Road cycling has long been seen as a popular and exhilarating form of exercise, competition, and leisure. However, some argue that the sport is thriving like never before, while others claim that a number of challenges have left it struggling to attract new riders or maintain existing ones. Let’s examine!
Is Road Cycling Dead?
While there may be challenges to overcome, such as improving cyclist safety and reducing the number of fatalities on major roads, the sport and pastime of cycling is still very much alive.
Road cycling remains an important facet of the larger world of cycling, providing a unique and rewarding experience that cannot be replicated on other types of bicycles.
Road Cycling is Going through a midlife Crisis
Middle-aged men seem to be trading in sports cars for souped-up road bikes, creating a new trend called Mamils (middle-aged men in lycra).
USA Cycling’s President and CEO Derek Bouchard-Hall notes that road cycling is not dead but is going through a midlife crisis. With the rise of Mamils and the popularity of cycling, it’s clear that road cycling is still very much alive.
However, with an increase in cyclist fatalities in 2020, it’s important to address the potential dangers of cycling on major roads.
While the cost of cycling accidents can be high, it’s still a popular mode of transportation and recreation in many countries.
Majority of Bicyclist Deaths on Major Roads
The statistics show that a majority of bicyclist fatalities occur on major roads, particularly in urban areas. This is concerning, especially given the increase in cycling deaths seen in 2020.
States with the highest number of cyclist fatalities should prioritize infrastructure improvements and increased education for both drivers and cyclists.
Though cycling may be going through a midlife crisis, it continues to be a thriving and evolving part of the sports and fitness industry.
Cycling Popular in European Countries
Cycling is highly popular in countries such as the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, and Denmark. This is not a coincidence, as these countries have placed a strong emphasis on promoting cycling as a means of transportation.
Cyclists in these countries often have dedicated bike lanes alongside major roads, creating a safer environment for cycling.
Additionally, numerous pro-bike interventions such as e-bike subsidies and pop-up cycle lanes have been introduced.
Despite the challenges faced by road cycling, it is comforting to know that cycling as a whole is still thriving in certain areas of the world.
Importance of Road Riding in Cycling
Road riding is essential for recreational, racing, commuting, and utility cycling. It allows cyclists to cover long distances and experience the thrill of speed.
While road riding can be demanding, it is also a rewarding form of exercise.
Moreover, road cycling can have a positive impact on the environment and the economy, creating jobs and reducing carbon emissions.
Therefore, it is important for cyclists and motorists to share the road and for policymakers to invest in safe cycling infrastructure.
While road cycling does come with its risks, with awareness, education, and proper precautions, it can be done safely.