Cyclists Need to Become Better Ambassadors for the Sport
It seems like anytime you bring up the need for better or more bike lanes or safer roads with wider shoulders or even building trails for cyclists to keep them off of the road, many people bring up a negative interaction they had with a cyclist and refuse to even think about helping out.
This post is about becoming better ambassadors for cycling. Enjoy it and please leave comments below.
Cycling is a great way to get exercise, enjoy the outdoors, and reduce your carbon footprint. But it can also be a dangerous sport, especially in cities where there is a lot of traffic.
One way to make cycling safer is for cyclists to become better ambassadors for the sport. This means being courteous to other road users, obeying the rules of the road, and being visible and predictable.
Here are some tips for being a good cycling ambassador:
- Be courteous to other road users. This means signaling your turns, stopping at red lights and stop signs, and yielding to pedestrians. It also means being aware of your surroundings and being prepared to stop or swerve if necessary.
- Obey the rules of the road. This includes cycling on the right side of the road, following the speed limit, and using hand signals.
- Be visible and predictable. Wear bright clothing and use lights at night. Also, try to ride in a predictable manner, such as in a straight line and at a consistent speed.
- Another way to make cycling safer is for cities to invest in better bicycle infrastructure. This includes building protected bike lanes, bike paths, and bike parking. It also means making sure that existing infrastructure is well-maintained and safe.
A number of cities in the United States and around the world are making progress in making cycling safer and more accessible. For example:
- Portland, Oregon: Portland is known as one of the most bike-friendly cities in the United States. The city has a network of protected bike lanes and bike paths, and it offers a number of incentives to encourage people to cycle, such as bike-sharing programs and employer-sponsored bike commuting programs.
- Copenhagen, Denmark: Copenhagen is another very bike-friendly city. The city has a comprehensive network of bike paths, and it has prioritized cycling in its transportation planning. As a result, over half of all trips in Copenhagen are made by bicycle.
- Bogotá, Colombia: Bogotá has made significant progress in making cycling safer and more accessible in recent years. The city has built over 300 miles of protected bike lanes, and it has implemented a number of other initiatives to promote cycling, such as car-free Sundays and bike-sharing programs.
These are just a few examples of how cities are making cycling safer and more accessible. By becoming better ambassadors for the sport and by advocating for improved bicycle infrastructure, cyclists can help to make cycling a more mainstream mode of transportation.
How cyclists can help to attract more people to the sport:
- Be welcoming and inclusive. When you see someone new riding a bike, give them a smile or a wave. You could even offer to give them some tips or show them around.
- Organize social rides. This is a great way to introduce people to cycling in a fun and supportive environment.
- Promote the benefits of cycling. Talk to your friends and family about the many benefits of cycling, such as improved health, reduced stress, and reduced environmental impact.
- Advocate for improved bicycle infrastructure. Let your elected officials know that you support investments in bike lanes, bike paths, and bike parking.
By taking these steps, cyclists can help to make cycling a more popular and accessible sport for everyone.
Here is my next blog post: The Importance of Nutrition for Weight Loss When Cycling