• Posted Sep 6, 2005

Forget stretch-limos, a growing list of film stars, rock legends and leaders-of-the-free-world take to two-wheels for speedy, paparazzi-free transport and, of course, to keep their figures in trim. Film star Michelle Pfeiffer relaxes by taking her bike apart and putting it together again. When not dabbling in Jewish mysticism, Madonna rides her bike with husband Guy Ritchie and their son Rocco. Comic and film star Robin Williams owns 30+ road bikes. He rides with his mate Lance Armstrong, the seven times Tour de France winner. Grilling-specialist Jeremy Paxman is a neo-cyclist: "It is easily the quickest way around central London, faster than bus, Tube or taxi. You can predict precisely how long every journey will take, regardless of traffic jams, Tube strikes or leaves on the line. It provides excellent exercise. It does not pollute the atmosphere. It does not clog up the streets." When singer Jarvis Cocker of Pulp wants to get anywhere in London, he throws his long-legs over his trusty mountain bike. Fashion designers Jeff Banks and Paul Smith are avid roadies. Smith's company has sponsored cycle teams, and Banks Jnr owes his love of cycling to Banks Snr: "My dad was a racer before the war. He bought me an Italian racing bike when I was 11, and I suppose I've never looked back. There's not a major col in the Alps or Pyrenees that I haven't climbed. I suppose I do it for the sense of achievement you get when you complete rides like that. It's amazing." Singer Sheryl Crow is perhaps now more famous for being Lance Armstrong's girlfriend. She wasn't a cyclist before getting chummy with Lance but she is one now. She rode close to 70 miles at the recent Ride for the Roses in Austin, Texas, a charity ride that benefits the Lance Armstrong Foundation. She's now promising to write a song about cycling. Film star newlyweds Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes rise at the crack of dawn to keep trim on their Emporio Armani bicycles, available to the public in November 2005 (the bikes, not Cruise and Holmes...that's why they get up early, to avoid the crowds). Hotelier Sir Rocco Forte is a late starter: he only took up cycling four years ago when his love of endurance sport led him to triathlons. He likes all sports but now cycling is "the thing I love best...I am addicted." He has ridden two Etapes du Tour, the amateur stages of the Tour de France. Failed US president candidate John Kerry is a mad keen road cyclist, owning a custom-painted £3000 Serotta Ottrott which he pedals when he gets a spare moment on the campaign trail. George 'Dubya' Bush took up mountain biking in February 2004. He said: "Nothing compares to getting your heart rate up to 170-something, riding hard for an hour-twenty, getting off and not hurting, as opposed to 24 minutes of running, at the end of which I hurt. When you ride a bike and you get your heart rate up and you're out, after 30 or 40 minutes your mind tends to expand; it tends to relax." Shadow Secretary of State for the Regions, Bernard Jenkin drives to his London home on Sunday evening and then doesn't touch his car for a week: "I cycle everywhere, every day - to Westminster, to meetings in the West End and the City, to the Albert Hall, to the Royal Opera House. Cycling offers a huge financial advantage and it keeps me fit." Guitar legend Eric Clapton owns a stable of fancy Italian road bikes and rides often. Writer Beatrix Campbell is a confirmed cyclist: "In the context of the great debates about identity politics - are you gay or straight, nationalist or republican, British or English and so on - I would ask, "Do you ride a bike?". I love everything about the machine - the sensation of the tyres on the road, the mobility - and I love the fact that you have this intimate relationship with the elements, and the landscape." Sir Paul McCartney and Heather Mills ride mountain bikes. In 2003 they were spotted cycling along the Brighton promenade, eating chips from their handlebars. Media reports from the time said: "It didn't seem to bother them it was in a non-cycle zone. One onlooker said "They rode straight past the signs warning of £500 fines. They weren't in a hurry to go anywhere." Housewives' dreamboat Desmond Lynam wrote about cycle escapism in his diary column in The Daily Telegraph: “I decide on the spur of the moment to fly home...I see my loved ones and ride my bicycle in the fresh Sussex air and feel a hundred miles from Euro 2004.” Channel 4 news anchor Jon Snow knows the fastest way to get around London's congested streets is by bicycle. Top tip: to cool down after cycling from the ITN news centre to interview, say, the PM at 10 Downing Street, Snow has an ice-cube applied to the back of his neck by the make-up crew. He rides everywhere: "My whole day is built around meetings that can be achieved around bike rides. My contract actually offers me a free car from my home to my office and back, but I suppose I am addicted to cycling." Woe betide any drivers who mess with comedian Alexei Sayle: he's big and bike-proud. He cycle-commutes in London and, like Jon Snow, is just one of the cycling celeb customers of Condor Cycles in London. Others include Adam Woodyatt (Ian Beale in Eastenders), Strictly Come Dancing winner and Chicago star Jill Halfpenny, Mick Jagger, (he has a Condor road bike and a custom hybrid), and Chris Tarrant and his wife. They've just bought a tandem. Every Liverpuddlians' favourite MP-cum-editor Boris Johnson cycles to and from Parliament and his office at the Spectator magazine. US band Grateful Dead rent studio space from bike supplier Marin of California. The band's guitarist Bob Weir is a mountain biker, and often rides with mountain bike co-founding father, Gary Fisher. Weir said: "Bicycles are almost as good as guitars for meeting girls." The Prime Minister of Belgium, Guy Verhofstadt is a cyclist and a fan of cycle-sport. He said: "“In politics, one can learn some things from cycling, such as how to have character and courage. Sometimes in politics there isn’t enough of those things.” Lee Iacocca, former boss at Ford and then General Motors, invented the Ford Mustang, the SUV and the Minvan. But his gas-guzzling days are now over: he's now pinning his hopes on electric bikes and claims to ride his company's products. He said: "After fifty years in the automobile business, I'm bringing you the future of transportation – and it's electric!" The reclusive members of German electronic-pop pioneers Kraftwerk don't just write songs about road-bike races - their 1980s Tour de France album is an influential classic - they ride. Hard. US rocker Jon Bon Jovi is a mountain biker. He even sponsors an MTB team: Think motor-mouth Jeremy Clarkson hates bikes? Think again. He and his wife ride Raleigh Pioneers to keep fit.

  • Source:
  • Author:
  • Posted By:







Related Sponsors