Many of us will have experienced the awkward conversations after revealing that you ride a bicycle. People may jump to certain conclusions or worse say ‘I hope you’re not one of the bad ones’. Here are some of the most common misconceptions about cycling and how they might be misguided.
All cyclists have to wear tight fitting clothing
To many of us, this is certainly a treat and something we take pride in. Cycling can be far more comfortable in purpose made clothing, but it’s not for everyone. It’s is perfectly normal and practical to ride your bike in whatever clothing you might have on that day. Chain guards, trouser clips and even ponchos can all be deployed to keep you and your outfit dry and oil free upon arrival. If you were to go to the Netherlands or another nation where cycling infrastructure is leaps ahead of the rest of the world, you would not find a nation of cyclists. They are ordinary people in ordinary clothes getting around as quickly and conveniently as possible.
Cycling is a sport for middle aged men
This is an interesting one but not one that ought to dissuade people from loving their bicycles. There is a legitimate issue of inclusiveness in the professional and casual sport. However, there are countless grassroots and professional teams offering opportunities for training, racing and leisure riding for people from all walks of life. Plenty of riders out there use their bikes as transport or for the simple pleasure of some fresh air alone or with friends. Ask any cyclist and they will agree that more people on bikes is a positive which we can all strive for.
Cyclists jump red lights
This is perhaps the most common gripe raised which feels like an unfair trick commonly used to excuse anger towards all cyclists. It’s certainly a hot potato that can fill many a social media timeline. Did you know that Paris for example have legalized light-hopping, known as the ‘Idaho Stop’, which is designed to be a safety measure?
Some cyclists jump red lights as do some drivers, pedestrians and buses. However, accidents caused by cyclists jumping red lights are comparable to lightning strikes in their probability and a drop in the ocean compared to accidents caused by reckless driving.
Cycling is too dangerous
This is a legitimate fear for many but the reality is a treat to all who try it. The health benefits far outweigh the risks posed to cyclists on the roads. A recent study from the University of Glasgow found that people who commute on their bike regularly cut their chances of dying from cancer or heart disease by half as well as dropping their chances of dying prematurely by any cause by 41%. In London, there is a broad array of cycling infrastructure available including the super highways and quiet ways as well the new LTN zones and temporary infrastructure built during the Covid crisis.
Bikes are unreliable and unpractical
In the inner city, we believe there is no better way to get around and to experience an area. Say goodbye to traffic jams and choose a pleasant quiet route to give yourself some headspace – what a treat. In London, the average journey distance is less than 2 miles. The vast majority of journeys in London would be faster by bicycle even at a leisurely pace. As for reliability, bicycles are simple machines to maintain with a handful of tools. A well-maintained bike is a safe bike and one that is serviced regularly will be a reliable means of getting to and from your destination efficiently and happily. Make the experience even easier by booking in for our collect & return service from home or work.
Are you planning an epic adventure this weekend? Book now for collection early next week. Enjoy your reward whilst we sort out the maintenance!