Top Cycling Myths Busted
You should never believe everything you hear!
This is a very common retort that you are bound to hear often for just about anything. Cycling also has its fair share of misbeliefs that we assume are true since most people often repeat them. Let's look at the most common myths around cycling and uncover the reality or the truth behind them.
1) Cycling is a Dangerous Activity
All activities have their risks, but the impact of the risks ranges from minor to severe. If you think cycling is dangerous, think again. If you were to broadly compare the hazards associated with walking and driving with cycling you'd find them pretty much similar. And you don't think twice about taking a walk or even at the wheel of your vehicle.
Cyclists who use highways or freeways and especially those who ride during the late-night hours are understandably in a higher risk bracket than other cyclists.
And another fact for you to ponder about more people dying from coronary heart diseases than accidents each year. So that makes sedentary lifestyles the most dangerous activity, or should we say inactivity.
Following a few safety measures like always wearing a helmet when cycling, adding lights to your bicycle, preferably choosing to ride in cycle-only lanes, and most importantly, following the road rule will make cycling a healthy and enjoyable activity.
2) Cycling is a Fit Person Activity
Not true, and don't go by posters or magazine pages. That's just part of the campaign. Cyclists can be in all shapes and sizes. The best thing is that if you are out of shape, regular cycling will help you shed those extra kilos in no time. And to make your rides count in your weight loss and fitness journey, use an app or a smartwatch to monitor and improve your distance cycled and speeds achieved.
3) Cycling is an Expensive Sport or Activity
This myth about cycling being an expensive hobby stems from the myth that cycles are costly. Yes, bicycles can vary dear; in fact, some may be comparable to the cost of motorized two-wheelers. But the range of the cost of a cycle is enormous. You can find ones that are very good in quality but yet very reasonably priced. And since the last few years, there has been massive competition with bicycle manufacturers making it a buyers market. You are likely to get bicycles at every price point. If you have your heart set on an expensive model, be on the lookout for a used one in the multiple online cycling forums. Many a cyclist sell their previous rides for a good price when they update their bikes
So no, it is not an expensive activity. You can start cycling beside the one-time cost on the cycle and the expense of a few must-have safety accessories. When you reach a pro-level, you can look at other accessories that would become a requirement then.
4) Traffic Rules Do not Apply to Cyclists
Well, this is a tricky one. In the legal sense, it may be true traffic rules are meant only for motorized transport in India. But in all other senses and especially common sense, bicyclists should be following road rules like every other road user. A number of countries expect cyclists to follow the road rules and laws like any other road vehicle.
The law treats cyclists in India on par with pedestrians. There is no compulsion to have helmets or lights on your bicycle. For your safety, you are recommended to ensure you take the necessary precautions while riding, like using safety gear and following road rules.
It has been found that there are lesser cyclist fatalities in countries where the road laws bind cycle riders. So don't wait for a law to tell you what to do use logic and common sense and follow the road rules while using the road.
Just to add here, a movement has been initiated to take steps towards safe cycling & ensure road rules while cycling is being followed. Doing this would ensure the safety of other commuters too.
5) Cycling is for the Youthful Male
The sports magazines and adverts promote this fallacy with youthful male models on their covers and billboards. The indisputable fact is that cycles appeal to everyone, from the very young to the not-so-young. And the best thing age is not a restriction when it comes to cycling. Cycling is easier than any other activity on the knees and joints and is considered a low-impact aerobic activity especially recommended for people from the older denomination.
6) Cycling is All About Hard Work, Sweat, and Toil
Cycling can be a solo activity or a group activity, depending on your preference. Well ventilated helmets and cool riding gear can make all your rides comfortable. Whether you want to break a sweat or ride gingerly along the countryside - it is all up to you. You decide the pace, the length, the vigourousness, etc.
So you call the shots in and choose the way you'd like to cycle, yet still reaping the health and fitness benefits. If you just enjoy riding, then ride along at your own pace. If speed is your thing, then look at road racing, and if you fancy adventures like trail riding, hills, and cross country riding, then choose MTB biking. And if you wish to ride easier and longer without putting in the effort required, you can explore riding an e-bike.
Now, we've busted a few cycling myths, there's no excuse not to cycle. It's time you grab your bicycle, take it for a spin, and enjoy the benefits of mind and body wellness.
Have you heard of a cycling myth that you found out had no basis whatsoever? Please share it with us by writing in the comment box below.
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