Bicycles and Boris: Johnson’s war on Lycra

August 8, 2013

Boris Johnson responds to insult from Lycra wearing cyclist|Boris Johnson's altercation with a Lycra-clad cyclist
It was a daft exchange of words between cyclists that would have passed without further comment had one of those involved not been Boris Johnson.

As it was, the teasing by club cyclist Bob Carter provoked the London Mayor’s acerbic wit and his well-known aversion toward Lycra-clad cyclists.

Cycling 'more than just sport'

For the general public in Britain, bicycles and Lycra are inextricably linked, which would be fine if cycling was no more than a sport.

As it is, one of the greatest barriers to cycling is that to most people in Britain, the idea of getting about by bicycle is an alien concept.

Our attitude is at odds with that of the Dutch, who regard a bicycle in the much the same way as we view a washing machine – a staple used without fuss or bother every day.

The ritualistic donning of luminous clothing, special shoes and a helmet before a short ride would be considered eccentric by everyday commuters in continental Europe.

Johnson 1 Lycra 0

Boris Johnson plans to spend almost £1bn to 'de-Lycrafy' cycling, figuratively and literally. He plans to make it normal, something for everyone, something we feel comfortable doing in our ordinary clothes.

Bike cover, whatever you wear

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