Author Topic: Cycling - Taking the ease of it for granted!  (Read 1292 times)

ABlipInContinuity

Cycling - Taking the ease of it for granted!
« on: April 24, 2008, 12:17:26 pm »
Apologies firstly if I have picked the wrong spot to post this. I think it kind of belongs here because, as a cycle commuter, I find myself silently berating people who drive short distances to work instead of cycling.

I’ve been cycling for quite a number of years (no I’m not that old!) and I think nothing of totting up 30, 40 or even 50 miles in a day. In fact that, to me, sounds enjoyable. I have even been known to cycle much much further and still enjoy it. It is easy to forget how hard cycling can be, at least initially, for someone trying it for the first time.

I recently managed to entice my partner onto a bicycle. Actually, it didn’t take much enticement at all. I think her not driving and me not having a car seemed to tip the balance quite well in favour of giving it a go. We took a trip to a supermarket to do the weekly shop, using a cycle trailer to haul it back. It was 3.5 miles each way on busy roads and on the return journey the gradient was mainly set against us. I have to say, for the most part, I wouldn’t have noticed it but I’m amazed how hard it made things for my partner.

I was also amazed by her grit and determination to keep on going. I felt tired out for her! (And slightly guilty for even suggesting the trip in the first place!). The best part is that the ice cream had not melted by the time we got back!

For those of us who are passionate about cycling, maybe we need to be doing more to encourage people to cycle instead of smuggly riding past them all the time in traffic jams! (I'm possibly more guilty of this than most! ;) )

Re: Cycling - Taking the ease of it for granted!
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2008, 12:24:17 pm »
For those of us who are passionate about cycling, maybe we need to be doing more to encourage people to cycle instead of smuggly riding past them all the time in traffic jams! (I'm possibly more guilty of this than most! ;) )
The best way of showing that cycling in towns is faster than driving is to ride past people. Don't do it smugly though, just get on with your journey. Never take it granted, you don't know when you may not be able to do it any more.

Re: Cycling - Taking the ease of it for granted!
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2008, 01:52:38 pm »
Something I've found useful when encouraging people to start cycle commuting is to ride the route with them a couple of times.  Ideally, once at a weekend when the roads are quieter (Sundays are good), and when there's no time pressure.  Stop for a half before heading back :)  Then escort them at least on the way there for the first "real go" (if possible, pick them up in the evening as well).  Ride behind them this time so they know they're doing the navigating on their own (& you can watch for bad habits).

The other thing I've emphasised to new cyclists is that it really *does not matter* how slowly you go (and sod the skinny race types who sail past you).  Every time makes the next time easier.  And there's no shame in getting off and walking if you hit a confusing or scary junction. 

FatBloke

  • I come from a land up over!
Re: Cycling - Taking the ease of it for granted!
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2008, 03:03:42 pm »
We took a trip to a supermarket to do the weekly shop, using a cycle trailer to haul it back. It was 3.5 miles each way on busy roads and on the return journey the gradient was mainly set against us. I have to say, for the most part, I wouldn’t have noticed it but I’m amazed how hard it made things for my partner.

Maybe you should have towed the trailer!   ::-) ::-) ;D :thumbsup:
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