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Twitter patter: cycling and the latest social networking craze

We track twitter's two-wheeled progress...

Twitter, the social networking phenomenon favoured by everyone from Stephen Fry to Britney Spears, has been in the news a fair bit this week. is on it and it seems the rest of the cycling world is not immune to its charms either.

On Wednesday the Guardian captured the zeitgeist by announcing it would be the first newspaper in the world to be published exclusively via Twitter.

Wednesday was, of course, April Fool's Day, so the story was a complete fabrication, but an amusing one, particularly when it reduced Martin Luther King's I Have a Dream speech to a 140 character Twitter "tweet".

Meanwhile it was also rumoured this week that Google is interested in buying Twitter, the popularity of which has exploded in recent months.

In the realm of cycling, round-the-world cyclist James Bowthorpe is busily tweeting his way through Germany with mini-updates like this: "Chunky day yesterday 220k magic of tailwind! By the pm Germany will be sooo this morning!"

Another interesting use of the cyber craze is as a new literary genre. Bike-gear pioneer Banjo Brothers has been rolling out a piece of cycling-themed fiction by Minneapolis writer Ian Pratt via Twitter.

The fictional story, which takes place in Minneapolis and involves the hero's love of a girl and a bicycle, was released in 16 chapters of 140 characters each over the period of eight hours.

Company co-founder Mike Vanderscheuren said the two-wheeled Twitter literature is another revolution in the "natural" marriage of cycling and art.

"The cycling community as a whole has a long history of being passionate about music and artistic expression," he said.

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