With a subtle reference to the U.S. election, I bring you 5 things cyclists should learn to love.
1. Electric Bikes
“Cheater!” is my gut reaction when I see someone riding an electric bike. Perhaps I’m a purist or maybe I’m just jealous.
However, whenever I’ve been the one riding an electric bike, I’ve thought “wow this is wonderful!”. It makes me want to go out on longer rides, where otherwise I’d opt for the tube.
Anything that can get more people cycling is a big plus and that’s the point of electric bikes. From my grandad (picture here!), to a busy mom/dad transporting kids or a driver, if it encourages them to cycle, why not!
As cyclists, we need to overcome the idea that riding electric is in some way cheating and that it’s not how cycling is meant to be. By being too much of a “purist” we’re stopping more people from becoming cyclists.
2. Inflatable Bike Helmets
What will those crazy Swedes come up with next?! To be the first country to go entirely fossil fuel free? Oh, well, okay, fair enough.
Just before we discuss helmets – a caveat – some people wear them, some people don’t, let’s not get in to it.
On first glance the Hovding inflatable helmet comes across as just another mad Kickstarter product.
However, I think we should give it a chance. For a start, it is apparently 8 times safer than a regular helmet. Second, it won’t mess up your hair do. A friend of mine who runs a bike shop said it’s selling surprisingly well.
At £200 I’ve not yet invested in one myself, but don’t be too shocked when it happens!
3. Inspirational Cycling Quotes
If you follow a cycling blogger on Instagram, you will have undoubtedly at some point been subjected to an inspirational cycling quote. Here’s why I think we should learn to love them.
Christmas is around the corner and we all have that relative or friend who hates cyclists. You may have felt your fists clench as they uttered the phrase “I just don’t get why they ride two aside – I mean it’s impossible to overtake them”.
Well, here’s your chance to subtly get your own back.
Instead of a Christmas card, get them a card with an inspirational cycling quote on it. It’s subtle but it’ll annoy the hell out of them. For bonus points, don’t mention anything about the fact it’s a cycling quote.
Here are some inspirational cycling quotes to get you started.
Bromptons are like marmite. You love them or you hate them. I’ve spent much of my life in the latter camp but I now find myself moving towards love!
“But.. but… but.. the wheels are so small!”
I know, I can see that the wheels are so small, but it does mean that it accelerates really quick at traffic lights, which lets be honest is where we spent about 1/4 of our time as cyclists in London.
The convenience of Bromptons is indisputable and from what I’ve seen most restaurants are happy for you to bring it in with you and it can be stored out the way.
This point comes back to the first point, we shouldn’t be purists as cyclists.
A friend of mine spent 10 weeks on a silent meditation retreat in India. On the first day, she was given a single instruction: remain equanimous.
She spent the next 10 days trying to figure out if equanimous was really a word.
The point is, this is how we should feel towards drivers. The vast majority of them are nice people, like us, trying to get from A to B. Occasionally, these nice people will lose their temper or do something silly, like us. There’s not much point in meeting that anger with anger or in carrying that frustration with us during the day. We have to learn to let things go.
For more spiritual guidance, see our zen guide to becoming a happier cyclist.
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As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.