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STUDY: 82% of Cyclists Don’t Want to Cycle Among Traffic

Our 2020 Cycling Lifestyle Survey found that over 82% of cyclists asked said they would rather not ride among traffic.

The survey, which had 3,467 responses – most of whom were active cyclists in the UK – asked several questions surround the most contentious topics among riders.

Below, we look at some of the most significant findings.

Q1) In an ideal world, would you prefer to cycle…


On a separated bike path153944.4%
On a road with a bike lane128837.2%
On a road (with motor vehicles)63918.4%
On a pavement (with pedestrians)1>0.1%

From this, it’s clear that the majority of people want a designated space for cycling, rather than having to battle with cars for space on the road – which is no surprise, really, given that riding among traffic is a common deterrent.

The impact of the pandemic may, of course, have affected these results. We started this survey in April, during which time traffic had reportedly fallen on London’s main roads by 63 per cent, for instance.

So, even the experience of cycling along more deserted terrain might have proved to many riders how much safer, or liberated, they feel when not swarmed by cars, and this may not be something they will want to give up so easily when ‘normality’ returns.

But if these results prove anything, it’s just how much clamour has grown for bike lanes and paths in recent months. And if you consider the unquestionable advantages of implementing more of them, it’s not hard to understand why.

Q2) What is the most amount of time you would be willing to commute by bicycle on a typical single journey?


Up to 15 minutes491.4%
Up to 30 minutes64418.7%
Up to 45 minutes75721.9%
Up to 60 minutes108331.4%
Over 60 minutes91626.6%

For clarification, by ‘commuting’, we mean cycling not just to work, but also for going to the shops or meeting friends, for example.

These are really positive results, particularly at a time when people are being told to limit their use of public transport as much as possible, and that a healthier body will make you better-equipped to fight coronavirus.

If you never knew just how much good cycling can do, including an increase in your life expectancy, lung capacity and muscle tone and an improved mental health, we ran through a number of key benefits for your reading pleasure here.

And if you’re on the lookout for cycling gear tailor-made for commuting, we went over six essentials for you to equip yourself with.

Q3) Do you wear a helmet when commuting by bicycle?



This is, of course, another contentious debate among cyclists. Some see it as common sense that adding protection to your head enhances your safety, others will argue that you’re unlikely to be saved by essentially a bowl of Styrofoam if that pothole is a little deeper than you thought, or that monstrous lorry that can’t quite see you clearly enough.

Perhaps it’s a little surprising, then, that as many as 90 per cent of respondents said they always don a helmet while commuting, and only 136 said they either occasionally or never do so.

At the time of writing, many countries including the UK don’t force you to wear a helmet while cycling. But should more nations be following Australia’s lead and make them mandatory?

READ: Why Mandatory Helmet Laws DON’T Make Cyclists Safer

Matthew Chandler


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Matthew Chandler

Matthew is a freelance sports journalist from Warrington, England. A keen cyclist, he is a regular contributor to Discerning Cyclist, as well as FourFourTwo, Click Liverpool and Royal Blue Mersey. See Matthew's Muck Rack profile

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