Cyclists have heard them all. Here are eight questions Andreas Kambanis from London Cyclist would rather not hear again.
1. Why do you jump red lights?
We know some cyclists jump red lights, it bugs us too. However, just because they happen to use the same form of two wheeled transport as us, it doesn’t mean we should have to answer for them. Imagine asking a car driver: do you sometimes go over the speed limit? Please let's avoid bunching all people who use bicycles as a single-minded group.
2. Why do you/don’t you wear a helmet?
Unless you have a couple of hours spare to enter a heated debate where nobody will emerge the winner at the end and both parties will feel angry – please avoid this question. We all have our preferences and would rather not have to defend those at every turn.
3. Why do you ride in London when it is so dangerous?
I live for danger, it makes me feel ALIVE! However, back in the sensible world, cycling is more likely to extend your life than shorten it, especially if you follow safe cycling techniques.
4. You ride a fixed-gear bike – so you're a hipster?
No, I just love the convenience and low maintenance of a single speed – plus there’s a beauty in the simplicity. Okay, fine – I’m a hipster.
5. Isn’t it as expensive as using public transport?
That depends on how obsessed you are with the latest gear – but for most cyclists the cost will be a couple of visits to the bike shop per year. Plus, you avoid having to pay for a gym.
6. Why do you block the lane and sit in front of cars?
That’s called the primary position and it is often the safest place to be as a cyclist. It avoids motorists dangerously overtaking you.
George Alexander Ishida Newman
7. Why don't you always use the cycle lane?
They are not compulsory. It can be quicker to be in the flow of regular traffic.
8. Why do you have a road/hybrid/mountain bike? Wouldn’t a (insert name) type of bike be better?
I ride the bike I do for my reasons, there is no ‘right bike’ for London. Don't constrain my individuality, man!
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