Vision: Pro’s and Con’s (2)

In the first article, we said the principle benefits of cycling were health and fitness, financial, environmental and actual enjoyment. In this post we’ll look at the downsides of cycling, but to be clear, what I’m referring to here are the downsides of cycling as things are at the moment, with the state of our roads and cycling provision as it is at present.

Given the recent publicity cycling has had with the spate of deaths of cyclists in London in particular, first and foremost of the downsides is SAFETY.

Some people say cycling is dangerous. It’s not. What is dangerous is having to cycle in the same space used by cars, trucks and buses. That IS dangerous! When cyclists have to ride on the same road space as traffic, it’s inevitable it will be dangerous. However, in places where cycling has its own space, like The Netherlands and Copenhagen for instance, then the level of safety rises enormously.

The other main downside of cycling, as this stand at present, is comfort and practically. It may be impractical for some people to cycle because they’re unwell or simply not physically able to ride a bike, that’s fair enough of course. What I’m referring to here are these sort of issues: where do I park my bike safely (security)? How do I get to where I’m going (lack of safe cycle routes)? What if it’s pouring down or blowing a gale, or both? Or snowing? (bad weather).

Cycling in the Copenhagen snow! (Photo: Copenhagen Cycle Chic)

Cycling in the Copenhagen snow! (Photo: Copenhagen Cycle Chic)

These are genuine issues that anyone contemplating cycling as a means of urban transport in Britain today will consider. And many people consider them too much of an obstacle. Why indeed should people take to their bikes on a cold and windy day, when they have a nice, warm comfortable car on their drive? Indeed. In fact, it’s only those who really want to cycle who do, because our towns and cities do not accommodate cycling. In fact a lot of the time, if you cycle, you’re made to feel a second class citizen, far less important than if you drive.

It doesn’t have to be this way, though! In the next part of this series, we’ll look at how it can be different!


One Response to Vision: Pro’s and Con’s (2)

  1. Pingback: Vision: What if? | Cycling Nelly

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