All respect is due to the brigade of pedal pushers

 

My humble apologies are due to the pedal pushers in the lycra hotpants. My flippant comments a few days ago about the inclusion of BMX as an Olympic sport for the first time in Beijing has drawn such an e-postbag of complaints that I feel I have to make some amends – or risk being torn limb from limb by the BMX brigade.


I did not really mean to imply that it is not a serious sport and therefore should not be at Beijing. Having checked it out with some BMX aficionados, I now accept that it is an activity of genuine skill, athleticism, endurance and judgement, and that these are the attributes of all real sports. Respect is due to all the bikers out there.

As I was writing about the business Olympics, I should also point out that BMX is a multi-billion dollar industry as well. Bikes can cost up to $1,000 (Dh3,670) a piece and BMX events can attract around 3,000 people. The age and social profile of participants and spectators makes it a marketing man’s dream. So it’s also a subject worthy of inclusion on the business pages.

However, I have to take some issue with one correspondent – Mike – who really took it all too seriously. The part of his e-mail I am able to reproduce without offending any sensibilities runs thus: “So you just sit around writing about your money all day? Or other peoples’ money? Because nobody could stand watching talented people ride bicycles simply because your small money-hungry mind can’t understand it? How about this, you race my bicycle and I’ll spend your money. If I can spend all your money by the time you make it around the track, I win.”

Well, Mike, just a couple of observations, if you don’t mind. I do not sit around all day writing about money – I write about business, which is what makes the world go around – whether we like it or not - and keeps you in BMX bikes.

And you must forgive me, but I will not be able to take up your challenge – because I am sure you would win. The last time I was on anything with two wheels, rather than four, was probably way before your time.


 

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