Friday Edit: Play the GB News anti-cycling drinking game and you'll be drunk by lunch time

In which the Digital Editor just can't stand The Internet today

friday edit
(Image credit: Getty Images)

It was one day after we’d published an opinion piece on why the mainstream media needs to calm the hell down when it comes to comments made by Jeremy Vine, and no less than 24-hours later we were back at it, again. Wednesday news meeting, 10am. We’ve seen yet another piece of anti-cycling vitriol and we’re debating - yes, again - if this specimen of "hashtag-content" designed to play off the never ending apparent culture war between drivers (some of whom cycle) and cyclists (the vast majority of whom drive) is really newsworthy.  

In this case, we decide, no. 

The news short from "British opinion-orientated news television and radio channel" GB News  -  titled ‘'You're totally unaccountable' | Driver and cyclist debate over whether bikers are too MILITANT’ - would, however, make for an excellent drinking game should you wish to become paralytic in the minimum amount of time possible.

The premise is simple: down one shot every time a worn-out anti-cycling cliché rolls off the tongue of anyone on the screen. 

I’ll kick us off.

Cyclist ‘comes out of nowhere’ (3:23 & 4:27),

Cyclists should ‘obey the laws of the road’ (4:08 & 4:33),

People should ‘do a cycling test before being allowed on the roads’ (5:52),

Cyclists ‘aren’t accountable in any way’ (6:49), because...

...DINGDINGDING...

Cyclists ‘don’t pay road tax’ (6:50),

Cyclists don’t ‘have licenses or registrations’ (7:04), and, 

of course - like no drivers ever,

Cyclists 'ride through red lights' (7:19). Bingo. 

Granted, we didn't have 'should wear helmets' and 'think they're in the Tour de France', but it's a pretty full house. 

The 'debate' ends on the conclusion that cyclists should all have number plates and take proficiency tests. This is an unlikely outcome, considering that number plates alone have been called "absurd and unworkable" by the Labour party, and the Conservative co-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Cycling and Walking shrugged off the suggestion, stating: "it is very hard to understand why on earth anyone would even need a conversation about such matters". 

Add in the fact that anyone with any understanding of the conversation already knows that ‘road tax’ hasn’t existed since 1937, and it’s abundantly obvious that this so-called balanced debate is more likely to rile up an angry - and uninformed - response than contribute to any practical change. The very real, concrete issue here is that residual anger hanging around in otherwise contented brain matter is extremely unhelpful for people on bicycles, most of whom just want to get from A to B, without being assaulted by a 3,000 pound moving object. 

I’m done. So are you, probably, if you decided to partake in the drinking game. Good luck with the rest of your Friday. 

For those of you keeping your drinking as responsible and safe as your cycling, here are some of our top headlines for the week…

Why the grim reality of aero bike ownership may not be for you

sam gupta climbing

(Image credit: Campagnolo SLR)

It's taken several years for another Cycling Weekly writer to come along and join me in pointing out that aero bikes don't feel great for lighter riders, so I'm revelling in the allyship. Thanks, Sam.  

Wout van Aert wins his first ever gravel race by nine minutes

Wout van Aert

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Is there nothing that Wout cannot do?

Tech Question: How long will brands continue to make rim brake wheels?

Rim brakes

(Image credit: Future)

TL;DR: As long as people still keep riding rim brake bikes, however, that might not be as long as you think.

'It was life and death in the wheel': Remco Evenepoel blasts Vuelta a España team time trial

Vuelta

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Not sure bike lights are considered a Grand Tour essential for pro riders packing their suitcases pre-race... 

What are the defining traits of the modern amateur cyclist?

(Image credit: Future)

How do you stack up against the Cycling Weekly readership? [NB, as a new parent I am, quite substantially, underperforming in terms of hours and mileage vs. the average - this does not come as a surprise. I'll be back.]

News shorts...

Not every interesting piece of news we see makes it into a news story (as per my intro). Here are a few snippets we thought were worth a mention... 

  • Cycling retailer Tredz has partnered with Novuna Consumer Finance to offer shoppers credit options when raiding the shelves at the popular seller of bikes, clothing and components. Amazingly, customers can borrow anywhere between £250 and... £25,000. That's a lot of bike. 
  • Bad news for bicycle sales. Whilst we were reporting on the news that cycling retailer Wiggle Chain Reaction Cycles (CRC) had posted a pre-tax loss of almost £100million in its latest company accounts, BikeBiz picked up on the latest Bicycle Association mid-year report, which revealed a slump in bike sales and overall industry health. The 51-page report showed that non-electric bike sales were down 8% - having already hit a 20-year low last year - and electric bike sales were down 12%. The UK cycling market's projected worth has dropped to £1.57 billion for 2023, vs £1.9 billion in 2019. 
  • A survey carried out by cottages.com - who are one of the sponsors of the Tour of Britain - explored attitudes to cycling among UK residents. One question asked respondents which cycling celebrity they'd most like to go for a ride with - and the top ten were... 1) Tom Hardy 2) Kylie Minogue 3) Louis Theroux 4) Jeremy Clarkson 5) George Clooney 6) Kelly Brook 7) Arnold Schwarzenegger 8) Boris Johnson 9) Zac Efron 10) Victoria Pendleton. It also found that the Peak District was the most popular cycling 'staycation' destination, followed by the Scottish Highlands and Penzance, Cornwall. 

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