Welcome to Friday’s live blog, with Jack Sexty, Alex Bowden and the rest of the team.
It’s a bit wet out
Testing bikes isn’t so glamorous this time of year, as tech ed David Arthur has been finding out today
The most sensible comment on a local news website ever? A refreshingly measured approach to proposals for fining cyclists riding in pedestrianised zones
It began with a story on Worcester News about council proposals to fine cyclists £100 for riding in pedestrianised areas in Worcester City Centre. Councillors eventually deferred their decision with concerns raised over the wording of the proposals, which also included fining ‘aggressive beggars’: “How are we going to actually enforce this? We have had problems with dog poo and not enforced it”, said Councillor Louise Griffiths.
“As far as cycling on the pavement goes, it is already illegal, so how are we going to enforce it?”
It was agreed the issues would be brought back to the table in January, and when we went down to the comments section, we weren’t holding out for much… until we read this incredibly sensible and measured post left by 3thinker: “I’m all for punishing those who put others in danger, but I’d politely like to point out that the risks to pedestrians from cyclists are more perceived than real. A fact that any rational analysis of the negligible number of collisions will prove. Pedestrians may not like cyclists but the reality is that they offer very little threat as the vast majority do take care and slow down when close to pedestrians.
“The last time I looked at the detail there had only been one incident reported to the police in the pedestrianised City Centre in the past 19 years. It therefore appears to be inappropriate to introduce bye laws to prevent something that isn’t a major risk or problem. Hopefully our councillors will take these points on board before invoking an action that will further inflame the antagonism that already exists between pedestrians and cyclists.
“Discouraging cycle use where it’s not legal, but encouraging a ‘share with care’ approach where it is has proven elsewhere to be a far better way to manage the perceived problem.”
British Cycling’s head of tech confident Hope/Lotus track bike is the world’s fastest
Speaking to the Press Association, British Cycling’s head of technology Tony Purnell has said that designing the striking new bike that the British team will ride at the 2020 Olympics was “fraught with risk” due to the tight deadlines the team were working to. New rules mean that the bike had to be ready eight months early for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, whereas in previous Olympic years, equipment didn’t have to be submitted until June: “I thought, ‘Right, we’re just going to have to cut every corner. Basically, we’re up for the challenge or we scrap it. You know you’re sentencing yourself to long weekends, working night after night and lots of dramas because engineering is difficult and people let you down.
“We’ve lent on our sponsors to an embarrassing extent. The amount of riding time has been almost minutes, not hours, but we’ve got it straight in at the last possible moment.
“Those first tests, God, I was nervous. These riders, they call a spade and spade and I was thinking what if they get off and say, ‘Look, Tony, it’s not right.’ There’s not time to do anything about it, so it’s been fraught with risk.”
Despite this, Purnell is confident the bike is the fastest around looking at the numbers: “Every manufacturer is going to say they’ve built the most aerodynamic, lightest, stiffest bike and we’ll say the same.
“They’ll all come out with a percentage number about how much better it was than the last bike. We don’t want to get into that game.
“All we want to do is look our riders in the eye and say this is the fastest bike we know how to make and that’s what we’ve done.”
Mavic launch special London edition Comete Pro Carbon UST race wheels
The French-designed wheels have been given the London look, with graphics on the rims that features famous landmarks, historic sights and emblems from England’s capital. They’re 65mm deep and 26mm wide, with flatter aero-inspired spokes and tubeless-ready.
Just 50 pairs with the London graphics will be available to buy at the Rouleur Classic show for £1,250.
Police said cyclist was doing 38mph when he was involved in fatal collision with pedestrian
The cyclist reckons he was going maybe half that speed.
Tour de de Pologne retires number 143 in memory of Bjorn Lambrecht
Lambrecht died following a crash on stage 3 of the 2019 Tour de Pologne in August. He was just 22, and identified as one of the best riders of a new generation of Belgian talent. The Tour de Pologne have now decided to officially retire the number 143 he wore in that race.
Hope/Lotus track bike makes first public appearance at Rouleur Classic
The bike everyone has been talking about was shown off on stage at the Rouleur Classic last night, with British Cycling saying it will give their track cyclists “a huge psychological advantage” going into Tokyo 2020 – just in case you were in any doubt that it’s super fast.
Find out more about the bike here.
Re Strava’s new maps…
We’ve now heard back from Strava regarding the question of whether their interactive maps will also be getting a makeover, after partnering with Mapbox for fresher static maps that feature enhanced GPS tracks and trail details: ‘Absolutely – Strava is constantly thinking about their athletes – working on always improving and enhancing the athlete experience. If the maps work well, we will see where it takes the app next.”
So not a concrete promise, but promising nonetheless.
Vigil to be held in Dublin this evening for cyclist who died in collision with cement truck
The Irish Times reports that a male cyclist died this morning on the South Circular Road in Dublin, after colliding with a cement truck. The incident happened between 8.30-9am this morning, with the Garda carrying out a forensic investigation and appealing for any witnesses who may have been at the scene during that time.
The man is the eighth cyclist to die on Dublin’s roads this year, and there will be a vigil between 5pm and 6.30pm this evening in memory. Louise Williams of the Dublin Cycling Campaign said: “This is just tragic and shouldn’t have happened. People should be able to cycle safely.
“There was a need to have more physical infrastructure between cycle routes in Dublin and motorised traffic. A few painted lines are not going to protect you.
“While there had been talk for years, and lots of money spent, on proposed major cycle routes, such as the proposed Liffey cycle route, the fact was that little or nothing had happened. On paper it looks as if Dublin is progressing, but when you look at what is actually happening, it is very disappointing.”
Government will update law on mobile phone use at the wheel but won’t consider ban on hands-free devices
A driver filming with their phones can currently argue that it is not being used ‘for an interactive communication function’.
Spalding man was ‘spaced out’ on cocaine when he hit cyclist – and says he ‘sold his car’ to avoid future temptation
Christopher Storm was handed a 13-month driving ban for driving under the influence of drugs after he hit a cyclist with his wing mirror and knocked him off in Spalding in May, reports Spalding Today.
57-year-old Storm was driving a Renault Clio when he knocked the cyclist off his bicycle in Park Road at 4pm on May 11 and admitted to police he had taken cocaine the previous night.
The sentence? A 13 month driving ban, £120 fine and £117 in court costs. In mitigation, Beris Brickles said Storm’s wing mirror had caught the cyclist causing him to fall to the ground, and that he has now sold his car to avoid temptation to drive under the influence of cocaine in the future. Even so, Storm could be back on the road in December 2020.
Apple co-founder has ‘given up’ on fully self-driving cars
The reality of current self-driving systems doesn’t match up with consumers’ expectations, says Apple co-founder, Steve Wozniak.
“What we’ve done is we’ve misled the public into thinking this car is going to be like a human brain to be able to really figure out new things and say, ‘Here’s something I hadn’t seen before, but I know what’s going on here, and here’s how I should handle it,’ ” he said.
Automotive News Europe reports that Wozniak had hoped Apple would be able to build a fully autonomous vehicle that would read and react to the road like a human, but he now says that there is too much unpredictability on roads for a self-driving car to manage.
“I’ve really given up,” he said. “I don’t even know if that will happen in my lifetime.”
Wozniak said that autonomous vehicles would fare better, “if we were to modify roads and have certain sections that are well mapped and kept clean of refuse, and nothing unusual happens and there’s no road work.”
Track Cycling World Cup timings and results
Just a flimsy excuse to publish that photo again, to be honest.
Car-free Edinburgh (for an afternoon)
Guernsey cyclists could be fined £100 for riding on cliff paths
Guernsey’s Committee for the Environment and Infrastructure’s Agriculture, Countryside and Land Management Services are reminding cyclists not to use south coast cliff paths, because the say this could cause conflict with other path users and cause damage: “The Committee encourage the use of bicycles where lawful, however in some cases they can cause conflicts with other road users and damage to pathways.
“Steps are also being undermined by cyclists habitually riding down the soft banks alongside them. Such erosion can lead to the destabilisation of the steps and also loss of grass and coastal plants. This is exacerbated during wet weather when cycle tracks cause deep rutting and large areas of mud where groups of cyclists have passed through. Cliff paths noted to be particularly affected by cyclists include St Peter Port, St Martins and Torteval. Notable damage to a newly laid concrete path near Bon Port was caused recently by cyclists riding through it overnight.
“Temporary signs are being put up along the cliff paths between La Vallette and Fort Pezeries to remind users that cycling is prohibited by law and that offenders may incur a fine.”
The sign says cyclists could be fined £100 for flouting the rules.
Anyone else get a Zwift dinosaur?
Don’t hold onto the back of lorries: road etiquette for cyclists, 1936 style
These cycling sins ‘make drivers mad and could make cyclists silent forever’ according to British Pathe news in 1936.
Fiona Kolbinger becomes 7Mesh ambassador
The German doctor who took a remarkable overall victory at this year’s Transcontinental Race has kept a pretty low profile ever since, but has inevitably picked up a few sponsors for her efforts. The latest is apparel brand 7Mesh, and Kolbinger actually wore the one pair of shorts from the brand for the whole 4,000km Transcon ride. She said: “I’ve always liked things to be in a certain order. I was obsessed with getting everything right for TCR.” That included shorts: “I bought several pairs of shorts – one of which was from 7mesh,” she recalls. “The bib from 7mesh was the only one that did not have seams around the pad. That changed everything.”