"Cycling is good, but... Although they are often put forward in good faith, many excuses for not getting on a bike are based on preconceived ideas. Here is a small selection of the most commonly heard 10 excuses... and some arguments to debunk them!
Excuse 1. I'll go faster with my car
In the city, nothing is less specific! More than half of all urban journeys made behind the wheel are shorter than 5 km. Over this distance, the bicycle is the fastest way to travel, even without considering the problem of parking, which is very time-consuming... for car drivers!
And this efficiency will probably increase with the development, in urban centers, of structuring cycle routes synonymous with increased safety and fluidity. Like the Voies Lyonnaises, a project recently unveiled in the Gauls capital aims to create a network of 12 broad, continuous lines separated from roads and pavements by 2026. Express lanes, in other words, will give the bicycle an even more significant advantage over the car!
When it comes to traffic jams, bikes or ebikes can help you get out of the congestion. With the pedal assistant, you'll run faster than you could.
Excuse 2. I won't be able to go shopping by bike!
However, British consumer habits tell a different story. The average shopping basket in city centre shops and local shops does not exceed 5 kg in more than 80% cases. A modest load that can easily be transported by bicycle.
"Yes, but this reality does not apply to hypermarket customers! In supermarkets, the trolley is getting heavier, reaching an average of 35 kg. Too heavy for a cyclist? That's underestimating the carrying capacity of a bicycle. Riding enthusiasts and other cyclo-nomads will attest that it is perfectly possible to carry this much weight with four well-made panniers and sturdy luggage racks. The addition of a postman's tray at the front will make it easier to carry bulky items such as milk packs. If you are still worried about this, ESKUTE electric bikes must be a better choice for their strong payload capacity of 125kg, which can support you effortlessly with more fun.
Excuse 3. With children, cycling is out of the question!
What if it was the other way around? Increasingly popular in the city, the cargo bike is reshuffling the cards of family mobility. Two of its variants are becoming increasingly popular with parents: two-wheelers, with a large, comfortable front body, and longtails, with a large luggage rack capable of carrying up to three children. Efficiency and good humour are guaranteed on the way to school!
But there are other, more basic solutions for getting on the saddle with your children. The simplest and least expensive: the child bike seat or baby carrier.
Follow-me bikes, tow bars and other systems such as Follow-me tandems allow children to take part in the effort to progress and to become involved in family travel. As for trailers, they remain popular for their versatility. Suitable for urban travel, they reveal their full potential when touring. Moreover, these mobile cocoons are generally foldable for easy transport and storage.
Excuse 4. Bad cold weathers
The cold, the rain, the shortening days... Insurmountable obstacles for cyclists? All are most common excuses people would use to avoid riding outside, they choose to stay at home and watch TV. Even if it is more pleasant to ride in good weather, a trip in the rain can be made in good conditions...with the right equipment.
A rain jacket or cape, trousers, overshoes, rucksack cover... You can put together a waterproof kit that will allow you to cycle without hindrance while staying dry. When the thermometer is grey, the same solution: put on textiles specifically designed for riding in low temperatures, such as helmet covers, hats, gloves, thermal underwear, parka, etc. These tips about how to wear clothes can help you eliminate concerns.
And to cope with the dark? Here again, the same answer: equipment! And in this area, new technologies are bringing their share of innovations to help you see and be seen better: connected devices with brake and emergency lights, textiles or backpacks with integrated LEDs, flashing handlebar ends, ultra-powerful lighting heads with external multi-support batteries... In short, everything you need to ride through the winter night without going unnoticed!
Excuse 5. Riding in the city is too dangerous!
The lack of a passenger compartment indeed exacerbates the feeling of vulnerability when travelling by bike. And the sometimes stormy cohabitation with vehicles weighing several tons does not help. But is the urban environment an unforgiving jungle for cyclists? The statistics put things into perspective. Contrary to popular belief, the risk of being involved in a fatal accident when cycling increases outside cities. The latest Road traffic statistics shows that from 2015 to 2020, 56% of pedal cycle fatalities occurred on rural roads compared to 29% in traffic. The proportion of non-fatal casualties on rural roads, however, were lower than the proportion of traffic. Non-fatal accidents are still more numerous in towns. However, the recent increase in the number of safety measures (dedicated cycle lanes, 25 km/h zones, etc.) is helping to limit the number of injuries. Now, the number of journeys made by bicycle in London has reached a record high.
Excuse 6. I'm tired of having my bike stolen!
A classic! Many people have given up riding after one or more thefts. However, there are simple solutions to deal with this scourge.
The golden rule is to get a suitable anti-theft device. Avoid small-diameter cables that will not withstand a pair of pliers for more than two seconds. Your best ally: U-shaped cables whose strength will generally discourage the most enterprising thieves.
Technology can also help make your machine more secure. Bluetooth keyless locks, geolocation systems, alarms... the new generation of locks use intelligent and connected devices to make thieves' tricks ineffective.
But having a good lock is not enough. You still have to use it! Always secure your bike to a fixed point. Even for a short time, even indoors in your cellar or hall. One out of two thefts are committed at home!
Another effective tool to help combat this widespread phenomenon: is marking! This identification system by engraving or chemical welding facilitates the return of stolen bicycles to their owners and acts as a deterrent. Now compulsory for all bicycles sold by professionals, the system is also available to private individuals who wish to protect their bikes better.
You should also consider bicycle insurance, compensating you if something irreparable happens.
Excuse 7. I'm not a sportsman, so cycling is not for me!
Cycling is not a competition! No one force you to train hard or be in top physical condition to cycle less than 10 km. With a bit of practice, most people can do it!
Do you have a tough hill on your daily route? The electrically assisted bicycle (EAB) can help you overcome obstacles. The motor will not free you from the need to pedal, but it will considerably reduce the intensity of the effort required. So, you can arrive at work in a presentable state, without panting or dripping!
And if your last experience of biking was too long ago, why not take a trip to a bike school? or just pick a rest day to get around by bike. A few sessions in the saddle will allow you to reactivate (or discover) the gestures and good reflexes for safe riding.
Excuse 8. Cycling is too expensive!
On the contrary, cycling is a way of considerably reducing your transport budget. Few means of transport are as efficient and economical. The annual cost of using a bicycle is estimated at around 120 euros. This is less than most public transport season tickets in France's major cities (between 400 and over 800 euros). But it is when it replaces a car the bicycle offers a natural breath of fresh air to the wallet. No fuel, no parking fees, no roadworthiness tests... Instead of getting behind the wheel, getting on a bike could mean monthly savings of between €300 and €500 for a household.
Tempting, but the cost of a new bike is still a barrier? You may be able to get help with the purchase. More and more local authorities are offering financial assistance to encourage active mobility. Now, we recommend you the best electric bike under 1000, it also benefits motorists who give up their old, polluting car in favour of an electrically assisted bicycle.
Excuse 9. No desire to breathe exhaust fumes
Contrary to popular belief, the interior of a car does not protect against harmful particles! On the contrary, it encourages their accumulation through the confinement effect. Cycling would reduce exposure to atmospheric pollutants by almost a third. This difference in favor of riding is even more pronounced on dedicated cycle paths away from the traffic flow. Among other health benefits, getting on a bike allows you to breathe better!
Excuse 10. I have to work!
Of course, there will always be (partially) activities incompatible with cycling. This does not prevent the bicycle from being taken more and more seriously by professionals. It is fast, versatile, economical, and environmentally friendly. It is all the rage for urban deliveries and solves the last mile problem. But even outside the logistics sector, many trades are making the transition to active mobility thanks to cargo trucks and the development of increasingly sophisticated trailers. Plumbers, locksmiths, landscapers - the ranks of the bicycle trades are growing steadily. And the phenomenon extends to rather unexpected areas. Car repairers on cargo bike? That's a thing! In Belgium, employees of the Touring assistance company pedal their way to repair cars, scooters and... bikes, of course! An undertaker offers to accompany the deceased to their final resting place by cargo bike in Bern, Switzerland. It proves that bicycles can be used in the most diverse sectors of activity and have a future even where they are not expected!
Despite all above excuses most people would use, what else in your mind? Forget about them and leave enough time to make an appointment with your friends to ride on your bikes or determine to commute by bicycle on weekdays to save money and get some exercise.