Getting Over Biking Fears and Getting On a Bike

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BikeSnobNYC is an outspoken and occasionally antagonistic blogger, offering candid and provocative opinions about biking and bike culture. But recently he published a thoughtful post outlining some of the fears that prevent people from getting on bikes in the first place, reasons why such fears are unfounded, and suggestions for overcoming them. Far from letting his snobbishness intimidate would-be bikers, he wants to convert as many to biking as possible:

For all my derision, the last thing I’d want to do is discourage someone from riding a bike. If anything, I’d like to think I poke fun at the things that are actually barriers of entry to new cyclists, and not at new cyclists themselves.

To each of the most common apprehensions–I’ll get hurt; I’ll get honked at; I’ll look ridiculous; I can’t afford it; etc.–he offers several commonsense counterarguments. In doing so, he’s provided a valuable service to those who want to become dedicated riders but aren’t quite sure where to start, and also chipped away at some of the perceived insularity and pretension surrounding bike culture.

One of the greatest things about cycling is you can do it with 10,000 people or you can do it alone. And you don’t need to engage in the “secret handshake” of name-dropping, proper equipment usage, and wardrobe in order to do it. . . . If nothing else, you’ll never, ever be bored again. There will no longer ever be a daunting empty window of time in your day, as you’ll always have something to fill it with. Even if you’re all by yourself.

Image by mandiberg, licensed by Creative Commons.

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