"On Yer Bike": Norman Tebbit, 1981

A few days ago I received a mail from my old Spanish friend Anki Toner. Some of you will know his site but most of you won't. The link is


Anki is easily the world's expert on cycling games. And he is a master of the internet. If my site is the burger bar in a street market then Anki's site is a five-star restaurant. A stunning site indeed. Please take a look.

As I have games that feature bicycles on some cards, I am showing some of the cards below. I have many, many more but space only allows me this number.

Here in Germany they take their cycling more seriously than in the UK. For a start, even in a city like Lübeck, it is rare to find roads without a cycling path. And the cycling paths are even shared on the pavement with pedestrians. In the city you will see a phenomenal number of cyclists. It is considered safe. Children are brought up to recognise that and to behave accordingly. You also see older people cycling. At least 4 or 5 ladies at the bridge club cycle to the club (and they are all over 70!). The game industry has taken this lead by regularly making quartetts with an eye on the do's and don't's of cycling. Some examples are below. But most of the other bikes on show are just part of an image, mostly from old British games. You will see that Britain thought a lot of animals should cycle. The proof is below.

The quote at the head of this article is a quote (actually a mis-quote but it does sum-up his opinion). Norman Tebbit was an abrasive minister in Mrs Thatcher's government. He was known for his bluntness and always depicted as such in political cartoons and articles throughout the 1980's. At the Tory conference in 1981 he made a famous speech about work-shy people in the British isles. He referred to his father who, in the depressing 30's, got on his bike to find work, the reference being you must be more pro-active to find a job and not wait for a job to be presented to you on a plate. There was a TV show in Britain called Spitting Image which featured grotesque puppets of celebrities at the time. They depicted Tebbit as being like a young thug with a leather jacket with chains around his person. They also depicted him as Maggie Thatcher's poodle (along with many other ministers) because he adored her. One of my favourite sketches was a cabinet meeting in a restaurant. Mrs Thatcher was at the head of the table and a waiter was taking her order. She said she wanted a steak. The waiter then asked "What about the vegetables?". Mrs Thatcher dismissed him with the line "They'll have the same as me".

Enjoy the pictures. I will name the game they come from below together with the publisher. And I will add a comment if I think it is relevant.

Gran Pairs


Gran was an animated children's series that ran from 1982 to 1983. See, I told you older people rode bikes, even some in England.

Sicher im Straßenverkehr


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For 'Hercules Bicycles', whoever they were.

Los Picapiedra


Even Fred Flintstone likes to cycle sometimes

Picture Bingo


Happy Families Around the World

John Adams

Frau Maus

Vereinigte Kunstanstalten Senkeisen


Old Maid





Happy Hours Snap Cards


Kleine Verkehrslehre

Rudolf Forkel

Life (or death) in this East German game


Super Snap

Galt Toys

I suppose nowadays this would be an Euro Cent bike

Ridiculous Records


Could be the fastest man to eat his bicycle

Happy Families

C W Faulkner

Butcher's sons are nearly always depicted as cheap labour to deliver his father's products


Road Safety Snap!

Hazel Mill

Holiday Snap

Unknown publisher

Einfach Tierisch!


Who is the Greenest?

John Adams

Autospiel Spanarna Eye Spy


Promotional game for a ferry company

Barbie Jeu de 7 Familles


I wonder if a bicycle accessory actually exists for Barbie

Beat Your Neighbours

Tower Press

Do You Speak English?

Jos. Scholz

Die Erbtante


Felix Quartett

De Spiegelburg


Paul Lamond

I suspect Garfield is a) racing for a lasangne, or b) racing away from Odie


Tower Press



Walkers' Crisps

This represented their Beef and Onion flavoured crisps




Kleine Verkehrslehre

Rudolf Forkel

Snap Cards Travel Series

Unknown Publisher

Unknown Title - Scout Snap (maybe)

Unknown Publisher

Sports Fours

Marks & Spencer

Unknown Title

Unknown Publisher

You regularly see children carried like this here today. It shows how parents consider cycling in Germany to be very safe

Sicher im Straßenverkehr


Sports Snap

Tower Press

Travel Pack

John Adams

Les Sports



Globe Series

I know it is not a bicycle... but it is such a nice illustration from around 1900

6-Tage Rennen


My favourite cycling game to play. Both rare and brilliant



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