Gerald Ratner, famous for the backfiring “total crap” joke in 1989, is a roadie nut. He told the Daily Telegraph at the weekend that ridicule from newspapers and his removal from the family jewellery firm – the biggest in the UK at the time – could have sent him over the edge: “If it wasn’t for my bike, I’d have gone to the funny farm.”

Cycling kept me sane, says Ratner

Ratner now runs a online jewellery firm – – and places cycling first in his list of hobbies.

Every day he rides his Trek Madone – the Lance Armstrong bike – on the same 32-mile route, leaving from his house in Bray, Berkshire. He tries to average at least 18mph, revealed the Daily Telegraph.

Profiling Ratner, the newspaper accused the entrepreneur of being “borderline compulsive-obessive” because he rides a bike in racing kit.

“I love the feeling,” said Ratner.

“It’s the highlight of my life. I love getting all the clothes that go with it, the shoes that click into the pedals, the windproof jacket, the Lycra, the tights.”

The Telegraph report clearly thought Ratner needed therapy but the 56-year old retailer said riding his bike was cathartic. Cycling had been “a great deal cheaper than a shrink," he said.

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