Hold the front page – newspaper doesn’t mention cycling

There’s a whole blog to be written on the mainstream media’s fascination with cycling. Cycling’s broken out of the “other sports” section in broadsheet sports pages (where it usually languished between archery and curling). It’s gone from desert to deluge and now it’s everywhere. Some of the UK broadsheets are even promoting cycling cites and safer cycling.

It’s so common, it no longer noteworthy. But newspapers are a business, so the extrapolation is that cycling sells newspapers. Here’s some of the recent themes

  • the family section – get off the sofa and cycle down a converted railway track
  • the travel section – go on a cycling holiday to Holland
  • the homes section – how to store your bike
  • the health section – get a bike, lose weight, get fit
  • the motoring section – tales from two wheels, the anti “petrol head” view from the road
  • the finance section – give up your car and save money cycling.

But I did spot something interesting in last Sunday’s Observer (it takes me until the papers are being thrown out to remember to post) in the style section of all places. Copenhagen Cycle Chic will be old news to followers of this blog: they’ve been cataloguing stylish Danes on two wheels for a long time now and Mikael Coleville-Anderson’s empire now reaches most major (and some minor) cities. I posted about this some time ago.

The Observer mag article shows their readers the following;

  • You don’t need to wear Lycra to ride a bike
  • You can cycle in heels
  • To quote Lance (not something that comes naturally to me) – it’s not about the bike – the rider is what dictates style
  • Copenhagen is apparently devoid of traffic – a girl casually wafts across a car free junction on a sit-up-and-beg roadster holding an umbrella. I’d like to see someone pull that stunt along Oxford Street.

All of this won’t be news to regular Cyclostyle readers or followers of Cycle Chic. What is inevitable is that sooner or later the media spotlight will move off cycling in the UK and focus on another sport. Watch out lacrosse, synchronised swimming and race walking – your innocent days of relative obscurity may soon be over.


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