Wiggins new record: hero to zero
British cycling champion Brad Wiggins has gone from toast of the town to target in one short day as he tries to backpedal comments over a cyclist's death.
An Olympic bus struck and killed a 28-year-old on a bicycle Wednesday night. Immediately, Britain's freshly minted gold medallist was asked what he thought. He had just won the men's cycling time trials and his fourth gold medal
He thought cycling is dangerous and London is a busy city and there is lots of traffic. He thought cyclists shouldn't wear earbuds and drivers should be careful.
So far, so good.
Then he suggested helmets should be required.
The athlete so beloved by Britain that dogs were wearing sideburns in his honour got an immediate slapdown from the London Cycling Campaign, which vilified Wiggins for getting mixed up in the debate over cycling safety. Stop Climate Change director Ashok Sinha wrote a rebuttal in the British newspaper the Guardian, declared him "clearly wrong" that a helmet would have saved the man from Ilford crushed under a bus.
"I fear Wiggins comments may undo the Times campaign" for cycle safety, intoned one commenter.
Wiggins, who went off after his gold to get drunk and post pictures of his celebration, tried this morning to explain on Twitter: "I wasn't on me soap box CALLING, was asked what I thought. I haven't called for helmets to be made law."
The bus driver has been arrested on dangerous driving charges.