The Top 5 Myth-Busting Truths about Cyclists

Published: 25/03/21

 

ForwardMotion is here to challenge your perceptions of the everyday cyclist.

When drivers think of cyclists, they tend to think of self-righteous, spandex-wearing, speed racers, and not your average joe on a leisurely ride in the park or commute to work. Here are a few myths that need busting to help bust that stereotype for good.

couple with tandem bike

‘Cycling is just a fad.’

Believe it or not, cycling isn’t just for the MAMILS of the world (middle aged men in lycra), it’s for everybody. With the year we have had it may look like cycling is the latest trend with most bike shops selling out and busier bike lanes, it seems like cycling has never been so popular. The truth is, it has always been popular, people have just rediscovered their love for it.

‘Cyclists don’t pay road tax.’

This is true. But then again, no one pays road tax because it was abolished in 1937. Drivers pay what Vehicle Excise Duty (VED), the amount depends on the vehicle’s carbon dioxide emissions. So electric cars and bikes pay nothing while petrol and diesel cars pay to offset carbon emissions, almost like a pollution tax. The rate then goes down but none of the money pays directly to roads, it goes into a pot of general taxation.

‘Cyclists just want everyone to stop driving.’

This isn’t the case, 80% of cyclists own a car or driver’s license. Imagine doing the weekly shop with bags strapped to you like a pack pony. There’s no denying that cars can be very convenient, but they are polluting the planet and not helping public health. Most cyclists would just like to help others find the same freedom through cycling by getting on your bike occasionally instead of driving being the default option for every excursion. 40%-70% of car trips are under two miles, a distance that could easily be covered by cycling, and sometimes faster than a car when travelling in rush hour!

‘Cycle lanes cause congestion.’

This is a very common myth. The thought that if you take away road space from motor vehicles, you will get more traffic jams is incorrect, it’s the opposite. The old idea that more road space brings more cars can also be reversed, therefore decreasing traffic jams. The fact is that vehicles cause congestion in the first place, and one of the only ways to reduce traffic and congestion is to have fewer of them on the roads.

‘Cycling is dangerous.’

Every form of physical activity has risks, but on the same token the risks involved in walking, cycling and driving are comparable when you consider the time spent doing the activity. Cyclists have the responsibility to stay safe and look out for others as they are in control of their vehicle whereas drivers operate a much more powerful, heavier vehicle and hurtle down a road at higher speeds. Of course, there are still accidents but that’s why cycle lanes are put in place and speed limits have been reduced in cycling areas to lower the number of collisions.

ForwardMotion wants you to spread these myth-busting facts with your family, friends and neighbours and let them know you can #BeBoth a driver and a cyclist. Stop the war on cyclists and try it for yourself, you never know, you might just love it!

For more information on how we can get you travelling differently in your area, get in touch with the ForwardMotion team today.

https://forwardmotionsouthessex.co.uk/about/get-in-touch/

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