Support road.cc

Like this site? Help us to make it better.

news

Jeremy Clarkson "anti-cycling" column "peddles hate for easy money"... but does anyone actually care any more?; Coolest man in Flanders — Arnaud De Lie pops a wheelie on the Kemmelberg's cobbles; Weekend round-up + more on the live blog

It's the start of a new week on the live blog, Dan Alexander is here for all your Monday news, reaction and (hopefully) entertainment...
27 March 2023, 09:58
Jeremy Clarkson "anti-cycling" column "peddles hate for easy money"... but does anyone actually care any more?

Welcome to anti-cycling bingo with your host... Jeremy Clarkson...

Jeremy Clarkson on BBC The One Show

The former Top Gear host is back from his Christmas on the naughty step having penned the single most complained about column in the UK press regulator's history. Moving on from Meghan, Clarkson's possibly suffering from writer's block this week, dropping back to an old favourite...

Jeremy Clarkson Sun column

You'll probably be quite bored by the TV loudmouth's latest thoughts on cycling (you really have heard it all before), we even saw someone suggest it's like they've got an AI to write an anti-cycling article in the style of Clarkson because he was on holiday.

Bike lanes, Highway Code, "anti-capitalism with handlebars", Stasi camera cyclists, gEtTiNg In DrIvErS' wAy, lycra... it's a near full house on the anti-cycling bingo front. Has a more tired line ever been written than, "They are just pedalling around to annoy people who've worked hard and bought themselves a car"?

But does anyone actually care any more?

Anyway, let's not spend too much time on the column because from the reaction it seems the public has worked out the Clarkson "cartoon character"...

One person sharing one of his pieces on social media this weekend suggested "Clarkson makes much more sense when you realise he's a middle-class liberal who invented a right-wing blokey character to sell columns and TV shows".

Likewise, Abingdon councillor Nathan Ley said he was just "playing to the gallery". "Most of the time I just ride a bike — with a basket — slowly, to get to work, the shops, and school drop off," he added. "This frees up more space on the road for your Chelsea tractor, and makes me less likely to take your space at a hospital. Get a grip, man."

27 March 2023, 15:50
Are robots coming for Clarkson's job?
27 March 2023, 15:39
Two weeks out... the cobbles of Roubaix look perfect (-ly wet)

A repeat of 2021?  

Sonny Colbrelli Merida Reacto Paris-Roubaix-5 (Credit Alex Broadway/SWpix.com)
Sonny Colbrelli Merida Reacto Paris-Roubaix (Credit A.S.O._Pauline Ballet)-2
27 March 2023, 15:31
Australian cycling charity shares picture of Melbourne bike lane-blocking planters
Melbourne Trobe Street bike lane (Bicycle Network)

You've heard of low-traffic neighbourhoods, but what about low-traffic bike lanes? Someone in Melbourne decided these planters should be stuck slap bang in the middle of one of the city's cycle lanes.

"April 1 is still days away," the Bicycle Network charity said. "Some of the largest hazardous bollards we have ever seen have appeared in the La Trobe Street bike lane. And they have trees in them! All jokes aside, City of Melbourne needs to act quickly and remove them."

27 March 2023, 13:41
The best video you'll see today

Sorry, Arnaud, I know you wheelied up the Kemmelberg, but this is our favourite vid on today's live blog...

27 March 2023, 13:09
Former Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey talked out of retirement by Dave Brailsford
Dave Brailsford press conference 2021 - via Bioracer 3

According to the Daily Mail, Welsh international midfielder Aaron Ramsey was considering quitting football after Wales' group stage exit at the World Cup. The man credited with encouraging the now-Wales captain to keep at it? Dave Brailsford...

The former Team Sky and Ineos Grenadiers boss is now trying his hand at football, as part of the Ineos sporting empire, with French Ligue 1 club Nice, and told Ramsey to take an extended Christmas break, encouraging him to reconsider any retirement thoughts.

Since former coach Lucien Favre's sacking in January, Ramsey has been revitalised, helping new coach Didier Digard (of Middlesbrough 2008-10 'fame') improve the club's fortunes, climbing the league table and reaching the quarter finals of the Europa Conference League.

How long Brailsford will remain in the south of France remains to be seen, with the former British Cycling performance director reportedly trusted by Jim Ratcliffe to overhaul Manchester United should the Ineos billionaire's bid to buy the club from the Glazer family be successful.

27 March 2023, 13:03
Secret new tech! Garmin set to release solar-powered Edge 540 and 840 bike computers
27 March 2023, 11:17
"Real-world consequences": Cyclist "spat at for cycling with my children on an off-road designated cycle path" warns of real-world consequences for spreading "anti-cyclist rhetoric"... as Times publishes front page coverage of Celia Ward case

Elsewhere in the press this weekend...

The Sunday Times 26/3/23

Coincidentally the front page came just hours after one Oxford cyclist had warned of the "real-world consequences" of spreading "anti-cyclist rhetoric", saying she had been spat at while cycling with her children on an "off-road designated cycling path".

"Thank you to everyone for being so nice. I actually wasn't scared but I was absolutely furious. The rage and hatred in her expression really took me aback and there was no reason for it other than some entrenched hatred of the existence of bikes," Laura added.

"And obviously the awful case of Celia Ward, who was killed because of a similar incident, was very present in my mind." 

Earlier this month, Auriol Grey, the pedestrian convicted of causing the death of a 77-year-old cyclist by gesturing aggressively for her to get off the pavement was sentenced to three years in prison.

27 March 2023, 10:36
"It makes me angry and a little bit disappointed": Chris Opie speaks out about Wally Gimber incident which saw rider airlifted to hospital after going through car's rear windscreen
British domestic road race (YouTube)

Former Rapha Condor JLT, One Pro, Canyon Eisberg and Saint Piran rider Chris Opie has spoken out about the incident at last weekend's Wally Gimber Trophy which left one rider with a cut to his neck following a collision with a stationary vehicle.

Last Monday, we spoke to the rider injured's team and competitors at the race who told us how the National B-level event had been stopped after just 40 minutes due to the incident, with the rider involved recovering well after initial concerns about the severity of the injury.

Opie, who was also racing and documented the day on his YouTube channel, raised concerns, saying "everything about that race felt wrong".

> "Continuing as we are remains unsafe": Calls for British Cycling action as rider airlifted to hospital after collision with car during race

"It's barely even 10 years ago that Junior Heffernan lost his life in the Severn Bridge road race and we don't need to get close to repeating that. Unfortunately on Sunday we did," he explained.

"Because of the landing of the air ambulance the race couldn't continue, but I don't believe that should have been the deciding factor. The race shouldn't have continued anyway because of rider behaviour, traffic conditions and what was ultimately too much of an ambitious an circuit. It was a 20-kilometre circuit, that's a long way, there are a lot of junctions, lots of different environmental conditions, whether that's potholes, traffic, villages or access."

During the video, Opie touches on race briefings, rider attitude, rider behaviour, the "deterioration of hierarchy" with fewer big teams to road captain events, narrow handlebars, marshals controlling circuit access and just about every other conceivable factor. An interesting perspective from someone at the event...

27 March 2023, 08:02
Coolest man in Flanders — Arnaud De Lie pops a wheelie on the Kemmelberg's cobbles

As the saying goes... when life gives you a classic-ending puncture, make everyone's day by popping a wheelie on the rain-sodden steep cobbles of the Kemmel... or something like that.

It was a filthy day on the bike in Flanders fields, a point illustrated by a combined 131 abandons in the men's and women's races, Fred Wright calling the conditions "horrendous", while Jake Stewart was left to call his profession a "shit sport".

> Gent-Wevelgem leader takes wrong turn and strays off-course – but holds on to win 

De Lie was not one of the many riders to call it a day once off the back, the Belgian puncturing having been in decent shape the first time up the savage cobbled berg. On the second ascent, off the back and with little more to play for, the Lotto Dstny rider put his skills to the test... fatigue + soaked cobbles + testing gradients = a casual wheelie.

27 March 2023, 08:54
BEST £1000 road bikes 2023 | our six favourite cheap road bikes

Dan is the road.cc news editor and has spent the past four years writing stories and features, as well as (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. Having previously written about nearly every other sport under the sun for the Express, and the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for the Non-League Paper, Dan joined road.cc in 2020. Come the weekend you'll find him labouring up a hill, probably with a mouth full of jelly babies, or making a bonk-induced trip to a south of England petrol station... in search of more jelly babies.

Add new comment

55 comments

Avatar
Rome73 | 1 year ago
5 likes

The tweet by the woman who was spat at reminds me of something that happened to me last week. I was cycling on a busy road when I saw two elderly pedestrians crossing. It wasn't a designated crossing area so I immediately checked over my shoulder as i planned  to take a very primary position and slow the traffic behind me so the elderly couple could continue to cross. There were no vehicles behind me so instead I went right into the gutter to give space to the crossing couple. At which point the man's face formed into a rictus of hate and spittle as he screamed 'bloody cyclist - stop'. I was really shocked. I had given the man priority to my disadvantage because he was crossing in an unsafe part of the road.  But still I was at fault. 

Avatar
Mungecrundle replied to Rome73 | 1 year ago
2 likes

Slightly weird one last week, just turned right into a side street but well on my side of the road when the driver of an oncoming van leaned out of his window and yelled something at me. Sounded like "watch out mate" which I took at the time to be a warning about some hazard in the road ahead, fallen debris in the high winds that day perhaps. But, as there was nothing apparent, maybe it was some sort of unprompted aggression.

Avatar
Rendel Harris replied to Mungecrundle | 1 year ago
2 likes

That looks like a "how dare you be anywhere near the middle of the road" warning to me.

Avatar
Mungecrundle replied to Rendel Harris | 1 year ago
3 likes

I'm in the empty car parking zone as defined by the short bay markings, the truck is actually over the centre line from the time of first visibility to the time we passed each other. Unfortunately the sound on the video is unclear. Maybe it was just a cheery greeting and he mistook me for someone he knew, but with regular articles in the same vein as JCs on the page bout of diarrhoea last weekend I do find myself a little more on the paranoid side of defensive.

Avatar
Rendel Harris | 1 year ago
8 likes

Quote:

"Jailing disabled woman for cyclist death is wrong, say her family."

Let's try being legally accurate and replacing "cyclist death" with "homicide" and see if it still sounds like a justified complaint.

 

Avatar
brooksby replied to Rendel Harris | 1 year ago
6 likes

Rendel Harris wrote:

Quote:

"Jailing disabled woman for cyclist death is wrong, say her family."

Let's try being legally accurate and replacing "cyclist death" with "homicide" and see if it still sounds like a justified complaint.

There's a Grauniad op-ed this morning:

A tragic accident should not have landed Auriol Grey in prison. Our justice system is stuck in the dark ages

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2023/mar/28/prisons-uk-justice...

Quote:

Auriol Grey, who has cerebral palsy and lives in specially adapted accommodation, was walking along a footpath in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, and was infuriated to see a bicycle coming towards her. She waved her arm at it, making the 77-year-old rider swerve, lose her balance and fall into the road, where she was hit by a passing car and died. An act of what might be called antisocial behaviour was followed by a terrible accident. Grey is now serving three years in prison for manslaughter.

I can't help but feel that's a rather "generous" interpretation of the events...

Avatar
Rendel Harris replied to brooksby | 1 year ago
4 likes

Just a tad. It's also both offensive and disturbing the way in which her disability is portrayed as some form of mental disorder that could excuse her actions; I have no knowledge of the degree of Grey's disability but cerebral palsy does not automatically, as one might assume reading the news reports, mean that people with the condition have learning difficulties or other mental problems.

Avatar
brooksby replied to Rendel Harris | 1 year ago
3 likes

Rendel Harris wrote:

Just a tad. It's also both offensive and disturbing the way in which her disability is portrayed as some form of mental disorder that could excuse her actions; I have no knowledge of the degree of Grey's disability but cerebral palsy does not automatically, as one might assume reading the news reports, mean that people with the condition have learning difficulties or other mental problems.

Exactly - see the comedian/telly presenter Rosie Jones.

(edit) or former actor, now playwright, Francesca Martinez (was in Grange Hill in her youth).

Avatar
grOg replied to Rendel Harris | 1 year ago
0 likes

Regardless, the advanced age of the cyclist played a significant role with the cyclist losing control of her bicycle; she was not pushed onto the road by the pedestrian.

Avatar
grOg replied to brooksby | 1 year ago
0 likes

For once, I agree with a Guardian op-ed; it certainly wasn't a homicide..

Avatar
NickSprink | 1 year ago
9 likes

Re JC: I worked hard and bought a car.  Then I worked harder and bought a bike 

Avatar
boardmanrider | 1 year ago
10 likes

Clarkson will say anything to get attention; the man clearly has no filter whatsover. Its not surprising given he is a petrol head that he take this rediculous stance on cyclists.

What really galls me is the reference to the Stasi; anybody who knows anything about Germany will know how notorius they were! Say something bad about the Communist party and your nextdoor neighbour and they were an informer for the Stasi hears this? You almost certainly get an all expenses paid holiday to have your toenails removed in a jail cell somewhere and possibley never seen again. When the wall came down in '89 the Stasis went into overdrive that night to destroy their records because they knew the reprocussions! In short the Stasi were a deeply nasty bunch of people. Referencing them they way Clarkson does is appalling!

History lesson over...

Avatar
IanMSpencer replied to boardmanrider | 1 year ago
8 likes

Strangely, when Lineker mentioned nasty Germans in relation to the Tories there ended up being a nationwide scandal that dominated the news for a week.

But cyclists...

Avatar
grOg replied to IanMSpencer | 1 year ago
0 likes

That related to his employment conditions with the public broadcaster, otherwise Lineker and anyone else is free to opine on whatever they want, including making odious comparisons to the nasties..

Avatar
grOg replied to boardmanrider | 1 year ago
0 likes

His comments about the lurgy mandate effect on bicycle sales and use were spot on and no-one but the woke cares about hurt feelings from a jocular historical reference.

Avatar
DaiHoss | 1 year ago
9 likes

One of the most surreal real-world anti-cycling nonsense I have experienced was early one Sunday morning when my daughter (10) and I were having a quick drink and a snack next to our bikes. 
A white van (like you couldn't have guessed that) skidded to a halt, round down his window, and the absolute winker* driving shouted at us to "get off the fudging* road!"
Thing is, we weren't on the road. Or even the pavement. We were the other side of a fence in a cycle park. 

*Not the real words

Avatar
Rendel Harris replied to DaiHoss | 1 year ago
7 likes

Back in January, shout from a passing van (black, as it happens, but obviously van rules still apply), "Get off the fucken pavement cycle cunt!" I'd been hit by a double puncture/one spare tube scenario and was pushing it to the nearest bike shop...

Avatar
MatzeLoCal | 1 year ago
1 like

In case you missed it: Ugo de Rosa passed away  2

https://www.instagram.com/p/CqQsFu4tPED/

Avatar
ErnieC replied to MatzeLoCal | 1 year ago
0 likes

I missed that. Sad day indeed. 

Avatar
ubercurmudgeon | 1 year ago
9 likes

Ah, Clarkson's back, to his job of pumping out outrageous, politically-incorrect opinions which he has every week to a deadline, almost as if they weren't real. And what better way to get back into his stride, than the old reliable: an anti-cyclist hate-piece. He's like a faded pro, no longer good enough to get on his team's Tour de France squad, doing a post-Tour kermesse, pretending to sprint against the yellow and green jersey wearers, only to come in third. Sad.

Avatar
eburtthebike replied to ubercurmudgeon | 1 year ago
3 likes

ubercurmudgeon wrote:

pretending to sprint against the yellow and green jersey wearers, only to come in third.

Third?  Generous.

Avatar
ktache replied to eburtthebike | 1 year ago
1 like

DNF.

Sorry, DNS.

Avatar
grOg replied to ubercurmudgeon | 1 year ago
0 likes

He's just having a comedic stir and getting paid a lot to do so.. more strength to his writing arm; he's amusing and anyone that takes his articles seriously needs help from a mental health professional.

Avatar
Awavey | 1 year ago
14 likes

We can't on the one hand say Clarkson is just a caricature cartoon figure, and that piece he wrote is almost a parody of his own character
creation, no one pays any attention.

And then follow it up with but actually anti cycling rhetoric in the media has real world consequences on the other.

Because it tips over from spitting or abuse, into the way people drive around cyclists and how they treat them on the road.

Avatar
Surreyrider replied to Awavey | 1 year ago
10 likes

The problem is less that idiot writing cycling hatred and more the Sun's decision to publish it...

Avatar
brooksby | 1 year ago
16 likes

On the Auriol Grey case, I find it interesting how she was originally this lone woman who was estranged from her family and had no friends, etc etc.  And yet suddenly lots of family'n'friends who are more than happy to speak to the press have appeared...

Avatar
NotNigel | 1 year ago
24 likes

I do like how cyclists on roads hold motorists up but as soon as they mount the pavement they hit 50mph.

Avatar
brooksby replied to NotNigel | 1 year ago
14 likes

Schrodinger's cyclist, innit? 

Avatar
belugabob replied to brooksby | 1 year ago
4 likes
brooksby wrote:

Schrodinger's cyclist, innit? 

...or is it Heisenberg's cyclist?
I'm not certain...

Avatar
Rendel Harris replied to belugabob | 1 year ago
4 likes

Never miss an opportunity for my favourite Heisenberg joke:

Heisenberg was driving in Germany when he was pulled over by a traffic cop:

"Excuse me mein Herr but you were driving at 60 km/h in a 40 km/h zone."

"Tell me officer, what town are we in?"

"Frankfurt, mein Herr."

"Well if you know where we are you can't possibly know how fast I was going."

Pages

Latest Comments