I witnessed some awkward fumbling and stumbling (in words) this week. Sentences like "X is a proper cyclist" and "that's real cycling" were uttered in my presence. I kept calm as there were bigger fish to fry (infrastructure and funding) at the time.
But it remains a frustration, more than a niggle: the UK and its bad-quality cycling debate. I am not surprised people, amongst them cyclists themselves, argue the toss over what "real cycling" is.
Straight from a horse's mouth: the UK just fumbles on. We've reached saturation point. It has stagnated as a national average at 2%. With the bad provision that we've got cycling levels will not go beyond 10% modal share (locally, in places). The current "infrastructure" will not carry more cyclists; especially the young, the old and women are excluded.
The current infrastructure is the obstacle to a real cycling culture, where cycling's not just tolerated as a niche, as an oddity or something that the less-well-to-do do.
To disperse any doubts here are some real cyclists: