Slightly late, here is a rather rose tinted view of general cycling in 2012. Rather than another ‘highlights of 2012 post’ I felt I could make this post more interesting by deciding that 2012 was the year when cycling became the UK’s favourite mode of transport. As voted by me.
Let’s see if there is any evidence to support this.
1. Cycling and Happiness
Cycling and Happiness – amidst all the Daily Mail columns, negative press coverage and difficulties of cycling – don’t lose sight of the fact, it can be tremendous fun. We may spend more time in a motor car, but sitting in a traffic jam is never as much fun as cycling along the canal path.
2. Cycling and Space
One of the great fears of modern Britain is overcrowding. It informs everything from immigration policy to housing policy. There’s a feeling Britain would be better, if only there weren’t so many other pesky people around. But, look at the space taking up by cyclists compared to motor cars. Cycling could be the way to get rid of that congested feeling. Public space and cycling
And remember there is no such thing as free parking
3. Austerity Britain.
This is austerity Britain. Most of my Christmas presents all came from local £1 shop. (apart from my £150 pair of Assos shorts) We are experiencing the biggest drop in real income since the Great Depression of the 1930s. So if you’re looking to save money, what could be a better way than jumping on a bicycle and saving the cost of petrol, parking, congestion charges and new tyres.
(Though it is worth bearing in mind, motoring has become a lot cheaper in past few decades. But, this subsidy helped create the congested roads we see today. At least the government did its best by cutting planned rise in petrol duty and pushing up price to train fares.
One of the great joys of cycling is it’s versatility. Canal path, mountain path, narrow road. A bike can go where other forms of transport can’t.
Away from the world of the Tour de France and the Olympics, most cyclists don’t actually have the luxury of cycling on closed roads. Instead we find ourselves sharing the road with a mix of transport modes and drivers ranging from the polite and considerate to the angry, mildly crazy.
6. Health Benefits
Health is often the biggest concern of British people. As well as an endemic of newspaper columnists with verbal diaorehae. We also have an obesity endemic. Cycling can help improve the nations health at a lower cost than a New Year’s gym membership. Health and cycling
7. Law Abiding Cyclists
According to a Daily Mail exclusive – 99% of cyclists routinely fail to break speed limit. Good old cyclists eh?
8. It’s Kind of safe
- How dangerous is cycling anyway? Is cycling really dangerous. Well, Yes and no. But, at the end of the day most things have some danger, including sitting on the couch munching a packet of Jammie dodgers.
9. Cycling would be even more popular if it was Encouraged just a little bit.
10. Cycling is the New Cool.
Other Random links from 2012
- Cycle stats UK Looking at this pages it’s a little hard to justify cycling is the UK’s favourite mode of transport. But, favourite is not the same as popular.
- 7 Tips for defensive cycling
- Easily pleased with York cycling facilities - OK, so UK cycling infrastructure leaves a lot to be desired – like the face it is very hit and miss and disappears when you need it most. But, it’s not quite as bad as we sometimes make out. It can always be worse (experience of cycling in Queens, New York)
Other Prizes of 2012
Subject with most comments / importance of subject to survival of human population.