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Brewdog criticised for calling its new cycling club a "chain gang"

Club has attracted around 1,600 members around the world

Where do you stand on the use of the term ‘chain gang’ in cycling? It’s pretty common, but beyond the sport it of course carries a very different meaning.

The London Evening Standard reports that Brewdog has been defending itself from criticism after last week announcing The Brewdog Chain Gang, a series of social cycling clubs operating out of its various bars.

The beer brand’s social media followers obviously aren’t all cyclists and a number of them got in touch to express their displeasure at the name.

Emily Jane tweeted: “Is it just me or is Chain Gang a pretty gross name for @BrewDog’s bicycle club? It’s a slavery humiliation and forced labour slang word right?”

Another Twitter user – William Shatner’s TekWar – added: “Apparently 'chain gang' is a term used in cycling circles, HOWEVER, you'd think a multinational corporation (with previous problems of causing offense) would think a bit harder about this sort of shit. Its not hard, just dont be a dickhead.”

(William Shatner’s TekWar was presumably referring to Brewdog’s pink ‘beer for girls’ earlier this year, which the firm said was a “parody on the failed, tone-deaf campaigns that some brands have attempted in order to attract women.”)

Commenting on the Brewdog Chaingang, a spokesman said: "We named our cycling club Chain Gang as a nod to the well-known and often used term in the cycling community referring to a group of cyclists riding in lines behind a leader, allowing for a slipstream effect.

"It’s a commonly used turn of phrase in cycling and thousands of cycling clubs, races and organisations around the world use it within their names.

"The launch has been really well received with over 1,600 people signing up to create over 150 new cycling chapters in more than 20 different countries, achieving our goal of bringing together like minded beer and cycling enthusiasts.”

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the road.cc team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.

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