Support road.cc

Like this site? Help us to make it better.

news

Mail accused of distorting truth in “MAMIL madness” Regents Park cyclists story

Newspaper claims Regent’s Park cyclists are ignoring Government advice and riding in groups

The Mail Online has been accused of misrepresenting the situation in Regent’s Park, where the newspaper claims dozens of cyclists are ignoring the Government's Covid-19 lockdown rules by riding in large groups. The “MAMIL madness” article, published today, comes after campaigners have warned that cycling could be banned if people don’t ride responsibly.

In the early days of the coronavirus lockdown, a number of cyclists chose to ignore the Prime Minister's instructions on social distancing and continued to ride in groups and meet in cafes for a mid-ride chat.

While things have improved since, yesterday (Friday) Cycling UK reminded cyclists to ride responsibly over the weekend to avoid a ban similar to those in force in a number of countries on the continent.

A week earlier, British Cycling had made a similar plea, warning that the ‘privilege’ of riding a bike could be removed if people fail to observe instructions on social distancing.

The Mail Online story, headlined “MAMIL madness: Cyclists ride close together through Regents Park in London” plays on these concerns.

The clumsily written piece says: “In London's Regent Park, dozens of 'Middle-Aged Men in Lycra' (MAMILs) ignored the Government's Covid-19 lockdown rules to congregate in Regent's Park in London to ride their bicycles in large groups.

“Groups of men, clad in lycra, riding in close formation. Across in Paddington, keep fit fans were photographed training in a recreation ground – again ignoring social distancing rules.” 

The piece is accompanied by photographs local cyclists say have been carefully selected - perhaps even deliberately shot - to give a false representation of what is happening in and around the park.

Regent’s Park Cyclists, the group set up to represent cyclists who ride and train on the roads within the park, tweeted:

Local cyclist, The Dynaslow, who posted the original tweet, added:

Regent’s Park Cyclists have posted a whole series of tweets reminding people how to ride responsibly at the moment.

10 of the most hysterical anti-cycling Daily Mail headlines

 

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.

Add new comment

32 comments

Avatar
lonhost | 4 years ago
0 likes

Unfortunatly I have experienced this non clompliance from cyclists who are passing to close so you can feel their breath on your kneck. 

The problem is that at particular pinch points they dont slow down to pass when the road open up - they want to pass and pass now!

 

Avatar
kingleo | 4 years ago
1 like

Notice the media never shows any photographs of these supposed groups of cyclists taken side-on with a wide-angle lens.

Avatar
brooksby replied to kingleo | 4 years ago
2 likes
kingleo wrote:

Notice the media never shows any photographs of these supposed groups of cyclists taken side-on with a wide-angle lens.

Of course not: that might draw attention to the fact of their "story" being a foetid pile of dingo's kidneys...

Avatar
Cyclespeed Tours | 4 years ago
1 like

Here in Spain, all exercise is banned.

If I suggest on forums that solo cycling or jogging is really of no risk to anyone, I am shot down in flames.

Think yourselves lucky!!

Avatar
manonbike replied to Cyclespeed Tours | 4 years ago
1 like

It must be tough for you all there. I'm sure we all feel your pain. 

Yes, we're lucky. We're also infuriated by those who keep demanding to ban outdoor exercise here. We don't know the effect it had on the virus in Spain, but the boffins here modelled the effect of our lockdown, and took into account the psychological effects of staying home for many weeks. They decided that it was better to allow daily exercise, because it would enable us to sustain the lockdown. I'm with the boffins. Follow the science. 

I had a rant at a Brit living in Spain who suggeted that we should ban outdoor exercise here, because Spain has (so it must be right, yeah?). There is little more annoying than an ex-pat telling us how to behave back home! I'm sure he is loving the Daily Mail article while eating his full English breakfast, talking loudly (in English) at the locals about what Boris should do! 

I'm sure your government had it's reasons for the ban, and maybe it helped there. I'm not sure we'll ever know. Let's hope you can get back out there soon. 

Avatar
Bigfoz | 4 years ago
1 like

The single common thng on all these stories about people not distancing, is use of very long lenses foreshortening the distances. If you look properly at the photo of the cyclists, and compare road markings, there's a big distance spread across that group. Likewise the Mirror pic today? showing cyclists stopped at a junction, road marks showed they were all well separated, in spite of the foreshortened appearance. Papers are just stirring up shite as usual. Just as they did for 40+ years on another issue.

Avatar
Rik Mayals unde... replied to Bigfoz | 4 years ago
1 like

AS an amateur photographer with a couple of telephoto lenses, I cantell that these have been taken with a long lens, possibly a 400mm lens. The bokeh and perspective compresses the subjects. You can tell by looking at the distances between the cyclists that they are far enough away.

Avatar
Awavey | 4 years ago
6 likes

Well I see Matt Hancock wants to ban exercise if people carry on sunbathing...its not quite what he said on Andrew Marrs show but that's the narrative the media will go for I'm sure.

It would be nice to go one weekend of riding a bike at the moment,by yourself, and not be made to feel you are engaging in some highly criminal or dubious morals act.

Avatar
Sriracha replied to Awavey | 4 years ago
9 likes

Hmmm. Vitamin D is involved in the immune system. At the end of winter, our vitamin D levels will benefit from a boost.
https://www.nhs.uk/news/lifestyle-and-exercise/vitamin-d-immune-system-b...

Avatar
Rik Mayals unde... replied to Sriracha | 4 years ago
1 like

We take vitamin D for over 50s from Healthspan every year, all through winter into spring. I am convinced that it is the reason why we rarely get ill or colds, alongside eating fresh local produce. Having said that, we are quite confident we both had coronavirus in February, before it became non-stop headline news. We know a number of people who all feel that they had it too. All the symptoms, battered twice by it and knocked for six. It'd be interesting to have a test to see if we did have it, if and when they become available. 

Avatar
ktache replied to Awavey | 4 years ago
7 likes

Now I understand that sunbathing does not fall into the definition of exercise, but does sunbathing solo or within household groups spread the nasty virus to others in a particularly effective manner?

Some of us don't have large private gardens in our townhouses or indeed our second homes, let alone balconies in our city centre luxury pied de terre, so very little chance to spend time lazing in the sun.  The latest government infovert foregoes the term exercise for "health reasons", (whilst showing jogging), I can think that getting a few hours of sunshine for those in flats, often with very little daylight could come within the definition of "health reasons".

Anyone else feel less enthusiastic following the commands of those at the top, who while not being frontline treating patients or having to use public transport, could not come close to abiding by their own advice on social distancing, washing of hands and not touching the face and yet still succumbing the disease?

Let alone the constant broken promises...

Avatar
Colin Peyresourde replied to ktache | 4 years ago
0 likes

I have a good deal of sympathy for those living in cramped apartments, especially in inner city areas. It'll be worse when it gets hotter too.

The problem is that the message can't be "it's fine just to lie around outside", because inevitably this increases human contact, and it increases the chances of it spreading. The main thing is to use sensible precautions and social distancing, avoid touching your mouth and don't take it for granted that anything you touch is"OK".

What gets my goat is the advice on group cycling seems to have been manufactured on the spot. It seems to be based on very floored principles about droplet transference  and I am highly sceptical of it, yet we seem to be treating it as gospel. It doesn't really seem to deal with issues such as aerodynamics and drag effects, which likely push most droplets to the side and downwards. So cleaning your hands and clothes after a ride, and not touching your mouth being important steps (as well as washing your kit). But I doubt the impact of breathing they make claims on. Plus, a full swing contagious person would not want to cycle!

Riding side by side should be perfectly fine and they don't address that - I'm not advocating we all go for a ride, just that the advice is overkill and does not appear to be by anyone who cycles.

Avatar
ktache replied to Colin Peyresourde | 4 years ago
0 likes

Less touching mouth, more eyes, nose and even ears, upper respiritory infection, saliva doesn't go down the airways, much anyway, the eyes, nose and ears' mucas membranes are the succeptible bits, for formite transfer anyway.

You can breath in aerosols of course.

One thing I have noticed about people wearing masks is that they constantly touch the masks and their noses, thus removing the protection from breathing in aerosols and replacing it with transfer contamination.

Avatar
TheBillder replied to Colin Peyresourde | 4 years ago
0 likes

Sadly "a full swing contagious person" may well want to cycle as they can be carrying the virus for at least 7 days before symptoms. The road.cc distance guide seems right to me.

Lying in the sun and group cycling seem pretty similar in terms of risk. We need to put up with this for some weeks or risk having to do it all again with far tighter conditions.

Avatar
brooksby replied to Awavey | 4 years ago
5 likes

My wife just read out some comments off our village FB group, all ranting about plague riddled families of cyclists using the cycle path to bring the coronavirus to our village, and the why's the cycle path still open anyway? They seem to miss that its part of the NCN and nobody's closed the roads yet so why would they close the cycle path...

(Same person was ranting that they saw two people sitting on a bench together in our local green area. The same bench. And how it should be banned, I tells ya.  They didn't say how they knew that these two people weren't part of the same household...).

Avatar
Hirsute replied to brooksby | 4 years ago
0 likes

Shouldn't they be more worried about you with your daily work commute ? !

Avatar
brooksby replied to Hirsute | 4 years ago
0 likes

I won't tell if you won't 

Avatar
BIRMINGHAMisaDUMP | 4 years ago
8 likes

Is it the EU's fault?

Avatar
Rik Mayals unde... replied to BIRMINGHAMisaDUMP | 4 years ago
0 likes

It's all because of Brexit! 

Avatar
Organon | 4 years ago
7 likes

Lycra is not a good cladding material. Ask any builder, they avoid it like the plague. It is good for clothing though.

Avatar
Zebulebu | 4 years ago
17 likes

Why do you continue to give this filthy fucking shitrag the oxygen of publicity? Their scumbag clickbait articles and shill commenters are designed to drive clicks from the uneducated scum that actually believe and sympathise with them and the outraged normal people who are horrified and feel the need to refute in comments. It's a clickbait ponzi scheme. Linking to articles or even acknowledging the fact that the article exists feeds straight into their goal - profiting from shit-stirring.

Avatar
arckuk replied to Zebulebu | 4 years ago
0 likes

Absolutely spot on. Headlines reporting what the Daily Mail, and other inflamatory media mouthpieces just gives them more attention. Ignore it, and move on.

Avatar
Podc | 4 years ago
17 likes

I must have missed the outrage from the immoral moral guardians when the old, sick and vulnerable are put at risk by pollution every single frickin day.

When the lockdown is removed, I suspect the vast majority will return to their needless driving, pumping out pollution that will endanger exactly the people that we are trying to protect at the moment. 

Avatar
Rik Mayals unde... replied to Podc | 4 years ago
2 likes

I have thought the same. Whilst I would hope that people come out from this different, some may work from home, some may walk or cycle to the shops, to work etc, and fly less, I think that in reality people will rush to get back to normal. Which means driving 200 yards, getting a £30 return flight to Geneva or wherever. And generally not giving a fuck about anyone else. Has anyone noticed the two amazing things about cycling on near deserted roads? Apart from the obvious lack of cars, you can smell and taste the fresh air, and you hear a cacophony of birdsong, which lifts the spirit.

Avatar
Prosper0 | 4 years ago
9 likes

Whatever you do, don't visit the page. This kind of junk is just to get clicks, the more you visit the more garbage they will produce. 

Avatar
crazy-legs | 4 years ago
12 likes

The Daily Mail being anti-cycling? Misrepresenting the facts?

I'm astonished I tell you...

Avatar
Glov Zaroff | 4 years ago
2 likes

The photographer is Ben Cwthra who runs the London News Agency. The idiot even supplies his mobile number on is his personal website.

Avatar
Sriracha replied to Glov Zaroff | 4 years ago
3 likes

To be fair, he takes some pretty good photos. His best work, however, is with a wide angle lens. The shot of the cyclists, by making use of the foreshortening effect of a long focal length lens, misrepresents the essence of what is being reported. As a news photographer he should be ashamed to see his work used to misrepresent a situation, deliberately.

Avatar
handlebarcam | 4 years ago
9 likes

Presumably they redeployed the photographer they normally have following Jeremy Vine in hope of catching him appearing to run a red light.

How on earth is publishing that claptrap-filled propagandist rag, read by the thicker end of the reactionary spectrum, an essential activity? News is vital, yes, but The Mail ceased to be primarily concerned with reporting facts a long, long, long time ago.

Avatar
srchar replied to handlebarcam | 4 years ago
0 likes

The thing is, a lot of the readership aren't thick. I occasionally have to pick up a copy of the Mail from the shop for my in-laws, hiding it inside something less embarrassing, like Razzle. They're not thick; in fact, they're really quite switched on. I remain baffled as to why they'd want to read it.

Pages

Latest Comments