McDonald’s don’t have the best reputation in the world of road cyclists. After all, regular cyclist aren’t traditionally too keen on a Big Mac and chips for their dinner.
Occasionally though, McDonald’s claim that they’re actually a healthy lot, which has always struck us as a little bit amusing.
Let’s be honest, the McD’s adverts that show salads and smoothies don’t fool many cyclists. Even if they are advertising a dynamite salad, a healthy eater is hardly going to see an advert for it on TV and think ‘yup. Let’s go to McDonald’s’, in the same way that you wouldn’t see a book on how to legally win a cycling race by Lance Armstrong and think ‘better get me some of that’.
The fact that McDonald’s recently ended up battling a legal case against a small cycling campaign isn’t going to help their biking rep either. The battle came after the chain attempted to get vehicle access to a drive-through fast food joint across one of London’s new cycle superhighways, but a local campaign was successful in stopping that from happening.
Given that the McBike project was launched recently in certain countries to try and make the restaurant-chain friends with the peddlers of the world, it seems like a little bit of a backwards step to even attempt this sort of move.
Previously, comedian Brian Conley was famously quizzed by police for bringing his fold-up bicycle into a McDonald’s, and there have been reports of the restaurant refusing cyclists on their bikes service at the drive-through as well.
The recent campaign arose after Ealing Council granted permission for motor vehicles across the route in question, on the A40 in West London. The council then reversed their decision after input from the cycling campaign, who suggested it could be dangerous for those on two wheels.
McDonald’s appealed, arguing that since cycling is less popular in Ealing than elsewhere, the bike lane would not often be used, but those appeals were ultimately in vein as the decision stood.
An inspector who denied the appeal stated: “Allowing cars to cross the path of cyclists, when there is no need to do so, is not a good idea. The object of the cycle superhighways is give cyclists safe, fast and uninterrupted journeys which an additional left turn across the route would not provide.”