Just occasionally, cyclists hear motorists express some anti-cycling views. Like, we should not exist, and certainly shouldn’t dare to be on “their” roads. No “on yer bike” so much as “off yer bike”.
Just recently it was announced that car sales had surged to a 10-year high in 2014, with a total of 2.47 million new cars being sold. Now I know that new bikes generally cost a lot less than new cars, but it surprises many that there are around 3.6 million bikes sold in the UK. Bike sales have outstripped car sales every year since 2002. So, there are quite a few of us cyclists out there.
Market research company Mintel has reported that regular cyclists (who cycle at least once a week) are twice as likely to be men as women, shop at Waitrose, are well educated, more likely to read broadsheet newspapers, have a household income of at least £50,000 per year – and own at least two cars. The report suggested that 35-45-year-old family men are now more likely to buy themselves an expensive bike than a sports-car.
How Many Get “On Yer Bike”
The National Travel Survey estimates that 43% of us own a bike, which is some 25 million bikes around the UK. The same survey indicated that as many as 34% of us get on yer bike at least 1 a year, which means a minimum of 20 million bike rides. Yet only 8% of us get on yer bike 3 times a week or more; that is still some 3 million people across the UK, so if you are a car lover and hate bikes & cyclists, just think how much more busy UK roads would be if the cyclists abandoned their bikes and added 3 million more cars to the 28 million already on the roads.
Suffolk County Council uses an estimate that 12.6% of us in the county use our bikes at least once per week. With a Suffolk wide population of 728,000 in the 2011 census, my calculator tells me that’s nearly 92,000 bike journeys a week.
Hate congestion? On Yer Bike!
Help get more people to cycle and reduce the number of cars in YOUR way during your commute. It’s usually going to be easier for you to overtake a bike than another car, but PLEASE remember the Highway Code’s rule 163: “Give motorcyclists, cyclists and horse riders as much room as you would when overtaking a car.”
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