Debunking the Most Popular Cycling Myths
Cycling has always been one of the most popular physical activities worldwide, so much so that it's considered a basic human skill that you should learn in childhood. However, despite its popularity, people still have misconceptions about the activity, which prevents them from having the most optimal riding experience and developing the best riding habits.
In this blog, we'll debunk seven myths about cycling and explain what you should be practicing in place of these common misconceptions.
1. Cyclists are not covered by road regulations.
Not just because bicycles only have two tires and don't have an engine means road regulations do not cover them. All road users, including cyclists and pedestrians, should strictly follow traffic rules. This includes traffic lights, road signages, and basic road courtesy.
For example, cars must use their signal lights if they are turning or coming to a full stop, as it prevents road crashes. Cyclists, on the other hand, must use hand signals and brake lights to notify other drivers. Major cities and countries require these and may even cause you a ticket should you not follow these road regulations.
2. Cycling is dangerous.
Like any physical activity, cycling is only dangerous if done incorrectly and recklessly.
There are many reasons cyclists get into road accidents, the most common of which is lack of visibility. Most cycling accidents happen in intersections when cyclists get into the blindspots of other drivers. The same goes when cyclists are riding in poorly lit areas. Despite these, the use of bike lights is still rare among cyclists. Fortunately, more and more public places require a combination of front lights and taillights. For front lights, it's best to have a minimum of 400 lumens. For taillights, it's best to secure at least 100 lumens.
Aside from the lack of visibility, improper communication with other road users is also one of the most common causes of cycling-related accidents. As cyclists, it's best to always remember that there are other motorists on the road, so be very aware of your surroundings.
To learn more about the dangers of city cycling, click here. If you keep all of these in mind, you can keep yourself safe and protected on the road.
3. There are no road requirements for cyclists.
Cars have loads of road requirements, so much so that cars' roofs are even included on car registration. While there are fewer requirements for cyclists, these requirements are as essential as those that are made for cars.
For starters, all public roads require the use of helmets. This is one of the common violations of cyclists. For some major cities, proper cycling outfits such as kneepads, elbow pads, and cycling shoes are also required.
As mentioned a while ago, visibility accessories such as reflector stickers and bike lights are also required. All cyclists should have at least one visibility accessory when riding. While some places require front lights and taillights, auxiliary lights such as pedal, helmet, and tire lights are optional.
4. Bikes are expensive.
The COVID 10 pandemic has brought unprecedented popularity to cycling as more people realized its various benefits. Because of these, more and more bike stores spring everywhere, be it physical stores around your neighborhood or online stores.
Getting secondhand bicycles is always an option if you're on a budget but would still like to start your cycling journey. However, ensure you get your hand-me-down bicycle from a trusted bike store. If you're looking for more advanced bicycles for long rides, such as cross-country or mountain bikes, there are already lots of good deals online.
Don't be afraid to upgrade and customize your old bicycle! There are now lots of bike stores that offer upgrading services that can surely breathe new life into your unit. Your first upgrade doesn't even have to be complicated. A compact smart GPS tracker can instantly give you a smart bicycle, complete with terrain assist, detailed tracking, and power guidance data.
To learn more about cycling upgrades, click here.
5. Cycling should only use cycling lanes.
The strict "cycling lanes only" policy applies to cities with excellent cycling lanes. In other countries, most cycling lanes are extremely near the curbside, with lots of potholes and uneven areas that can cause imbalance to cyclists.
Cyclists could use the road. In fact, you should assert and occupy a space on the road instead of just stealthily passing through larger vehicles. Occupying an area on the road just like other motorists will ensure your visibility, thus, reducing your risk of getting into road accidents.
It's also worth noting that one of the most important road regulations for cyclists is never to occupy areas that are intended for pedestrians, such as public walkways beside roads. As pedestrians are the most vulnerable road users, they will always remain the priority of road courtesy.
6. Cyclists should always keep left.
As mentioned a while ago, the curbside of the road could be extremely dangerous to cyclists. So, the thought that cyclists should always keep left is just a misconception.
You never want to be closer than 50cm to the curb, and you should often be a meter out or more. Major European countries even promote recognizing cyclists as drivers. Thus, other road users should follow the general road rules when driving beside cyclists, such as overtaking, turning, and yielding.
7. Excessive cycling would only make you gain more weight.
Lastly, it's not true that excessive cycling could only make you fatter. Cycling remains one of the best ways to stay fit and lose weight.
Other people assume they gained weight after cycling, but they're just developing muscles. Aside from this, to lose weight after cycling, it's best to maintain an optimal pace. Overexerting yourself would force your body to compensate for the energy you're using, making your body store more sugar and carbohydrates. Click here to learn more about the truth of losing weight through cycling.
Cycling isn't as complicated as how it seems to be.
The truth is cycling is simple. There may be lots of road rules and regulations that you should follow, but once you get used to them, cycling could be hassle-free. As long as you secure essential cycling accessories, remain vigilant of your surroundings, and prioritize your safety in every riding technique, cycling will be an enjoyable activity.