The government has an agenda to get people cycling …. Why?
Well, we all know that Money-Talks….
Here are 2 reasons we think the government is supporting and promoting cycling.
Under the Paris agreement on climate change (2015), countries including the UK, have committed to curbing global temperature rises to “well below” 2C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to keep them to 1.5C, to prevent dangerous climate change.
Such a move will require the world to cut greenhouse gas emissions to net zero in the second half of the century.
The UK government has previously pledged to enshrine a zero target in law.
AND they will face financial penalties for failing to reach targets.
That means no more fossil fuel driven vehicles being sold after 2030.
Don’t worry things can only get better ….
Things are looking up for cyclists and especially e-bikers because it means the government has to address the significant reasons for not cycling….
Ta ta ata ta …. Infrastructure! Mixing cars and bikes doesn’t work in the UK like it does in the exemplary countries like Holland and Denmark where cyclists are considered first in road and city planning.
Currently only 2% of cycle journeys in the UK are ‘purposeful’ versus 27% in Holland and 67% in Copenhagen.
Cycling is a male dominated activity in the UK already but 77% of women (=51% of the population!) said they would cycle more if the roads were safer or there were dedicated cycle paths.
You don’t need to be Einstein then, to work out that that the government’s easier target is to get more WOMEN cycling.
Hurrah! For E-bikes
79% of women say they can ride a bike and 43% actually own one, but 8/10 say they never ride a bike and only 4% ride a bike at least once a week.
Other reasons women give for not cycling are
- Lack of confidence
- Bike maintenance issues
- Lack of time/family commitments
- Lack of fitness
- Lack of practical and stylish clothing
- Lack of changing facilities
- Lack of training availability
- Can’t keep up with the traffic
Electric bikes of course remove a lot of these barriers.
The government are already encouraging cycling by supporting various cycle to work schemes and putting money into especially women’s cycling networks like BREEZE.
Fitness and especially obesity are costing the NHS £16 billion per year. (More than the Police and Fire Service combined!)
In 2015 27% of women in the UK were classed as obese (three in four over-45 year olds!) increasing to 43% by 2030 if the current trend continues.
Will it work?
In a recent study, it was proven that riding an electric bike that has the pedal assist mode engaged helped the rider burn 444 calories per hour versus pedalling a traditional bike, which burned 552 calories per hour. That’s only a 20 percent difference!
BUT …E-bikes just cry out to be ridden UPHILL so you ride them more often and you ride further so OVERALL you burn a lot more calories and get a lot fitter.
The British Heart Foundation recommends that adults should undertake 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week and strenuous exercise on at least 2 days.
BUT 8.3 million men and 11.6 million women in the UK are considered physically inactive!
Cycling is a recommended way to build some physical activity into daily life, thus improving fitness without disruption of normal routines.
It improves physical and mental health and fitness
It is non-impact and gentle on joints and can be undertaken irrespective of gender, age, infirmity and other conditions.
It is also of particular benefit to those who have suffered an injury or progressive disease, which prevents other forms of exercise.
Ex-runners, joggers, skiers and walkers who have incurred foot, knee hip or back problems as a result of their activity are also beneficiaries especially of an ELECTRIC bike which allows the amount of effort/impact to be controlled by the rider not the road!
Cycling has a positive effect on heart disease, stroke, osteoarthritis, cancer and diabetes.
It also offers the opportunity to offer an escape from from commercial or domestic duties, reducing stress and depression by releasing endorphins similar to those experienced by other athletes.
Trying a new challenge such as riding further (or even at all!) can also be an enormous confidence booster.
E-bikescan also bring families together by riding together especially if one partner is a keen cyclist and the other is put-off by the hills.