Ad campaigns boost cycling

lain Murray’s scathing attack on postmenopausal male cyclists may raise a few hackles as well as eyebrows (MW July 2). Apart from showing his extremely prejudiced anti-cycling views, he also demonstrates an apparent lack of insight into why there is such an increase in the number of “middle-aged racers” on our roads.

True, the BMA endorses the benefits of exercise – one form of which is cycling – and our “nannying” government actively supports facilities for the rising numbers of British cyclists. However, perhaps the most successful influence on the growth of two-wheeled, man-powered transport is the prevalence of attractive, high-profile marketing, advertising and PR campaigns by leading cycle and sportswear manufacturers.

Just as the Nike advertisements persuaded committed couch and car potatoes to ‘just do it’ and start jogging (or at least buy the trainers), perhaps Raleigh Peugeot and others are persuading more Brits to take to two wheels. The successful development of a valuable market is not usually a symptom of economic decline and should be a reason to rejoice. So should the thought that each new cycling commuter increases the available road space for motorists such as Mr Murray.

M Wrottesley

St Albans

Hertfordshire

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