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".
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"...
💀 // HEAD TRAUMA //
The first image is Stefan Küng finishing his TT in the European Championship.
The second image is me shortly after a far less severe crash on my TT bike.
I took a knock on my cheek, rode straight to work (acute ward) to get it checked…🧵 pic.twitter.com/6VGtWoksbH
— Martin BS (@MedBonnevie) September 27, 2023
"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.
6/ I’m happy to see people using Küngs crash as an opportunity to raise awareness about head trauma.
— Martin BS (@MedBonnevie) September 27, 2023
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.
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."
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!
Yom Kippur in Israel.
A day when all freezes. All stores and restaurants are closed. Driving is forbidden except by children who take over the main streets and highways with their smiles and bicycles.#YomKippur #Israel #Jewish@Daroff @URJPresident @IsraelMFA @LiorHaiat @IDF pic.twitter.com/TGCAxfF195
— (((Joel Leyden))) (@joelleyden) October 8, 2019
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.
On Yom Kippur usually car infested streets become children's paradises.
— Thomas Schlijper תומאס סלייפר (@schlijperisrael) September 26, 2023
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".
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".
This is where I'm contractually obliged to point you in the direction of other road.cc features and stories on a similar topic...
Some good discussion around the savings to be had by ditching your car for more bicycle journeys...
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
— Real Gaz on a proper bike: gazza_d [at] toot.bike (@gazza_d) September 27, 2023
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)."
Bollocks Andrew 😂 pic.twitter.com/AiQ2LntvXG
— Didn’t Happen of the Year Awards (@_DHOTYA) September 26, 2023
A reminder of quite possibly the worst video to ever disgrace this live blog...
Ladies and gentlemen, the new leader of Giro d'Italia. pic.twitter.com/GiZf44hpbv
— Cycling out of context (@OutOfCycling) May 6, 2022
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...
Utterly inspired or an insult to Italy? Heinz launches tomato ketchup pasta sauce https://t.co/XvKnoywIaZ
— LBC (@LBC) September 27, 2023
A good day to be called Mathieu, a dark one for the entire nation of Italy...
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.