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Brits View Bicyclists as ‘Embarrassing’ Losers

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A new three year study examining why just 2% of Brits ride bikes compared to 25% in the Netherlands has revealed that the vast majority of the population remain resolutely opposed to taking up cycling.

“Many people barely recognise the bicycle as a legitimate mode of transport,” lead researcher Dave Horton, of Lancaster University wrote, in a preview of his Understanding Walking and Cycling study.

“It is either a toy for children or a vehicle fit only for the poor and/or strange,” he added. (Daily Mail; )

Details of the new report emerged some two years after former Talking Head singer David Byrne published Bicycle Diaries in which, apparently incorrectly predicted more people would take up cycling because of the economic crash.

“I believe that the exhilaration, freedom, and convenience I experience as I ride around will be discovered by more and more people,” he suggested, “As others have mentioned, the economic collapse of 2008 might be a godsend. A window has opened, and people might be willing to rethink the balance of quality of life.”

The reputation of bicycling also took a knock several years earlier, when Scottish cycling enthusiast Robert Stewart, 51, was caught in flagrante making love to his bike by two cleaners who burst into his hostel room uninvited.

"They used a master key to unlock the door and they then observed the accused wearing only a white T-shirt, naked from the waist down,” Scottish prosecutor deputy fiscal Gail Davidson told a packed courtroom in Ayr.

"The accused was holding the bike and moving his hips back and forth as if to simulate sex,” she added. (Daily Telegraph)

Brushing off Mr Stewart’s claims that it had all been a ‘misunderstanding’, sentencing judge Sheriff Colin Miller was unsympathetic, giving him three years’ probation and placing him on the sex offenders’ register.

"In almost four decades in the law I thought I had come across every perversion known to mankind, but this is a new one on me,” the Sheriff explained, “I have never heard of a 'cycle-sexualist',” he added.

The case carried echoes of a similar story from Sweden in 2007 when a 37 year old man was busted for sexual molestation when he was spotted carrying away a woman’s bike ‘and rubbing up against it’.

The unnamed man later confessed to more bike sex crimes, explaining he ‘felt an overwhelming calm wash over him when he approached women’s bicycles and smelled the handlebars.’ (The ) (London Naked Bike Ride 2008)

Jonty Skrufff:

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