Cycling is about the closest thing to a silver bullet that policymakers around the world have to improve life in cities especially, but everywhere. People choosing to cycle saves space on roads that are otherwise congested with motor vehicles. Cycling causes no pollution, save for the initial manufacturing impact. When people cycle, they become fitter and less vulnerable to the diseases and problems of sedentary lifestyles, which has the knock-on effect of reducing the financial burden on health services. There’s a good argument that cycling to work instead of driving or using public transport is good for mental health (it also gets you there bang on time, and more alert). Cycling is way cheaper than driving. Cars kill and injure thousands of people every year, while in the United Kingdom, for example, cyclists are responsible for hardly any serious accidents. Cities and towns that promote active travel are quieter, more pleasant places.
These are only the most obvious positive effects of cycling. Politicians in forward-thinking countries like the Netherlands, France and Denmark have realised this and have been promoting active travel, building infrastructure and making their towns and cities work better as a result.
Edition 124 of Rouleur is celebrating cycling’s ability to make the world a much better place. Available at the MC Clubhouse for purchase now.