Whether you’re a regular visitor to our website or have just logged on for the first time the odds are that you’ve already noticed an important distinction between ourselves and those who deem themselves as our competitors.
“There aren’t many pictures of bikes”
It’s true. Nor are there pages of product reviews and banner ads subliminally reminding you that unless you invest in the latest premium sportswear you are cosmically inferior to ‘real cyclists’.
Of course the alternative is not to locate our site or our enterprise within the cycling retail world at all but instead to recognise who we are and what we do as cycling advocacy. Only that approach will leave you equally confused. You won’t find page after page of safety campaigns and we don’t consider ‘awareness raising’ to be a proper job.
As an enterprise we are somewhat homeless and there’s one very simple reason for that. You.
I know it sounds weird but the simple truth is that we are immeasurably more interested in you than we are in any product. We’re captivated by the possibilities of cycling but only because they represent the possibility of helping you to live well, relentlessly invest in your thought space, contribute to the healing of the natural environment, save a small fortune and generally be a healthier happier soul. People are what is most interesting in life. Whether it’s our pods or our workplace servicing program we’ve relentlessly tried to build an enterprise which simply puts people first.
And that’s just one reason we love spring. As the days get longer and the temperature creeps up there’s an annual surge of ordinary wonderful people reaching into the back of the garden shed and reclaiming a fresh commitment to cycling more; or put another way, living well.
Of course we all live in a cynical, hate filled world crammed with life limiting, soul draining, misery inducing skeptics certain only of their ability to leave you wondering if life before death has alluded a large contingent of our species.
As thousands of ‘occasional’ or ‘not yet’ cyclists reach for their bikes the mantra of anti cycling myths are destined to linger in the air of surrounding thoughts like the horror of school dinners haunting a middle aged mind.
So here’s to debunking those outright myths which too often become anti cycling (anti progress) monsters.
Myth: It’s dangerous
Fact: Would someone, somewhere please reach for the office of national statistics road safety report and shed some factual light on this moronic argument. In terms of fatalities and serious injury cycling remains one of the safest possible ways to travel. There are far more motorists suffer serious head injury each year than there are cyclists.
Myth: It’s dangerous part two
Fact:Anyone arguing that cycling is dangerous clearly needs to take a reality check on the current state of national health. What is terrifyingly dangerous is that a whole generation ofyoung people have had such low levels of physical activity exampled to them that they are blindly walking (or not) into an obesity epidemic. Obesity kills. Fact.
Myth: You’ll need a new bike
Fact: You wont. Every day people call into to our service centers with the bike they havejust rescued from their shed/garage/under stairs storage space needing a little TLC. Nine times out of ten this involves little more than, correcting tyre pressure, applying lubricant, adjusting sizing and offering bucket loads of encouragement
Don’t have a bike? There’s still no need for an expensive purchase. Pop along to your local re-users centre and pick up an absolute bargain. Once you have it call in for a free health check (the bike not you).
Myth: You’ll need ‘cycling clothes’
Fact: Let’s be clear. This is an article about busting the myths which prevent ordinary people returning to cycling. It is not an article about sport. Cycling is a mode of mobility. Positioning it as a sport has been the artful play of the motoring lobby. When you jump in the car no one asks where your all in on leather jump suit is. Lycra is designed for sporting activity not for transforming your well being by turning short car journey’s into short bike journey’s.
When it’s cold wear several thin layers rather than one thick jumper.
When it’s warm take it easy and keep hydrated.
Myth: You’ll look funny
Fact: Have you ever observed a long line of single occupancy cars queuing for hours as their frustrated occupants head to the gym? It would be funny if it wasn’t tragic.
Myth: You’ll get sweaty
Fact: You will get sweaty if you treat every cycle journey like a race but if you travel at a sensible pace and dress sensibly there’s no need for perspiration to be a big issue. An increasing number of the offices we support have very pleasant shower and laundry facilities.
You could find that your starting the working day fresher than any of your colleagues.
Myth: You need to be a mechanic
Fact: If you acquire a little mechanical knowledge it might help but no more or less than if you are responsible for any other form of mechanical mobility. The big difference is that when things do go wrong, and from time to time everything goes wrong, fixing a bike is a whole lot more affordable than the alternatives. Remember that prevention is always better than cure. Keep your bike well serviced and she’ll return the favour.
Myth: It’s faster to drive
Fact: Maybe, maybe not but here’s the big difference. If you rely on motorised transport of any sort your journey is highly likely to consist of congestion aka: lots of stop/start and increasingly unpredictable travel times. On a bike you are always moving. Short of natural disaster your journey times will become entirely predictable. On time every time.
Myth: You won’t be any good at it.
Fact: You’ll be a million times better than everyone on the car/bus/tube/train.
Myth: It’s not for people like you
Fact: Every day millions of people of every class, ethnicity, sexual orientation, ability and aspiration choose to go by bike. Traveling by bike simply puts you on the right side of history.
Welcome to the wonderful world of cycling. Remember. It’s all about you.
Dragging a bike from the shed?
We’d love to hear how you get on.
Cautionary note: I have a natural tendency to despise moderation. I am slowly learning that this is not a virtue. What matters is that we do the good we can when ever we can however we can but that we do not carry burdens of guilt when ever we simply can’t do all that we might otherwise wish to. There may well be circumstances which mean it is simply impossible for you to cycle. Don’t tell anyone I said this but. . . . ‘That’s ok!” Ssssshhhhh.