Like this site? Help us to make it better.

Live blog

"Addiction to more obese cars" means cyclists "bullied off the road", warns Cycling UK in call for govt action on manufacturers; How a carbon frame shouldn't look; Bike lane blockage; Geraint Thomas to take on Giro/Tour double + more on the live blog

Catch all the news, reaction and more on the Wednesday live blog with Dan Alexander
Geraint Thomas to take on Giro and Tour de France double

Some late Geraint Thomas breaking news: the 2018 Tour de France champ has announced he will be chasing Slovenians (and a pesky Dane) in Italy and France this year. It'll be G's 38th birthday on the penultimate day of the Giro, and with almost two decades of pro road racing and track success behind him, it seems like one heck of a challenge to be taking on the two grandest Grand Tours in a year. 

"I've never done it before, although I did in 2017 but crashed out of both," the Welshman told the Geraint Thomas Cycling Club Podcast. 

Let's hope it's less of the crashing and more of this from G in 2024... 

"Addiction to more obese cars" means cyclists "bullied off the road" warns Cycling UK in call for government action on manufacturers

There's a story on the MailOnline's website today about a new study by Transport & Environment (T&E) which suggests half of new cars sold in Britain now exceed the 180cm width of city street parking bays, with the average car width growing by one centimetre every two years.

This has wider-reaching consequences than just for parking however, what about road space and safe overtaking distances?

Cycling UK's director of external affairs Sarah McMonagle called for "government action to stop manufacturers fuelling our addiction to more obese cars" which, she says, will "lead to cyclists being bullied off the road".

The T&E study points to an increase in SUV sales. In 2013, the 'dual-purpose' sports utility vehicle represented 11 per cent of the market, now it makes up 28.6 per cent of registrations, analysis showed.

Richard Hebditch, director for T&E UK, said: "Currently we allow new cars to be as wide as trucks. This has meant our roads are now home to big SUVs and American style pick-up trucks that are parking on our footpaths, endangering pedestrians and cyclists and making everyone else on our roads less safe.

"The trend of cars getting wider has been progressing for decades and that trend will continue until the UK sets stricter limits."

Bike racing is back (and the Brits are all right)

This after Oscar Onley and Stephen Williams stage win each at the Tour Down Under, plus the Welshman winning the race overall... 

Look launches "fastest-ever" Keo Blade pedals that also offer "increased rider comfort and durability"
"Had hoped this protected cycle lane would make commuting by bike safer": Unexpected (BMW-branded) item in the cycling area

What do we have here? 

The Leeds Cyclist "had hoped this protected cycle lane would make commuting by bike safer"... we've dropped them a message to try to get to the bottom of this one because at first glance it's quite tricky to get your head around what exactly has led to the driver of a BMW being where they were.

> London cyclist films bike lane motorist driving straight at oncoming riders

After many a year of hearing words to the effect of 'we pay all that money for those bike lanes and the cyclists don't even use them', this made us chuckle...

We're hoping the truth is closer to: person makes genuine mistake and then proceeds with caution to exit situation safely for everyone involved. The near-reversing seemingly oblivious to The Leeds Cyclist behind them doesn't fill us with hope, admittedly.

"Didn't see them drive in," they told us. "The cyclist in high-vis was in conversation with the car driver when I approached. Only thing that was said to me was a shout of 'sorry' when I shouted 'woah' as the driver reversed the vehicle towards me without looking."

A couple of years back Transport for London said it would be fining motorists caught driving in mandatory cycle lanes, one previously unpunished very high-profile case seeing presenter and pro-cycling voice Jeremy Vine film a motorist seemingly taking a protected cycle lane shortcut through Hyde Park after mounting the kerb at the traffic lights.

Hyde Park cycle lane (Jeremy Vine Twitter video)

> Jeremy Vine films motorist driving down Hyde Park cycle path

Let's hope The Leeds Cyclist's incident was a genuine mistake... (even if a slightly worrying one at that)...

Right on cue...
"I felt betrayed and not recognised for everything I may have contributed": Arnaud Démare comments on FDJ departure
Arnaud Demare wins stage five of the 2022 Giro d’Italia (Zac Williams/

[Zac Williams/]

French sprinter Arnaud Démare enjoyed plenty of success in the blue, red and white of Groupama-FDJ over the years — during his 12 and a half years with the team he won more than 90 times, including Milan-San Remo, eight stages of the Giro and two stages of the Tour.

However, speaking to France3, he has told of feeling "betrayed" and "angry and disheartened" last season when he was abruptly released from his contract and joined Arkea-B&B Hotels in August.

Arnaud Démare wins 2016 Milan-San Remo (ANSA, PERI - ZENNARO).jpg

"My feelings of anger are still present, also my incomprehension," he said. "I've always been a pro, I've always valued the team. I felt betrayed and not recognised for everything I may have contributed."

In response, team boss Marc Madiot told Cyclingnews' Alasdair Fotheringham: "I don't wish to make any comment but I maintain what I said in the past. Arnaud is a great rider and I would have liked things to have worked out differently. I bear no grudges."

Prolific thief jailed for seven months for stealing bike from railway station
Anyone else riding a Giant folding bike? Nope, just you...


Cracked frame (Facebook)

Couple of smug steel bike owners in the comments on this one saying this has never happened to them. Most have questioned if that seatpost is too far out, but still...

Other less helpful replies included: 

"If you can't fix it with duct tape, you haven't used enough duct tape..."

"Wouldn't have happened with rim brakes."

"I don't see an issue duct tape can't fix..."

Remind me never to share any cycling misfortune on the Roadbike Cycling Facebook page...

How to stay cycling fit over 60 — top tips to defy the years on the bike
Pro cyclist does big bike ride shocker

Winter miles, summer smiles... although not sure Tenerife counts as winter, to be honest. Bit chilly was it? Only 19°C and a bit overcast. Either way, just shy of 5,000m of climbing is a monster day in anyone's book. 

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.

Add new comment


Stephankernow | 2 hours ago

Its the boon in cobalt battery powered electric cars are the major new problem.
Very large and very heavy !

BIRMINGHAMisaDUMP replied to Stephankernow | 1 hour ago

I was overtaken by an electric monster a few days ago.  It was huge and I still think about it. It was so close and so impatient I could 'feel' its aggressive intent.  It makes me so frustrated that drivers of these monsters don't understand how scary it is to be tailgated and then close passed. 

Pedal those squares | 13 hours ago

If a car parks and does not fit in the bay, issue them with a ticket.  (I think I am correct in saying if you park outside the bay then you are fair game)

People will moan, but it's their choice to buy such a huge tin on wheels.  

dubwise replied to Pedal those squares | 12 hours ago
1 like

My wife got a ticket a good few years back for exactly that.

eburtthebike replied to dubwise | 9 hours ago

dubwise wrote:

My wife got a ticket a good few years back for exactly that.

Just how big is your wife?


Terry Hutt replied to eburtthebike | 8 hours ago
1 like

Does she get a centimetre wider every two years?

Matthew Acton-Varian | 16 hours ago

"The T&E study points to an increase in SUV sales. In 2013, the 'dual-purpose' sports utility vehicle represented 11 per cent of the market, now it makes up 28.6 per cent of registrations, analysis showed."

so 30% of cars sold are SUVs.

Yet about 0.3% of them at best will ever do more than a mile off-road.

brooksby replied to Matthew Acton-Varian | 15 hours ago

Does it count as "off road" if they're on the footway?  3

Hirsute | 19 hours ago

The two drivers were less lucky than the bmw one.



brooksby replied to Hirsute | 19 hours ago
1 like

Is that a photo you've taken or is it from the meeja?

Hirsute replied to brooksby | 18 hours ago

twitter - but not everyone on here wants to login to X !

eburtthebike replied to Hirsute | 18 hours ago

And abroad.

mattw replied to Hirsute | 15 hours ago

Repeat after me:

MINI is owned by BMW !

dubwise replied to Hirsute | 12 hours ago

But, were they fined I wonder?

Nah, don't be so stupid I said to myself.

Sriracha | 20 hours ago

Yet when there's a cyclist on the motorway it's national news, front page of BBC.

Secret_squirrel | 20 hours ago

I'll see your Giant folding bike and raise you a Bianchi.


wtjs replied to Secret_squirrel | 20 hours ago

I'll see your Giant folding bike and raise you a Bianchi

Except it's really an R&M Birdy

Secret_squirrel replied to wtjs | 20 hours ago

wtjs wrote:

I'll see your Giant folding bike and raise you a Bianchi

Except it's really an R&M Birdy

Shhhh.  3

The Larger Cyclist replied to Secret_squirrel | 18 hours ago

Secret_squirrel wrote:

I'll see your Giant folding bike and raise you a Bianchi.

What the hell happened with the front forks!

eburtthebike replied to The Larger Cyclist | 18 hours ago

Nothing happened to the forks.  The best folding bike I've ridden and suitable for touring.

brooksby | 21 hours ago


Wales' transport minister has promised the public they will be able to take part in a review of the 20mph speed limit.

Lee Waters says if you feel your street should return to 30mph you can let your council know why.

Patrick9-32 replied to brooksby | 21 hours ago

Dear Council,

I want the road to go back to 30 because I wanna go fast!

Thanks, a driver with no concern for public safety. 

chrisonabike replied to brooksby | 21 hours ago

Clearly there's the usual lack of spines or just people looking to their future careers here.  (You could say of Mark Drakeford knew he wasn't going to have to continue to fight for his position of course).

Sounds like the usual politics of "we're listening - honest!" when some of the public start yelling:

BBC wrote:

Welsh Labour leadership candidate Vaughan Gething has previously said he wants the public to have a say in the review, via their local councils.

Both candidates have said they would stick with the policy and review its implementation.

Hopefully it's a distraction tactic and not a reverse - for a measure which apparently did have approval politically:


A Welsh government spokesperson previously said: "This review, as we set out in October, is looking at how the new default 20mph speed limit has been implemented across Wales. It is not a review into the policy itself which has been overwhelmingly supported by Senedd members from three parties."

Of course the other parties are now using this as a stick.  This is also a universal tactic when it comes to positive active travel policies (although maybe not the Greens?).  Although you can normally guess which party has the least positive things to say:

Natasha Asghar, of the Welsh Conservatives wrote:

The Welsh people don't want a review of 20mph, they want it reversed.

Matthew Acton-Varian replied to chrisonabike | 21 hours ago

There are cases where the new limit has been badly implemented, and where driver confusion is caused by poor signage or other similar cases of poor infrastructure, those measures must be rectified in order to make it easier to both a) understand and follow and b) enforce.

There are also cases rurally where you have multiple major speed limit changes on stretches of roads which probably should have been reviewed on a case-by-case basis before implementation.

don simon fbpe replied to Matthew Acton-Varian | 15 hours ago

You should see the dog's arse made of the random implementation in england, many people drive at 20mph (or 40mph) around Caer totally unaware of when the limits change, or why.

Rich_cb replied to chrisonabike | 20 hours ago

The problem we have now is that none of the previous 20mph zones which had been created over the last decade legally exist anymore.

All signs are being taken down and they are legally returning to default.

If the 20mph policy is overturned then all those streets which were 20mph before the default 20mph limit will automatically revert to 30mph.

Each 20mph zone will then have to individually reinstated. Will there be the time or money for that?

In my area almost all the residential roads and roads past schools etc were already 20mph before the law change. We risk losing all that because of Drakeford's bungling.

OnYerBike replied to Rich_cb | 20 hours ago

Is it true that the previous 20mph zones legally no longer exist? I would have thought the Traffic Orders implemented to create them are still valid - but the signage is being removed as (with the new default) the signs are redundant and potentially confusing. But if the default was changed, the Traffic Orders would still be in effect, and it will only require a restoration of the signage (not trivial, but does not require any new legislation or Traffic Orders). 

Alternatively, ff the Traffic Orders were revoked en masse as part the legislation to amend the default, then would it not be equally possible to restore them en masse as part of whatever legislation changes the default back?

(Hopefully this is all academic and they won't overturn the whole policy)

Rich_cb replied to OnYerBike | 19 hours ago
1 like

I'm not an expert on local authority legal stuff by any means but in the run up to the 20mph change that's what I was told by a local councillor.

He might well have been wrong but I assumed he knew more about it than me!

From what I understand if a traffic order is in place then a road is not a 'restricted road' and therefore the 20mph default limit wouldn't apply and signage would be required. As all the signage has been removed I assume the traffic orders have been rescinded.

wycombewheeler replied to Rich_cb | 19 hours ago

Rich_cb wrote:

...n my area almost all the residential roads and roads past schools etc were already 20mph before the law change. We risk losing all that because of Drakeford's bungling.

if the authorities roll over because the impatient drivers throw their toys out of their overpowered prams

Rich_cb replied to wycombewheeler | 19 hours ago

The policy of 20mph on residential streets etc was widely supported both by the public and all the major Welsh political parties.

Changing the default limit has now made 20mph limits a wedge issue and we risk going backwards.

Far better to have continued to expand the old policy IMO.


Latest Comments