At BIKEmagic we like to think we have some degree of influence. So it was heartening to have the BBC call us up to accuse us of ‘skewing the voting’ in Radio 4’s Today programme Favourite Inventions poll. Apparently posting a link to the voting page under the headline “Vote for the bicycle” constitutes an ‘orchestrated campaign’. According to the results page, “As good an invention as the bicycle may be, it is clear that there was an orchestrated campaign by some groups to get people to vote for our two-wheeled friend. Today has located a number of websites that linked directly to this page, calling on its readers to ‘vote for the bicycle'”.
We guess it’s reassuring that someone at the BBC can (a) read referrer logs and (b) use Google. Obviously we wouldn’t dream of suggesting that the Beeb’s all bitter because radio only got 5% of the vote and television a miserly 1.5% while the humble bicycle scorched ahead with a massive 70%. Oh, sorry, that’s “70% (influenced by voting campaign)”. Best get that right, eh?
Hats off to BBC science presenter Adam Hart-Davis (no relation), though, who put up a strong defence of the bicycle’s right to win on the grounds of efficiency and elegance and suggested that it was the “superior brainpower” of the cyclist that allowed us to swing the vote. Good work, sir.
You can read the full results on the Today website. Oh, and while you’re over there, the Beeb’s running another poll that we think may interest you – that Great Britons thing. We reckon top Victorian engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel ought to win it, but don’t let us sway you…