Cycling is only for the young, fit, and able bodied

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Summary of the claim

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In more detail

At present, anyone who wishes to cycle on much of the British road network must adopt a survival technique called “Vehicular Cycling,” championed by John Franklin and detailed in Cyclecraft, the manual used as the basis of most cycle training courses in the UK, including Bikeability. This technique requires cyclists to train develop their cadence (pedalling revolutions per minute, and sprinting speed to deal with the shortcomings of the existing road network, “A good cadence to aim for is about 80, while a sprint speed of 32 km/h (20 mph) will enable you to tackle most traffic situations with ease.”1. In a solely vehicular cycling environment, cycling is less attractive to those who are not young, fit, able bodied or a combination thereof, which is duly the largest cycling demographic in the UK at present4.

Dedicated cycle infrastructure has an egalitarian effect, making cycling accessible to a much wider range of ages, fitness levels and ability; in The Netherlands where such infrastructure exists the 65-75 year old age group makes around 0.7 cycle trips per person per day, with the over 75 group still making around 0.3 cycle trips per day2. In the UK, the over 60 age group makes around 0.02 cycle trips per day4. Under 12s make an average of 0.8 trips per day by bike3, compared to 0.03 trips by cycle per year for the under 10 age group in the UK4. In the UK, rates of cycling amongst women are significantly lower than amongst men for all age demographics4.


1 As Easy As Riding A Bike: John Franklin and Cyclecraft

2 Fietserbond: Cycle usage statistics in The Netherlands

3 Hembrow: Who cycles in The Netherlands

4 Cycling Info: Cycling Stats in UK

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