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Did you know that over 80% of cyclists own a driving license, but barely 10% of drivers own a bike? That means that we share the road with more cyclists than we think, but only recognise road users based on the vehicle they’re using. It’s due to this that we often assume that being a driver and being a cyclist are mutually exclusive identities, an assumption that has harmed the perception of cyclists and provided a barrier to drivers becoming more active.
As road users, we’ve all seen some questionable decision-making, whether it’s from drivers, cyclists or pedestrians. However, seeing a spot of bad road-behaviour rarely taints an entire group the way it unfairly seems to with cyclists. Through research of this trend, ForwardMotion has found that many drivers feel a form of one-sided-rivalry with cyclists, due to a barrage of myths and a sense of entitlement to the road (ForwardMotion has even made a whole article debunking all these myths – click here to take a look.)
As well as keeping this narrative of a false conflict alive, these myths have also prevented drivers from improving their health, taking control of their commute, and finding travel freedom, which is why ForwardMotion aims to address this issue through the #BeBoth campaign.
The #BeBoth campaign will show drivers that you don’t have to give up your car to get active, but how to include cycling in your transport choices. Investing in a bike can help you gain control over your health and your daily commute, resulting in both long- and short-term benefits. For example, sunny days are perfect for soaking up some vitamin D and zipping past traffic on the bike, but it’s understandable if you’d prefer to opt to drive on a rainy or windy day!
The art of being both a cyclist and a driver is that you are in control of how you get about, and you don’t have to give up the car but gain the option of including a bike in your travel considerations. You could start with some simple short-journey swaps, or introduce a new, regular journey by bike to keep fit and healthy. It’s important to start small when it comes to a new routine, so ForwardMotion has also provided some tips on how to stay motivated and get into cycling little by little, (no lycra necessary!)
You can contact ForwardMotion for more guidance and support, from buying a bike or repairing an old one, to free cycle training and safety sessions. Above all remember that just because you drive, it doesn’t mean that you can’t cycle.