Sir Bradley Wiggins' efforts in winning the Tour de France last summer, followed by Olympic gold, Sports Personality of the Year and rocking out with his guitar at the after party - combined with the rise and success of British Cycling at both the Beijing and London Olympics - have made cycling not only more popular as a spectator sport, but enormously popular as a participation sport.
We are in the middle of a celebrity endorsement tsunami; never in the field of brand marketing has so much been endorsed to so many by so few. To walk London's streets right now is to be introduced to a bewildering array of sports and sports stars; Sunday magazines display their chiseled bodies and ghost-written autobiographies sit in their millions waiting to be shipped.
We knew that the Olympic commercial brands deals had put money ahead of free speech -Locog published months ago two lists of words that must not be combined at risk of legal action for breaching the brand/copyright rules. But more examples keep coming in of the censorship effects, and the chilling of the right to peaceful protest.
High Olympic ideals of promoting sport and healthy living seem completely at odds with Big Macs, chicken nuggets, fries, sugar rich milkshakes and coke drinks. Yet brands such as McDonalds and Coca Cola, through sponsorship deals, will be the only food and soft-drink brands advertised at the London 2012 Games, at both game venues and through TV broadcasts to billions of worldwide viewers, including children.