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Stricken ducks and bike lanes paved with gold: weekly round-up #2

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Stricken ducks and bike lanes paved with gold: weekly round-up #2

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Cycling matters

April 17th, 2015

This week’s round-up features an unfortunate accident, beer, politics, and an incredible adventure.

A strange scandal unfolded in Portland when a rider struck and killed a mallard and failed to stop, despite efforts by onlookers to catch his attention. The stricken duck struck up a debate among the community about what obligations, legal or moral, there were for the cyclist in questions, and whether he’d actually done anything wrong.

It was described as a “grey area” by the THPRD (the Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District): just another grey area cyclists operate within (Jeremy Vine once encountered problems for breaking Hyde Park’s vehicle speed limit, despite the fact there was no speed limit for bikes).

The cyclist involved has since shared his side of the story.

What do you think? A justified furore?

A fantastic prize

In less macabre news, a cyclist was awarded his weight in beer by a local brewery after winning an event at the Tour of Flanders. At 73kg, this equates to around 128.75 pints (presuming they’re using the imperial pint measure). Much better than a trophy!

So well done Matt Brammeier for winning the intermediate sprint through the village of Sant Eloois Winkel – we hope you enjoy your drinkel!

Politics next.

“Are cycle lanes paved with gold?”, asks an unsubtle pamphlet being handed out in Newcastle ahead of the general election:

UKIP cycling policy flyer

“Nope. Just broken beer bottles, used hypodermic needles and loose gravel round my way”, retorts Reddit user Thornstarr.

We’re used to seeing all sorts of claims and promises thrown around in the weeks before we head to the polls and it’s to be expected that cyclists will be targeted at some point, but this is low.

It stands in stark contrast to this pamphlet, which was sent to motorists in Boston along with their excise tax bills (similar to the UK’s vehicle tax):

Boston cycling flyer 1

Later in the pamphlet it says

This year, more bicyclists will be on the roads of Boston than ever before. That’s good news for all of us! It keeps our air cleaner and our roads less crowded with cars. Do your part by looking out for bicyclists whenever you drive.

Props to (and to the person who posted these on Reddit).

Maybe someone should send a copy of a recent CycleScheme report to politicians and candidates who hold these anti-cyclist views to try and change their mind. writes about this piece and picks out some of the cycling’s main benefits to society:

A £2.5 billion saving to the NHS and an £830 million boost to the British economy is predicted by 2025 … [with] 1,226,750 commuters cycling to work.

Wiggins and Brailsford

The Telegraph ran a great interview with Bradley Wiggins and David Brailsford, the former of whom was “a right handful” in his formative years, enjoying japes like pushing David Brailsford into ponds at Holiday Inns. Tom Cary’s interview with Dave and Wiggo makes fantastic reading. Some highlights:

  • TC: What were your first impressions of each other?
    BW: I don’t know really. I just remember this goatee. You had this goatee at the time, like David Brent [laughing]. If I’m totally honest I thought you were a bit shady because you had a Merc coupé. A bit of a gangster.
  • TC: Brad, you have spoken in the past about going off the rails a bit after Athens?
    BW: Yeah, just getting lost again. I became a father that year as well. I don’t think I fully appreciated at the time how big an impact that was on me.
    TC: Was that a worry for you, Dave, watching Brad ‘getting lost’ as he calls it?
    DB: Yeah sometimes. When you would go, you would really go, wouldn’t you? Like full-on, proper go. What I’d like to think is that whenever you came back to British Cycling you were always welcome.

It goes from funny to sad and back again (like the temperamental mood Wiggo is famous for, if Dave is to be believed). A great insight into the lives of two of British Cycling’s powerhouses.

Mark B

We wrote earlier this week about Mark Beaumont’s world record attempt for the quickest journey between Cairo and Cape Town.

He’s currently smashing it, having crossed into Sudan and continuing to make good speed (yesterday he rode 200 miles).

Here’s where he is now:

Mark Beaumont's record map

And finally, last week’s Calvin and Hobbes strip showed comic solidarity with cyclists who struggle with bike repair, riding on busy roads, tumbles, or any of the other element of this seemingly haphazard hobby.


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