The Wiggins Effect

  “I think it can have a huge, huge affect on cycling and not just for the sport of cycling, but also seeing the humble bicycle come back and be used as a form of transport. This could be a catalyst for an enormous amount of change.” (C.Boardman 21.07.12 ITV4 Tour De France coverage)

This was Chris Boardman talking to Gary Imlach after Bradley Wiggins’ win on the final Time Trial of this year’s Tour De France. Inspiring words to follow an inspiring win. It would be apposite for a British time trial specialist to ignite a love of road racing and inspire more people on to bicycles in this country as it was the opposition to cycling in general that drove road racing into the murky shadows of secrecy. The development of the time trial in this country was was the result of road races being broken up by police (often with violence and menaces), and, according to some commentators, due to heavy influence from the newly formed motoring organisations exerting their claim to the roads. Time Triallers would dress head to toe in black and race on quiet roads at extremely anti-social times of day to avoid being brought to the attention of the police.

While this sort of thing doesn’t happen anymore, on a day-to-day level, for many there still seems to exist this air of antagonism between people on bicycles and other road users and pedestrians. What a shame.

Bradley Wiggins and the rest of the Sky Team represent what is possible on a bicycle. We do not all have to pluck and shave ourselves within and inch of our lives; we also do not need to wear lycra, crazy shoes, or ludicrous helmets. We can carry children, dogs and friends on our bikes if we so wish. We can use a rusting anvil-heavy antique to pop to the shops or we can spend our loved one’s inheritance on carbon frames and featherweight wheels. But however you do it, get on your bike. I do not believe people change by being lectured at or by having their supposed shortcomings thrown back into their face. People I know have started riding a bike because they have seen other people doing it. How simple is it to be an example? Well, all you need to do is something cheap and easy that will make your life better. How difficult can that be?

Now, as so often I’m plugging the amazing shows from DJ Kamikaze. I only do it beacause they’re the best! Here’s the latest fantastic offering.

 

One Response

  1. you say the nicest things :)

    September 16, 2012 at 11:08 am

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