Harmless educational fun or patronising insult? - Bike Magic

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Harmless educational fun or patronising insult?

Repugnant rider ridicule?

Whoever strung this offroad code animation and quiz together for the Lake District probably thought they’d created an amusingly irreverent way of teaching mountain bikers correct countryside use.

The novelty cartoon features lantern-jawed Sergeant Major style Park Ranger hero “Clifford” pointing out the basics of safe biking to low-browed, buck-toothed mountain bike delinquent Dirk. Our evolutionarily challenged bike hero then endures various overloading, sheep attack, braking crash and finally riding off a cliff ‘comedy moments’, to illustrate the perils of our sport in a way that’s obviously meant to leave us howling with mirth.

Judging by the storm that’s kicked up on OUTDOORSMagic.com they couldn’t have been more mistaken though. But hang on, are we losing our sense of humour here? It might not be the most subtle of cartoons, but the comedy idiot has long been a part of the great British instructional film tradition. Plus, let’s face it, mountain biking is fundamentally a daft thing to do .

So – in a shamelessly blatant attempt to get a Friday Soap Box thread started – let’s have a quick Friday poll on how right-minded bikers should react. Should we;

A) Have a chuckle at the cartoon, and a genuine laugh or two at the surreal set of quiz questions.

B) Start stamping our feet and throwing our teds about this slur on the good name of mountain bikers, then whip out the Basildon Bond and write a “disgusted of Ambleside” letter of complaint to the National Parks dept. in your best joined up writing.

C) Celebrate our very own Dan Dirtyrider’s pivotal role in the characterisation of our hero.

D) Immediately declare a fatwa on all Lake District park rangers and embark on a campaign of skidding and sheep juggling terror until the video clip is replaced with a full apology?

E) Realise that Yogi and Boo Boo were a lot cooler than Ranger any day, and that everyone thought Fred was a jerk compared to Shaggy, and wander off to the Rides section to find some Dirks to ride with this weekend.


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