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  1. Phil Bayles

Is Boris Johnson cycle mad?

With Boris Johnson all over the news concerning different stories about cycling, it is a fair question to ask: "what does he think about when he is hurtling around London to different meetings?"

Boris Johnson with Laura Trott at the launch of RideLondon Credit: PA

There is no sign of headphones under the Mayor's trademark safety helmet, so it must be assumed that thoughts_ _are going through that sensibly protected head. I have a theory that he practices one-liners as he wheels away the time.

If it is true, the two wheeled trip to the Mall today was used highly productively as he propelled himself to an event to announce the route for a weekend of cycle races in August. It is surely inconceivable that he made up the following quip as he took his place at the top table:

The Mayor and Trott today

"It will be a fantastic feast of velocipedes." All but the fellow Etonians in the press ranks assumed that he was referring to some little known multi-legged pests munching their way through the garden. Roughly translated, he was talking about some big old bike rides coming up in August.

Our erudite Mayor went on to inform us that the cycle was invented in Covent Garden 200 years ago, so therefore London can fairly claim ownership of the pastime which has now exploded into the only acceptable form of transportation in the civilised world.

Boris with his bikes in London Credit: PA

Well, without Boris we would never have known that. And finally he left us with possibly the most obscure one-liner to have been uttered for some time. When asked how his own training for the 100 mile race was going, without pause he replied:

"At the moment, it is undeveloped but I will be a chiselled whippet by the end of it."

Sadly, my own opportunity to interview him was cut short by his pressing need to get back on the saddle so I couldn't ask him the question I suspect many viewers would like to have answered concerning this particularly Northern creature: "Boris, have you actually been anywhere near a whippet?"