As more people opt for the pedal in favor of the tube, a growing number of cyclists have been gracing the roads over the last few years. Saving money on fuel in addition to moderate exercise and environment-friendly mode of transport, cycling barely has a few problems. However, once you begin cycling, you will face several issues.
One of the biggest issues reported by cyclists is the attitude of other commuters on the road towards cyclists. From ignoring cyclists’ existence to blatant hostility, motorists have had a long-standing negative reputation towards cyclists.
However, more than the hostility, the sudden turns without regard for the cyclists can quickly lead to dangerous or even fatal outcomes. To avoid accidents, wear reflective clothing and equip your mount with red blinking lights.
You are also likely to meet hostile drivers who make it their business to school cyclists about traffic laws and shout at them for no apparent reason. Though such confrontations may be unpleasant, it is ideal to hold in your anger and ignore them.
Weather is one of the biggest enemies for bike commuters. Rain, snow, and heavy wind can make the complex process of commuting harder than it already is.
Even if you somehow cycle through rain, snow is a different issue and sometimes even dangerous. On the other hand, you may think heavy winds will propel you forward and make pedaling easier. But the winds are not so enjoyable if they constantly blow in your face and burn your calves from pedaling hard against them.
Nevertheless, it is possible to tackle whatever the weather throws at you with proper gear and attitude.
Truth be told, cycling is strenuous work, and commuting to work every day and then spending your energy on work may not be everyone’s cup of tea. The lack of motivation and fitness is a chief deterrent to cycling.
One way to overcome this is to start slow. Start by cycling the distance that won’t make you tired or sweat. Then take the train to work. You can practice cycling during weekends, building up on the distance over time.
A solution to both lack of motivation and low fitness is E-bikes. You don’t have to be young and fit to cycle. The benefits of commuting with a city electric bike are numerous.
Not only will you be enjoying the benefits of the traditional bike, but you will also be able to cycle comfortably with a little boost from the electric motors.
Most cities are devoid of road conditions that are safe for commuting cyclists nor do they have any dedicated bike lane paths. This is one reason that makes cycling in the city difficult and leads to accidents. Unfortunately, there isn’t much to be done to change infrastructure short of proposing to the city council, which is unlikely to bear fruitful results.
Nonetheless, you can take precautions to protect yourself on the street. Choose a route with less traffic that is safer for you to travel on, even if it takes more time. Remember that nothing is worth the price of your safety.
Sweat is another disadvantage of cycling, especially if commuting long distances. No one wants to show up to an important meeting sweating and smelling body odor.
One solution is to take a shower at work if you are lucky. Otherwise, you should go at a comfortable pace, so you don’t sweat as much. Then wash your face of the sweat, wipe down your underarms and reapply antiperspirant, and you are good to go.
Bicycle theft is even more common than car theft. You don’t want your favorite bike that you spend thousands of dollars on to be stolen, so you should take all measures to prevent it.
Invest in a strong lock to deter thieves, such as a D-lock, and preferably add a second lock. Always keep your bike secured to something, even if it’s in the shed, and don’t leave your bikes unattended. If you are commuting, it is best to go for a reasonably priced, durable bike so you don’t lose much if it’s stolen.
Safety is one of the biggest concerns of cyclists, and rightly so given the mounting cases of accidents involving them. T-junctions see equal if not more accidents than roundabouts.
In addition, the impatience of drivers during traffic and commute is another cause of accidents that would otherwise be avoidable. Cyclists filtering and overtaking stationary vehicles in traffic are common and well within their rights. But the issue arises when motorists change lanes without a preamble.
Another surprising cause is parked cars; when the passengers open the door suddenly without checking over their shoulders.
Finally, one cause that is due to the road itself is potholes and poor roads. Potholes can be dangerous for inattentive cyclists. To avoid accidents, pay attention to the road, ride safely, and be visible to other motorists through reflective clothing and blinking lights.
Though most people take up cycling as a form of exercise to improve their health, long-term cycling can bring about its own health issues. Among these are low back pain and neck pain from the riding posture. Moreover, knee, ankle, and foot pain can arise from pedaling long hours.
Another common problem is carpal tunnel syndrome which is wrist pain, numbness, and tingling due to median nerve compression. For beginner cyclists, saddle soreness is another common issue, especially if you aren’t using the right saddle. Go on short, frequent rides for a few months to get used to the saddle and wear padded shorts. Most of the pain mentioned here can be prevented by adjusting your riding position and ensuring that the seat and handlebars are at the right angle.
Despite all the issues, cycling can be a fun activity, and most of the problems can be overcome with proper measures. Commuting to work is good for your health but also the environment. Thus the benefits of cycling outweigh the cons. If you are second guessing, don’t, as it is one of the best decisions.