COMMENT: A look back at some of the odd cycle-based news fare from this week

When cycling becomes mainstream: X Factor, Strictly and GTA V

As it’s Friday and you’re probably busy making your final preparations before you head off to Friedrichshafen, we thought we’d indulge in a look at some cycle-related nonsense from the past week or so.

Perhaps it’s because it has been a glorious summer of cycling (apart from the wettest May and June in 100 years) that cyclists and bikes are creeping ever further into mainstream news stories, but the suggestion that two of Team GB’s most prominent cyclists will be judging X Factor this year was one of the oddest yet. It was earlier this week that we saw reports emerge that both Bradley Wiggins and Sir Chris Hoy would be taking part in a special Olympics-themed edition of Simon Cowell’s popular singing talent show.

Hoy tweeted on the rumour: "Some amusing stories in press about me being a mentor on X-Factor; that’s the first I’ve heard about it! ‪#dontbelievethehype‬!"

Wiggins was more even more forthright in his denial of the rumour.

While Hoy was also keen to head off further rumours of TV talent show involvement ("And no I’m not doing Strictly either!") fellow Olympic medallist Victoria Pendleton is, reportedly, very keen on getting involved in the BBC celebrity dancing competition.

How did cyclists become so mainstream in the UK, eh?

In other news this week, video game blockbuster Grand Theft Auto 5 revealed gamers will be able to get around its virtual world and complete missions by bicycle, providing a greener alternative to the usual GTA transport choices of speedboats, souped-up cars and, er, fighter jets.

Finally, if more proof were needed that Britain’s top cyclists are now bona-fide house hold names, in the Home Counties at least, last weekend saw the people of Hertfordshire create effigies of Sir Chris and Wiggo (sideburns and all) at Flamstead’s scarecrow festival.

Happily, it seems that even scarecrows can manage to put their forks on correctly.

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