Mexican radio commentator Angel Verdugo talked himself in to trouble on Tuesday by calling on Mexico City's motorists to rid the city of cyclists who he described as a "plague" by "flattening" them "…and not giving them any chance, to see if they'll understand".
According to Fox News Latino Verdugo who is an economics analyst for the 98.5 Reporte radio station, was particularly incenced by users of Mexico City's Ecobici bike sharing scheme, launched last year and which already has 10,000 users per day and iwith a target of 65,000 next year. Verdugo told his listeners "they think that they are French and that they are in Paris", but he said they had forgotten that "they're Mexicans with all that that implies".
The implication for Verdugo was an indefinite suspension from his job offering "well-grounded analysis "but in simple terms that allow (listeners) to understand economic issues," although the radio station did allow him to go back on air to make a live aplogy.
His remarks, (listen to the audio and even if you don't speak Spanish you'll understand that this was no tub thumping rant) also brought a swift rebuke from the Mexico City Administration in the shape of Federal District Environment Secretary Martha Delgado. Ms Delgado denounced Verdugo's remarks as "backward" and "an affront to the cycling community and the citizens of Mexico City", adding that "bicycle use is a sign of society's development".
And what tipped Angel Verdugo over the edge? Two cyclists "arrogantly" flouting traffic rules had almost run in to his "modest Peugot 206" last weekend.
Verdugo is not the first talk show commentator to get in to trouble for urging motorists to run over cyclists. Last year the American talk radio host Tony Kornheiser got himself in hot water with US cycling groups when he said motorists in Washington DC should run down cyclists in an on-air rant about a new cycle lane in the city.
road.cc's founder and first editor, nowadays to be found riding a spreadsheet. Tony's journey in cycling media started in 1997 as production editor and then deputy editor of Total Bike, acting editor of Total Mountain Bike and then seven years as editor of Cycling Plus. He launched his first cycling website - the Cycling Plus Forum at the turn of the century. In 2006 he left C+ to head up the launch team for Bike Radar which he edited until 2008, when he co-launched the multi-award winning road.cc - finally handing on the reins in 2021 to Jack Sexty. His favourite ride is his ‘commute’ - which he does most days inc weekends and he’s been cycle-commuting since 1994. His favourite bikes are titanium and have disc brakes, though he'd like to own a carbon bike one day.