Not a bad claim, as it happens. This site linked to the Today programme's online poll to find the best invention of the last 150 years, and urged readers to vote for the bicycle. Other bike sites did likewise, hence 70 percent of the 5000 votes were for the bicycle, with the internal combustion engine only getting 4 percent, and the computer only getting 4.5 percent. It begs the question why didn't the car freaks and the computer geeks get behind 'their' inventions? Could it be that the cycling lobby is faster to mobilise than the car lobby, and cyclists are brainier than computer geeks?

Massive vote for bicycle as ‘best invention’ was part of “orchestrated campaign”, claims BBC Radio 4


* Bicycle – 70% ("influenced by voting campaign," says Radio 4)

Cat’s Eyes – 2%

Computer – 4.5%

Internal Combustion Engine – 4%

Internet – 3.5%

Light Bulb – 3%

Penicillin – 4.5%

Radio – 5.5%

Telephone – 1.5%

Television – 1.5%


Atomic/Nuclear Weapons – 31.5%

Car alarms – 6%

Internal Combustion Engine – 11%

Landmines – 21.5%

Mobile Phones – 7%

Plastic Bags – 8%

Sinclair C5 – 2%

Speed Cameras – 7.5%

Television – 3.5%

Tetrapack© Cartons Р2%

"As good an invention as the bicycle may be, it is clear that there was an orchestrated campaign by some groups to get people to vote for our two-wheeled friend," claims the website of the Today programme.

"Today has located a number of websites that linked directly to this page, calling on its readers to ‘vote for the bicycle’"., and all hold up their online hands and plead guilty. But surely you’re allowed to promote your favoured option in an election campaign?

Come the Labour landslide at the next General Election will the Today programme belittle the result because Labour "orchestrated a campaign" to be re-elected?

Anyway, BBC2’s science presenter Adam Hart-Davis (a Brompton user) told Today programme listeners that the rapid and successful pro-bike campaign was evidence that cyclists had "superior brainpower" and that the bicycle had a right to win on the grounds of efficiency and elegance.

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