Italian cyclist filmed wading through the sea with his bike to avoid police fine

Local media reports that police repeatedly invited the man to leave the water

An Italian cyclist has been filmed wading out into the sea with his bike, apparently to avoid a fine for breaching lockdown rules.

According to local media, the incident happened on the coast near Otranto, as police tried to stop the rider.

Video footage of the incident shows the cyclist walking through thigh-deep water while pushing his bike as police officers try to convince him to get out.

La Gazzetta del Mezzogiorno newspaper (opens in new tab) reports that the man can be heard saying that “he did nothing wrong.”

According to the reports, the man did get out of the water and will be issued a fine, ranging anywhere from €400 to €3,000 (£350 to £2,634).

Italy has been imposing strict lockdown rules for three weeks as it tries to slow the spread of coronavirus, which has infected 110,000 people and killed 13,000.

Shops, restaurants and bars have been closed in Italy and residents can only leave their homes for essential reasons.

Leisure cycling is one of the many activities banned in the nation, with fines being issued to anyone flouting the rules.

In the UK, we’re still allowed to ride outside but people have been warned to adhere to social distancing rules and not ride in groups.

Dozens of cyclists are still trying to ride in London’s Richmond Park, despite the green space now being closed due to the number of cyclists and the lack of social distancing.

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The Royal Parks Police has said that ‘dozens’ of cyclists are being stopped by officers in Richmond Park despite a ban on cycling being introduced last week.

Cycling in the west London park was banned from last Saturday after The Royal Parks authority said the volume of cyclists and lack of social distancing meant closing the park to bikes was the only way to “protect public safety and ultimately help keep this vital green space open for everyone” during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

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Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.