Friday, February 8, 2008

Celebrity Cyclists

I'm not much of a "Star Gazer" myself but every now and then flipping through thye Sky pacific channels I get stuck on "E". As much as I hate it, and I REALLY do hate it, I can't seem to look away. It's like passing a gory traffic accident... you can help but look. Anyway... while I was stuck on "E", trying to press the remote to get back to Discovery Channel, I saw Oprah riding a bike and I wondered what other celebs cycle... A quick Google and I found a list at Quick I stole it - sorry Carlton (Carlon Reid is the site owner). There are quite a few names that I don't know and the list is a little UK biased... probably 'cos Carlton is a POM.

Cycling celebs

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.

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 Sir 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.”

Movie star Daniel Day-Lewis has a house in Ireland, close to Sir Paul Smith. The two cycle together. In a February 2008 interview with Esquire magazine Day-Lewis said: “I cycle everywhere…I’d still like to make a film about cycling. I still feel there’s something to be done there.”

TV football pundit Simon O’Brien, who used to be Damon in Brookside, still cycles on shoots and is a former co-owner of a green-tinged bike shop in Liverpool.

Cerebral ex-footballer Graeme Le Saux has recently taken to two wheels. He’s even competed in cyclo-cross races.

Hotelier Sir Rocco Forte is a late starter: he only took up cycling five 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. 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.”

One of the current Democratic presidential candidates is stick-thin enough to be a cyclist and may even be bike-friendly, if elected to the top job:

“As president, Barack Obama will build upon his efforts in the Senate to ensure that more Metropolitan Planning Organizations create policies to incentivize greater bicycle and pedestrian usage of roads and sidewalks.

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.”

Talking Heads frontman David Byrne gets around New York City on his mountain bike. He said:
“I’ve known for twenty years that biking is the best way to get around this city. Back then, people just looked at you like you were crazy. At least now the cars slow down sometimes when they see you…The landlord and the city building code people let me install a shower in my office because I ride a bike to work. I can gallery hop or hit the clubs at night or in the afternoon cheaply and efficiently. It beats cabbing, and the subway is sporadic at night.”

CTC president and 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. In 2005 they bought a tandem (but it clearly didn’t save their marriage…) - no news on what the mistresses ride…

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.

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