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Wiggins’ win the start of a great British summer for sport – and the chance to rescue Olympics legacy

Posted on 22 July 2012 | 11:07am

Out this morning for a pre-Wiggo-triumph two-hour ride through small French towns and villages, I popped into a little bike shop to get a few bits and bobs.

Bradley Wiggins’ yellow helmet took pride of place in the helmet stall. Black socks were doing better than usual. And despite the hefty price tag, the shop owner Jean-Christophe told me Pinarello was selling better than any other brand. ‘He has been very good for business.’

There is something about Wiggins’ directness, his love of the history and traditions of the Tour de France, his quirkiness and what John-Christophe called ‘le look rock and roll’ that has endeared him to the French, normally somewhat suspicious and resentful of British success.

I hope that the British government and the underestimated sports industry are as seized of the economic potential of today and what follows as Jean-Christophe. The one piece of the Olympics jigsaw I really worry about is legacy, and that is because I am not convinced this Prime Minister and this government really get sport and the contribution it can make to economic policy, education policy, crime policy, health policy.

The Olympics, despite the cost, has already made its contribution to the economy and to Britain’s standing in the world. God knows how much worse the unemployment figures would have been without them. But there is so much more to come if the potential of the Games is harnessed properly. Wiggins’ win today is the perfect way to set up the Games. One of the first big events is the road race, where Mark Cavendish has a great chance of gold, which would create just the mood for success that the country will be hoping for. Then we will be into what should be two and a half of the greatest weeks of our lives.

But legacy means taking that success and using it as the platform for something enduring, something which changes the country for the better and for good, really puts sport at all levels at the heart of what we are as a nation. It is hard to see the commitment of the government when there has been such a spectacular fall in competitive sport in state schools as a result of their cuts.

A few months ago, after discussion with some of the key people involved in the delivery of the Games, who shared the concern re legacy, and wanted to pick my brains about how to influence the government machine, I sent a long note to Number 10. I put forward a number of proposals on legacy, up to and including the elevation of sports minister to Cabinet level at least for the time it takes to ensure the sporting legacy of the Games is secured. Despite prodding from me and from others, I have yet to receive a reply.

But if the government sees the Olympics and Paralympics purely as two amazing sets of events that have to be well-run and create a short term global buzz out of London, they will be missing a massive opportunity.

Today Wiggins will become the first Brit ever to win the Tour. To my mind, it is as big as a football or rugby or cricket World Cup. But his celebrations will be brief, because he will have to get his head immediately in shape for the different challenge and the different role he will play at the Olympics.

Government ministers need that same mindset. They should be thinking that it is when The Games are over that the hard work begins. I think sports minister Hugh Robertson does a good job. But little I have heard or seen from those above him, up to and including the man at the top, suggests to me they really get the opportunity for Britain that is opening up.

Climate change denier Nigel Lawson was on the airwaves recently urging David Cameron to ape Thatcher not Blair in his style of leadership. He would do better to try to learn from the leadership of British Cycling supremo Dave Brailsford. Have a vision. Set clear objectives. Build a team and develop the strategy to meet them. Then work your balls off. Cameron scores poorly on all counts.

It is not too late to save the Olympics legacy. And today, one of the best and biggest days in our sporting history, is a fine place to start.

  • Cycling in particular is not only important as a sport but also as a legitimate form of transport. The cycling infrastructure in the UK is generally dreadful and the attitude towards cyclists is embarrassing. I hope that the main thing that is capitalised on from Wiggins and other British cyclists success is not only a growth in popularity of cycling as a sport and leisure but growth in it as a means of commuting and general utility transport and a paradigm shift from the negative attitude towards cyclists.

    If you type the words f******g cyclists in to a twitter search you will see what the generally held opinion of cyclists is as neon lycra clad, road tax avoiding red light jumping menaces. When what people who chose to cycle from home to work or a to b really are along with Wiggins is f******g heroes.

    Wiggins is also an amazing role model, passionate, articulate, intelligent, hard working, alternative and down to earth. I hope to see him and Cav, Hoy, Pendelton and all the other riders on the headline pages of the BBC and newspapers more than the John Terrys and Wayne Rooneys of this world.

  • Lloydalun

     “I am not convinced this Prime Minister and this government really get sport and the contribution it can make to economic policy, education policy, crime policy, health policy.”I have been convinced for a considerable time that politicians in general not only don’t get sport but are contemptuous of it (Norman Lamonts comments this week were indicative of that attitude) . My suspicion was that most MP’s were those last picked for the playground teams. They were looked down on by the rugger buggers and the muscled adonis’ of the rowing team and, maybe, envious of their popularity with the girls (well would you pick Osborne over Pinsent). They never took sport seriously because they thought it was for louts, they sneered at it and sidelined it. This began to change with New Labour, TB’s kickabout with Kevin Keegan may have been seen as spin but the intent was to show that sport was important to people and he understood that. Under Labour we got a great Commonwealth games in Manchester and the Olympic bid was won. The profile of sport got raised. We got a PM who was actually a very good rugby player and football fans in the cabinet, people who actually knew that sport was important to the health and morale of the country. Unfortunately, it feels like we’re back to the sneerers. This coalition has set the country back years in so many ways. 

  • Anonymous

    Oh, come on.  The Tour de France and the Olympics do not compare.  One is an epic rooted in a particular place, the other is a costly visiting circus.  And who are you trying to fool – you know the government has no interest in the general well-being of a single citizen.  Collective good isn’t something they ‘get’.  

    By the way, re your penultimate para, how do you incentivise your female colleagues?  Which bit of their anatomy are they encouraged to say goodbye to in the name of hard work?

  • reaguns

    I agree – not with you but the opinions you researched!

    I hate cyclists – got stuck behind about 40 of them today.

    And it just cracks me up that the people who want us to abandon cars to return to bicycles, call themselves “progressives” lol!

    And Alastair – tour de France like world cup?! Behave yourself. Or state the figures your embarrassing opinion is based upon.

  • reaguns

    I see Tony Blair is joining in with the vacuous crap today – according to an article he penned in the sunday papers, the Olympics is bigger than the world cup. This is due to the fact that the Olympics has 200 countries competing whereas the World Cup has 32 you see. Oh Tony… numbers never were your strong suit eh? How about viewing figures? Attendances? Sponsorship? Revenue? Profit?

    The World Cup dwarfs all other sporting events put together. Of course if TB was a real football fan instead of a rugger fan like all the other politicians, he would know that.

    But yeah 200 entrants so its brilliant – prizes for everyone Tony eh? Same as your education programme. And indeed your physical education part of that programme, who remembers footballs without goals, sportsdays without winners and all the other New Labour crap.

    Reminds me of the Americans who wanted to make the goals bigger for World Cup 1994, more goals see.

    Turns out that the reason football rules all, is because there are few goals. And the reason the world cup is better than the olympics, and Euro 2012 was better than the world cup, is because the fewer countries you have taking part, the better – then you are left with the elite, ie the only ones anyone wants to watch.

  • To Further illustrate the views of many non-cyclists. Have a look at the
    comments on this Guardian article to see how ill informed are and how deeply engrained the paradigm is.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jul/22/hurrah-bradley-wiggins-roads-safe-cyclists

    It’s pretty pretty sad situation when someone achieves something as huge
    as Wiggins has and probably a majority of non cycling adults in the UK perceive cyclists
    as an inhuman arrogant menace.

    It’s he usual crap – fine them, road tax, red lights, shouldn’t be on the road, lycra weirdos etc.

  • sarah dodds

    As a woman, I have no problems at all working my balls off. I do it quite happily most days.

  • Nobody that I know is suggesting cars should be abandoned I’ve never even seen this argued on the internet. I think you are using a straw man argument. 

    Being proud of hating cyclists is a stupid thing to proclaim even anonymously behind the handle of an internet avatar.

    Does it mean that you draw satisfaction from the deaths of these people:

    http://goo.gl/o7ggu

    http://goo.gl/HHuWw

    http://goo.gl/mKhgf

    Or the countless other innocent cyclists that are injured or killed on the roads?

    Sure the TDF is not everyones cup of tea, neither is cricket, tennis or football for that matter but cycling is a sport that is growing in popularity and it’s hard to argue that that’s a bad thing.

    Most cyclists also drive so do you hate cyclists when they are off the bike and driving too or when they are presenting the news, teaching, working for charities, studying, practicing medicine whatever cyclists do when they are normal people?

    I would love to know how people like you can have there attitude changed but I think maybe for people like you its sadly too late.

  • Anonymous

    Astounding win, must be one of the classic wins of the Tour de France, and I think the french think so too, it sounds. Especially that he had the yellow jersey on so many days. Good photo fashion pics of Bradley Wiggins in the Guardian – he’d look the part on a lambretta scooter with RAF roundels and big shiny wing mirrors too, as well as on a pushbike,
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/gallery/2012/jul/23/bradley-wiggins-style-fashion

    And I notice the DM today mentions in an article that Cameron is jumping on the band wagon, as he does, to make the most of someone else’s sweat for himself, what a blood-sucker!
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2177454/Arise-Sir-Bradley-PM-supports-Britains-demands-knighthood-Wiggins-eyes-20m-windfall.html

  • Anonymous

    Lloydalun, we are taking about the fox hunting set here, aren’t we? That just sums them up. Anyone for bridge? Crocquet then? OOPS, that was Prezza, wasn’t it? : )

  • Anonymous

    spoil sport…..

    May your local roads get infested by cyclists, reaguns.

    There, I have put a spell on you. : )

  • Richard

    Chris Boardman won Olympic Gold in 1992 on a bike manufactured by Lotus Cars at Hethel, Norfolk. In any other country  the bike would have been available to the public within weeks: a triumph for British engineering? Yes, but the bike was years before a Boardman bike hit the streets, and all impetus for the Gold winning  name lost.
    British management at it’s finest.

  • Anonymous

    For gawd sakes Alastair, try servicing your blog will you, even if you are across the La Manche. Don’t you keep an iPad in your saddlebag behind your arse and pumping legs, for goodness sakes? I am warning you Alastair, if you don’t pay more attention to your blog Alastair, it will be smack botty time, Ayr like. So wotchit matey, I will set your mother on you.

    Might as well post a poem here, and why not.

    Normans came, with their psycho via Viking man management,
    to meet Saxons.

    They travelled around England, giving the english pretty beads,
    then they met the Welsh.

    Oh fuck, they said, this is completerly different, they look scary,
    I know, let’s quickly get in there.

    Pay their brilliant artesians money, saying, we will save you from Saxons,
    then before us know it, Edward Two.

    Not known Brit history, part 99, non-taught in Oxbridge, but, taught in Lampeter and Aber Uni with it’s library, you norman twits calling youselves brits.

    Am looking forward to the Olympics – the normans won’t know what has hit them, when hardcore yankies and east europeans and the chinese turn up. Gawd knows how the Ozzies will be – that will be interesting.

  • Anonymous

    Heard south of Shaftsbury Avenue will make sure China is is in an appropriate frame of mind visiting London, and will love it. They have an eye on a few golds, at the traditional capital of strange going-ons. I have been told, in manchurian, they are looking to enjoy it – telly in China will be like they never saw it before, oh yes.

    number eighteen please, and I will have number ten, with extra beanspruts too, garcon………………

  • Anonymous

    Was going to say Alastair, ACH!, Grace has gone off on hols, explaining everything, she can twist her dad right around his finger, what to post, I know it…

    I think Grace has the inherited balls, to tell you the truth, unlike those other two spares, called sons…
    http://twitter.com/gracecampbell

    Fuck the whharrrrt?

    Kids today, ey? Kittens makers, for us fathers.

  • Anonymous

    Song for Bradley, and if it is at all possible, can you post it today Alastair, but I will be happy with tomorrow, it is up to you. It is the Olympics we are talking about today after all, as Bradley has gone new, set mind, and thinking, training, well into for hopefully a medal – notice – I never said gold, a medal I said, but we hope.

    Song for Brad,
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NSehtaY6k1U

    YEHHH!

  • Anonymous

    My first age of Olympics,
    on my land,
    Saying give it back to us,
    even the Strand.

    Africans going through Heathrow,
    thinking I am dreaming.
    To be heard, constantly waiting,
    loved whities screaming.

    Then, yankies, through quickly,
    priviledged lines passed.
    Looked on Kiwis, saying wharrt!
    saying we are more brit than them.

    NZ say, my mother’s mother family is scot,
    to get a numbty G4S to say “stand back”.
    Yes, it will be interesting, this Olympics,
    who get’s told to fuck off, or get red carpet.

    Say no more, BORIS!!!, and that fuck Coe, he is a spare part.

  • Anonymous

    Posted a vid of what I think is Chris Boardman on a trip in mid-Wales. But I could be totally wrong, but it certainly sounds like him when he speaks. if anyone knows him, let the video know, or if anyone known the actual cyclist, if it is not him,
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQs6eOnUECE

    Could be Chris, earlier this summer, after knee replacements, testing sesion.

  • Anonymous

    You are a real cold water shower, aren’t you reaguns?

    Be prepared to be educated in coming weeks. You will have seen nothing like this, in complex intricacies. You should be priviledged this sort is going on in your simple land, reaguns.

    There, I told him, didn’t I? : )

  • Anonymous

    Posted this several times over the time I have bothered Alastair here by here, so why not not post it again, for our french friends in being athletic, travelling over 22 milesover sea to us here, for Londres olympic, visiting to see how we look after our foxes,
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6RU8GLMz8Y

    Motivation more looking, brits could do well, mon amie, non?

  • reaguns

    Isn’t it a sign that woman have done this more successfully than men!

  • reaguns

    Thanks for the link, I’ll have to get on there and put the boot in along with the rest of the silent majority!

  • reaguns

    Someone has already made that spell successfully Ehtch!

    My area is also more infested with cars as well than it used to be. So despite all the talk of recession, population problem etc the population and its wealth are still expanding rapidly.

  • reaguns

    Ok, first of all, when I say “abandon cars” there is indeed a large movement who want more of us to drive less, to take bikes or public transport to work. Ie they want us to use the ancient technology, not the modern technology. The government plays to this lobby through fuel tax etc, though unfortunately this has no effect on reducing the use of cars, it merely gives them cover to get more tax revenue from motorists. I am quite sure we can find examples of these backwards eco loons on the guardian link you shared. So there is certainly no strawman.

    If you are trying to say I’m accusing them of wanting to ban the car altogether, well of course not – the chieftains of the eco-loon brigade will still need theirs, just as the stasi had theirs, and Two-Jags-Prescott thankfully made the point better than I ever could. It is only us little people they want to stop driving.

    Then in a quite spectacular piece of hypocritical logic, you go from accusing me of arguing a strawman to then implying that because I do not like cyclists and want them to be taxed off the road, or even on the road, that this means I would take pleasure in their deaths? If mine was a strawman yours was a straw giant!

    Regarding do I hate them when they are reading the news, teaching etc, no only when they are cycling, preaching about cycling, or campaigning for cycling. Condemn the sin not the sinner!

    Or when they are being mayor of London!

  • Anonymous

    Up to Bradley, but I think DC is playing games, knowing already where Brad mind lies, DC the cunt manipulative he is.

    “Let’s drag you into us, Victoria Pendleton bought like, already, despite her sport”.

    The fucking SE english shites!

    Another song for Brad – strength from what seen motivation,
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KLpkXtM-VI8

    Scandanavians also appear, too, in our Olympics, latest I have heard, phoned idiots by twits in Londres.

    Pillocks in charge.

  • Anonymous

    Better not say fun and games, for a brit to win, ey?

    OK, who is behind him…, say no more, trwenty quid on it…

  • Anonymous

    I think, you and me, are going to have marvellous arguements in the next couple of weeks.

    It will be emotional,
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-U4Pvodwm0U

    saaaang, knees of marvur brawwwwn,
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RED_7HNogDw

    SO WOTCHIT!

  • Anonymous

    May your local lanes be infested by Jeremy Clarksons Range Rovers, reaguns – makes no difference to me, here, in welsh valley. SUFFER!

  • Anonymous

    Alastair, Geordie and his hammer, Melbourne 1956, as a welshman, I wasn’t going to mention this, but my wotsit beside me told me to do so,

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AG9GiDaDKZ8

    But still, what the fuck do these scottish extracts or pure find in throwing a fucking simple hammer? Welshman totally confused, round the bend of GB land.

  • Anonymous

    Just a realist Ehtch! 🙂

    I am looking forward to the Olympics, I’ll enjoy the football, the boxing and a couple of other things. However I would enjoy them all more if they were in another country, so that I don’t have to contribute tax towards them, and don’t have my journeys inconvenienced by them!

    However the thing that will annoy me most of all is the fact the coverage is on BBC. I’m not blanket against the BBC, I enjoy MOTD with the excellent Gary Lineker and Alan Hansen. I even like Alan Shearer.

    But the olympics… if it was on Sky the schedule would say “11am cycling 1130am boxing 1215 long jump” etc etc whereas the bbc, which has the luxury of not having to please customers, would say “11am-7pm: Olympics!”
    No use… I don’t want to sit through the egg and spoon race in order to watch the events I like.

  • Anonymous

    New it was dowhill for Victoria Pendleton when the capitalist fascists got hold of her fanny, a lesson, for others,
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hC3gAo_Z0T4

    You either 100% do your sport, or you are fuck all. That is all I have to say, Victoria, and the next time I see an ad on telly of you, I will be swinging my arm, to put a house brick into your face, on telly.

  • Anonymous

    Christ, beeb news twenty four, had enough of them already, they are talking complete and utter coward shite, where none can get to them.
    They are true SE english cunts, don’t know they are born, and it will show pathetic as they spout capshite constantly to fillthe video airwaves. You have missed out beeb, on recruiting imaginatives like me, who know sport inside out.
    Jesse,
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H6cR3N3uCac

    1968, Mexico City, up them hills,
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=47vvdOfPzLY

    Usain my man, come on, heard you are struggling to be able to do something this time round. Is he going to show you your not the man, ey?

    WOW, calm down Usain, just a fair question…..
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u18_-87Pb6U

    “sorry, thanks, in that question, you have actually motivated me, TO MASH HIM, whoever he is”.

    Ummmm, he is your training partner, from Bob Hope land, Jamaica, bro!

    “Ah yes, peace, etc,”.

  • Anonymous

    That’s just metaphorical balls.

    I think I’m cross with Alastair because his blog is at present a bit too sportif.  It’s getting a bit jock-strappy…  Also the Olympics crap in London generally is driving me nuts.  What could be more Stalinist than hearing B Johnson incessantly over the PA system wherever you travel?

  • Anonymous

    ohhh gswd, what are you going on about now reaguns, for fuck sakes.

    There was me trying to divert everyones attention to this gobshote olympics, and you start talking about fucking tin cars!

    You drive me spare you do reaguns, makes me thikn you are up my road, in life thinking, and I hoped no onr else was cursed, but it seems you are.

    reaguns, J. G. Ballard, and Gabrielle Drake, away from things,
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HT2eECKvdTc

    Got nothing to do with this shower called the London Olympics, but it could be maybe.

  • Anonymous

    Front seated vinyl leather experience, sometime yank, not for evening teatime, news, but no, pistols, warm leatherette, reaguns, book in, required,
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GHM8ClE-niQ

  • Anonymous

    going dowm the Llanarthney road, from Llandeilo to Carmathen road, in top gear, legs a blur, farmers passing by in opposite direction in their various vehicles, saying “ufern gols, fucking hell, go for it boy”, when I was young. Flashing by villages, ladies attending their roses get up and wave, not capable due to my speed, to stop for tea, and discuss their various female youngers suitable for me. Whitewashed farm entrances entranced my mind, at thrty mile an hour, cows and sheep, and the occasional goat, look at me, as I pass by, through my own life, pedalling, like fuck, to get, here.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xiLo5q0wqxU

  • Anonymous

    Newsnight tonight, I have my own service company, called a bizarre name, which I can’t remember, since it is years since I have used it. I was a one man band company, so the tax laws allowed me not to pay tax in the first year, or something. Then after could claim for any sodding thing against tax, even digs where I worked, as long as I gave my home address elsewhere, even petrol and car depreciation, ended up paying pennies in tax.

    What is the name of my own company again? hmmm, sorry, can’t remember, will dig it out and tell again. It’s a peculiar, computer generated name. Paid NI, and that was it, and it was all above board, which I was seriously really puzzled by.

  • Anonymous

    HORROR STORIES FROM OVERSEAS VISITORS HAVE ALREADY STARTED!!!
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-18962860

    The most disturbing part is when the canadian said they were quick to take our money, said we will get our tickets delivered in Canada start of July, no sign of them, airline tickets already booked, so they are here in the UK, and have been queueing up all day for their tickets, and the cunts can’t find any record, even though they snatched their money.

    AND THIS IS DAY ONE!!!!!

    Oh, fuck, G4S was just the start of it, this is going to turn out as an organisational total shower of shite Alastair.

    Jeezuz fucking wept!

  • Ehtch

    Men tend to sit back and think and contemplate, while women do do do, usually, I have noticed. Well, some of them do.

    If you spot a woman good at cleaning, as if it is nothing to them, you are onto a winner. I always have ended up with the other sort, who don’t know one end of a dyson from a bottle of bleach. Can’t even wash thier own clothes, and I had to do everything. When I left here, within six months she had an infestation of fleas, so stupid she was in that way.

  • The reason a huge number of people advocate driving less is because it is proven to be a good thing to drive less. As much as cars are fantastic and mobilise us in a way that no other vehicle can, they also congest, pollute and kill. 
    Cycling however archaic it may seem to the ignorant is still the most efficient form of transport and in the inner cities often the fastest.

    And no it wasn’t ‘strawman’ I am genuinely interested to know whether your hatred of people that cycle like the ones killed in those articles, that are no longer able to cycle their bikes to work, or the shops, or to meet their friends and get in your way because they are dead gives you any satisfaction?

    Given your lack of sympathy and your hatred for people that ride bikes I can only presume it does in some way. 

    If I am wrong and you feel some sadness that these people are killed then presumably you subscribe to the view that something should be done to make roads safer for cyclists. 

    I am sure you first reaction would be to say they should be stopped from riding or banned from the roads but if you can get past the fact that your bicycle free utopia is not going to happen then maybe there is some hope that bigoted attitudes like yours can change.

  • reaguns

    Lol, thanks for your concern Ehtch, and I thought we were mates! 🙂

  • reaguns

    “it is proven to be a good thing to drive less. ” Twaddle. Show me these scientific or economic studies/evidence that it is “proven”. This is pure emotion and wishful thinking.

    “Cycling however archaic it may seem to the ignorant is still the most efficient form of transport and in the inner cities often the fastest.” It is most certainly not the most efficient! And for those journeys for which it is most efficient – fill yer boots! Just don’t ask special privilege to do so.

    “And no it wasn’t ‘strawman’ I am genuinely interested to know whether your hatred of people that cycle like the ones killed in those articles, that are no longer able to cycle their bikes to work, or the shops, or to meet their friends and get in your way because they are dead gives you any satisfaction?” I hate cyclists, they get in my way, just as I hate reality tv stars and boy bands – it does not mean I want them dead, or take any pleasure when they die – to infer as much is the absolute definition of a strawman. You need to learn what debating terms mean before you throw them in. Just so you know, yours is a non sequitur.

    As for the rest, I am afraid all I believe in terms of cyclists is that there should be some form of fair, progressive taxation on the consumption and externalities (look them up) caused by cyclists. For those on low incomes who use bicycles to get to work, or indeed uni, I would even be in favour of free government bicycles I think. But look at the comments on that thread – most cyclists are well to do. I agree with the poster who would hammer them with VAT. But within the law and taxation system we have, I still believe that drivers who hit cyclists should be punished, though I think the cycling test should be much tougher as well as many cyclists do not understand blindspots in cars and the like. Both cyclists and drivers need to be more careful.

    I do not agree with cycle lanes being made so that 5 cyclists can hold up 1000s of cars, as happens on my route to work.

  • reaguns

    Oh meant to add

    “if you can get past the fact that your bicycle free utopia is not going to happen ”

    Sure but a car free utopia is not going to happen while we are a democracy. Now I can’t speak for you, but I want us to remain a democracy. Cyclists plainly do not. We should avoid “the tyranny of the majority” sure so that cyclists can still ride, but we should also avoid the tyranny of the minority too, ie we shouldn’t give them more priority than the majority.

  • Also, your own words suggest that your own local environment is congested:

    And although you seem to be using it to indicate that the recession is a load of crap, I would say that it demonstrates nicely why driving less can be better:

    “My area is also more infested with cars as well than it used to be. So despite all the talk of recession, population problem etc the population and its wealth are still expanding rapidly.”

    You say the following as well, and from my limited understanding of straw man arguing seem to be going straight in with it again. No one is proposing that cycle lanes are made to allow 5 cyclists to hold up 1000s of cars in fact most people that are advocating cycling infrastructure are doing so for completely opposite reasons – to make the flow of traffic better. I also would say you are lying and or exaggerating wildly about cyclists holding up the traffic on your route to work.

    “I do not agree with cycle lanes being made so that 5 cyclists can hold up 1000s of cars, as happens on my route to work.”

    My own experience from cycling is that motorists often hold me up in the city by blocking my route and in my experience when I drive or am in a car is that I often see cyclists that I have overtaken filtering by me at the next junction. So they hardly hold me up at all anyway.

    I have given you far too much of my time and to give you more would be pointless it’s like getting blood into a stone.

  • Anonymous

    Keep an eye on the beach vollyball on Horse Guards Square, reaguns. You will never hear so many gasps with quotes of “I say”, and “ding-dong”, and, “my mother would certainly not approve of her, old boy”, ever in your life.

    Myself, looking forward to the archery at Lord’s, something in my bowman roots stirs within me when I watch large darts, Agincourt or something…

  • Anonymous

    …furthermore reaguns, have you noticed since the new age of freeview telly, the adverts come on every ten fecking minutes now on non-beeb channels?

    Thank god the Olympics is on the beeb I say, so not to see past GB gold medalists selling their fecking souls in selling hairshampoo or some shit like that, name no names….

  • Anonymous

    There should be a Tour de Pays de Galles, and called exactly that, in appreciation what the french have done for us in cycling.

    But to last a long weekend, say five days, finishing Sunday, and be not like a book on french philosophy , as the TdF is… : )

  • Anonymous

    banter is sport, in a friendly way.

    Not been in many changing rooms, have you reaguns?

    And I don’t mean that pouffy telly programme, with those gays…. : )

  • Anonymous

    why was I replying to myself!?! don’t answer that, especially reaguns… : )))

  • Anonymous

    Petula Clark is half-welsh you know, and her dad was a Lahndaner. She married a french geezer, did you know that? Cross me heart, and I am not brahms at all.

  • Anonymous

    For those that bother here, again, a good scandanavian  (sorry, still can’t tell which one) documentary on J. G Ballard, right up my street.

    What he would make of the third Londres Olympiad, we can only guess at, but I think he wouldn’t be making his way for a 1/4lb-er and medium fries, as soon as he enters the park of World games, I do think,
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SS6MWpFX_N0

  • Anonymous

    Symbolistic on Syria, and other events we gladly have not to suffer, but sometimes mother nature calls, as in rock falls, and things.

  • Anonymous

    Took me ages to work out what you mean about changing rooms!

    Don’t think you are supposed to use a few of those words any more Ehtch!

    Yes I know about changing rooms – the first kind, the first kind ok!

  • Anonymous

    I think it is well covered in that Guardian article comments anyway.

    Your newer definition of a strawman is better, I don’t agree that I said what you accuse me of in those terms, but if I had, then that one would indeed be a strawman.

    Yes cyclists can zip by motorists in inner cities, but the studies show that for most journeys in the UK this isn’t the case, it is only the case for London metropolitan people who think they represent the rest of the country when they don’t.

    On my current route to work, we certainly get thousands of cars and we often get cyclists, who hold up the cars on the bits where overtaking is difficult.

  • Anonymous

    “But don’t get me wrong, my children universitied always regularly came back to show me what they looked like new after realeased single widower family home experiences, daughters especially with wider thighs, myself thinking what they got up to out of my vision, and the lads of mine turning up with strange creatures from various parts of the country and europe and the world, no doubt intercoursing, in their own ways.

    But I always think, it is hopless to make a fuss of these things they get up to, since I find they have made their minds up already, to fornicate, and fuck.”

    Channel four had a cartoon type thing late night, could have easily been J G Ballard, an Austin/Morris Cambridge/Oxford estate, going on hols round Europe. See if I can find it, if someone has posted it on youtubby, here goes, don’t hold your breath, whatever you do.

  • Anonymous

    Newsnight at the moment – shadow chief secretary to the treasury.

    Anyway, why don’t they all stop talking when beeb, as in here Gavin Esler, completerly. It would make the interviewer look stupid, when only one voice seems to be coming over the airwaves.

    Yes, asked a question,
    start answering it,
    interviewer butts in,
    let him/her say whatever,
    leave a succint silence for a second,
    answer the butt in,
    and continue,
    ad infinitum.

    Make them look like fools, these overpaid media shites, politicians.

  • Anonymous

    My experience of travelling lanes and byways of Wales cycling, watch out for the dogs! Several times I have abandoned my bike to climb a bank or hedge, after passing a lovely farm entrance, then to be chased by a pack of collies or corgies, wanting my fucking ankles.

    Always got into the habit of keeping some pork scratchings on my body for such occassions, and when they realise they have caught me, I start my “sorting the natives”.

    And before you know it, we are best of mates, and they are licking me all over… – “get orf. GET ORF, your breath stinks, when did you have a bath last Fido, you pen and ink”

    As I said, we quickly came to an understanding, these Fidos and me, with a handy pack of pork scratchings.

    BUT, there has been the odd psycho, as they do, and I ended up in a tree, screaming help like a little child. And usually the farmers wife comes to save me, with the biggest stick you have ever seen, and gives Fido a good thrashing, and then she fucking says “he was only trying to be friendly”. My Big Arse he was!

  • Anonymous

    We should win the archery, after all there was that chap Robin Hood who invented it or something?

    I shall be watching the beach volleyballl – any furious slapping sounds coming from my living room at the time will be clapping, ok, clapping!

  • Anonymous

    All that cycling has left your brain fuzzy 🙂

  • Anonymous

    reaguns, you are out of touch – it is the South Koreans these days that are good at large darts, for some reason. Think they are old archers too from past times too, or something.

    They have done well in the qualifiers at Lord’s today, I read somewhere.

    We might do well with the shootahs though – quite apt from east end, yes?

    Heard ladies beach volleyball is held early evening, about or just after teatime, as like Top of the Pops and Pan’s people in the old days, daddies porn, with mother giving him a slap when he goes silent…
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7aoed6ec53E

    I say!

  • Anonymous

    I am from the age that remembers Lassie Virren(anyone remember him?), and that shorter fella, that won the euro champs before him, from Finland.

    SE British press then made a big fuss of oxygen rich blood transfusions, when Dave Bedford lost, as they do.

  • Anonymous

    My reply was the definition of changing room banter. Stay out of the kitchen, if you can’t stand the heat, and all that.

    I am sure Gordon Pamsey must have called someone a total puffe in one of his kitchens, got to be.

    No nancy biys required at the sharp end, Gordon would no doubt say. Was on Celtic books once, I heard once, as a goalie I think.

    Explains everything, don’t wind a goalie up – they will lamp you as soon as look at you, defending their set of posts.

  • Anonymous

    OOPS, it was an old Peugeot estate, and I remember the bloke that played the dad, he was that scottish fella, usually plays a cop. Am still searching, it was brilliant. Will find it soon, I promise you.

    Will have a look on vimeo, perhaps it is on there – that is where all the sharp end arty things are.

  • Anonymous

    The other fella, earlier, found, 1971 Euro champs, Juha Väätäinen, five thou and ten thou winner,

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vyaJhyNKNEc

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qrp2K9zxgrs

    Yaoyahoouu! : )

  • Anonymous

    there is a train station in Llandeilo, AND Carmarthen, if anyone fancies to try this short route (furthermore up and down hills I will gladly supply – Llangadog to Brynamman and back is a true closed secret us welsh cyclists classic, say no more, wink-wink), bike on the train stuff, as like this bloke who I am still sure is Chris Boardman, catching his train back home from Aber/Aberystwyth, and the way he is travelling, methinks he was running late, or just was doing what true cyclists do, travel like total psychotic nutters… : )
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GpkjhY11ah8

    Cars? What cars copper? I just treated them as street architecture! : )

  • Anonymous

    Llanwryd Wells via Abergwesyn to Tregaron is a hell of a road too, over the three irish bridges before you climb the dvils staircase, as I pointed out to the poster of this vids, Chris Boardman or not, but forgot to mention you could do a circuit of Llyn Brianne dam too, but have to come back on a forestry road, twigs and shit, back onto the road to Tregaron.

    A road like this,
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4BR50J9JnGs

    WHOOPSY DAISY! : )))

  • Anonymous

    …but there was one bizarre experience with a psycho dog, while I was half way up climbing a tree to save my life, I noticed the dog starting attacking my bicycle tyres, really laying into them. It was like a scene out of Deliverence!

    And again the farners wife from the passed farm comes out with the traditional big stick, when they have to suffer occurances like this with an over zealous wolf looking-for hound, but this time she says, after giving it the obligatory good thrashing, “he has a fascination with tyres, big or thin – my ‘usband Edwin is always paying out for passing punctured landrover tyres luv”.

    You couldn’t make it up…

  • Anonymous

    s’pose I should say, due to the increase interest of getting on a bike, the beeb should start airing a public information film (PIF) to cars and truck and bus drivers on bicycle awareness, and to pedestrians when they are crossing the road through standing traffic, that there might be a Raleigh : ) coming down the middle of the road, so look right and left and right again.

    And of course another PIF for cyclists too, in not to go inside of trucks and buses on the inside, keep just behind them, so their left indicator is in your face, to know what it is up to. Especially what happened a day or two ago, near the Olympic park.

    Passed my cycle proficiency test when I was ten, I remember the name of the bloke that came to my school to teach us to this day, Mr Middleton, excellent bloke, taught us all these dangers. The school yard was painted with white lines to simulate roads, and above encounters and situations.

    As I said, it needs looking into, with increased cycle use, and when I did my cycle proficiency test at ten, there was much less traffic, obviously. I have still got the certificate and the badge you can shove on your bike, and the metal lapel badge too. It seriously did get in my brain how to be roadwise on a bike in that modern age.

    So there we go, need I say more what should be done now across the country?

  • Anonymous

    By the way, the recent fuss about that chinese swimmer, and the nasty way she was treated by the beeb and the western press – maybe she has simply slept in an oxygen tent recently, and that is all? Ey?

    Went balistic with the last British Lions rugger team when they cancelled high altitude training before they went to the veldt of South Africa and look what happened? They could have won that series with “that” bit extra, and it is natural.

  • Anonymous

    …furthermore, remember reading that is what Dr. David Hemery did to win the 400m hurdles final in athletics at high altitude Mexico City, in 1968, and that was 44 years ago. It is old common sense scientific application mark one technology.

  • Anonymous

    ARGH bugger it, might as well post Tufty, the Squirrel, as you do,
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1BrivBSv20Y

    I think I have seriously lost youngsters now, Alastair, and think and say “get back on your bong, you old hippy”. Maybe! : )