A paparazzi pic of Lord Linley talking his daughter to school by bike is today featured in The Mirror, The Daily Mail and The Express. These latter two carry the story on page three and question the bicycling Royal's sanity for allowing his four-year old daughter to hang off the back of the luggage rack of his Strida bicycle. This rack is not designed for carrying children. The Mirror calls the Queen's nephew 'Lord Loony'.
The Daily Mail website carries the offending pic, but no mention of the bike's brand name. The Express and The Mirror have comments from a Strida spokesman, confirming that the luggage rack is meant for light items only.
Debbie Gillespie of Strida told Bike Biz the media feeding frenzy started yesterday and she was glad the company was able to stress the luggage rack wasn't meant to carry children.
"What could have been a very negative story turned out OK in the end," said Gillespie.
"We got nearly three whole pages in the tabloid press. That's thousands of pounds worth of free publicity. It was good that two newspapers carried the fact that the rack is only really designed for light rucksacks, or items of up to 20lbs."
Viscount Linley, said to be worth £27m, owns an up-to-date Strida, having previously owned one of the original designs.
A spokesman for Linley, son of Princess Margaret, said:
"David feels its better to cycle than clog up roads with a gas-guzzler."
Viscount Linley has a British-made Pashley Sovereign bicycle on order. This will be fitted with a children's bicycle seat.
His spokesman said: "[Viscount Linley's] little girl has just started school and he takes her every day. They are encouraged not to drive because it causes huge traffic congestion so bicycling or walking is the best option."