Everything looks picture perfect, the health & ecological benefits, the economic advantages etc. etc. Then why don’t we see it happening all around.
Here are some possible myths and misconceptions about cycling and our suggestions to overcome them.
Clear it up!
|Bicycles are outdated||It’s true that the basic design of the bicycle has changed little since 1885. Now why should it change? The bicycle has always been extraordinarily efficient in both biological and mechanical terms. From a mechanical viewpoint, up to 99% of the energy delivered by the rider into the pedals is transmitted to the wheels.|
|Bicycles are inefficient||Let us talk about efficiency in terms of mileage, the best motor bikes would give around 70 km/litre and the best cars would give around 35 km/litre. 1 litre of vegetable oil, which produces approximately the same amount of calories/litre as gasoline, produces about 7500 calories/litre. An average cyclist would need about 20 calories/km. Now that would mean an astonishing 375 km/litre. Can anybody beat that!|
|Bicycling is unsafe||This is one classic example of an illogical myth. Ignoring the minor bruises and aches, according to a study conducted in Britain, which has about 35 lakh regular cyclists and another 3 lakh occasional cyclist, less than 10 fatal injuries are admitted to the hospital in an year compared to around 350 cases of fatal injuries by falling down the steps! So next time you are feeling hesitant, realize that cycling is even safer than walking or climbing steps|
|Bicycling is slow||This is one challenging myth that we are personally taking head-on. Thanks to urban congestion and bad condition of some arterial roads, our time-distance maps for two typical cities – Kochi and Bangalore have revealed interesting figures. We have developed a detailed map using a cycle-computer gifted by a supporter from Netherland. Vaguely put, during peak hours, cycling within city is faster than buses and auto rickshaws (and that does not include waiting period!). Compared to bicycling, time saved by cars and bikes are only minimal (say 10 to 15 minutes) but remember the benefits make it worthwhile.|
|Bicycling is not fit for women||This is a bit ironic! Initially bicycle was recognized by 19th-century feminists as a "freedom machine" for women. However, over the years this attitude has changed. Hopefully more and more women would break free and get back to the pedals. We are going to have several schemes and offers to encourage female cyclists.|
|Bicycling can cause impotence in men|
Excess of anything is harmful. But considering more concrete evidences about the harmful effects of smoking, eating junk food or even watching television this is one myth that you can afford to ignore. In case you are still worried about it, there are some basic steps like standing and cycling after every 15 minutes, shifting your body weight to your hands occasionally etc. that can completely eliminate the risks.
|Bicycling can be harmful as an exercise||Being a non weight-bearing exercise, cycling is even safe for people with arthritis. Moreover you can switch to walking the moment you feel fatigued and get back to cycling later on. |