Motorists Versus Cyclists: A False War Based on a False Premise

Image credit: StreetsBlog

From a cyclist getting shot for riding with their child in a busy street to a motorist laughing about the "gay frenchman" he killed, there's no doubt that cyclists and car drivers do not always see eye-to-eye. Nevertheless, when I wrote about a campaign to end truck blind spots, I was (rightly) chastised by commenter Cathi Payne for my "us and them" attitude when it comes to cyclists versus drivers. Aside from being counterproductive—which I believe was Cathi's biggest complaint—new research shows that it's also just not true. Cyclists are drivers, and vice versa. Of course, in many ways, this research is a no brainer—most of us know people who both cycle and drive cars. But what I wasn't expecting was that cyclists are not just likely to own cars - regular cyclists are actually more likely to own more cars. That's right—according to The Guardian at least, a growth in cycling among "affluent mid-life crisis men" has lead to increased numbers of bikers who own multiple cars:

"...according to new research, people who cycle the most are likely to own at least two cars.Regular cyclists - those who cycle at least once a week - are also disproportionately likely to read broadsheet newspapers, be well educated, have a household income of at least £50,000 per year and shop at Waitrose, claims the latest Mintel report, Bicycles in the UK 2010. In addition, they are twice as likely to be men as women."

interestingly, the report claims that buying an expensive bike is seen by many middle-aged men as the modern-day equivalent of a getting sports car in an attempt to hold on to their youth. I guess that's some sort of sign of evolution. Though we could also learn to grow old gracefully...

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