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“That car parking space was more valuable than a child being safe”: Seriously injured cyclist blasts council inaction and “negativity” towards bike lanes; Slovenian drivers told to “leave the racing to Roglič” + more on the live blog

It’s Tuesday and Ryan Mallon is in the (very) hot seat for all your live blog needs…


06 June 2023, 08:08
Abandoned car sign (Image credit: Gráinne Faller/Twitter)
“People are encouraged to cycle but there’s nothing happening to make it safer”: Seriously injured cyclist blasts council inaction and “negativity” towards cycling infrastructure

A cyclist from Galway – where councillors last year controversially voted against a major segregated cycleway – who was hospitalised for four and a half months after being hit by a driver has described the Irish city as the “worst place I’ve ever cycled by a long shot”.

Simon Rowan was riding home from work in January when he was struck by a motorist at a roundabout, leaving him with multiple fractures, including a broken pelvis, as well as other serious trauma.

He underwent two major surgeries during a two-month stay in hospital, before being transferred to a rehab facility for another two months. Simon was finally able to return to his home this week, with the aid of crutches, with his wife Ruth acknowledging that there is still “a very long road ahead” in his recovery.

> Galway councillors vote for U-turn on Salthill cycleway, prompting "disgust and disappointment"

Speaking to the Irish Times, the cyclist – who lived in Los Angeles for a number of years, so should know a thing or two about cycling in a car-focused city – says the impact of his collision in January has underlined the need for safe, protected cycling infrastructure in Galway, a place where, it seems, the private car remains top of the pile.

Last year on the live blog we reported that plans for a major two-way, 3km-long segregated cycleway along the promenade in Salthill, a seaside suburb of Galway City, were scrapped when councillors – who initially backed the project – voted 13 to four against it after local business owners said the lane would create “havoc”.

In the aftermath of that decision, cyclists in Salthill left homemade signs on cars, some of which were permanently parked for advertising purposes, to make a cutting point about how the council appears to prefer road space to be used.

> "This could be a cycleway": Cyclist leaves homemade sign on abandoned car

And Simon reckons that the decision in Salthill is indicative of a local authority that cares more about parking spaces for cars that it does the safety of its residents.

“I would say this is the worst place I’ve ever cycled by a long shot,” he told the Times. “When I went to LA I expected it to be really bad. But it’s actually so much better than here.

“I have been thinking about what makes Galway so bad. It keeps on coming back to the council and councillors and the negativity towards cyclists here.

“The decision on the prom [in Salthill] really got to me especially now after my accident… To me it was that car parking space was more valuable than a child being safe, or some adults being safe on a bike.”

His wife Ruth added: “People are encouraged to cycle but there’s nothing happening to make it safer. You are still expected to share the road with every kind of vehicle: cars and buses and trucks.

“It is frustrating and heart-breaking to see that this happened to my husband. And to think that still nothing might change because people don’t like change.”

As Simon begins another phase of his long recovery at home, his message to Galway City Council – and any other local authority for that matter – is a pointed one: “These sorts of accidents are happening all the time. Like, they know where it’s at. They know where the traffic is. And not a finger lifted to do something about it.”

06 June 2023, 15:57
Dauphiné update: Bennett and Groenewegen both relegated for sprint deviations

As expected, Sam Bennett has been relegated for his questionable interpretation of a sprinting line during today’s chaotic finish at the Dauphiné.

However, while the Bora-Hansgrohe sprinter can have no complaints, having basically used every inch of the road on his way to second, Dylan Groenewegen – who shook his head in frustration across the finish line – may feel slightly miffed that his move, which blocked Matevž Govekar and arguably came as a result of Bennett’s drift, also resulted in a relegation for deviating from his line.

The race jury’s decision means that Matteo Trentin and Milan Menten have been upgraded to the two spots on the podium behind yellow jersey Christophe Laporte.

So much for today being a stage for Bennett and Groenewegen, then…

06 June 2023, 15:17
Christophe Laporte continues rich vein of form in messy sprint at Dauphiné

Yellow jersey Christophe Laporte once again stamped his authority on the opening phase of the Critérium du Dauphiné this afternoon, putting the pure sprinters to the sword in a messy finish in Le Coteau.

A relatively sedate day – with the exception of the mid-race pile-up that ended Andrey Zeits’ race – gave way, inevitably, to a frantic, crash-marred finale.

Yesterday’s resurgent stage winner Julian Alaphilippe, who also came down in that mass crash with 50km to go, endured perhaps the most frenzied final kilometres of the day, chasing back after a puncture with eight kilometres to go before again being held up by one of two back-to-back spills towards the end.

And while many assumed today’s sprint – the only nailed-on one of the entire race – would be a straightforward affair between the two pure fast men, Sam Bennett and Dylan Groenewegen, the closing few hundred metres gave way to yet more chaos.

Though Bennett was lead out to perfection by a well-timed acceleration from Bora-Hansgrohe, the Irish rider’s nervy sprint saw him veer right across the road to the barriers, impeding a frustrated Groenewegen in the process, who had to settle for third.

(Though considering second-placed Bennett nearly occupied every sprinting line imaginable in those final few hundred metres, the Dutchman will almost certainly eventually be bumped up a place by the race jury.)

While Bennett dived right, stalling Groenewegen’s progress, Jumbo-Visma’s Laporte was allowed the freedom of Le Coteau to sail up the middle and make it two out of three at the Dauphiné. Which ain’t too bad at all…

06 June 2023, 14:58
Police force criticised for one close pass prosecution from 286 submissions admits need to review how reports are managed
near miss of the day 837 close pass mercedes driver - screenshot via Das_Pig on Twitter

West Midlands Police has responded to the recent criticism of its low prosecution rates for close passes by placing its processing of public-reported video footage “under review”.

The force also noted that each report takes an average of 60 minutes to be assessed, but accepted the need to adapt given the “50 percent increase in third-party reporting” in recent years.

Read more here:

> Police force criticised for one close pass prosecution from 286 submissions admits need to review how reports are managed

06 June 2023, 14:31
“It shouldn’t take someone to lose their life to realise this level of race traffic is no longer acceptable”: Triathlete says he feels “disgusted” that race was allowed to continue after motorbike rider killed and competitor seriously injured in crash

An Australian triathlete who witnessed the horrific crash that killed a motorbike rider and seriously injured a competitor during the cycling leg of the Hamburg ironman on Sunday says he feels “dirty and disgusted” that the race was allowed to continue.

We reported at the weekend that local police in Hamburg confirmed that the incident involved a head-on collision between a race-support motorbike rider and their photographer passenger and an amateur triathlete racing in the opposite direction. The 70-year-old motorbike rider died at the scene.

One of the three riders who witnessed the crash, Australian Josh Amberger, criticised the layout of the course – which saw the athletes racing in opposite directions on a tight, two-way road – and slated the organisers for allowing the event to continue.

“It was the most horrific thing I have ever seen and I don’t wish to share any detail on what we saw, other than it seemed to me that the collision was not survivable,” Amberger said in an Instagram post.

“I expected the race to be neutralised, but it was not. I feel dirty and disgusted that we continued to race in these conditions.

“From what I know, we were followed by a cavalcade of up to 18 motorbikes on a narrow road with two-way traffic. It shouldn’t take someone to lose their life to realise this level of race traffic is no longer acceptable.”

Sunday’s terrible tragedy at the Hamburg Ironman comes over seven years after Belgian pro cyclist Antoine Demoitié was killed after being hit by a motorbike rider during Gent-Wevelgem.

Demoitié’s death came just a month after BMC boss Jim Ochowicz wrote an open letter to the UCI calling on the organisation to take action to increase rider safety, in the wake of a number of incidents involving riders and support motorbikes.

06 June 2023, 13:58
Huge crash interrupts chilled day at the Dauphiné

Up until a few minutes ago, today’s stage of the Dauphiné was a bit of a snooze fest.

No breakaway, a sprint all but guaranteed, the peloton relaxed, fans begging Derek Gee to turn up, letters of apology being written by those who chastened the Giro for being ‘too boring’…

In fact, the only bit of action we were treated to for the opening 140km of today’s jaunt to Le Coteau was the sight of Julian Alaphilippe pretending to attack Christophe Laporte after an intermediate sprint.

Yep, it was that kind of day.

But then, as is often the case in cycling, the relaxed atmosphere in the bunch bred some inattention and sparked a massive crash, which brought – among many others – Alaphilippe down, with Astana’s Andrey Zeits appearing to come off the worst after flying over the handlebars and being forced to abandon the race.

It’s all quietened down once again, but it goes to show, a dull day doesn’t necessarily mean a relaxed one in pro cycling…

06 June 2023, 13:37
No cycling (copyright Simon MacMichael)
Four Grimsby cyclists fined £220 and ordered to pay £284 in costs for cycling in prohibited zone

It looks like Grimsby is clamping down on cyclists riding their bikes in pedestrianised areas, judging by the hefty fines dished out at the town’s Crown Court last week.

According to Grimsby Live, four separate cyclists, ranging in age from 31 to 65, were found guilty of breaching a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) by riding a bike in a prohibited zone. All four were fined £220 and ordered to pay £226 in costs and a £58 victim services surcharge.

> “Educating people wasn’t working… Hopefully this will deter others”: Police target motorists using city centre pedestrian and cycle zone as a “shortcut”

Also at Grimsby Crown Court last week, a 21-year-old motorist pleaded guilty to driving at 66mph in a 40mph zone and was disqualified from driving for 28 days. He was also fined £323 and ordered to pay costs of £144.

06 June 2023, 13:10
Is this the fastest cycling shoe ever made?
2023 VeloVetta Monarch cycling shoe black

Well, VeloVetta certainly think so…

> VeloVetta launches "the fastest cycling shoe ever made"... and it's even been through the wind tunnel

What do you reckon? Too flashy for the Sunday coffee ride?

06 June 2023, 12:24
New Tour de France kit klaxon!

I swear it’s getting earlier and earlier these days, but Uno-X this morning became the second team so far, after Bahrain Victorious, to unveil their new threads for the Tour de France, with (kind of) new sponsor Rema 1000 – a subsidiary of current backer Reitan – becoming the latest supermarket chain to jump on the pro cycling bandwagon.

And nope, before you ask, that isn’t the Spanish champion’s version, that’s the actual kit…

06 June 2023, 11:53
US government agency criticised for ‘Every good bicycle ride starts with a helmet’ post

More questionable approaches to the safety of children on bikes here, as a US government agency came in for criticism this week after posting on Twitter that ‘every good bicycle ride starts with a helmet’.

The tweet, posted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, part of the US federal government’s Department of Transportation, was published to mark Bike and Roll to School Day, and included a link to a bike safety info page which reminds cyclists to “ride responsibly” and “follow the same rules and responsibilities as motorists”.

“Every good bicycle ride starts with a helmet and riding to school is no exception,” the agency wrote. “Before their feet hit the pedals, remind them of the importance of wearing a helmet.”

Unsurprisingly, the tweet has been heavily criticised, with one cyclist describing it as a “terrible message that had nothing to do with safety”, while others adopted an alternative slogan seemingly ignored by the US government: “Every good bicycle ride starts with a safe street to ride on.”

A Dutch cyclist – apparently they know a thing or two about cycling infra – added: “Good bicycle rides, no matter the destination, start with a government that is willing to invest in safe cycling infrastructure, rather than with a government organization that is putting the blame for its own failing policy on young traffic participants.”

Not quite as snappy, but I like it.

06 June 2023, 11:23
Alexa, define irony: Motorist criticises “costly” cycling infrastructure, blames children for not learning about road safety, and claims back in his day, “I was free to cycle where I wanted”

Ah, Twitter. For all your many, many, many faults, you still occasionally come up with the goods – like highlighting how some anti-cycling commentators suffer from a serious irony deficiency when it comes to bike infrastructure.

At the weekend, Edinburgh-based cyclist Ewen posted the following clip, showing children riding their bikes on the Scottish capital’s City Centre West to East Link, a protected cycle lane designed for “less confident cyclists and anyone who‘s concerned about cycling in busy traffic”.

The kids, Ewen wrote, were “experiencing independence and well-being” on the lane, something he argues “would not be happening without segregated infrastructure”.

Not everyone, however, agreed with Ewen’s assessment.

“This would not be happening without segregated infrastructure’ – why is that?” asked John, who, you will come to learn, appears completely oblivious to the actual answer to his own question.

“As a kid (e.g., before I had access to powered transport) having learned about road safety, I was free to cycle where I wanted totally without unused costly special ‘infrastructure’.”

Ah yes, it’s the children’s fault for not learning how to ride safely on the roads. Gotcha.

Of course, plenty lined up to educate poor John as to why, back in his day, the roads may have been slightly safer for young cyclists:

Even then, it still wasn’t filtering through: 

Ah, John, best to sit the next one out, okay?

06 June 2023, 10:48
The first reviews are in for Netflix’s Tour de France doc (kind of)

Two days, everyone, two days…

06 June 2023, 10:08
Hit-and-run driver ran red light "at speed" and hit 10-year-old cyclist, avoids jail
Bolton Crown Court (CC BY-SA 3.0/Rept0n1x/Wikimedia Commons)

A hit-and-run driver who jumped a red light "at speed" in his Audi A4 — colliding with a schoolgirl cycling across the junction on her way home — before fleeing the scene and abandoning his car without helping the injured child, has avoided jail.

Read more:

> Hit-and-run driver ran red light "at speed" and hit 10-year-old cyclist, avoids jail

06 June 2023, 09:27
Meanwhile, over in the land of the Ineos Grenadier…

While Primož Roglič’s name is being used to promote safe driving in Slovenia, former world champion Michał Kwiatkowski has been granted the somewhat dubious honour of becoming the first ever owner of an Ineos Grenadier 4x4 (complete with cyclist horn, of course) in Poland:

And the comments are exactly what you’d expect them to be…

“Awesome – for a low carbon world…”

“So many buttons.”

“It inherently encourages distracted driving.”

“Think about how many cyclists you can kill with the giant bumper.”

“I’d take the Pinarello over the car any day.”

06 June 2023, 08:59
Slovenian drivers told to “leave the racing to Roglič”

Now, this is the pro cycling/road safety crossover we’ve all been waiting for…

Slovenia has decided to pay homage to its recent Giro d’Italia champion and national hero Primož Roglič, not with some fancy city hall reception or TV special, but with a pertinent reminder to wannabe racers on the country’s motorways:

I can’t wait for the Pogačar/phone use follow up in July. They could even use Pog’s iconic photo with Vingegaard on the phone as the poster…

Or maybe the British government is planning a Mark Cavendish-based speed awareness campaign in July? The again, maybe not.

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.

Add new comment


eburtthebike | 4644 posts | 3 months ago

Four Grimsby cyclists fined £220 and ordered to pay £284 in costs for cycling in prohibited zone

That level of fine would appear to be appropriate for drivers who significantly exceed the speed limit and put lives at risk, but totally inappropriate for riding a bike in a pedestrian area, unless it can be shown that they endangered someone's life.  Given that all four got the same fine, I very much doubt that it can, and the amount of the fine is unjustified.

Can the size of the fine be challenged?

HoldingOn | 441 posts | 3 months ago

The Grimsby news - lets hope that poor driver doesn't resort to cycling during his 28 day driving ban: if they take a wrong turn and end up in the pedestrianised area they will be hit with a larger fine more out of pocket than for driving at 165% of the speed limit.

brooksby replied to HoldingOn | 12197 posts | 3 months ago

Riding a bicycle in a "prohibited area": £220 fine plus £226 costs and a £58 victim surcharge.

Driving a car at 66mph in a 40mph zone: disqualified from driving for 28 days. £323 fine plus £144 costs.

Not completely sure that those are proportionate sentences... 

brooksby | 12197 posts | 3 months ago

And I had to share this one with the class  4

Finnish businessman hit with €121,000 speeding fine


A multimillionaire businessman has been hit with one of the world’s highest speeding fines – €121,000 (£104,000) – for driving 30km/h (18.6mph) over the limit in Finland, where tickets are calculated as a percentage of the offender’s income.

“I really regret the matter,” Anders Wiklöf, 76, told Nya Åland, the main newspaper for the Åland Islands, an autonomous Finnish region in the Baltic Sea. “I had just started slowing down, but I guess that didn’t happen fast enough. It’s how it goes.”

Wiklöf, the chairman and founder of a €350m-a-year holding company, said the speed limit changed “suddenly” from 70km/h to 50 when he was flashed at 82km/h.

As is common in the Nordic region, fines for traffic infringements in Finland are based on the severity of the offence and the offender’s income, which police can check instantly by connecting via their smartphones to a central taxpayer database.


brooksby | 12197 posts | 3 months ago

Article in the Grauniad about 'shrinkflation' - ends with the following:


Fresh data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) showed new car registrations rose by 16.7% in May to 145,204.

While registrations remained 21% below their level in May 2019 – the last year before the start of the Covid-19 pandemic – last month’s increase marked the 10th increase in a row, the longest period of uninterrupted growth since 2015.

Mike Hawes, the SMMT chief executive, said: “After the difficult, Covid-constrained supply issues of the last few years, it’s good to see the new car market maintain its upward trend and the fact that growth is, increasingly, green growth is hugely encouraging.”


HarrogateSpa replied to brooksby | 1499 posts | 3 months ago

Yep "green growth" in car sales made my wince. Then again it's Mike Hawes.

brooksby replied to HarrogateSpa | 12197 posts | 3 months ago
1 like

Is he meaning that some enormous but unspecified percentage of those new cars are EV and therefore he considers them to be "Good/Green"?

marmotte27 replied to brooksby | 565 posts | 3 months ago

The word 'green' goes with 'washing'.

Pyro Tim | 183 posts | 3 months ago

Unreadable today, due to floating video ( and floating ads over content, with no way to make them go away. Please can you have a look at this? It's detrimental to the site.

brooksby replied to Pyro Tim | 12197 posts | 3 months ago

Are you a subscriber, PT?

BalladOfStruth replied to brooksby | 419 posts | 3 months ago

brooksby wrote:

Are you a subscriber, PT?

Look, I get what you’re saying, but you could say the same thing for every website online, and you can’t exactly pay £5 a month for every website you visit to make the site halfway-usable – nobody could afford to use the internet.

If rely on ad revenue, then that’s fine – all they need to so is stop going out of their way to make the end-user experience absolute dog-shit, and they can have all the ad revenue they want. As it stands this website is unusable on desktop without ad blockers and unusable on mobile full-stop. There are hundreds of thousands of websites out there that rely on ad revenue and there are very few I can call to mind that are as aggresively unpleasant to use as

@admins/site owners. At the very least, can you take a look at the autoplay modal? The one at the top of the screen (that takes up a third of the screen and covers the menu) waits for the inner content to load before it renders the button to close it. I live in the middle of nowhere with Victorian internet – it takes AGES for the close button to appear. Please, render the close button as soon as the modal container exists.

Then there’s a banner ad at the bottom of the screen that takes up the bottom half of the screen. Underneath that is another banner ad with an autoplay video (that takes forever to load) and then forces you to watch 10 seconds of it before you can close it, YouTube style. Then underneath THAT is another, full-screen modal that advertises subscription.

Seriously, it takes like a minute to drill down through the adds until you can see the page content. If a casual reader (the kind that’s never going to subscribe, because it doesn’t really offer them any value) has to go through all of that just the see the front page, do you think that they’re going to put their hand in their pocket for a sub, or do you think they’re just going to go to Cycling Weekly?

I’m honestly using the site way less these days because of how shit the ads have gotten.


/rant over

brooksby replied to BalladOfStruth | 12197 posts | 3 months ago


Rendel Harris | 5436 posts | 3 months ago

Why would the Slovenian authorities be putting out messages to drivers in English? Suspect Photoshop! 

mark1a replied to Rendel Harris | 1032 posts | 3 months ago
1 like

I was just here to post the exact same thing...

TonyE-H replied to Rendel Harris | 57 posts | 3 months ago

A couple of people have said they've seen it, and that it switches between slovenian and english every few seconds.

Car Delenda Est replied to Rendel Harris | 487 posts | 3 months ago
1 like

While funny I suspect it will only encourage wannabes to bask in Roglič's glory and LARP as a racer for a few minutes.

jpj84 replied to Rendel Harris | 58 posts | 3 months ago

My experience in Slovenia is that most residents speak better English than I do 

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