Former Top Gear host James May expresses love for bicyclesElliot Johnston
January 29 2017
James May, host of pro-driving and often anti-cycling television programmes, has written about his life-long love for cycling on motoring website Drivetribe.
May has been outspoken about cycling issues and the need to end, what he called, “road sectarianism” in the past.
In this piece May writes that “riding a bike feels good,” announces that he’s recently started cycling again, and also recounts the story of when he learned to ride at the age of three.
“Some time around the age of three-and-a-bit, my dad whipped the stabilisers off my Raleigh Mayflower, gave me a short shove, and off I went.” May writes. “I could ride a bike, and I’ve been able to do it ever since, because it’s a bit like riding a bike.”
The 54-year old also picked out the health benefits of cycling for leisure. “I’ve been doing a fair bit of recreational cycling lately, simply because I’m feeling old and I’ve got a bad back,” writes May. “It’s knackering but, after all this time, not difficult.”
In the piece May also pays particular attention to denouncing popular culture’s abandonment of mechanical maintenance.
“How has the technical literacy of our society evolved to the point where this global and interactive digital edifice can exist but no-one can make the few simple adjustments necessary to make a bicycle derailleur shift correctly?” May laments.
Given May’s history of speaking positively about cycling, this admission does not come as a complete surprise, though the depth with which he talks about the benefits to health and society that cycling can have does. Especially on a website which is home to the writings of his fellow Grand Tour and former Top Gear presenters Richard Hammond and Jeremy Clarkson.
May doesn’t spare mention of his “colleagues” in the opinion piece, though. When he mentions Hammond and Clarkson it’s to announce that his love for cycling is one differentiating factor between himself and the pair.
“I like a bicycle, and I differ from my colleagues on this one.” May writes.