Naughty Duffy eh...

Is Brit winner encouraging risky riding? Of course she isn't...

According to a tabloid paper Duffy, the triple BRIT award winning Welsh 'songstress' is 'riding into a road safety storm' thanks to her appearance in an advert...

The Daily Star quotes the CTC, RoSPA and Brake in an article criticising Duffy for riding a single speed bike at night without lights or a helmet in a Diet Coke advert. Obviously were Duffy to actually be riding a bike in the dark she'd be breaking the law and deserves a good telling off (wearing a lid is still a matter of choice) but, erm, it kinda looks like it's in a studio and it's an advert on the telly box, for a fizzy drink. It's not an advert for cycling. Are there really people out there who'll stare at the TV, and think: "Mmmm, pretty singing lady in hotpants. Me buy fizzy drink. Me ride bike no lights, no helmet..."

Of course, I'm willing to give benefit of the doubt to the people quoted here. After all I'm a journalist and I know how asking a leading question or lopping off a word here and a sentence there can make an entirely reasonable quote fit with what I want to write. (Not in the 'Plus of course!) No it's the tabloid habit of turning what's surely a non-story into a story. Especially when it stems from a bleedin' advert!

I mean when I was much younger I watched a film about a boy who put an alien in a basket on the front of his BMX and then flew in the sky (he didn't wear a helmet). I also used to watch a 'comedy' programme where three men rode a trandem at high speed. I didn't copy them! (My pet alien was rubbish to be honest, no magic powers...)

And am I going to buy car insurance because Iggy Pop (Iggy Pop!?) tells me to? Or butter that Johnny Rotten (Johnny Rotten?!) recommends? Course not, but if they were pretty singing ladies in hotpants...

Rob Spedding

Editor-in-Chief, Cycling Plus, Cycling Plus Magazine
Editor-in-chief Rob has been pedalling Cycling Plus since 2007. His first proper road bikes were a Raleigh Sprint in the early 1980s and then a Trek 1000 in 1999. A former competitive runner, Rob has repeatedly threatened to become a competitive cyclist in every discipline from time-trailling to hill climbing to bike polo. We're still waiting.
  • Discipline: Road. Mainly commuting but with the occasional mountainous sportive that he'll complain about/fail to complete. Enjoys cake stops. Will never, ever do another triathlon after a bad experience in open water.
  • Preferred Terrain: Gently undulated roads – he's more of a rouleur. Likes gravel.
  • Current Bikes: BMC Alpenchallenge, Viner Perfecta, BMC Granfondo GF0, anything shiny that Warren Rossiter will allow him to ride
  • Dream Bike: Bianchi Specialissima, Raleigh Banana
  • Beer of Choice: Innis and Gunn Original
  • Location: Bath, UK
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