Twitter inspires


UPDATE: Following this posting – and coverage on blogs, news sites and forums – I was inundated with pre-orders for the jersey. It will now be produced in partnership with, story here.

Alongside the ‘all cyclists blow through red lights’* canard from motorists there’s the classic ‘we pay road tax, cyclists don’t.’ This is an objection voiced the world over. This morning on Twitter, Nick Bertrand said:

“I pay road tax/VED for the car I rarely drive. Should I wear a copy of the tax disk on my jersey?”

I replied, telling him that’s a great idea, and others agreed. I then went on a bike ride. On the road to Dunston – Damascus being too far for a hill-climb quickie – I had a light-bulb moment: jerseys with tax discs printed on them.

And arm-warmers, so cyclists thrown the ‘we pay road tax’ argument can counter by simply pointing to an upper-arm. It’s sure easier than getting a tattoo.

When I got back from the ride I registered and I commissioned Luke Scheybeler to produce the fake tax disc above. This will be used on the jerseys and arm-warmers. For product updates, follow iPayRoadTax on Twitter.


The fonts and colours for the jersey and arm-warmers aren’t set in stone. Others on Twitter suggested headset spacers and topcaps, too. Oy, could do loads of things. Like mugs, badges, t-shirts? Or how about, ahem, a tax-disc holder for your car, emblazoned with bicycle symbols?

When I twittered the fact I’d registered a domain-name and who would like some arm-warmers and jerseys, the response from Twitterdom was immediate. Within seconds I got firm orders. Really. Seconds. Amazing. From inspiration to product idea to mock-up to orders within minutes. Who says Twitter is a waste of time and thence money? I may have just created a micro-business thanks to picking up on a 140-character message (or I may be wasting my time and money).

If you’d like to express interest in items from the forthcoming I Pay Road Tax collection, have a look at this.

* Just cyclists blow through red lights, huh? Two wrongs don’t make a right but there are plenty of online examples of motorists doing things they shouldn’t. Here’s four drivers in one go busting through a red light in Manchester:

NB Road tax was abolished in the UK in 1936. Since then we have paid ‘Vehicle Excise Duty’ and, as every fule knows (except the majority of motorists, it seems), this does not pay for the upkeep of roads. This comes out of general taxation. Cyclists are tax-payers…And, of course, the majority of adult cyclists also own cars so pay VED, too. It’s just that many cyclists prefer not to use their cars for every blummin’ short journey.