Boris Johnson may be seen as a bit of clown, a maverick MP, but he?s put cycling in the news again this week with his application to become Mayor of London, and take over from Ken Livingstone.
For while Livingstone?s cycling cred. leapt hugely with the successful hosting of this year?s Grand Depart of the Tour de France in the Capital, and increased again at his recent announcement to erect cameras to snap motorists who venture into cycle lanes, Livingstone doesn?t cycle and Johnson does.
Johnson cycles to the Commons from his home in Islington, and for general pottering about.
And that is something Livingstone says he can?t do, because of a problem of balance.
It means that Johnson, as a cyclist, at least experiences the same problems of ordinary cyclists.
But does that mean he will do better than Livingstone in improving conditions for cyclists?
When asked to explain what he considered to be the most important challenges facing London, Johnson said: ?As a cyclist I am daily exposed to the beauty and magic of London ? but also to its daily frustrations??
By this he meant crime, transport and housing.
Johnson can certainly ?talk? cycling issues. He did so in the Cycling Weekly Big Interview earlier this summer. But will his light-hearted manner and public gaffes count against him becoming Mayor?
Don?t count on it. When he ran for MP for Henley, reported The London News yesterday, his campaign bore the slogan: ?Voting Tory will cause your wife to have bigger breasts and increase your chances of owning a BMW M3?. He won!