Xplora wrote:The final point in the blog is really THE biggest aspect I reckon.
Humans are hard wired to try and achieve things. Sitting in a car designed to drive at 160-200kmh, doing 20kmh in gridlock for 2 hours a day, is incredibly frustrating and emasculating. Like "OM WT SRSLY I AM GOING TO KILL THEM ALL" type frustrating. The limiting factor riding a bike is your fitness, then corners and lights, then your bike. It is suddenly about you, and not the cars around you. That responsibility means that you are able to focus on your achievement as you get to your destination. As you get fitter, lose weight, get more toned, get faster, get those KOMs, buy the Garmin, upgrade your pedals, tyres.... it doesn't escalate for most people, but the fact is that you GET something from cycling, even as a commuter. You get a tiny fraction of the psychological reward from a car, unless you are one of those people that is able to convince others to have sex with you on the basis of your "sweet ride" etc. And even then, you've spent a year's wages which would have been better spent on hookers. I digress.
If someone made going down to the shops into this big thing where they rocked a HR monitor and racing flats and wraparound sunglasses and tracked their times on some website that'd be fine, but I wouldn't assume it was the done thing. Yet cycle commuting is often made out to be this big athletic thing with Strava and Garmins and all. Sure, it can be but it doesn't have to be. I think this distinction isn't clear to newbies for one reason or another.
Some of it's the media, to be sure, and some of it's social attitudes. But some of it, too, is the way people advocate for cycling. You see plenty of it on this forum: "just get a road bike straight away, you'll end up wanting one anyway" and "I set a PB on my commute today!" and "you need padded shorts/clipless pedals/whatever!". It's not all like this, of course, but it's easy to get the impression that you really do need to spend a heap of money on a plastic bike and wierd clothing to do it properly. There are plenty of people, on this forum and elsewhere, who are living proof that you don't need a special bike or special clothing or heaps of fitness. A basic bike, basic good health and a bit of common sense is a pretty good start and I think this often gets overlooked.