weeks of grand tour racing we’ve ever seen, they now have to deal with a bloomin’ snake on the descent of the Passo di Santa Barbara.

Yep, you’ve read that right. According to GCN’s Hannah Walker, there is an actual snake on the route (quick, someone call Sammy Jackson, I have a pitch for him).

As someone who once had to fetch a newspaper from his spokes during a race, let’s just say that Hannah’s report doesn’t fill me with too much confidence.

Though it could potentially lead to the first ever (and long overdue, if you ask me) I’m A Celebrity/Giro crossover – and Cycling Twitter was swiftly on hand to suggest a few potential participants:

How about Stefan King Cobra? I’ll get my coat… 

23 May 2023, 10:40
‘Left lads, I said left!’

The Giro breakaway here, taking a breather from the frenetic and superfast start to today’s potentially decisive mountain stage to entertain us with their best Sunday group ride impression:

Pros, eh? They’re just like us after all… 

23 May 2023, 10:12
Taxi driver warns CyclingMikey he will “end up needing the dentist” after challenging phone use
Taxi driver warns CyclingMikey he will "end up needing the dentist" (CyclingMikey/YouTube)

The cab driver was reported to the Metropolitan Police by the road safety campaigner and YouTuber, real name Mike van Erp, but avoided police prosecution due to staff dealing with an IT system change...

> Taxi driver warns CyclingMikey he will “end up needing the dentist” after challenging phone use

23 May 2023, 09:33
Lance Armstrong (via NBC)
Lance Armstrong and Jonathan Vaughters’ Twitter spat rumbles on…

The weekend’s humdinger of a heavyweight Twitter spat between Lance Armstrong, Jonathan Vaughters, and Thibaut Pinot – which erupted after the EF Education-EasyPost boss accused the French favourite of a lack of sportsmanship following his defeat at Crans Montana, prompting Big Tex to intervene in his own inimitable style – has continued to rumble on, much to the amusement of shocked onlookers and the general ignominy of those involved.

Last night, JV labelled Pinot – the darling of Cycling Twitter – a “bully superstar” for his treatment of EF’s Alex Cepeda during Friday’s tense stage…

… While his old ‘mate’ Armstrong, rather inevitably, turned the conversation back to his doping ban:

And Vaughters replied in kind, bickering like it’s 2012 all over again:

I better nip to the shops quick, I’m running out of popcorn…

23 May 2023, 08:56
A-list reaction to Cav’s retirement announcement

Forget all his fellow pros, or British Cycling, or Sky Sports’ weirdly outdated tribute footage, this is the reaction to Mark Cavendish’s retirement announcement that you really came to see…

Perhaps the Zoolander star (and apparent chairman of the Geraint Thomas fan club, judging by Stiller’s array of G-supporting tweets during this Giro) is simply angling for the lead role in the inevitable Cav biopic.

Robert De Niro as Patrick Lefevere, anyone?

Ryan joined 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 Podcast. After boarding a wrong bus at the world championships and ruining a good pair of jeans at the cyclocross, he now serves as’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.

Add new comment


Backladder | 1 year ago

When you look closely the bike on the right has a small section of the brake cable/hose cut out but it doesn't matter as neither bike is rideable because the down tube passes through the chainring.

Pub bike replied to Backladder | 1 year ago

The saddles apart from being too far forward also appear to be lower than the junction of the seat stays with the seat tube.

mitsky | 1 year ago

With regards to the BBC failing to using the correct/appropriate language in their reports, I've repeatedly pointed it out to them along with the double standard/contradictions when reporting on collisions involving other road users. (They would never write "pedestrian hit by bike", it is always "... hit by cyclist".)

My comments were always polite, not abusive/trolling.
Needless to say the BBC has blocked me from several of their regional Facebook pages along with their transport correspondent Tom Edwards on Twitter.

brooksby | 1 year ago

Clevedon councillors call for seafront scheme to be removed


Newly-elected councillors are calling for the removal of a controversial seafront road scheme


Conservatives Michael Pryke and Luke Smith both won North Somerset Council seats in Clevedon in this month's elections after campaigning against the work done to the seafront.

Now they are bringing a motion before North Somerset Council's annual meeting on May 23, calling for the scheme to be scrapped and Clevedon seafront to be restored to its former state, except for remaining one way.



SimoninSpalding replied to brooksby | 1 year ago

I was under the impression that all local councils were strapped for cash. Surely the worst thing you can do in these circumstances is to spend (our) money ripping up something that has only just been built, simply because you don't like the shape?

brooksby replied to SimoninSpalding | 1 year ago

It tells you all you really need to know about Clevedon, I suspect:  two Conservatives explicitly using their opposition to the changes to the seafront as their campaign slogans, and they get elected.  And, as you rightly say, their first action is to petition the council to spend even more money undoing these changes.  I suppose, playing Devil's Advocate, it's quite refreshing to see politicians sticking to their campaign promises...  3

The Larger Cyclist replied to brooksby | 1 year ago

I was in Clevedon at the weekend - the first time since the change and it looked a bit weird but seems to be working fine. The wavy line has been removed and the ice cream van has it's own space marked out on the pavement slightly away from the road as opposed to in a parking bay.  Lots of cyclists using the cycle lane, most of the parking spots taken (none with people in looking out to sea which was one of the issues I recall).  And it was easy to cross the road to the pub (other eateries/drinking establishments available).

Dnnnnnn replied to The Larger Cyclist | 1 year ago

The Larger Cyclist wrote:

the ice cream van has it's own space marked out on the pavement

I love the idea of a space marked 'ICE CREAM VANS ONLY'.

hawkinspeter replied to Dnnnnnn | 1 year ago

Dnnnnnn wrote:

I love the idea of a space marked 'ICE CREAM VANS ONLY'.

Well you can't have them parking on the rocky road

HarrogateSpa replied to hawkinspeter | 1 year ago
1 like

Come on, you're taking the pistachio now.

Yorkshie Whippet replied to hawkinspeter | 1 year ago
1 like

Do stop being flakey😁

Steve K | 1 year ago
SimoninSpalding replied to Steve K | 1 year ago
1 like

I do hope that tricorn hat is of the correct BS EN standard for cycling.

(Ducks and runs for cover....)


NickSprink | 1 year ago

There is certainly an assumption in the note that it couldn't be a resident that has parked their bike there.

jaymack | 1 year ago

I'd have thought that the best course of action would have been for Alan to have folded the note up, taken it home and popped it in recycling.

cyclisto replied to jaymack | 1 year ago

No, he should have put this photo and a note "No worries, next time I will park better with my other bicycle."

HoldingOn | 1 year ago
1 like

Polite Notice - Twitter hasn't disappointed:


Tom Hogg
Pay some road tax and you'll be fine.

I don't fully understand how he has blocked off a parking space - I wonder if the note was actually left on a non-resident car motorbike and the offending driver motor-rider put the note on the bike instead.

Edited: because i clearly missed the important word "bike" on the note....

Car Delenda Est | 1 year ago

Drivists are programmed to think that bikes simply don't belong.

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