Like this site? Help us to make it better.


Local activist slams “selfish” parents for allowing their children to cycle on the pavement, and says riding on the road is “safer” for primary school pupils; Remco Evenepoel: “I’m not a robot”; Matt Page calls off NC500 attempt + more on the live blog

It’s Wednesday and Ryan Mallon’s back for a flat and fast edition of the live blog, after yesterday’s slog through the mountains, hoping for a fitting Giro send-off for a certain legendary sprinter…


24 May 2023, 09:01
Children cycling in pop-up lane (YouTube)
“They are oblivious of what they are teaching their children”: Local activist slams “selfish” parents for allowing their children to cycle on the pavement, and says riding on the road is “safer” for primary school pupils

An older people’s campaigner has called on his local council to clamp down on young people riding their bikes on the pavement, and has criticised parents for teaching their primary school-aged children to cycle on footpaths, potentially endangering pedestrians.

Chris Pickett, a former Older People’s Champion in Melksham, says that Wiltshire Council should make it clear that pavements are “primarily for pedestrians” – and despite what he views as the Highway Code’s “strong bias towards cyclists”, pedestrians and motorists “have a right to safe passage”.

“I am sure many of our older generation who wish to walk safely around our towns for exercise, shopping, social contact etc, will have similar complaints that the pavements are being made more and more unsafe, due to the increase in cyclist riding (often too fast) along what is a narrow pedestrian footway, in very close proximity to traffic that travels at 30mph – which we all know can kill should we step into the road,” the 75-year-old told the Wiltshire Times.

“This complaint is levelled at both adults and children, for which parental guidance must be improved.”

tfl child and parent cycling to school - via tfl

> “In the middle of the road!” Motorist berates children cycling “harmlessly home from school” on empty cul-de-sac

The campaigner’s criticism comes after he saw a man, aged between 18 and 20, doing wheelies along a pavement in the centre of Melksham on Saturday.

“I guess he thought he was clever but it was downright stupidity,” he said. “Anyone could have walked out of the shops and he would have ploughed straight into them.”

The 75-year-old also criticised the number of children riding their bikes home from the local primary school on what he claims is a “particularly narrow” footpath – and says that children should be taught by their parents from a young age to ride safely on the road.

“Some parents are either on a bike themselves or walking some distance behind. In both cases oblivious of what they are teaching their children,” Mr Pickett said.

“I make an apology to a mother who, though riding on the road, felt that her son was safer on the pavement, but was unable to see that had she taught the child to ride on the road alongside her he would be both safe, as would the pedestrians.”

Viral video debated on Jeremy Vine show (screenshot Twitter video/ @azb2019)

> Viral video of driver refusing to stop for five-year-old cyclist debated on Jeremy Vine's Channel 5 show

He continued: “My reason is to enlist the support of Wiltshire Council, and its elected members, to instigate a method that will make it clear to all, that the pavements in our towns are primarily for pedestrians and only when legally designated, can they be use as a ‘dual footpath’ for cyclist and pedestrians.

“We currently have a new Highway Code which has been written with a strong bias towards cyclists. This I have no problem with, provided the pedestrian (and motorists) have a right to a safe passage and not to be at risk of being either, involved in an accident or personally injured by selfish cyclists.”

Of course, despite Mr Pickett’s claims that the Highway Code is biased towards cyclists, pedestrians are, in fact, placed at the top of the hierarchy of vulnerable road users.

> Over half of UK drivers still confused by Highway Code change, shows survey

And the Melksham campaigner certainly isn’t the first person to make an appearance on the live blog because they’re unhappy with schoolchildren cycling on the pavement.

Driver mounts pavement and chastises child for riding on same footpath (Greg N, Twitter)

> “You couldn’t make it up”: Driver – in untaxed, SORN-registered car with expired MOT – mounts pavement on wrong side of the road… then chastises six-year-old for cycling on same footpath

Last October, we featured a video of a motorist parking his car by mounting the pavement on the wrong side of the road on a School Street in Lewisham – before immediately chastising a young cyclist and his father for riding their bikes on the same footpath.

And it’s not just children riding on footpaths that people get angry about – it’s when the kids ride on the roads too.

A month after our irony-deficient driver in Lewisham made the live blog, a clip of a motorist failing to stop to let a five-year-old cyclist past, before narrowly passing the youngster, went viral, causing an almighty stir online and even ending up on Jeremy Vine’s Channel 5 show and the former Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid’s Twitter feed.

And earlier this month, another driver was criticised online for scolding a group of schoolchildren for riding their bikes “in the middle” of an empty residential street.

A clip of the incident, filmed by Limerick-based cyclist Aidan Hogan, showed a group of young cyclists riding home from school when a motorist exits her car after appearing to park it on the street. The driver then gesticulates towards the children and calls out: “The middle of the road, in the middle of the road”.

Just goes to show, you can’t please everybody…

24 May 2023, 15:58
It’s G for the Giro, according to’s readers anyway

Things might not quite be going to plan for Cav during his farewell Giro, but – according to you lot, anyway – Geraint Thomas should have what it takes to see off João Almeida and Primož Roglič in the mountains, and carry the pink jersey all the way to Rome:

Geraint Thomas Giro d'Italia live blog poll result

Fun Fact: If he does manage to win the whole thing, the Welshman – who turns 37 tomorrow – will become the oldest ever winner of the Giro d’Italia, breaking three-time winner Fiorenzo Magni’s 68-year-old record. The Lion of Flanders was a sprightly 34 years and 180 days when he took his final Giro in 1955.

Come on Geraint, do it for all the Cat 3-racing dads out there…

24 May 2023, 15:24
Stage 17, 2023 Giro d'Italia (GCN)
Alberto Dainese wins first ever Giro stage in super tight sprint ahead of Jonathan Milan and Michael Matthews, as frustrated Mark Cavendish foiled in final kilometres

While all the build-up to today’s penultimate sprint stage of the Giro may have been about Mark Cavendish and his farewell tour of Italy’s bunch kicks (at least on this live blog), it was a sprinter at the other end of his career, Alberto Dainese, who took his second stage win at the Giro by outgunning Jonathan Milan and Michael Matthews, just, in a thrilling dragstrip finale in Caorle.

After his DSM team bossed the crucial final turn, the 25-year-old Italian leapt onto the fast-moving Jayco-AlUla train as it teed up Michael Matthews.

Despite taking a thrilling comeback win on the draggy stage three, Matthews’ participations in flat and fast bunch sprints are few and far between these days, and the Australian even attempted to sneak into today’s early breakaway, only to be foiled by a vigilant Bahrain-Victorious team, keeping a vice-like grip on the points jersey for Jonathan Milan.

But the man they call Bling proved there are still a few pure sprinting diamonds left in his legs, bursting off his lead-out on the long finishing straight.

However, Matthews’ hopes for a stage win – one he told Bahrain-Victorious he had no chance of taking, according to GCN’s moto-riding Adam Blythe – were ultimately dashed in the dying metres by a pincer movement consisting of the fast-finishing Milan and Dainese.

In the battle of the Italians, Dainese had just enough speed to deservedly take his career tally of Giro stage wins to two, a day after struggling through the mountains ahead of the broomwagon. 

Meanwhile, the rider with 16 stages at the Cora Rosa under his belt, Mark Cavendish was left angry and frustrated after being caught out of position in the final two kilometres, and left unable to take part in the sprint.

Moved up by Astana teammate Luis León Sánchez with two kilometres to go, the British champion then almost immediately found himself on the wrong end of a sudden rush to the front, and with an increasingly fast and strung-out line of 30 riders now ahead of him saw his chances swiftly evaporate.

It may be his final Giro, but Cavendish still managed to showcase some of the volatile emotions synonymous with his heyday, as he argued with a Green Project-Bardiani rider after the finish line.

The fight’s still there, no doubt. The positioning and lead out just needs worked on. But there’s always Rome, eh?

24 May 2023, 14:47
“I just felt like I fell off a cliff”: Matt Page explains decision to abandon North Coast 500 record attempt

Matt Page, who this morning pulled the plug on his attempt to beat Mark Beaumont’s NC500 record, has explained the reasons behind his decision, citing safety concerns after a sudden drop in temperature and strong crosswinds, factors which he says contributed to him feeling “like I fell of a cliff”.

Despite being nine miles ahead of Beaumont’s record 16 hours into his attempt, the 38-year-old endurance cyclist stepped off the bike just before 4am this morning.


A post shared by Matt Page (@mattpage24)

“I don’t know what happened or what went wrong. I think it all stemmed from getting very, very cold. The temperature plunged and I had a really strong crosswind. That was the start of things,” a clearly drained Page said in a video posted to social media this afternoon.

“I just felt like I fell off a cliff soon after that. I wasn’t able to pedal, I wasn’t able to ride in a straight line. For safety more than anything I just had to stop.

“I’m gutted because before that everything was going well, I was feeling good, I didn’t feel like I was pushing it too hard. It’s just one of those things.

“Mark’s record [28 hours, 35 minutes] is one hell of a record. Good luck to anyone trying to beat. I’m not sure this is the right time to ask me, but I don’t think I’ll have another go at it.”

24 May 2023, 14:14
Former Discovery Channel and Garmin pro Tom Danielson gets back on turbo trainer just two weeks after undergoing finger amputation due to cancer

Retired American pro Tom Danielson is back putting in some hard efforts on the turbo trainer, just weeks after the amputation of one of his fingers.

The 45-year-old, who raced for Discovery Channel and Garmin during his 13-year pro career, has been diagnosed with cancer, with doctors deciding to remove the middle finger on his left hand after a tumour was discovered to be cancerous, VeloNews reports.

As part of the operation, doctors also reconstructed Danielson’s left hand, binding the tendons and bones from other fingers together to allow him to adapt post-recovery.

“I had a tumour removed off my finger, which ended up being a rare kind of cancer that comes from the sweat gland in the finger. It is aggressive in that it keeps coming back if you don’t get rid of all of it, and it can spread to the lungs,” Danielson said in a recent podcast documenting his fight with cancer.

“It was a bit of a wakeup call for me.”

Danielson, who won 11 pro races during his career, including a stage win at the 2006 Vuelta a España, while also serving two bans for doping offences, has documented his progress on social media and through his podcast, The Process.

Riding his bike, albeit on the turbo trainer, has been a fundamental part of Danielson’s recovery, and yesterday the former pro posted a clip of him standing on the pedals:

“I’m really starting to get my energy back which really helps overcome the pain of my hand,” he tweeted. “Nothing pretty here with my cycling, but the progress I am feeling is beautiful to me.

“I’m really happy about everything. I feel like this is a big step in the right direction. I still have to get scans and checked out. I am feeling really good, really strong. I have to stay on top of it.”

24 May 2023, 13:39
It’s going to cost HOW much!? Everything we know about the unreleased and eagerly anticipated wireless Campagnolo Super Record groupset
24 May 2023, 13:22
Geraint Thomas 2023 Giro d'Italia ( Williams)
POLL: Will Geraint Thomas win the Giro d’Italia?

It’s pretty chilled at the Giro at the minute, so I thought I may as well spend the downtime getting your thoughts on the big question of the week…

With three crucial days in the mountains to come, will Geraint Thomas hang on to the maglia rosa all the way to Rome, to add to that lovely yellow jumper he won back in 2018?


And even more importantly, who’s already pre-ordered The Giro According to G for Christmas?

24 May 2023, 12:56
"Thought I'd sort it out before a cyclist went through it!": Public-spirited local fills in pothole... council arrives an hour later to fix it
24 May 2023, 12:22
Wednesday lunchtime vibes

Thomas Champion there, speaking for all of us on a Wednesday afternoon, willing the weekend into existence… 

24 May 2023, 11:43
Bath Cycle Lane Bus Stops - 13 parked car.jpg
Private Eye does active travel… and it’s pretty scathing

Having finished the latest edition of Private Eye this morning, reader Richard got in touch to express his surprise at the content of the magazine’s Rotten Borough’s column, which he says “heavily featured anti-cycling and anti-LTN rhetoric, and used most of the bingo card words”, arguing that Private Eye had “gone petrolhead”.

So, what was it about Rotten Borough’s active travel analysis which prompted Richard to “not quite believe what I was reading”?

Well, in its review of the recent local elections, the column noted the Brighton Green Party’s “obsession with cycling” and claimed that, in Bath, the “unpopular Upper Bristol Road cycle lane has narrowed a main arterial route into the city, making it harder for cars to move over to make way for emergency vehicles”.

It then pointed out that Bath and Nort East Somerset Council “didn’t consult the ambulance service about cycle lanes, low-traffic neighbourhoods, floating bus stops or ‘modal filters’ that were being installed.”

Bath Cycle Lane Bus Stops - 7.jpg

> Pedestrian safety fears raised over floating bus stops on new cycle lane in Bath

“Perhaps the council was in a bit of a hurry to trouser juicy ‘active travel’ funds from Whitehall in time to get the work finished before the May elections,” it added.

“The restrictions on the Upper Bristol Road have now created gridlock during rush hour with nowhere for cards to pull over to let emergency vehicles pass. Residents can no longer park their cars anywhere near their homes or take in groceries and deliveries. Meanwhile, the spanking new cycle lane remains woefully underused, possible because there are two other parallel cycle lanes barely 150 metres to the north and south of the new one.”

Continuing the theme, the column also claimed that the “disastrous imposition of low traffic neighbourhoods” in the Jesmond area of Newcastle have resulted in “longer journey times, gridlocked traffic, discriminations against the poor, the elderly, and the disabled, more rather than less pollution…”

Hmm… What do you make of Private Eye’s latest, rather scathing, take on local active travel policies across the UK?

24 May 2023, 11:12
Giro d’Italia stage start or Sunday picnic scene?

You know you’re in the third week of a grand tour when…

That relaxed start (which is being reflected somewhat in the racing at the moment) also gifted us some nice Cav bonus content:

Cheers, Giro Twitter Admin!

24 May 2023, 10:40
Mark Cavendish at Giro d'Italia stage 4 (by Zac Williams/
Will Cav wave farewell to the Giro with one final flourish today?

After yesterday’s festival of climbing in the Garda mountains, stage 17 of the Giro is – the peloton will be relieved to hear – practically downhill and flat all the way from Pergine Valsugana to the finish in Caorle.

Which means only one thing: Everyone’s on board the Mark Cavendish hype train.

And, when I say everyone, I mostly mean the Giro’s official Twitter account:

What do you reckon? Is today the day the soon-to-be-retiring Manx Missile finally gets his stage win – which would, incidentally, be his 17th at the Corsa Rosa – potentially capping one of the great Giro sprinting careers in the finest way possible?

Well, Cav’s won over half of the sprint stages he’s ever contested at the Italian grand tour, so you can never rule him out.

And he’s been busy fiddling with his saddle already in the neutralised zone, so you know he’s up for it…

24 May 2023, 10:16
Well, there’s… errr… one way to get around poor bike parking facilities
24 May 2023, 09:39
Evenepoel stage 9 Giro (by Zac Williams/
“I’m not a robot”: Remco Evenepoel says Giro d’Italia abandon in pink jersey was “one of the hardest setbacks” of his career

During a brutal Giro d’Italia beset by apocalyptic weather conditions, race-ending crashes, and the resurgence of Covid-19 in the peloton, perhaps one of the more surprising – and depressing – themes to emerge from the often inane and always incoherent analysis found on social media and ex-rider punditry is that the modern peloton has ‘gone soft’, and that it’s the inherent personality flaws of the class of 2023 which has made the grim slog fest that is this year’s Giro apparently devoid of drama.

Such accusations, as baseless as they are, were inevitably thrown at world champion Remco Evenepoel, who was forced to abandon this year’s Giro while in the pink jersey, and just hours after winning his second time trial stage of the race in Cesena (and, it must be said, looking like he’d aged 15 years in the process).

The 23-year-old has now hit back at his critics, who questioned his decision to leave the race while still in stage-winning form, with a lengthy Instagram post in which he described quitting the Giro as one of the hardest setbacks of his career, and underlined for all the armchair critics that, despite his generational talent on the bike, he’s “not a robot”.

Evenepoel at Giro stage 9 time trial (by Zac Williams/

Evenepoel on his way to winning the second time trial of the Giro, on stage nine to Cesena (Zac Williams/

Announcing that he returned to training yesterday after his bout with Covid, Evenepoel wrote that abandoning the Giro was “definitely one of the hardest setbacks in my still very short career. Leaving the race with a Covid-19 infection was a very brutal end of what could have been a beautiful story.

“Six months of full preparation for only this race. Sacrifices, long days in the rain, long periods away from home. Everything was going according to plan but that is how sport goes. Ups and downs are part of our job and I can accept that without any problem at all.”

Remco Evenepoel (Zac Williams/

Zac Williams/

He continued: “What is hard to accept is all the fake and negative comments I got after having to leave the race. I am not the type of person that is going to hide or is afraid of losing. So, this is for those thinking that. The last days were emotionally very hard because of these comments. But I will take those moments with me on the bike, preparing for my next goals and races.

“So, I just want to ask everyone to remember I am not a robot, but also a normal human being, husband, son, teammate etc. with normal feelings.

“I am really looking forward to setting some new goals and feel ready to make it a beautiful second part of this until now beautiful season.”

Fair play Remco.

24 May 2023, 09:18
Matt Page calls off NC500 record attempt, after 21 hours in the saddle

A post shared by Matt Page (@mattpage24)

He gave it a right good go, but unfortunately early this morning endurance cyclist (and contributor) Matt Page was forced to pull the plug on his attempt to break Mark Beaumont’s daunting North Coast 500 record.

The 38-year-old’s live tracker came to a halt at 3.50am, 21 hours and five minutes into the epic ride, just north of the east coast village of Berriedale.


A post shared by Matt Page (@mattpage24)

A post on Matt’s Instagram account simply said he “could no longer carry on”. We’ll make sure to keep you updated when we get more info.

Ryan joined as a news writer in December 2021. He has written about cycling and some ball-centric sports for various websites, newspapers, magazines and radio. Before returning to writing about cycling full-time, he completed a PhD in History and published a book and numerous academic articles on religion and politics in Victorian Britain and Ireland (though he remained committed to boring his university colleagues and students with endless cycling trivia). He can be found riding his bike very slowly through the Dromara Hills of Co. Down.

Latest Comments