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Copenhagenise: "Lyrca is Killing Urban Cycling"

October 14, 2010

I’d be pleased to buy a beer or a glass of New World wine for Dr Chris Rissel from the University of Sydney. Or if I lived in an emerging bicycle culture where people named their bicycles, I’d call my ‘ride’ The Rissel.

First there was this from the good doctor and now this blipped onto our radar scope today:

Cycling versus the cyclist: the perceptive barriers putting off Sydney cyclists
Popular perceptions of cyclists can make or break our decision to take up the sport, says a recent study by the University of Sydney’s Dr Chris Rissel and Michelle Daley of the Sydney South West Area Health Service.

“Nearly everyone was very positive about cycling and the health and pleasure associated with it.

“However, the actions of some people riding bicycles were sometimes seen as negative, and the lycra-clad image of cyclists put some people off because they didn’t identify with it or thought it a turn-off.”

Follow the link to read the whole thing.

I can’t help feeling that this kind of thing is counter productive; if anything is “killing urban cycling” it’s the limp approach to enforcing traffic law and punishing those (especially motorists) who break it. Ask people why they don’t cycle, and the major reason tends to be safety, not the idea that they might have to wear funny clothes.

(For the record, you can cycle in pretty much anything if you take things easy – a definite option if you’re able to use separate tracks/lanes. In my experience, taking things easy where those facilities don’t exist is a recipe for close passes and intimidation from drivers).

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From → Commuting, Cycling

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