2018 is the best year ever to take to the streets on a bicycle, and this list of pros and cons will show you why. As you can see, most of the pros are pretty constant, and most of the cons have solutions that mitigate or even abrogate completely their negative value:
-Cyclists have more rights on the road now than they ever have before. In many jurisdictions you can take up a whole lane if you want to. And if cars don’t respect you they will get fined and points on their license. And if the worst happens and you get in an accident, contact a good attorney that knows about the subject like Slater & Gordon at once. The law is on your side more than ever now.
-Cycling is a lot safer if it is done in the right way. This includes not only obeying the rules (cyclists often think that red lights don’t apply to them, for example), but also knowing how to make yourself visible on the road, not camping out in drivers’ blind spots, etc. And it’s also very important to remember to keep your bike in good shape. Just like with any other vehicle, proper tire pressure is extremely important for a bicycle, as are brakes and lights. Most jurisdictions require by law a white light in the front of your bike and a red light on the back. And it’s a very good idea to have reflectors on your bike and reflective clothing as well, to increase visibility.
-Cycling contributes greatly to overall health, as if you had to be told one more time. Pro tip: cycle to and from the gym. This meshes beautifully with almost any routine you are doing in there. For example, if you usually warm up on the treadmill or elliptical, you can skip that step. And going back will give you that “after-burner” extra fat burn that is so beneficial.
-Cycling is a very green option; it uses very little resources and has almost no environmental footprint whatsoever, requiring generally very few repairs with small and cheap parts. Because of this, it’s also the cheapest option available. It’s the only mode of transportation that burns less calories per distance travelled than walking does!
-Bikes get stolen really easily. Even in cities like Amsterdam and Singapore (which are famed for having very very low crime rates), bicycles get stolen all the time. The best is if you can bring your bike in with you, or if there is some sort of enclosed parking area for your bike that is secure beyond just a basic lock and chain.
-In some cities, networks of bike paths aren’t very well developed and/or other vehicles don’t respect bicycles properly. This, of course, is rapidly changing and dependent very much on where you are in the world. Ironically, in many cases, small towns can be worse than big cities for this these days.
-Weather can be hard to deal with. In the summer you may wind up being a sweaty mess by the time you get where you are going, and you do have rain to worry about. Also, in most situations, biking in the snow and ice is practically like playing Russian roulette. Aside from snow and ice, these issues can be mitigated by bringing a backpack with wet wipes and a change of shirt and/or proper rain gear.