This week on the BBC's Top Gear, a television show devoted to the worship of high-end automobiles, something that even a career bicyclist like myself can appreciate -- who wouldn't jump at the chance to scorch a few laps of the Nürburgring behind the wheel of some ridonkulous non-street-legal automobile? -- viewers were treated to an episode (actually a re-run) about a commuter race of sorts.
In an attempt to find the quickest means to negotiate the virtually gridlocked streets of the capial, we organised a race. Starting in West London, with London city Airport the target destinations, our presenters introduced their weapons of choice:
James made the case for the car. Unfortunately, the car in question was the massive new Mercedes GL500, which, at 17ft long and 6.5ft wide, is surely the king of the Chelsea tractors. Next to arrive was a Lycra-clad Hammond, who would be travelling by bicycle - a state-of-the-art, 1,700-quid bicycle, admittedly, but a bicycle none the less.
Next, we wheeled in Stig, armed him with an Oyster card and told him to use public transport. Finally, Jeremy arrived and announced he would be using the river - and a 225 bhp racing speedboat.
In a shock result that could spell the end of Top Gear as we know it, the bicycle came first, then the speedboat, then the Oyster card, and finally the car. Ahem.
Shock result? Come on fellas. Are you too busy adding extra l's to your words to notice the swarms of cyclists rushing past you every day while you're sitting in London traffic?
It wasn't the first time and it won't be the last that such an event has taken place on the media stage. The outcome is the same every time.
It's possible that an amphibious Lotus Elise with special hovering powers could take the prize.