Murderer! Despot! No worse, much worse – Cyclist!

By Rob Spedding | Monday, February 22, 2010 9.49am

The Daily Mail eh? If it didn't actually exist Chris Morris or Charlie Brooker would have to make it up...Just a few months ago 'celebrity' chef James Martin wrote in the Mail how he loved scaring cyclists while driving sports cars. Oh how we laughed. Last week Petronella Wyatt added her predictable tuppence worth to the anti-bike debate by pretty much branding all of us as mugging, old-lady battering – and yes 'wheatfree pasta' eating – bastards.

I know I shouldn't get annoyed by it, but I do. I'd like to put it on record that I have never eaten wheat free pasta. I love wheat in my pasta. Petronella does of course make a really, really good point though:  "The bicycle has also become a favoured tool of muggers. It is the perfect instrument from which to surprise the unsuspecting victim and make a successful getaway." OH MY GOD! Ban bicycles! And shoes! Muggers wear shoes! And trousers – last time I was mugged he was definitely wearing trousers AND PROBABLY PANTS! Make them iilegal. Or at least make men take tests before they can be allowed to wear pants.

She seems to have forgotten that cars have long been a 'favoured tool' of bank-job getaway drivers, serial killers and rapists and ram raiders...

Curiously enough I asked Rob Ainsley to pen a Real Cyclist column for the next issue of Cycling Plus on the use of the term 'cyclist' in the general media. Someone on a bike does something dodgy and straight away it's "Cyclist does something bad..." This annoys me as much as the wheatfree pasta fallacy. They're not necessarily a cyclist. They're someone on a bloody bike. I reckon there's a difference. Let's reclaim 'cycling/cyclist' for the vast majority of us who do it sensibly, safely and without ever eating wholefoods....

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