I am not a cyclist

This is a cyclist:


This is me:


A cyclist has special clothing for cycling, a helmet, an expensive bike, clip-on shoes, and they travel fast. I, on the other hand, cycle slowly, I don’t wear any special clothing, and I’m terrified of those clip-on shoes cyclists wear. I ride my bike in regular clothes. I don’t ride my bike for leisure on the weekend or to compete in races. I ride my bike to get from one place to another. For me it is a cheap and healthy form of transportation.

The perception of cycling in our society is that it’s exclusive, expensive, and for young and athletic men only. I want to change this perception because it’s wrong. This is what people who live in car-centric cities think because for them the few people they see riding bikes are young, athletic men who look like they’re competing in a race (the fearless Australian woman on a bakfiets is the exception). Cycling should be for everyone. It’s free (apart from the cost of the bike). You don’t need any special clothing at all and it can be enjoyed equally by rich and poor, young and old. Anyone can ride a bike. But most people will not unless there’s somewhere safe to ride. Most of us are not cyclists.