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Highway Code changes, riding two abreast, road tax & all the greatest anti-cycling hits — "depressing" reaction to "vile" Countryfile section on cycle safety; Van der Poel's pizza; TT wheelies; Bike lane car park; Post-Giro blues + more on the live blog

The Giro is over...(how long until the Tour de France?)...Dan Alexander is back for the first of three live blogs this week before the long weekend...(thanks, Queenie!)
30 May 2022, 14:38
Highway Code changes, riding two abreast, road tax & all the greatest anti-cycling hits — "depressing" reaction to "vile" Countryfile section on cycle safety

Strap yourselves in for this one... Countryfile did cycling last night, with the segment on the BBC One show since being described as "vile", "disgraceful" and an "utter shitshow triggering anti-cycling hatred" by disgruntled viewers.

Conversely, the usual frothing section of social media reacted to the episode, which included an interview with the widow of a cyclist killed by a speeding driver, crying foul about January's Highway Code changes, two abreast riding and all the other anti-cycling bingo favourites...

Warning: none of the following is particularly pretty...

First things first, let's outline what was broadcast. Last night's episode featured a ten-minute segment on cycle safety as "Tom Heap investigates the increase in cycling deaths on our rural roads".

During the section he spoke with the widow of Anthony Satterthwaite — a cyclist killed in a collision with a driver speeding at 59mph on a 40mph country road (although presenter Heap narrated the incident as: "Anthony was hit by a car on a lane" before later outlining more details of the driver's wrongdoing).

The driver got a suspended sentence and during a segue (thanks, hirsute) to the next part of the report, Heap noted Anthony was one of nearly 100 cyclists killed on Britain's roads in 2018 before saying: "until the pandemic the number of cyclists killed on Britain's roads had been falling, but with the lockdown came a biking boom, and more cyclists meant more deaths".

The reporter then spoke to Dame Sarah Storey, Britain's most successful Paralympian and recently announced Greater Manchester active travel commissioner, and after hearing her call for reduced speed limits and greater vigilance from drivers, asked: "let's face it, cyclists can be occasionally dangerous and occasionally full of themselves as well, can't they?"

Heap's segment ended with driver vox pops in the Peak District, during which the Highway Code changes and two abreast riding were addressed in such glowing terms as "infuriating", "crazy" and "aggravating".

So, what did cyclists think of the segment?

And how about the usual suspects? Get your bingo cards ready...

My head hurts... 

30 May 2022, 16:20
Reader reaction

Almost 24 years on this planet and I've just found out it's a segue not a segway?! Next you'll be telling me it's not 'see I to I' or 'ends meat'... Journalists aren't as good as they used to be, are they? My own personal ramblings out the way, here's what you've been saying about Countryfile's chaotic cycling episode...

30 May 2022, 16:11
Peak comment

Well, I don't want to spoil anything, but boy do we have a story for you tomorrow morning...

Also would it be peak if it wasn't all captured on Jeremy Vine's 360-degree camera?

30 May 2022, 16:04
It was worth a try
30 May 2022, 14:11
Rapha: We believe that all athletes should have the opportunity to race

Rapha has joined the conversation under our link to the story about Emily Bridges' DIVA magazine interview... 

30 May 2022, 13:26
Post-race recovery done right 🍻
30 May 2022, 12:49
Why cyclists don't use the cycle lane #2,461

The why cyclists don't use the cycle lane series has been running for years...and shows no sign of slowing down. Today's edition comes from Brighton...

Adding to the "nothing says we're serious about active travel" theme, Finn said: "See also, trying to look serious about tackling climate change while sanctioning events that encourage people to drive old polluting cars to the beach just for fun whilst deliberately preventing people getting around in healthier ways."

> Monday moaning: Why don't cyclists use cycle lanes?

Time for some more why cyclists don't use the cycle lane specials...

Another bad bike lane (@geoffallard/Twitter)

> "This has UK written all over it": Another why cyclists don't use the cycle lane classic

A12 cycle lane (via Georgina Wilcox/Twitter)

> The 'why cyclists don't use cycle lanes' cycle lane

Cycle lane portaloo (Al Ó Baoighill Facebook)

> Plop-up cycle lane

30 May 2022, 10:55
When he's not eating pineapple pizza and popping wheelies on a TT bike...

My Monday morning brain initially thought Mathieu might be offering a quick mid-stage headset adjustment...not simply signing an autograph...

Tell me you're a cyclist without telling me you're a cyclist...

30 May 2022, 10:48
Yodel delivers almost half a million parcels by bike in the last six months

 UK courier Yodel has delivered 492,000 parcels by bike over the last six months, the company has revealed. The news, reported by 365 Retail, means Yodel has surpassed its previous year's record of 290,000, and hopes to hit 750,000 by the end of its financial year in July.

Yodel partnered with Urb-it, allowing couriers to deliver parcels via its e-cargo bike fleet, a partnership which was extended following a trial period and has expanded from just London to Glasgow, Bristol and Manchester as well. Birmingham, Liverpool and Edinburgh are touted as the scheme's next locations.

"We’re extremely proud of what we have achieved with meeting key targets in our drive to deliver a more sustainable service for the future," Mike Hancox, Yodel CEO said.

30 May 2022, 10:36
Fancy getting paid to ride your bike?

Gloucestershire County Council has unveiled an active travel scheme which will see cyclists offered cash rewards for playing a mobile game which will reportedly help improve local cycling infrastructure.

The council has teamed up with Finnish software start-up Crowdsorsa to collect crowdsourced data of the county's routes to survey the condition of infrastructure.

Cyclists are invited to record footage of cycle routes shown on the app (there are over 250 miles) which are covered with virtual fruit and berries. Each mile of the cycle route has around £2.50 worth of objects to collect.

Two abreast - cheltenham flyer tori and skardy 2

"The game encourages players to explore the county and keep fit, while also earning money in the process," a council spokesperson said.

"In a UK first, the council has teamed up with Finnish software startup, Crowdsorsa, to provide a crowdsourced data collection event to survey the condition of the county’s cycling infrastructure.

“The mobile game would allow riders to collect virtual fruits and berries worth money. These are collected by recording video footage of the cycle routes ridden.

“The survey will start at 10am on Thursday, 2 June, and anyone with a smartphone, bike and phone holder can take part.

“The game shows users over 250 miles of cycling routes on a map, all covered with virtual fruit and berries, and the more of these they collect – the more money they earn. Each mile of cycle route has around £2.50 worth of objects to collect.

“Anyone with a smartphone, a bike and a phone holder can take part in the survey.

“The Crowdsorsa mobile game can be downloaded for free from the App Store and Google Play. Within the app, there is a mission created for the Gloucestershire survey, which also features instructions for users."

30 May 2022, 10:09
Dan Martin out of retirement...according to this bookie

"Money back as a free bet if your rider has been retired for seven months and has no chance of even being on the startline..."

30 May 2022, 09:45
"Three years later and RideLondon is back": Plenty of RideLondon positivity

We suspect there could be some bingo and TalkRADIO frothing about RideLondon appearing on the blog later...soooo, in the meantime let's concentrate on the positives...

It wasn't just about the sportive either. The final stage of the RideLondon Classique, the women's WorldTour event, was won by Lorena Wiebes who made it a hat-trick after winning stages one and two as well...

> RideLondon-Essex riders halted for 30 minutes because of an incident

And beforehand, on the same central London closed roads, thousands of riders enjoyed the car-free city during the RideLondon FreeCycle...

30 May 2022, 09:25
Post-Giro Monday...

How long until the Tour de France?

Tour de France

30 May 2022, 07:51
Mathieu van der Poel celebrates finishing Giro d'Italia by eating pineapple pizza (and wheelieing his TT bike)

He's done it again...

Captioned 'lovely', Mathieu took to Twitter to complete the Giro meme experience, giving the non-Italians what they'd waited all week to see — a robotic Dutchman committing a cuisine faux pas. It's testament to how bloody brilliant Van der Poel is at riding bikes that an act even this heinous and inflammatory (almost) gets a pass...

The Giro started with 'spaghettigate' (the worst of the three crimes if you ask me) — ketchup sprayed liberally over plain pasta...Then, on the second rest day, a picture of a margherita pizza with a pineapple suggestive caption sent the cycling world into meltdown...and prompted the Italian fans to chase him up the final week's climbs brandishing pineapples...

In the midst of the madness it appeared the tropical fruit had special powers: Dries De Bondt, Van der Poel's teammate, was handed one during stage 17...he won the next day...

Anyway, after a final week where the pineapple action was almost always more entertaining than the GC, Van der Poel delivered his grand finale...finishing third in the time trial and getting his snap...

Mathieu van der Poel pineapple pizza (Image: Mathieu van der Poel/Twitter)

The Giro d'Italia social media team wagered the peloton's great entertainer that he wouldn't win a stage during the third week. Despite his heroic stage 17 efforts, and late dash in the TT, the 27-year-old could not find a second Giro stage win...and yet...

Who's the real winner? 

30 May 2022, 08:10
Wheelieing a TT bike? That's a job for Mathieu...

As if the attacking racing and pineapple passion wasn't entertaining enough...Mathieu van der Poel is also the first rider I've seen pull off a wheelie (kind of) on a TT bike...protect this man at all costs... 

Dan joined 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, 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.

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