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"Knocks are not to be trifled with": Doctor warns cyclists of concussion danger after Stefan Küng horror crash; How much could you save by switching from car to bike?; A good ketchup-related day for MvdP; Amusing 20mph chat + more on the live blog

Welcome one and all to another road.cc live blog, Dan Alexander is in the saddle for Wednesday's offering...
27 September 2023, 14:43
"Knocks are not to be trifled with": Doctor warns cyclists of concussion danger after Stefan Küng horror crash

We've all seen the shocking pictures from last week's European Championship time trial in the Netherlands, Stefan Küng bloodied and wearing a badly damaged helmet as he crossed the finish line.

It caused quite the discussion around safety, rider welfare, concussion and more, former UCI president Brian Cookson calling for a crackdown on the head down TT position, and retired pro Phil Gaimon recalling his own concussion experience, saying there is "nothing inspiring or bada** about" riding through a head injury and that riders need to "respect their brains".

Stefan Kung crash at 2023 European time trial championships (GCN)

And the incident also prompted the Swiss Cycling team to launch an internal debrief and the federation's manager to admit that they should have better protected their rider so he did not finish the race.

Well, now a doctor (and cyclist) has weighed in with his own professional views and personal experience of concussion from cycling. Writing on Twitter, Martin said he was happy to see more people talking about the issue and wants to stress to cyclists that "knocks are not to be trifled with"...

"I was discharged shortly after with zero symptoms of concussion. No headache, nausea, dizziness or amnesia. As far as I could tell, I wasn't unconscious after my crash. But I did recall stumbling a bit when trying to get off the ground. Not much, only a slight unbalanced step," his thread continued.

"Did my due diligence in resting over the weekend and returned to work in the emergency outpatient clinic next week. I didn't last a day before the headaches and nausea set in. My supervisor sent me home for the rest of the week. 

"I returned the following week with only doing 80 per cent days and a stern message to work at my own pace. That is far slower than we usually do to keep the ward functioning. Just as well, because I had no chance of keeping the normal pace in the ER.

"For the next six months I realised what life is like for people who are troubled with headaches. They would come on whenever the pace at work got high, or with accumulated screen time or concentration. In half a year, these symptoms gradually faded.

"I was fortunate that my course of post-concussion symptoms were mild. Those knocks are not to be trifled with. Don't know how many patients I've seen with severe symptoms from not taking a blow to the head seriously enough.

27 September 2023, 15:22
Police say penalty points "will not do anything to correct poor driving habits" of motorist who hit cyclist after pulling across "to speak with her daughter on the phone"
27 September 2023, 07:58
How much money could you save by switching from car to bicycle?

There's an interesting article on Birmingham Live's website this morning, marking Car-Free Day last Friday by speaking to people in the West Midlands who have ditched their motors to make cycling their main form of transport.

Birmingham Mailbox and traffic (licensed CC BY-SA 2.0 by Bs)u10e01 on Wikimedia Commons)

One person, Mary Mooney from Sutton Coldfield, told the site of her "relief" at not having to keep her car running and the costs that go with it, estimating that she's "saving about £1,000 a year now that I've got rid of my car". "It's a lot when you think about it," she added.

Another Brummie, Michael, says making the bike his primary transport doesn't hold him back... "Having a bike doesn't restrict you from doing things — you can have a bike with a trailer to do the shopping. You can put a bike on a train to London, and it's cheaper than driving. The cost of running a car is astronomical. Once you've got a bike, you can go anywhere and it won't cost you a penny."

Cyclist in the evening 02 © Simon MacMichael.jpg

Well, we all know it's unfortunately not quite that free. Maintenance costs, inner tubes, brake pads, cables (if your bike still has those in 2023) etc. but still, far cheaper than £50 plus on a tank and MOTs, parking, insurance and the rest of it. My first reaction was that £1,000 a year saving might even be a bit low...

Have any of you lot completely or largely swapped driving journeys for cycling? Even if it's just the commute for a couple of days a week? How much do you reckon you've saved? This is bringing back flashbacks of how much money commuting by bike saved me versus a train season ticket... but that's a whole different discussion... thank god for the bicycle!

27 September 2023, 13:06
Report from Israel where Yom Kippur turns the country into cycling "paradise"

Interesting feature in the Guardian about the effect of Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar, on traffic in Israel and the cyclists who replace it.

The day involves fasting, with the feature noting public transport is also suspended and phones turned off. And while there's no law banning driving, the roads become empty. "The Guardian did not see a single motor vehicle on the road on Monday morning other than an ambulance and a handful of police cars," Bethan McKernan reports.

Instead, children and families enjoy the traffic-free roads, as "the din of car horns is replaced by bicycle bells, birdsong, and the crashing of waves on the beach, while some people seize the opportunity to cycle cross-country on what are normally snarled motorways".

Read the full article here...

27 September 2023, 12:18
No motor doping tests carried out on four stages of the Giro d'Italia and two Tour de France stages, investigation finds
27 September 2023, 11:42
SNP commits more funding to free cycling scheme

The Scottish government is to spend a further £900,000 on its free bikes programme that has so far seen 3800 bikes given to children.

The news was reported by the Scottish Daily Express who said the scheme had "failed" due to the total £4 million spent on it, working out at £1,054 per bike.

However, minister for active travel Patrick Harvie says the scheme does important work "offering cycles to young people facing financial barriers" and that the model for delivery would continue to be refined to "ensure as little waste as possible".

Furthermore, when talking about the £4 million total, it would be unfair to say that divides by 3,800 to give the per bike cost as the money has also gone towards "training sessions, staffing, and the setting up and running of nine separate pilots using different delivery models".

However, the newspaper also quotes Conservative MSP Stephen Kerr who called the spending "extravegant, especially during a cost-of-living crisis".

27 September 2023, 11:21
On the topic of saving money...

This is where I'm contractually obliged to point you in the direction of other road.cc features and stories on a similar topic...

Essential money-saving tips for cyclists August 2023

> Essential money-saving tips for cyclists — keep riding without breaking the bank

> How to save money on a bike with a Cycle to Work scheme

> Six money-saving bike maintenance tips

27 September 2023, 11:17
Don't try this at home... fork-mounted razor machetes for clearing trails...

27 September 2023, 11:06
"That was probably an effective 12 per cent pay rise after tax": Your thoughts and money-saving tales

Some good discussion around the savings to be had by ditching your car for more bicycle journeys...

In the comments section too...

 HoldingOn: "I took up cycling for my commute, as an alternative to a second car. I've been tracking what I have spent on cycling (two bikes, clothing, accessories, maintenance) in the two years - it is getting scary close to £2,000.

"Fuel wise, it's pretty close to £2,000 saved in the two years. Which means it is all the other stuff that goes on driving that I have saved. The cost of the car, insurance, MOT, services (no paid parking required). On the flipside, now I have all the bits I need for my bike (and a bike that will last!) the running costs are pretty low. I doubt I will spend more than £200 a year.

"That £1,000 a year saving is a bit lower than what I work out I would average long term. For the first year or two though, it is probably close to the mark. Of course - Cycle2Work schemes will decrease the cycling cost and therefore increase the saving!"

GMBasix: "Don't forget to add the economic and social costs to both you and society of you reducing health implications of inactivity (or the costs of going to the gym if that is what it has replaced) and air pollution (to which car occupants appear to be more exposed)."

27 September 2023, 09:04
Amusing 20mph claims — driving instructor edition
27 September 2023, 08:59
Comedy film about cyclist who never removes helmet falls well short of crowdfunding goal... but they're going to make it anyway
27 September 2023, 08:51
A good ketchup-related day to be Mathieu van der Poel

A reminder of quite possibly the worst video to ever disgrace this live blog...

In the hilarious words of Elisa Longho Borghini, "After that, I don't know what there is. Probably only death."

Well, no death yet, Elisa, just more suffering...

A good day to be called Mathieu, a dark one for the entire nation of Italy... 

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.

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29 comments

Avatar
Rome73 | 9 months ago
1 like

If you are self employed you can claim mileage on your bike. So you can zero out a lot of the expense. £1000 to run a car sounds quite cheap - if you factor in depreciation and maintenance it has to be more surely? 

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davebrads | 9 months ago
4 likes

My commute is a little over 10 miles, and I used to drive half the time. At the end of 2021 I decided to ride my bike every day.

The car cost me £1,200 in 2011 and I had spent about another £2,000 keeping it on the road, so that cost is not great, just £300/year. VED was £340 last time (it was a big old car), and fuel would be another £360 ish for the approximately 120 days I used it for work. That works out £1,000/year, I don't think that you could do motoring for much less. It was going to cost me over £1,000 to keep it on the road, it needed a new timing belt, clutch and tyres so that's what made my decision for me.

I bought the bike 8 years ago for £250, new ex-demo. I have spent about £400 on secondhand wheels and groupset to get it to be the bike I want, plus about £300 on lights (they kept failing, I think I have more reliable lights now). Maintenance is just replacement of chains twice a year, tyres every year and cassettes every couple of years which works out about £130 a year, making a total of about £200 a year. Again I don't think you could do it a lot cheaper.

An £800 a year saving. Not massive, but it goes a long way towards paying for the upkeep of the other bikes and cycling holidays.

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Born_peddling | 9 months ago
1 like

Re: Amusing 20mph claims — driving instructor edition;
Needs more fuel because of the 20 mph limit? Clearly doesn't how physics or the internal combustion engine actually works 😂, wonder if there's a tiny hamster powering this guys brain running on its tiny wheel? 🤔🤣

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Cugel replied to Born_peddling | 9 months ago
2 likes

Born_peddling wrote:

Re: Amusing 20mph claims — driving instructor edition; Needs more fuel because of the 20 mph limit? Clearly doesn't how physics or the internal combustion engine actually works 😂, wonder if there's a tiny hamster powering this guys brain running on its tiny wheel? 🤔🤣

Wot brain? There is only a string in 'is back which is pulled to obtain the latest pre-recorded daft-phrase sent 'round to all Toryspivs by their Minister for Distributing Stupid Soundbites; or by the other minister in charge of doing as much damage to everything as possible 'cos they can. (The Bullingdon old boys klub).

 

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chrisonabike replied to Cugel | 9 months ago
1 like
Cugel wrote:

Wot brain? There is only a string in 'is back which is pulled to obtain the latest pre-recorded daft-phrase sent 'round to all Toryspivs by their Minister for Distributing Stupid Soundbites;

Utter piffle as usual. Action Man's pants don't come off at all, whereas it was a good job Boris struggled to keep his on as they were frequently on fire.

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David9694 replied to chrisonabike | 9 months ago
2 likes

chrisonatrike wrote:
Cugel wrote:

Wot brain? There is only a string in 'is back which is pulled to obtain the latest pre-recorded daft-phrase sent 'round to all Toryspivs by their Minister for Distributing Stupid Soundbites;

Utter piffle as usual. Action Man's pants don't come off at all, whereas it was a good job Boris struggled to keep his on as they were frequently on fire.

not even Commando Action Man? 

I recall there was the heating engineer we had on Drivers and their Problems  who wouldn't be able to get to so many of his clients (it being 20 mph across all of Wales, except the M4 which is basically a long thin extension of England).

Not sure how any of these whinge stories work if the true loss is 2.9 mph? Another "which is it, drivers?" for me. 

Anyone know the number of driving licence holders in Wales? Has THAT petition exceeded it yet?

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David9694 replied to chrisonabike | 9 months ago
0 likes

chrisonatrike wrote:
Cugel wrote:

Wot brain? There is only a string in 'is back which is pulled to obtain the latest pre-recorded daft-phrase sent 'round to all Toryspivs by their Minister for Distributing Stupid Soundbites;

Utter piffle as usual. Action Man's pants don't come off at all, whereas it was a good job Boris struggled to keep his on as they were frequently on fire.

 

not even Commando Action Man?

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chrisonabike replied to David9694 | 9 months ago
0 likes
David9694 wrote:

not even Commando Action Man?

Someone pulled your string again?

It's good enough for a second outing though! Perhaps it could be dressed up as a driver this time?

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David9694 replied to chrisonabike | 9 months ago
1 like

This darn choppy website is getting beyond a joke - lots of duplicate posts from when people get an error message and try again.

More cowbell needed somewhere. 

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Safety | 9 months ago
1 like

Re the Scottish Greens bike for kids scene. I would have been more impressed if their co leader Lorna Slater had taken the time to respond to one of my emails to her enquiring why, as part of the government, they were allowing Polis Scotland to purposely avoid introducing a portal for video submissions and there by making the roads safer for active travelers.

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NotNigel | 9 months ago
4 likes

Not sure what the relevance is on how he arrived at court...?

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Cugel replied to NotNigel | 9 months ago
4 likes

NotNigel wrote:

Not sure what the relevance is on how he arrived at court...?

As with that Adolf, who was a vegetarian, we can learn that anyone who rides a bike and fails to eat meat every day is certainly a criminal of the worst kind.

This means that, even if the cyclist eats some Kenfuky fried tortured-bird for their lunch, or perhaps a MacFud chemical-filled cow for their tea, they will still be guilty of summick, so all car-driving righteous vigilantes can run them 'over cos they deserve it, innit.

If a cyclist is seen eating tofu and buying The Guardian, they should be run over slowly (perhaps at 20mph) and multiple times, obviously, whilst being shown a picture of Suella (Chief Persecutor) smirking.

Good old-fashioned Bwitish Juztis, that.

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hawkinspeter replied to Cugel | 9 months ago
0 likes

Cugel wrote:

As with that Adolf, who was a vegetarian, we can learn that anyone who rides a bike and fails to eat meat every day is certainly a criminal of the worst kind.

This means that, even if the cyclist eats some Kenfuky fried tortured-bird for their lunch, or perhaps a MacFud chemical-filled cow for their tea, they will still be guilty of summick, so all car-driving righteous vigilantes can run them 'over cos they deserve it, innit.

If a cyclist is seen eating tofu and buying The Guardian, they should be run over slowly (perhaps at 20mph) and multiple times, obviously, whilst being shown a picture of Suella (Chief Persecutor) smirking.

Good old-fashioned Bwitish Juztis, that.

Hold on a minute, Adolf really hated cycling after his bicycle messenger stint in The Great War.

Avatar
Cugel replied to hawkinspeter | 9 months ago
1 like

hawkinspeter wrote:

Cugel wrote:

As with that Adolf, who was a vegetarian, we can learn that anyone who rides a bike and fails to eat meat every day is certainly a criminal of the worst kind.

This means that, even if the cyclist eats some Kenfuky fried tortured-bird for their lunch, or perhaps a MacFud chemical-filled cow for their tea, they will still be guilty of summick, so all car-driving righteous vigilantes can run them 'over cos they deserve it, innit.

If a cyclist is seen eating tofu and buying The Guardian, they should be run over slowly (perhaps at 20mph) and multiple times, obviously, whilst being shown a picture of Suella (Chief Persecutor) smirking.

Good old-fashioned Bwitish Juztis, that.

Hold on a minute, Adolf really hated cycling after his bicycle messenger stint in The Great War.

Somewhere there will be an "historian" who will discover evidence (of a kind) that proves Adolf really liked his bike and was just annoyed that a tommy scratched it with a badly-aimed shot. The Brooks saddle may also have been a secret Bwitish weapon.

Anyroadup, all that sauerkraut without any rost bif certainly seems to have had an effect when conjoined with his probable saddle boils.

What does Cruella eat and not eat? (I suspect, myself, that she is like that infamous Bishop of Bath & Wells). She seems to have criminal tendencies so must ride a bike, obviously (but perhaps in secret). 

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Rendel Harris replied to NotNigel | 9 months ago
4 likes

Looking at the whole report on HullLive there is some relevance to the fact that he arrived by bike each day rather than on public transport in that part of the defence's claim for leniency was that since being released from prison for previous offences he had isolated himself from society to stay away from temptation, so one assumes that was why it was mentioned. Admittedly it does look very odd in isolation!

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Rendel Harris replied to NotNigel | 9 months ago
2 likes

Looking at the whole report on HullLive there is some relevance to the fact that he arrived by bike each day rather than on public transport in that part of the defence's claim for leniency was that since being released from prison for previous offences he had isolated himself from society to stay away from temptation, so one assumes that was why it was mentioned. Admittedly it does look very odd in isolation!

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NotNigel replied to Rendel Harris | 9 months ago
4 likes

Thanks for that Rendel, that'll teach me not to read the full article and jumping to assumptions that there is some agenda behind the captioning.

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Sriracha | 9 months ago
12 likes

I've swapped the car for walking most days - yeah, shameful that I ever used the car for walkable journeys. So I'm not saving much but am gaining health-wise.

One thing I notice walking during peak times is how many motorists use their phone at the wheel. So if you're cycling consider this - many of the cars you pass are controlled by someone on their phone. I was actually quite shocked by the reality - even a short commute by bike and you will, 100%, be endangered by phone drivers.

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Backladder replied to Sriracha | 9 months ago
1 like

I think our local farmers have had their phones surgically attached to their ears, I can't remember when I last saw one not on the phone while driving a tractor!

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Cugel | 9 months ago
6 likes

There are huge savings to be made by not owning a car, both to one's own wallet and health and to those of others who have various blights visited upon them by the great car owning plutocracy.

In terms of cash, you'll probably save between £2000 - £5000 per year as the depreciation cost of owning a slowly rotting car, never mind the further thousands of pounds saved by not having to pay excise duty, insurance, maintenance, fuel, parking and other costs. Even if you spend lots of time, effort and cash on maintaining  a P&J religiously (and few do) it'll still end up as a rust heap worth nothing before that long.

So will a bike - but it'll cost far, far less per year and last longer than most cars with basic, easy and inexpensive care.

In terms of savings to everyone else (including yourself) not running a car will reduce pollution, CO2, NHS and a range of other social "well-being" costs for everyone. If the numbers giving up cars become significant, there'll also be a vast saving to the exchequer (and hopefully the tax payers) in terms of the costs necessary to maintain or add to the transport infrastructure. No pointless cycling infrastructure (that isn't any such thing anyway) spend needed, for example.   1

******

There'd also be a reduction in the less obvious social costs - those psychological mind states that cars seem to induce in humans and which leak out to degrade many other aspects of life. Aggression, intolerance and that mutual alienation induced by being locked in a mobile tin cell, jousting your way to and from the satanic mill or the consumer dross-drug emporiums with the other tinned ciphers.

Cars are of themselves an evil technology - a drug which initially gives pleasure but soon becomes a monkey on your back and that of all around you. I didn't have one 'til I was 40; I'd love to get rid of the (electric) one we have now but my wife won't agree.

I'm hoping that the ever-increasing poverty across Blighty wll eventually mean that most can't afford one and will also become as anti-car as I feel, as well-off wankpanzer drivers annoy us all with their dangerous antics. Every cloud, even a decreasing income, has a slver lining!

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gazza_d | 9 months ago
5 likes

I switched from driving a 16 mile commute to cycling, and handed back my car park permit. I reckoned that just in fuel and permit, I was saving about £170 to £200 a month. That was probably an effective 12% pay rise after tax. cycling took maybe 10-15 minutes longer in peak, but I became a stack healthier too, both physically and mentally.

Even now that I work from home, I cycle most short trips and every mile is about 20p just in fuel. I really need something that tots up strava commuting trips for cost as well as carbon savings 

I need a vehicle for work (24/7 on-call), but it's a cheap car at about £2k with now VED and insurance of about £220 so the sunk costs are not huge. 

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mark1a replied to gazza_d | 9 months ago
3 likes

gazza_d wrote:

... I really need something that tots up strava commuting trips for cost as well as carbon savings 

If you're using Strava, have you looked at or tried Veloviewer? It provides many, many ways of analysing your existing Strava data, including the ability to export activities based on any filter you can think of, including the commute flag, for further use elsewhere. It would be trivial to produce a spreadsheet on which you could import the raw activity data onto one tab, and do a simple calculation on another. Just use the HMRC approved figure of 45p per mile (a notional amount which at some point represented the cost of driving including depreciation, fuel, insurance, tax, wear & tear, servicing, although it's probably way more than that now), and you'll see the figures mount up.

I've just done this myself (using 45p) and it's surprising.

 

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Sriracha replied to mark1a | 9 months ago
0 likes

I wouldn't get too excited by the 45p/mile number - you're unlikely to see that sort of cash returned to your pocket, unless you are actually cancelling a new car purchase and cycling instead.

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mark1a replied to Sriracha | 9 months ago
3 likes

Sriracha wrote:

I wouldn't get too excited by the 45p/mile number - you're unlikely to see that sort of cash returned to your pocket, unless you are actually cancelling a new car purchase and cycling instead.

I'm not getting excited by it at all, I was just responding to gazza_d's query regarding converting Strava commute activities into a monetary value rather than just CO2. The mileage cost could just be tweaked to suit, the main point was just to export data via Veloviewer and proceed from there. 

For me personally, I don't really care so much about saving ~£3 per trip, my main motivations for riding to the office were the physical activity, predictable journey times and setting an example as part of a wider company policy to encourage more active travel. 

 

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mark1a replied to gazza_d | 9 months ago
0 likes

...

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HoldingOn | 9 months ago
8 likes

I took up cycling for my commute, as an alternative to a second car. I've been tracking what I have spent on cycling (two bikes, clothing, accessories, maintenance) in the two years - it is getting scary close to £2,000.

Fuel wise, it's pretty close to £2,000 saved in the two years. Which means it is all the other stuff that goes on driving that I have saved. The cost of the car, insurance, MOT, services (no paid parking required)

On the flipside, now I have all the bits I need for my bike (and a bike that will last!) the running costs are pretty low. I doubt I will spend more than £200 a year.
That £1,000 a year saving is a bit lower than what I work out I would average long term. For the first year or two though, it is probably close to the mark.

Of course - Cycle2Work schemes will decrease the cycling cost and therefore increase the saving!
 

Avatar
GMBasix replied to HoldingOn | 9 months ago
5 likes

Don't forget to add the economic and social costs to both you and society of you reducing health implications of inactivity (or the costs of going to the gym if that is what it has replaced) and air pollution (to which car occupants appear to be more exposed).

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GMBasix replied to HoldingOn | 9 months ago
1 like

Housekeeping!

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henryb replied to GMBasix | 9 months ago
8 likes

But don't forget to take off the costs of cycling-related cake

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