Monday, 8 March 2010

‘Spyclists’ menace

Cyclists – they’re always up to mischief.

MI5 suspected that members of the Hitler Youth were using cycling tours of Britain as a cover for spying, declassified files from 1937 show.

MI5 concerns that German cyclists were carrying out covert spying operations in Britain appear to originate from a May 1937 article in the now-defunct Daily Herald newspaper.

Under the headline "Nazis must be spyclists",
it warned that the Nazi Cyclists Association had issued orders to its members who were spending holidays abroad, in which it encouraged them to memorise the locations of landmarks, the construction of bridges and the width of streams.

Even today there are suspicious individuals on bicycles who have been caught displaying an unhealthy interest in key transport infrastructure.

Meanwhile on a bright frosty morning in the big city, a typical London cycling commuter sets out for the front, ready to combat crack squads of minicab drivers, the heavy artillery of articulated lorries, and bendy buses.