I just read an interesting post on cycling “Down with “avid cyclists””. (Thanks, Ulrike Rodrigues).  The title immediately caught my attention. Do have a read.

The last lines of the post were particularly riveting:

We need to free cycling from the shackles of recreation. We need to get utility bicycles into our bike stores. And instead of the conversation being about cyclists, we need to make it about regular people taking advantage of the two-wheel mobility available to them — because it is effective and enjoyable.

 

This has always been my take when a group of us (Ulrike Rodrigues included)  formed ‘Goa Cycles’ some years ago. It gradually morphed into the Goa Cycling Club, and somehow the focus has gone, much to my chagrin, increasingly towards recreation and sport (and high-end sport at that), rather than being a more democratic, across-the-spectrum activity for everyone, to be used as much as possible, particularly for commuting.

To quote again from the post:

If instead of marginalizing cycling, we facilitate it through infrastructure and encourage regular people to ride, fewer people will die on the roads and those who cycle will be healthier for doing so.

I couldn’t agree more.

Infrastructure is key. Because when there is safety for the cyclist, there is safety for everyone else on the road as well. And good infrastructure (good pot-hole-free roads; cycle lanes; parking for cycles; rent-a-cycle schemes at key points like bus stands, ferry jetties, etc; enforcement of speed limits) will encourage more and more people to ‘get on their bikes.’

Respect by motorised-vehicle drivers for the ‘smaller road-users’ such as cyclists offers safety by extension to pedestrians, children and the differently-abled as well. It translates into safety for all.

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