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Cycling to work can cut cancer and heart disease, says study (bbc.co.uk)
172 points by jgrahamc 9 days ago | hide | past | web | 269 comments | favorite

Tips from a dancer on how to deal if you don't have a shower at work to clean up after your ride:

- By far the most important, make sure you shower before you ride if you won't have a chance afterwards. IIRC, a shower will get rid of 99.9% of sweat eating odour causing bacteria, and that bacteria has a doubling period of about 20 minutes when well fed, so a shower gives you 3-4 hours stink free even if covered in sweat; much longer if you have a chance to change & dry off before those 3-4 hours are up.

- wear cotton. It might feel icky after you sweat, but it won't stink like technical fabrics will. Wool is a good compromise -- the smell of wet sheep is preferable to locker room.

- change your clothes and dry off when you get to work.

That seems like a lot of work. Here, most cycle commutes are quite short (up to 5km) and people just ride at a speed where they're not out of breath or sweaty. I just lock my bike and get to work (or rather, the coffee machine). Any speed gains from riding faster would be more than eaten up by the necessary drying off / changing clothes / showering / …

Is your commute that long that it's impractical to just cycle at a comfortable, non-sweaty pace?

My bike ride is right about 8km, but in the summer there is no such thing as a "non-sweaty pace". That said, I'm lucky enough to work in a place that has shower facilities in the basement so I just pack my work clothes in a bag and shower/change when I get there. The worst part is putting the sweaty clothes back on for the ride home.

When it is not hot out (like now), I'll just wear appropriate pants and skip the shower. I find my dress pants rub too much in certain areas when on a bike so I still have to change, but it is quick and I shower at home.

I have to say that I really love biking to work. It's way less stressful than sitting in traffic and there are some health benefits too. Plus it has a way lower carbon footprint.

The GP's point was to shower before riding so that you essentially have "clean" sweat, which has a lower possibility of stinking versus "dirty" sweat.

I live in Austin. I ride my bike as long as it's less than 100F (38C) out. Anything above 90F (32C) is pretty hard for me to do without getting sweaty. Fortunately, my office has showers.

Also, I think your advice to ride at a moderate speed is a good one. When I first got into bicycle commuting, I was reading the bicycle subreddit and I was told more than once that it never gets easier, you just get faster. Well, they were wrong. It gets way easier. I understand what they mean by "you just get faster", but I think it's potentially discouraging to new out-of-shape riders like myself.

It gets way easier and for me is almost meditative. My mind wanders like crazy.

That is definitely a quote that only applies to racing. I agree that better fitness absolutely does make the easy stuff easier. But if you want to make going fast feel easy, you can't escape training for it.

You Europeans with your sensibly-designed cities. My shortest commute ever was 12km, and my current one is almost 30km.

Toronto; I usually strive to take the long way home because the most direct route is 2.5km

My bicycle commutes ends with a half-mile long ascending steep slope. It can be impossible not to arrive sweaty when you live in a hilly place, no matter how fast you go.

Shift down to 1-2 and go up the hill slowly?

Or go the Chinese route and get an electric assist bike.

The bigger obstacle for where I live would be 90F temperature and 80% humidity. You get sweaty regardless of hills (or any physical exertion for that matter) - just by being outside an air conditioned room for more than 10 minutes.

Mine's about 13km, and I'm not mentally able to ride slowly. Maybe it's the bike I ride, maybe it's the fact that I'm next to traffic. I don't know.

One of the interesting observations I've had on the bike is that when it is hot and muggy out I don't notice the sweat until I stop. I can be keeping up a decent pace for 5 miles, and it's only when I have to wait for traffic at a crossing or when I arrive at the destination that I'm suddenly drenched in sweat.

The body can keep sweating for quite some time after exercise if it's still having to get rid of some excess heat, often I'll get home from a ride, shower and still feel like I'm (slightly) sweating after.

I'm the same way. Sometimes I'll try to ride slowly to avoid getting sweaty, but I'm rarely successful. I'm just used to riding faster, and it's more fun. As you said, it also can feel safer/more natural if you're next to car traffic. Luckily I've usually worked places that had showers if I really needed them.

If you live in a "flat" country like The Netherlands, sure.

Biking in a hilly place like San Francisco however, there is no escape from being sweaty.

As an SF cyclist, that's not entirely true. Most commutes in the city end up in SOMA, the Financial District, or the Mission, and require little if any climbing. On the way home, even going to areas like the Haight have paths such as the Wiggle that aren't particularly steep and can be done sweat-free.

Obviously some people live and work in areas where a sweaty climb is unavoidable, but far fewer than you seem to imply. And it helps a lot that it's virtually never hot here.

Having moved from Georgia, it doesn't matter if the route is flat when it's 95 and nearly 100% humidity. That's way more relevant to sweat than the SF hills are.

The human body adjusts to a remarkable degree. The first days or maybe weeks of a new bike commute can be a sweaty experience but it ceases to be a problem quite quickly. If you were in the gym, that would be your cue to increase workout intensity, but since it's a bike commute, there's no need.

For a grade over a certain percentage and longer than some duration, it is probably indeed the case that sweating is unavoidable. But you can usually trade a short steep grade for a longer shallower grade, even in San Francisco. The absolute worst portions of SF hills are usually only a block or two long and are much more likely to be found where you live, not where you work.

get an electric bike

Yep, you read that right here under "Cycling to work can cut cancer and heart disease".

as a support for hills, not use it exclusively.

Totally. I commute (and locomote in general) via an electric bike here in Tokyo, where such bikes are very common.

You can get just as hard of a workout as with a manual bicycle — it's just that you go faster and cover more distance.

However, it also gives you the option to pedal lightly and rely on the motor more, when getting sweaty isn't convenient.

> That seems like a lot of work

In my experience, it's an extra 5 minutes of work. Do you consider that to be "a lot"?

But it's not just five minutes, you also need to bring fresh clothes and a towel. Your commute also needs to be a lot longer than mine (4-5km) for that to provide any time savings at all. That's why I'd rather ride more slowly and not have to deal with any of that.

Showering in the morning and wearing cotton are a lot of work? I cannot tell if you're being serious...i feel like i do these things by accident at least 1/2 the time [i probably bike 2x week at most] and could easily do it all the time if i put even the slightest amount of thought into my mornings.

You picked the parts that fit easily into just about anyone's morning routine and ignored the inconvenient part of arriving at the office sweating. My entire post was about avoiding the sweating in the first place.

Humidity might be a factor though!

My (bicycle) commute is 25Km one way. It is most certainly impractical to just cycle at a comfortable, non-sweaty pace :)

I hope you're already following the first two, most important points: shower before cycling to work and wear natural clothes.

One problem with showering before cycling is that it takes me a long time to cool down/dry off after a shower. If I start riding 15min after getting out of the shower I'm going to sweat like a pig. At least it won't smell, I guess.

> One problem with showering before cycling is that it takes me a long time to cool down/dry off after a shower.

Does it really have to? I'm sure you can avoid that by not using hot water (or even going with cold-ish) and not spending more than 3-5 minutes in the shower. Also you can turn off the water if washing your hear takes time. Seems simple to address.

Also bamboo (I have Bamboo viscose (70%) and Organic Cotton (30%) shirts) - the bamboo material has excellent wicking (so much less icky than pure cotton) is super soft and I've never had a problem with odour (unlike with tech fabrics) - so long as they're washed every other day.

I've got three shirts (purchased from Amazon before a trip to SE Asia) and they've been worn every week for the last four years. Despite the odd moth-like hole they're doing great and are excellent for cycling / working out.

"Bamboo" is plain old rayon with some marketing pizazz.

Care to share links to Amazon for those shirts?

>Wool is a good compromise.

I find merino wool to be far the best base layer. It's fantastic at wicking and doesn't smell at all.

It seems to have unnatural abilities not to smell. I have run marathons in my favourite woollen cycling jersey. It didn't smell at all. I went into work the next day wearing it without washing it.

Merino wool is really great, especially in a high humidity environment (e.g. Singapore). It's pretty comfy as well, not as comfy as cotton, though.

Where does one obtain wool clothing in Singapore?

Try Icebreaker


Wool definitely can smell. It just takes a while.

Yup, I'm a HUGE icebreaker fan. I always wear icebreaker t-shirts when I cycle to work.

Very good point!

I commute bi bicycle all year round and admittedly I'm not the chilled kind, so I tend to get soaked (from inside out) quite often, especially if the temperature is >15 C. However, I hate commuting in full bike gear, so having a shower just before leaving has helped tremendously. So does washing in the regular bathroom at work the critical spots where odor develops first (i.e. armpit). All I need is a small towel and a spare t-shit/shirt in case if the ride was too much fun and couldn't keep the speed moderate :)

- wear cotton. It might feel icky after you sweat, but it won't stink like technical fabrics will. Wool is a good compromise -- the smell of wet sheep is preferable to locker room.

This. The other nice thing about wool is that you can go days between washing those pieces.

The downside is that wool a bit tricky to wash (mostly hand-wash, or washed separately in a specific wool cycle). Or is there any methods you recommend to easily wash wool garments?

I have a merino base layer for outdoor activities and its care guide advises the use of regular detergent and a normal wash cycle: http://www.icebreaker.com/en/customer-service/product-inform...

Most modern sport-oriented wool (using merino) these days can be machine washed. So just wash them in a different load using wool detergent (Eucalan, Kookaburra, Nikwax), and lay flattish to dry. Use a garment bag if you have a top-loader with an agitator.

Put it in the freezer or outdoors (if you live in a cold environment). Not sure if this is actually a thing or just some old urban myth, but it's what I do. Maybe I smell though.

Even just outdoors in the sun: reduced moisture and UV will kill a huge portion of the population. Freezer kills because it's dehydrating, but for wool it'll also kill moth eggs.

Out in the sun works for the reason you said (UV).

Short term freezing isn't very effective as a way to kill bacteria. Once the garment is made warm again, the bacteria wakes up and the stink returns.

This is one thing I struggle with. I don't bike to work but workout during lunch. I don't like showering in gym because of limited time and it usually is not very clean.

So this what I do;

- Low intensity workout to prevent too much sweating - Body wipes, need to find unscented brand at reasonable price. - Change T-Shirts, if I sweat too much. - Lululemon ABC pants - If time is really short, I just workout in these pants. They don't look too athletic so I can wear these in office. (I am looking for alternatives though these are just too expensive).

Puma golf pants are in the $50-60 range and look a lot like casual slacks; but they are made of wicking fabric and cut so you can crouch/run/stretch easily. I wear them to bike and roller blade and other workouts.

Thanks, I will have to check these out.

The cleanliness part cannot be helped, but isn't your alternative actually costing you more time? Your workout is probably longer due to the lower intensity, and you still have to use body wipes.

Usually I keep workout less than 45 minutes no matter what. If I am lifting weights, it usually doesn't get too intense. Cardio is a bit tough to not get sweaty in. Usually I just walk on treadmill, so yeah I don't burn a lot of calories but it still feels good though.

Using baby wipes in strategic areas after the ride can help a lot too

Meh, burning it up on Williamsburg Bridge and the 1st avenue lane is the best part of my morning. Shower at work.

I enjoy my big hill too.

I feel more buzzed the whole morning after my ride in. I'm lucky I have a convenient shower at work as well.

Does cycling cut cancer and heart disease risk?

Or are people who are at relatively low risk of those diseases more likely to cycle?

Or both?

The way the headline reads, many people will be led to believe "Oh, if I start cycling, then I'll cut my risk of cancer and heart disease."

This study does not lead to that conclusion. All we can say is that there is a correlation between cycle and lower cancer/heart disease risk - even when accounting for a few other factors.

Given that there are other ways of concluding that regular aerobic exercise cuts cancer and heart disease risk - and indeed the preponderance of the evidence suggest that it does.

But I doubt the effect is really to almost halve the risk of those diseases.

I've no source to cite, but AFAIK similar observations have been made in multiple studies in countries where cycling has been/is becoming quite popular (e.g. Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden) and as far as I remember, they did control for many external factors in at least the Danish study I recall.

I know, vague hand-waving, but hopefully others can pitch in with data.

I was a bout to say: as a Dutchman I'd like to see some comparisons between our population and the neighbouring countries.

well, for a start.. Dutch men are among the tallest in the world[1].. and taller people have different health risks[2] (higher cancer, lower heart disease). So.. I dunno but I like cycling to work anyway :)

[1] http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-36888541 [2] http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/crux/2013/11/08/is-being-t...

From the article:

> The way the study, published in the British Medical Journal, was carried out means it is not possible to determine a clear cause and effect.

> However, the effect was still there even after adjusting the statistics to remove the effects of other potential explanations like smoking, diet or how heavy people are.

> It means the reason cycling cuts cancer risk cannot be down to weight loss in the study.

The increased probability of being killed by a motorist reduces your net probability of dying from anything else regardless.

Joking! (Well, mostly.)

I bike on city streets. So not only is there the risk of impact, but I'm also breathing all kinds of exhaust. That can't be good...

realistically, everybody else is also breathing the same air though?

Don't most cabin air filters take out the big particles in diesel exhaust? I think Tesla does at least.

I think there are some studies from here in the UK which indicate that air quality may actually be worse inside motor vehicle cabins than it is outside [1].

This may be mitigated in newer vehicles with particulate filters, I am not sure. I don't know whether filters can eliminate NOX as well as PM2.5.

[1] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-35504768

Plus, when I'm on my bicycle I'm breathing much harder than most people in cars and I'm in it for longer because I'm slower.

The article mentions that by the metric of all causes of death, the bikers still have a 40% lower death rate.

There have been a number of other studies that put the expected increased lifespan (due to better health) vs expected decreased lifespan (due to accident) anywhere from 7:1 to 70:1. And that is just mortality; biking brings a host of benefits on top of that.

I believe the death rate for all human beings is 100%, so if they can reduce it to 60% that's a miracle.

I was making a joke (and I am a cyclist), but appreciate your reply.

Cycling more than likely increases the likelihood that you get creamed by a vehicle that didn't see you. But hey, no cancer :D

It's not the vehicle that doesn't see you, it's the driver. If we make it acceptable for them to hit cyclists (like we tend to), they'll keep "not seeing them".

I agree.

I recall another study that linked regular flossing with reduced heart disease. However, that study was on a behavior that was much too narrow -- People included to floss are also much more likely to engage in other health-positive activities.

That's what drives me crazy about 'findings' like these that we're being presented with, every day.

For example when comparing mortality rates of drinkers and non-drinkers, the fact that a lot of non-drinkers are former alcoholics with significant health issues is often ignored.

Do you have some examples of studies that don't control for previous behavior?

Asking about it just seems like such a basic component of the data gathering.

You'd think but apparently not always the case. See this https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-03-21/health-dr...

It seems many studies even gather the data and then ignore it (by choosing to lump together former drinkers and life long teetotalers).

Having published research is a required part of the cv for many jobs. There are a lot of researchers out there who view it as a necessary evil. They'd be unlikely to put their heart and soul into it. And that's before you even get to researchers who might have motivations to achieve certain outcomes. Say ones who receive funding from certain industries.

heart I can understand but cancer it seems improbable.

There is some evidence that cancer is linked with obesity: https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/o...

It makes sense that obese people are less likely to bike to work, and also that people who bike to work are less likely to become obese.

I still disagree in essence. I know that obesity increases risks but I don't remember how much, it seems a complicated situation with a small effect, compared to say... smoking.

General fitness is cancer-preventative; this is just a specific study with some nice numbers showing that.

I've been biking to work every day in Manhattan for about 2 years (~3.5mi each way). I go from 14th to 70th in about 15-18 minutes. I feel healthier and stronger and it has made a difference in every aspect of my life.

There are two reasonable hills on my way to work (and I'm a sweaty guy) so I've had to learn to deal with the inevitability of sweating.

The NUMBER ONE most important change I made was getting a rack and an Arkel saddle bag. Not carrying my backpack on my back cut down my sweating a TON.

During the winter I wear regular clothing with uniqlo v-neck airsim undershirts. I will sweat a little but generally I shed layers as I get hot. I've switched from cotton shirts and blue jeans to mostly flannel shirts and mostly black jeans -- both of which help to cover any incidental sweat spots. I've also switched to more breathable sneakers for daily use. I'll bring a change of shoes clothes if I need to be dressed fancier.

During the summer, with Manhattan heat and humidity, there's no avoiding getting sweaty. I bring a change of clothes, cool off for 5m after parking my bike and then change and walk into work. Not ideal, but the health and exercise benefits significantly outweigh the downsides.

Very similar experience (in terms of results), except going from east village to flatiron. Also... its way faster to get almost anywhere in manhattan on a bike.

In regards to sweating in summer, I just wear a t-shirt and change my shirt once I arrive, and have never had too many issues. Worst case I hit the deoderant I keep in my desk.

I'm BedStuy to East Harlem daily. I wear bike gear whilst riding because it's a one hour commute and bike gear is super comfortable.

> The NUMBER ONE most important change I made was getting a rack and an Arkel saddle bag

This + baby wipes.

I just wish they'd change the turn left slip lanes on First Ave. They're not very safe.

Have you actually used baby wipes after exercise? They do not work to clean up sweat.

I don't sweat too much, they're good for the downstairs area :)

Agreed and that's my dream commute. I would love bike every morning for an hour.

Just do loops of a park until you get to the office!

Beats a crowded subway in the summer!

The part about making it part of your daily routine is spot-on. I cycled to work for 15 years, and felt much healthier with lower stress.

Then my employer moved from 6 miles away to 12, and have two kids in elementary school. Now I feel like shit, overweight, and guess I'll die younger.

I've got a similar problem -- used to live 15 miles from my employer, which would get me to work in slightly over an hour. Current address and employer is 22 - 25 miles apart (depending on route).

Solution: cheat a little bit. I've converted to an e-bike (added a hub motor kit). You can set it up so that it gives you assistance, but still requires peddling. Upshot in your case, is you can get a 6-mile workout, while traveling 12 miles (you basically ride in a higher gear, so you go faster/further for a given effort level).

I've also seen people get an extended-length cargo bicycle, add the electric assist, and use it to take the kids to where they need to go along with getting a few days worth of groceries.

I'm getting ready to test out commuting 14 miles, but with an electric bike. Traffic is horrendous here and the metro has been awful. Both take 1hr+ on good days. I'm willing to sacrifice the battery so I don't sweat when I arrive and then use my commute back to get exercise :) I hope it works out.

I've been commuting electric 11 miles each way for over a year. In my time I've found limiting myself to 18-20mph pedal assisted is the best use of my battery and my body. I still get some workout but not enough to sweat through my clothes. The bike averages 400w consumption and I've gotten used to running bigger batteries than my commute needs. Currently I'm running Multistar Lipo's at 12s2p for 50v charged and 20ah max range. I consume 6-8ah daily.

That's really good to hear, I got nervous reading your stats and usage as my configuration will have less range than yours. But a little back of napkin with your input looks like I have just enough to make it there and back utilizing PAS. It's all up in the air until I try, but I think I'll bring the charger to work on the first day to be sure.

I only have 7 miles and use an electrical bike anyway since it makes me sweat less and still maintain good speed. Works great.

Daily routine is so important.

I had one year in particular where I was both cycling to work every day (10km round trip) and cycling to school 2-3x a week (50km round trip). I lost ~30lb in about six months. In fact, as I wasn't trying to lose weight, I didn't even realize I'd been losing so much weight for a few months, and mentally doing that wasn't hard at all - just felt like a normal routine (certainly helped that cycling was often my fastest way to get to both work and school, and almost always a close second).

I'm sorry that you're feeling this way - having to compromise on health for a job is never fun :(.

I don't know anything about your specific circumstances, but depending on what your daily route to work looks like, you might be able to make it work with a special bike. There are fast cargo bikes which fit two children and could even be outfitted with an electric motor (e.g. http://www.larryvsharry.com/). Or the obvious solution, road bike + trailer.

Sorry to ask a silly question, is it possible to say drive halfway then cycle the rest? Bit of setup issues like bike rack etc but will mean you can still cycle to work and feel good.

I don't think that's silly at all - its precisely what I'm planning to do so I can work up to cycling the ~20 miles each way to work (NB not every day!).

That is actually quite a common practice in Germany. There are some car parks just on the outskirts of a large city that is always 50% full of cars with some form of bike carrier attached to it.

I'd honestly switch employers if I couldn't bike to work. The difference in my current and future happiness is too great.

Or move.

You can't bike 12 miles in because... ? I'd say give it a try.

Where I live, my 14 mile commute requires traveling on a highway. To avoid the highway (not an interstate, legally can bike on, but too dangerous for me to cycle on, people here are dicks to cyclists), would push the distance to 20 miles. East of the highway is a no-go because of wetlands, west of the highway is the only option but due to some other wetlands and farms pushes me much further west.

I don't bike much anymore, but my daily routine is to drive to about 4 or 5 miles from work and walk the rest of the way. If you have a bike rack for your car...

Unfortunately not an option on this route. By the time I got around the highway areas I'm practically at the office. I already exercise (well, currently recovering from a couple injuries so not this much) about 8-10 hours a week so this isn't that critical for me. I could bring the bike to the office and cycle around the area (it's actually much better for that than where I live, but nearby housing is prohibitively expensive or crime-ridden neighborhoods), but that's just shifting the sort of exercising I'm doing.

Are you in the US, and in a major metro area? You don't have to say where, but I'm having fun guessing, and if you're commuting to, say, a place like Biloxi, I might as well give up now. My best guess currently is that you're commuting from northeast of Philly.

Hah, not a major metro area. The problem is that I live in one city (much better social life) and work in another (much better pay). Small cities, both (50-100k people, large town some might say). Along the highway connecting them (well, the parts of them that I care about), the east side has a lot of farmland, timberland, and wetlands with poor quality roads or that take me way east before I can cut back. To the west is primarily industrial land with some farmland, same problem. The most useful (for biking) north/south roads are about 1-2 miles off the highway at the start. But they trend west, so I have to come back 2-4 miles when I want to cut towards the office.

It takes an hour by bike an forty minutes by car. That's forty minutes a day you could be spending with your children instead.

This calculation is incomplete. You missing the live prolongation effect of cycling. 40 min a day 5 days a week for 40 years is ~290 days. The plus side is in years dimension. With cycling you have more overall live time with your children.

You don't get back the time you lose with your children when they're young. Spending time with adult offspring cannot possibly be the same, especially if they move and you actually don't get to spend that time with them. Your best bet is that you'll recoup the lost time with grandchildren.

I'm not saying it's a bad tradeoff. In addition to living longer, staying fit makes you a better model for your children and increases the quality of the time you spend with them.

Also the extra energy from being fit all the time means you can actually do meaningful outdoor activities with your child, instead of being a fat potato on the couch.

Lifetime with children is more valueable when the children are younger.

I would be more than happy if my father had been cycling and would be still with us today.

> That's forty minutes a day you could be spending with your children instead.

Not if you're dead...

All morbid jokes aside, it's important to take care of yourself so you can take care of your kids. If you're not going to bike to work, spend that extra forty minutes biking with your kids or throwing them around the yard.

I don't want to accuse you of not exercising or using your kids as an excuse to not take care of yourself, but it's really easy to unintentionally do just that.

That's almost exactly my situation. I solved it by stealing the time from that period after the kids go to bed -- in other words I go to bed earlier and wake up earlier. I couldn't do that in previous years because I was needed for morning routine but now that the kids are out of day care and all going to the same school I can leave early.

That's two hours of exercise in forty minutes of your time.

Yes, but you'll likely sleep better and be a better (because health!) parent in both the long run and the short run. And, as pointed out previously, you're getting 2 hours of exercise at the cost of 40 extra minutes (which you should be getting anyway).

don't you get more time at home because your daily workout is done?

You also don't have to do it every day. Do it two or three times a week.

But that gets back to the whole point of the daily routine. I bike to and from work at times, but it always comes in blocks - when I do it, I do it every day. Once I fall off the wagon, it takes me time to get back on again. I couldn't say why, it's an odd psychological phenomenon.

I bike to work every day that it isn't raining.

So sometimes when the weather is bad I won't ride for a week. I'm usually depressed by the end of those weeks. :-(

By always doing it a specific day or days maybe part of this can be achieved? Like always biking to job Monday and Wednesday so it becomes natural?

Of course not as good as a daily routine, but maybe could work as a compromise.

But just imagine where you might be without those 15 years. When the kids are older you can maybe switch stuff up? For their sake?

Get an electric bike?

I'm rather more partial to walking. The thing is, cities and office parks are increasingly built with the assumption you'll drive there to do business, and "walkable" business districts tend to be premium real estate - which only reinforces the former by encouraging people to toss up office parks out in the wilderness, typically outside the range of any form of civilised public transportation...

> "The thing is, cities and office parks are increasingly built with the assumption you'll drive there to do business"

Not in EU they aren't. At most they are being now built assuming you should go there by public transportation, but certainly not that you drive there.

I live in a region that is geographically about the same size as the Netherlands (give or take a few percent).

The population of the region is about 300,000.

Much of the US has population densities like this, below 50 people per square mile. People generally live at much higher densities than that, but it still doesn't justify much in the way of public transport.

Which isn't to say that the US does a good job with public transport, but a significant part of the difference is the affordability and utilization of given levels of service. In many higher density areas, public transport tends to be okay.

In many higher density areas, public transport tends to be okay.

Apart from NY and SF (?), what other areas are you thinking of?

I lived in Portland for a few years and mostly used bus and light rail.

Washington, DC and Pittsburgh also come to mind.

I'm in the EU (Lisbon). There are at least four office parks outside the city, and now college campuses are starting to move out too.

I think society needs to reject these complexes. Personally I refuse to live or work anywhere like this. I pay a hefty premium for this attitude, but I'm betting it will mean a better life for me.

The article is discussing this study "Association between active commuting and incident cardiovascular disease, cancer, and mortality: prospective cohort study"


Abstract Objective To investigate the association between active commuting and incident cardiovascular disease (CVD), cancer, and all cause mortality.

Design Prospective population based study.

Setting UK Biobank.

Participants 263 450 participants (106 674 (52%) women; mean age 52.6), recruited from 22 sites across the UK. The exposure variable was the mode of transport used (walking, cycling, mixed mode v non-active (car or public transport)) to commute to and from work on a typical day.

Main outcome measures Incident (fatal and non-fatal) CVD and cancer, and deaths from CVD, cancer, or any causes.

Results 2430 participants died (496 were related to CVD and 1126 to cancer) over a median of 5.0 years (interquartile range 4.3-5.5) follow-up. There were 3748 cancer and 1110 CVD events. In maximally adjusted models, commuting by cycle and by mixed mode including cycling were associated with lower risk of all cause mortality (cycling hazard ratio 0.59, 95% confidence interval 0.42 to 0.83, P=0.002; mixed mode cycling 0.76, 0.58 to 1.00, P<0.05), cancer incidence (cycling 0.55, 0.44 to 0.69, P<0.001; mixed mode cycling 0.64, 0.45 to 0.91, P=0.01), and cancer mortality (cycling 0.60, 0.40 to 0.90, P=0.01; mixed mode cycling 0.68, 0.57 to 0.81, P<0.001). Commuting by cycling and walking were associated with a lower risk of CVD incidence (cycling 0.54, 0.33 to 0.88, P=0.01; walking 0.73, 0.54 to 0.99, P=0.04) and CVD mortality (cycling 0.48, 0.25 to 0.92, P=0.03; walking 0.64, 0.45 to 0.91, P=0.01). No statistically significant associations were observed for walking commuting and all cause mortality or cancer outcomes. Mixed mode commuting including walking was not noticeably associated with any of the measured outcomes.

Conclusions Cycle commuting was associated with a lower risk of CVD, cancer, and all cause mortality. Walking commuting was associated with a lower risk of CVD independent of major measured confounding factors. Initiatives to encourage and support active commuting could reduce risk of death and the burden of important chronic conditions.

This is a graphical representation of the analysis. It really is rather stunning https://twitter.com/ianwalker/status/854986518905180160

Further analysis looking at population level, and using the UK vs Netherlands http://www.worldlifeexpectancy.com/world-health-review/unite...

Deaths through CVD in the UK are at 17%, Netherlands at 10%.

Note you do have to die from something at some point, so having 7% of your population dying early from CVD should reduce your incidence of other deaths within the population. ;)

That's cool. Anyone know if in London your average risk of death goes up or down if you cycle to work? I'm scared of pollution (which has already started making me ill as a pedestrian) and traffic incidents.

I recall reading a couple of articles on this subject about cities in general [1, 2]. London was called out as OK:

"Our model indicates that in London health benefits of active travel always outweigh the risk from pollution. [1]"

What I'd like to know is, given an accident rate, pollution level, and other factors, what is the "safety factor" of walking/cycling vs. tube/rail/bus/car/taxi?

Edit: These graphs are great:



Interesting stats:

- In 1% of cities worldwide, pollution levels are high enough that "active travel" is dangerous past 30mins of activity.

- ~40,000 people in the UK die earlier every year due to air pollution.

1: http://www.cam.ac.uk/research/news/walking-and-cycling-good-...

2: https://ig.ft.com/sites/urban-cycling/

London is probably ok except during december 1952. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Smog_of_London

As somebody that has cycled in London, cycling from Paddington to Holborn enabled me to avoid busy roads. Yes the route was slightly longer but on a bike that really isn't an issue. I only ever did Oxford Road once. Never again. Getting to work via Hyde Park, Soho, or past Buckingham Palace is just pure joy.

I found walking meant you were mostly on busy roads as these were the most direct routes.

Just move away from London while it's not late. I also was scared, but not scared enough... now I'm totally allergic to cars and people don't understand me.

It's not worth for the money either: rents go up a lot if you have to live at places with no cars, but still in modern places close to good work/social life.

Where did you go?

I'm in Zurich...not as fun as London, but air quality (and salary) is much better.

I'm cycle daily from Dalston to Holborn. And my daily commute was more or less similar for past 7 years. Most of the time I take main roads and I feel safe. I know all the sections well, know the sketchy bits where it's better to stay behind the traffic, etc. If you're not bothered to add +10min to every 30min of your commute, you can take smaller side roads which are usually very quiet and most importantly free from large vehicles. No accidents so far. Can't comment on effects of pollution though, I have no idea.

I'm not sure about London, but this has been studied before in other cities and it's been found that the benefits significantly outweigh the risks: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2920084/

Unless London is significantly (>~20x) more dangerous than the Netherlands, I'd expect the result to hold there too.

Very much down. Everyone gets pollution, but cyclists' air intakes are further above vehicle exhaust that passengers and pedestrians. London's black snot is your filters working!

As for incidents, the risk is offset by health benefits. Last time I checked it was approx 1 serious incident per 100,000 miles ridden (which is much more than the lifetime of most riders).

and as 90% of fatalities are caused by undertaking HGV's not undertaking traffic and not riding in the gutter reduces that risk considerabley

Last I checked, Walking, Bus or Tube all registered as worse r.e. pollution. The article suggested it was mostly about duration of exposure, of which cycling was the lowest.

As for traffic incidents - I don't think they're massively different in London compared to the rest of the UK.

The study in the article indicates that risk of death _by any method_ goes down by 41%, though admittedly it's not based on London data.

-edit- Not the article I mentioned above, but similar results: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-35717927 (cycling & walking perform better than public transport r.e. pollution intake.)

While one may be more exposed to pollution taking public transport, you breathe a lot more running or cycling.

I biked in London for almost 2 years (Whitechapel to Farringdon, then Deptford Bridge to Farringdon). What I found helped a lot was to avoid roundabouts as much as possible, and be extra cautious when overtaking on the left near stops. Assume everyone is going to turn left in front of you, 50% of the time you'll be right. ;)

Which part of London?

I used to commute through the fumes to Soho, by bike, taking approximately an hour each way. There have been other commutes, e.g. around the North Circular or straight up the A5 to Stanmore, however, I nowadays avoid central London due to the air quality. It is as simple as that, the air is not good. There is no way to effectively avoid this if you do need to actually get somewhere central.

I believe that the traffic is manageable and not a problem so long as you like hi-viz and ride as per the Highway Code.

If you do have to commute to central London then don't - get another job a bit further out and get your life back, and your health.

Nowadays I get trains places once or twice a month but otherwise just cycle the river ('Thames') and other low pollution areas, e.g. Richmond Park.

Also winds are prevailing one way due to how the earth spins, so make sure you live in the West of London and not the East.

Outer London good, inner London = move!!!

Saying that cycling lowers disease normalizes not exercising.

I prefer to think of exercise as normal and sitting around as the disease-causing deviation. I would say:

Not cycling to work can increase cancer and heart disease


Sitting around when you could get your heart pumping can increase cancer and heart disease

The implication is "cycling to work => lower cancer and heart disease rate". You can't deduce "not cycling to work increases cancer and heart disease" from that, and that makes practical sense if you consider that the actual underlying factor is exercise.

The two statements are equivalent - it's just framing between "Exercising is good" and "Not exercising is bad".

Oppositely, you could say equally that "smoking causes lung cancer" or that "Not smoking reduces the risk of lung cancer". But mandated warning labels read the former, because "smoking causes cancer" assumes that the default state of a person is to be not smoking, and that smoking is a choice they make. To someone who habitually smokes in a culture of smokers, this is a different way of thinking.

It's an unusual state for people to be so sedentary. We sleep in a bed, sit in a car and drive to work, sit at a desk in an office, sit in the car again, go home and lay on the couch and watch TV or browse the Internet, and repeat. To not get exercise is weird. And yes, to these people, they should be informed that exercising is good for them.

But this message, conveyed instead as "not exercising is bad", implies that not exercising should be considered abnormal behavior and that daily exercise is the default.

yeah unfortunately in my City (Perth, WA) your chances of being maimed or dying from a angry cyclist hating driver goes up exponentially.

Not sure what makes this city think that the roads belong to cars only...

As a former Perthian, I hope this will change. It's an amazing city for riding.

It requires action by the government [1] and less of an ego from ALL road users.

I think the latter will be the hardest sell.

A clever & sustained advertising campaign (IMO, led by the same people that did the Melbourne Metro's "Dumb Ways To Die" [2]) would be awesome. More education in school about not being a dickwad on the road would be good, too.

1: http://www.watoday.com.au/wa-news/perth-drivers-facing-new-l...

2: http://www.dumbwaystodie.com/

"We're coming to Denver" (Dumb Ways to Die campaign) -- I really enjoyed that campaign, and heaps of my friends discussed it (so that alone means it was at least somewhat successful, imo), so it's cool to see the concept spreading :-)

The study said it considered "all other risks" but did they really factor in all the cyclists who get murdered by drivers?

Is this a cultural thing? When compare to Europe, this type of anti-bike rage happens much more less frequently.

Perth drivers are way better than they used to be. 20-25 years ago I had food or drink thrown or squirted at me while cycling on a monthly basis. Most drivers would not look for bikes and many assumed they always had right of way over bikes.

The last time I can recall something being thrown at me from a car was about 12 years ago.

Most drivers now are more alert for bikes more of the time and many drivers now give way to me when I'm riding - even when they have right of way.

Previously the stuff being thrown at cyclists wasn't usually down in a rage - it was more of a mischievous lark for the car occupants.

As you stated - the problem now is the rage some drivers get into when something breaks them out of autopilot/daydream mode. There are many factors for why this is happening more.

One is that Perth is so sprawled out that and many people are driving for over an hour each way to work and back. On the freeways and highways they lapse into autopilot mode then when something unexpected happens they get a flight/fight response. Since you can't reasonably flee from a car moving at speed - the adrenaline is channeled into the fight response.

Another factor is the relatively high (compared to other states in Australia and other countries) level of ice (methamphetamine) use. When the users are high or suffering withdrawal they can lose it over trivial things.

Not sure what makes this city think that the roads belong to cars only...

This goes back to the vast majority of people that must rely on a car to get around due to the coastal suburban sprawl in and lack of decent public transport options in Perth.

Five years ago I spent a few months working in France. I spent a fair bit of time cycling around Paris and was expecting the worst since Parisian drivers had a reputation for being crazy. Indeed I witnessed the driving on the footpath thing a few times and there was a lot of horn honking and gesturing. However, in general I felt much safer riding on the roads in Paris than I do in Perth. The drivers in Paris are conditioned to having cyclists of all types on the road (lycra is much rarer for a start - not fashionable enough maybe?). They are much more attentive to what is happening around them, I guess because they don't have an opportunity to lapse into autopilot as traffic is rarely light. The driving on the footpath thing seemed to be a careful maneuver aimed at improving lane efficiency during peak hour (ie to get around a temporary block into free lane space up the road).

So I guess being accustomed to cyclists is a factor in setting drivers attitudes. As I stated earlier, in my experience Perth drivers have improved in this regard and hopefully will continue to do so.

I don't cycle, but I recently moved much more close to work and now I'm able to walk instead of driving.

It's 5km a day and I generally go for a nice walk on my lunch break so I think I walk about 7km to 10km a day. I'm definitely feeling better although I haven't lost much weight (maybe 2kgs or so).

They do say in the article the benefits of walking only start to kick in over 6miles a week so I guess I'm good!

I love riding my bike, but the stats are quite grim for road deaths AND injuries


49,000 people in the US are injured on the road every year-

You may say its a false equivalency, but there are 33,000 gun deaths (suicides/homicides) in the US every year

But you are comparing injuries to deaths. There are 'only' around 750 deadly bike accidents per year.

Compare this to motor vehicle deaths: there are 35,000 of those per year in the USA .. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_motor_vehicle_deaths_i...

The more interesting stats for cycling would be deaths per mile for several different types of riding. A commuter can design a low risk route and manage their own behavior, both things that have an impact on safety.

Yeah, how many delivery salmon are injured every year? Like, they're riding basically a motorcycle, usually without lights, against traffic.

The reason I chose cycling injuries is because a cycling injury is usually quite serious and debilitating- aka, it might as well be a death, because you will not be able to live life quite the same after.

Furthermore, 49,000 cycling injuries is very high when you consider that only a few percent of the US commute by bike (a few million people), but hundreds of millions of people drive by car!

> The reason I chose cycling injuries is because a cycling injury is usually quite serious and debilitating

Is it? When I think of cycling injuries, I typically think of broken arms, wrists, etc. No fun at all, but unless it's a particularly bad break, it only means being pretty severely inconvenienced until you heal. (This is assuming you wear a helmet, of course - brain trauma is no fun no matter what the cause.)

I suppose it's possible that x% of the injuries are not a big deal, but even just broken bones open the door to chronic disease (arthritis, nerve impingement) and potential disability.

Traveling by car can also put you at risk of permanent disability, but generally you are more protected- what would kill you on a bike would disable you in a car, and what would disable you on a bike would merely inconvenience you in a car

I really love my bike, and my go kart, and motorcycle, and all of the lightweight forms of transportation I have that pose very little danger to me on a flat, clear road

But I really think that even with most drivers being alert, the physics of sharing the road are very broken

It's either ban cars, make bike only highways, or tell riders to ride at their own risk and pray for an insurance claim

You should be comparing all death, not just road death.

Cyclists have an increased risk of dying in a road traffic accident, but decreased risk of dying from stroke, heart disease, cancer, etc etc.

Since "stroke, heart disease, cancer, etc" is almost equivalent with dying from old age, theoretically any risk of violent premature death would be "statistically healthy". Fortunately cycling is nowhere near dangerous enough to have a noticeable effect of that kind. Wingsuit BASE jumping, now that is a mode of transportation where I would be wary of any statistical health benefit.

Only if you think that folks leaving this world after 45-54 years are doing so because of old age! http://www.worldlifeexpectancy.com/usa-cause-of-death-by-age...

i was thinking the same thing, what's the overall benefit. lower heart disease and cancer risk by some amount in your future, versus an increase in road accident risk today. The solution is more bike lanes of course. And by bike lanes, i mean clear lanes, not garbage lane for shit from the road to be pushed into.

Absolutely agree with you. Unfortunately in the US, auto makers and the peripheral industries have the politicians and most of the public opinion in a death grip

It isn't worth holding our breath for even a token bike highway project LOL :(

US highways are not particularly scenic, but they are generally quite bike friendly (not limited access roads, just highways), with construction standards calling for full width shoulders. It's local roads where there isn't much room.

There's also a lot of recreational paths that end up making areas quite a lot more bike accessible. And I mean rail trails extending for tens of miles along transport corridors, not just trails to nowhere in parks.

US bikes aren't allowed on interstates, but they are allowed on major roads which do have nice shoulders

Unfortunately, even with wide shoulders and good visibility, "accidents" still happen thanks to unalert/hostile drivers (check out the recent terrible death of Mike Hall in Aussieland)

Rail trails are pretty cool to be honest, and there is a good and much needed network here. Of course, it will never be as extensive or well maintained as auto roads are here in the US for political reasons

Bikes aren't allowed on Interstates in Urban Areas.

They are allowed on Interstates, frex on I90 from just outside of Issaquah to Spokane. It's not all that pleasant or fun, but they are allowed.

Shoulders suck as a place to ride though, it's where all the road debris hangs out, waiting to puncture a tire.

It's a minority of states that allow access on rural interstates.

Access is based on a first amendment argument. I'm not sure it's a matter of permitting it, as they can't forbid it.

Here's Michigan's law forbidding pedestrian and bike use:


Are you sure that Washington doesn't just have a provision in state law requiring action to close a shoulder?


US bikes aren't allowed on interstates, but they are allowed on major roads which do have nice shoulders

Yes, that's why I said "(not limited access roads, just highways)", because of the ambiguity in the word "highway". A couple of states do allow bike access on a large portion of limited access highways, mostly in the west.

We don't have bike trails because they are expensive and little used (because of population density more than anything). That's a political reason, it isn't exactly a surprising or awful reason.

in my home state we have one of the longest bike trails in the US, but it's pretty useless for getting anywhere. It's a beautiful trail but doesn't go into any metropolitan areas. I'd think my favorite biking concept is the parked car protected lane. similar to how sidewalks would be, but with no curb between the parked cars and the bike lane.

Unless you live in a walkable city (the vast minority of cities) in the US (I realize this is a UK article), cycling to work is nearly impossible. I only live 10 miles from work, but the whole stretch is 0% cycling friendly.

I find that the mindset that your commute is out of your control is unique to US/Canada. You choose where you work and live, they shouldn't be independent decisions. I've had every type of commute, and I could never go back to >30 mins or non-active (walking, cycling). It's impact on happiness is massive.

I've had every type of housing (3-bedroom suburban house, dorm room, room in a 3-person shared apartment, bunk in a 25-person hacker house, own 1-bedroom in a mid-rise). I could never go back to having roommates, or living in a neighborhood where I can't go for a walk at night.

If you know a way to get a sub-30-minute commute under those constraints by any means where career opportunities for software engineers an be found, please do tell. I'm stringing together a motorcycle and a train, and I'm still at 45 minutes each way on the best of days.

I hope people & politics in the USA (and countries with similarly screwed up infrastructure) realize soon that, on the long run, turning public space, roads and in general (sub)urban infrastructure into a space designated for cars and cars only/mostly rather than for people does on the long run have significant social, health, etc. effects that are not particularly beneficial.

Unless you choose to live in a walkable/bikable city, there will be less incentive for those non-friendly cities to change. If your city shows no interest in changing to become more bike friendly and you want to bike, then you can choose to live somewhere else.

People tell me how "lucky" I am that I live in a bike friendly area, close to shops, restaurants, etc and within a 10 minute walk from the train station. Then I explain that it wasn't "luck", I purposely chose where I live because of all of these features.

I live 2 miles away and it is still not feasible for me to cycle due to no cycle friendliness. Neither are there dedicated bike lanes nor are the motorists conditioned to drive being mindful of bikes.

I've been cycling since I was a kid, I would never consider moving to a cyclist-hostile area in the first place. On an average day my morning commute is the best part of my day, I would sacrifice a lot of things before I sacrifice that.

While I have not been lucky enough to grow up "on the cycle", just a few years of commuting by bike all year around, I very much feel the same!

On the shittiest day at work, or the most stressful situation at home, there's been nothing better than getting on the bike and just taking a ride wherever I have to be or going for a spin without strong purpose. It allows me to clear my mind, forget about everything else, even if just for a half an hour.

Feeling the spring breeze or even the frosty winter air's bite on my face while pedaling down the street often puts a big smile on my face even at times where otherwise I'd surely not be smiling.

Where does this belief come from, that you can't ride without a dedicated bike lane? All you need is a surface your tires have traction with :)

I've lived in car-oriented suburbs all my life, and was raised to just go for it. It's not a big deal to get passed by the occasional car on suburban streets. The main roads on the city grid are intimidating, sure, but there are usually much quieter streets running parallel a block or two over (cars avoid them due to frequent stop signs, which bikes can generally roll through with impunity).

Grab the Google cycling directions - it's decent at finding those quieter roads - and just try it sometime. It's not that scary. (I find that it's miserable due to physical exertion if there's even a slight incline, but that's another conversation).

The biggest danger on two wheels is a car not seeing you at an intersection. A bike lane isn't going to help much there anyway. Lights, a helmet, bright colors, using the correct lanes in bigger intersections, and general defensive riding will go far.

I think in the vast majority of cases such as yours you are falling victim to making excuses as to why its not feasible.

My commute is also 10 miles in the urban east side of Kansas City, MO. This is most likely one of the least cycling friendly places in America and yet here I am, cycling to work every day and loving every minute of it.

"vast minority" threw me for a moment there.

Anybody with good tips for an all-weather cycling outfit, which you can also comfortably wear at work?

Doesn't exist. Get a a good rain coat and pullover rain pants. Alternatively there's some good cycling specific ponchos.

Bike should have chain guard and long fenders to keep your ass and back dry and with mud flaps to keep your feet dry(ish). Might be a good idea to use rain boots and keep shoes in a bag if it's raining.

I use a cycling poncho, fenders, and chain guard. I only ride about 3 miles, but even in the worst weather I only get wet from about mid-shin down, and even then only enough to be bothersome in the worst weather.

Any thoughts on soft shell pants? http://snarkynomad.com/soft-shell-jeans-the-worlds-greatest-...

I definitely miss not having chain guard and fenders with Seattle weather, but have switched over to a raincoat and boots for biking. Waterproofing the commute is totally worth it.

In my experience soft shell is neither very breathable nor very water resistant. It's both, but as with GoreTex it's a compromise. Nothing that is 100% water resistant can be breathable and vice versa. GoreTex is very water resistant but not very breathable. soft shell is pretty breathable but less water resistant.

Technology might have improved since I bought my last soft shell pant, though.

Depends on your work, your weather, and the length of your ride. In Boston I could wear whatever I wanted for my 1-mile ride from North Station. With longer rides and hotter places it's harder not to break a sweat.

This past year I've been walking instead of cycling since it's more exercise.

There are no all-weather outfits. You need multiple layers. Some breathable, sweat absorbing shirts (Merino or some fancypants fabric), a fleece for warmth, a softshell, and rain gear.

This sort of surprised me. I know for motorcyclists they make all sorts of all-weather quasi-waterproof gear. I suppose the differences is that most of the motorcycle gear might be difficult to peddle a bike in.


Because you're exerting yourself while biking, there's a need for breathability. You will easily out sweat any Gore-Tex/Polartec/Schoeller wunderfabrik if riding for more than 10 minutes. In addition, there's a need for mobility since your legs are always moving.

The raincape/poncho, however dorky people may view it, is actually one of the more effective wet weather items provided it's not too windy.

I don't sweat through my Outlier SDs (Schoeller IIRC). My Veilance shell (GTX Pro I think) is also okay if it's super cold, but would rather just get wet in the summer.

Yeah, SDs seem to work well for a lot of folks.

My point was moreso that any sort of rainproof gear will eventually cause you to sweat due to decreased venting, and it's about finding the balance between sweating, or getting rained on. Everyone's mileage will obivously differ given different bodies, air humidities, and length of commute.

The difference is that waste heat from the engine appears outside of the clothes of our noise-propelled friends, whereas we cyclists have to carefully balance between isolation and cooling. If the route is hilly, you would actually want (but don't have) completely different sets of clothing for going up vs going down, on the same ride in the same weather conditions.

Stash clothes at work to change into. It's the only way.

This, to a certain extent.

If it's raining, assume you have to change clothes. Any DWR-coated clothing will eventually wear off by the end of a season or two. And your shoes and socks will be the wettest items anyways.

Also during rain, there's a fine line between getting soaked from the rain, or sweating out from your rain jacket. Showers Pass has made bike-focused rain gear for a while that has plenty of reflective details and options for venting. Your basic rain jacket from TNF, Marmot, Patagucci will work in a pinch, too.

For moderate weather, plenty of companies have been (or used to be) targeted for bike-commuting: Swrve, Makers & Riders, and Outlier (the last one has moved away). They all offer stretchy pants made with synthetics so they dry quicker. Newer wool slacks with a touch of spandex from your typical big box retailers like Banana Republic also work because they're slightly stretchy and breathable. You'll probably wear them out faster, though, since wool doesn't handle abrasion that well.

But yeah, depending on the weather, how easily you sweat, and how far you have to ride, you may need a second set of clothes. Hopefully your office doesn't have a hoteling setup.

Outlier SDs for pants, just wear normal shirts and bring an extra one if it's warm enough to matter. You can do merino but ehhh. I just shower at work though.

Cycling 8km to work and back is my daily exercise.

Hard to say about cancer and heart disease but it definitely has cut about 20 lbs off my weight and kept it steady for over 5 years.

I live in a not very bike friendly city so had to design my own route.

I can't imagine biking in a city such as London(very strict rules on where you can bike and seems quite dangerous).

That's about the perfect distance to make it a good worthwhile workout for someone who is not a serious cyclist. That was my commute when I first started cycling.

My current commute is over 14km each way and I cannot do it daily due to time restrictions (and overall fitness).

My old bike commute was 3km which was frankly too short. My current one is 13km which is fine, but I can never do it for more than a month or so at a time, with any regularity. And I definitely don't drop an ounce from that distance over a month.

I have a daily 4km bike ride to/from work and my solution was to buy a 22kg beach cruiser with wide tires that makes for a great workout - if I were to ride my dedicated road bike the ride would be no workout at all.

I find when I bike commute regularly, even with this short route, it makes a massive difference in my stamina for other activities I do far less frequently, namely road biking, skiing, and climbing.

When there's a will there's a way!

* edited for slightly more clarity.

I am looking to buy more of an upright commuter style bike which I hope will bring my pace down just slightly.

Any issue with using the sidewalk as opposed to the "Bike Lane" to avoid risk of being hit by a car?

Location: a commuter city, sidewalks rarely used in AM, not much usage in PM.

My commute is 80% private paths, and 20% on a road in the city. I've seen a lot of cars crossing the bike lane and I've only been biking for 2 weeks.

Sidewalks are usually dangerous because they usually a lot of intersections with driveways and cross streets, and drivers aren't looking for fast-moving vehicles there.

If it's a sidewalk along, say, fenced-in land with no driveways, risks are much lower. But cross intersections at pedestrian speed.

This is a pretty decent website: http://bicyclesafe.com/#crosswalk

You were spot on, this literally just happened today: http://imgur.com/a/2ktXP

Ouch! Unfortunately it looks like you cycle in the type of suburban hellscape where you need to practice Vehicular Cycling. It works, especially with aggressive eyeball-searing lights and clothing and a mirror, but it's stressful.

That said, investigate what off-road trails and even parking lot/park cutoffs you can find to keep off suburban arterials for as much of the commute as you can.

pedestrian here. please don't ride bikes on the sidewalks.

i've experienced hundreds of dangerous near collisions with high speed bicyclists as a pedestrian in Los Angeles, San Francisco and other cities.

it's possible to do serious damage by colliding with a pedestrian, particularly if that person is elderly. for such a person, a fall can result in a major bone fracture -- not something easy to recover from.

please keep in mind that pedestrians have no other option but sidewalks. if bicyclists use sidewalks heavily enough, they will take away everyone's ability to engage in a very low-pollution form of transportation.

also, some people have no other choice but to be pedestrians, so bicyclists on sidewalks literally eliminate the primary transportation option for some members of society.

finally, i'll point out that most mass transit riders are pedestrians for part of their journey. so bicyclists on sidewalks make mass transit participation more risky and thus raise its economic cost.

Very good points, but the same points apply to bikes riding on the road. As a cyclist I've experienced hundreds of near collisions with high speed cars. It's possible to do serious damage from a vehicle hitting a bike, even if they're healthy and not elderly. Bikes often have no choice but to use roads, and if cars drive dangerously around them it takes away everyone's ability to engage in a low-pollution form of transport.

Bikes are in an unenviable position where they're not quite pedestrians but not quite vehicles, and there are few specific protections for them. They're often forced to ride on the road with the flow of traffic, while pedestrians are either off the side of the road facing towards traffic where they can see oncoming cars, or better yet are separated from vehicle traffic by a curb, a greenway, and have several feet of concrete to stick to. Bikes don't have any of that protection 99% of the time.

Riding on the sidewalks is a very attractive proposition when the alternative is riding 15mph on a road with no shoulder surrounded by cars going 45mph. I'm not saying cyclists should ride on sidewalks as is, but I fully support making sidewalks into multi-purpose trails where they can accommodate both pedestrians and cyclists. Cyclists should not be forced onto dangerous roads.

> I fully support making sidewalks into multi-purpose trails where they can accommodate both pedestrians and cyclists

Mixed use paths are only safe if the cyclists are leisurely riding. Cyclists at speed sharing a path with pedestrians are quite dangerous. Pedestrians are rarely paying attention and will wander directly in front of cyclists. Being on a "sidewalk" is also quite dangerous to cyclists if the trail ever intersects car traffic, and it will if useful for commuting.

The solution is not to put cyclists on pedestrian paths but to make bike paths in the road safer. Part of this is infrastructure. Part of this is building slower roads. Much of it is culture as drivers need to do a better job of being safe with cyclists.

The solution is to make everyone fully aware of the rules. Many often behave without regard for their own safety or the safety of those around them, even in pedestrian-on-pedestrian incidents. I've run into people in the grocery store when they stop without warning, or had to find alternate paths around them when they decide to block the entire aisle. This extends to sidewalks and MUPs too. There is a MUP near my house with a ton of foot and bike traffic, and often pedestrians take up the entire 12-foot wide path making it dangerous for cyclists to pass them. And many times when I yell that I'm passing someone on the left, they instinctively step to the left, causing me to lock up my brakes to avoid hitting them.

Again cyclists take the blame for all of the problems, while still not being provided with any solutions. Pedestrians often have headphones in and can't hear bikes, but if bikers are wearing headphones they're told how dangerous it is for them. Pedestrians weave side to side making it hard to pass, but bikes are expected to keep a perfectly straight line when riding on often rough roads. Pedestrians often have almost perfect maneuverability due to their low speed and ability to step sideways out of danger, but bikes are to blame if they can't stop or jump sideways at a moment's notice. Pedestrians can often step to the grass to get our of danger, while many road bikes could suffer damage to their wheels (or rider) if they left the paved surface.

The problem with putting in separate bike paths is now we have three different road systems sharing the space, which in cities is often limited and in rural areas is economically unfeasible to maintain. And it still doesn't solve the problem of cross streets, which both pedestrians and cyclists suffer from at the hands of motorists.

Maybe the answer is to draw a line down the sidewalk to indicate to pedestrians and cyclists that they need to stay to the right (or left depending on country) so faster modes of transport can safely pass. Maybe we should enforce a speed limit on bikes in certain areas. But all of the problems pedestrians face at the hands of cyclists, cyclists face against motor vehicles, but the danger is far greater. Getting hit at 45mph while you're riding at 10mph is a lot different than being hit while walking by a bike going 10mph.

Drivers hate bike. Pedestrians hate bikes. Competitive cyclists hate recreational bikers. Recreational bikers hate speed demon bikers. I don't know, maybe the solution is banning bicycles. Seems that would make everyone else happy, wouldn't it?

> The solution is to make everyone fully aware of the rules.

Unfortunately, "everyone just do a better job" is generally a failing strategy. This is also the problem with getting drivers to do a better job. They just won't, at least not without a lot of effort.

> Again cyclists take the blame for all of the problems, while still not being provided with any solutions....

That's because cyclists are the problem. All the things you describe about pedestrians apply only because bikes showed up on sidewalks. Pedestrians weaving side to side and wearing headphones are only safety issues if fast-moving vehicles are sharing the path. It's not that pedestrians are immune from fault. Pedestrians who wander into traffic randomly are considered at fault. But they aren't at fault for acting like pedestrians on a pedestrian path. We don't put cars and pedestrians onto shared paths and then expect pedestrians to walk in perfectly straight lines to allow cars zip past them at 20mph.

And there is a solution for cycling, which is to make roads safer for cyclists. There are lots of ways to do that. There isn't a lack of ability, but a lack of will and funding.

> The problem with putting in separate bike paths is now we have three different road systems sharing the space, which in cities is often limited and in rural areas is economically unfeasible to maintain. And it still doesn't solve the problem of cross streets, which both pedestrians and cyclists suffer from at the hands of motorists.

Yeah, it's tough to share the space efficiently. Dumping the problem on pedestrians doesn't fix it, though.

Pedestrians also don't have as much of a cross-street problem as cyclists. This is a place where pedestrians tend to pay attention and cars tend to look for them. Cyclists have a much bigger problem because 1) cars aren't looking for fast-moving vehicles on the sidewalk half a block away, 2) cyclists can't stop at a moment's notice when they realize the car isn't going to stop.

> Maybe the answer is to draw a line down the sidewalk to indicate to pedestrians and cyclists that they need to stay to the right (or left depending on country) so faster modes of transport can safely pass.

This doesn't generally work. Pedestrians will cross the line whenever it's convenient to do so, or if they're not paying attention, or whatever. You could maybe make it work by making it extremely wide, but then you might as well have separate paths and physical barrier between them.

> Maybe we should enforce a speed limit on bikes in certain areas.

Good luck with that. Most bikes don't have speedometers and in any event, the safe speed on a shared path is far slower than most cyclists want to travel, namely jogging speed.

> But all of the problems pedestrians face at the hands of cyclists, cyclists face against motor vehicles, but the danger is far greater. Getting hit at 45mph while you're riding at 10mph is a lot different than being hit while walking by a bike going 10mph.

That doesn't mean that dumping the problem on pedestrians is a good tradeoff. Not only do mixed-use paths put pedestrians at higher risk, they still put cyclists at risk (possibly worse risk, due to the intersection problem), and they frustrate both cyclists and pedestrians. It's not a good solution for anyone except leisurely cyclists who can frankly cycle on sidewalks today and it's fine.

Also, bikes are often going faster than 10mph.

All of those problems are currently faced by bikes versus cars. Massive speed differences, unpredictability in their movement patterns, people not operating according to common sense or the law. Cars often cross their center line too, so you can't argue that pedestrians crossing the center line is a novel concept.

Again I'm not saying that bikes on sidewalks is a good idea. But it's a hell of a lot better of an idea than bikes on roads. You can make up a million reasons why it won't work, but all of them are overshadowed by the huge amounts of cyclists who get killed or seriously injured by motorists every year.

How many cyclists need to be killed because pedestrians don't want to have to walk in a straight line?

You don't solve the cyclist safety problem by putting them on sidewalks. It makes pedestrians less safe and makes cyclists little or no more safe than they are now. A huge percentage of fatal accidents happen at intersections and those actually get worse when you put cyclists on sidewalks. Seattle allows bikes on sidewalks and last I checked, it didn't solve the problem. In fact, last I checked most cyclists in Seattle recommended riding in the street because it's safer.

If your only solution to the problem is to blame pedestrians for not walking in straight lines then you have no practical suggestions and you're no better than the people you say just blame cyclists. Pedestrians will not suddenly become vigilant as they walk, nor should they. Sidewalks exist specifically so that pedestrians have a safe place to walk.

Edit: Just for fun...

> Again I'm not saying that bikes on sidewalks is a good idea. But it's a hell of a lot better of an idea than bikes on roads. You can make up a million reasons why it won't work, but all of them are overshadowed by the huge amounts of motorcyclists who get killed or seriously injured by motorists every year.

Cyclists are less safe on sidewalks. While traversing a segment of sidewalk uninterrupted by driveways, alleys and streets, they are quite safe, of course. During those driveway, alley and street crossings, cyclists using a sidewalk are less visible to an emerging driver. Due to obstructions, the distance at which the cyclist is visible to an emerging driver is shortened; literally the cyclist appears suddenly "out of nowhere" in the path of the driver, which isn't the case if the cyclist is on the road, or not with the same abruptness.

On a road, you have room to intuitively swing out and away when approaching a "blind corner": a situation where a car might emerge, where visibility is bad (tall fence, bushes, whatever). You glance over your shoulder or into your rear-view mirror, then pull out into the road more to be seen sooner if a car pops up.

Cycling on a sidewalks with the same safety as on the road requires you to slow down to an almost complete stop at any driveway, alley, or street where visibility is bad; you're taking a big hit in your travel time.

The surface of sidewalks is often not of the same quality as that of the road; sidewalks are not suitable for cycling at 30 km/h and above, even when you have a decent stretch of side walk to be able to do that safely. Sidewalks are often concrete slabs with gaps between them and misaligned.

I see you're going to ignore the half-dozen times I literally said "maybe the solution is" and also the times I said "maybe this isn't the solution", that's fine. The problem still remains that bikes traveling at 10-15mph, maybe 20mph for faster riders, do not belong on the same surface as vehicles traveling at 45-55mph. It's also very expensive to create new and independent infrastructure for bikes, cars, and pedestrians separately. And bikers are a very diverse group, you can hardly say that Timmy with his training wheels should be cruising down the highway side-by-side with vehicle traffic, and Lance doing 30mph on the sidewalk is also unacceptable. But you've already apparently ruled out speed limits because... well actually for no reason at all. Bike computers are like $10 at Walmart and bikes already have to follow the road's speed limit, so...

Maybe we have this disagreement because I live in a rural/suburban area and not in a major city, so I see recreational bicycles on sidewalks all the time and there is no infrastructure for bikes other than a single straight-line MUP. And on long uphill sections where my speed dips down to 5mph, fuck yeah I'm getting on the sidewalk. I'd be insane not to. 90% of the car/bike accidents in my area are on normal stretches of road, not at intersections. The driver just doesn't see the bike, or thinks he's given the biker enough room but hasn't.

Pedestrians won't become vigilant. Neither will cars. Neither will bikers. So the answer is just let cyclists die so one of the more important groups of people don't have to be slightly inconvenienced.

I appreciate the conversation we've had today, and I'm glad the task of solving this problem isn't left to the two of us.

I'm not ignoring anything. I've responded to your proposals. The proposal you keep pushing is putting bicycles on sidewalks, so that's what I've responded to. I guess you've also now suggested that cyclists just keep dying. I guess that's an option, although that seems more like a passive aggressive way for you to keep pushing the false dichotomy of bikes on sidewalks or dead cyclists.

Your speed limit suggestion isn't bad, it's just not really actionable. Making bikes travel at or close to pedestrian speed would make cycling useless to most serious cyclists. And if you set the speed limit far higher than pedestrians, it does nothing for safety. Then of course there's the problem of enforcement. Given the general ineffectiveness of speed limit enforcement for cars, I'm doubtful. And as you noted, bikes already legally have to follow the posted speed limit, and when it's inconvenient (i.e. long downhill stretches with 30mph limits), they don't, and it's generally unenforced.

But yes, if you live in a rural area, the calculation is probably different for you. Sparsely-used sidewalks/MUPs are in general safer than heavily-used MUPs. A MUP with good visibility and few users can be shared with relative safety, especially if there is a safe "shoulder" to veer onto and no blind intersections. My sidewalks are crowded with pedestrians and littered with intersections for streets, alleys, and driveways, all of which make cyclists on the sidewalks less safe than the roads where cars are driving 30mph (ish). And yeah, if your speed drops to 5mph, I have no problem with you chugging along on the sidewalk, even in the city (though you still need to watch out for pedestrians, and you'd probably find it's not worth the hassle). At that point you're pedestrian speed. I am surprised that most of the accidents in your area are on straight sections of road, though. I'm pretty sure the majority of accidents involving cyclists in Seattle are at intersections of some sort.

I appreciate the conversation, too.

You really shouldn't, mostly because cars that are pulling out of garages/lots/driveways don't expect you to be there, so they'll pull forward to get a view of where you should be - the street.

That said, the missing component in this discussion is that there are some cities - like Tampa - that are so horrible for biking and walking that the risk of riding on the sidewalk is lower, and there aren't any pedestrians anyway.

In addition to the other comments here, riding on the sidewalk is often illegal. I know it is in my city (CA, coastal city)

Sidewalks can be dangerous too. Go slow and watch out for pedestrians, doors opening, driveways and crosswalks. I prefer to stick to the road when possible.

Wow, so this happened on the same exact day I wrote this comment: http://imgur.com/a/2ktXP

Biker wasnt in sight.

The only time I was hit by a car while riding my bicycle is when I was riding on the sidewalk. Drivers are barely aware of pedestrians half the time, let alone one moving at 3-4x walking speed.

I went to court for riding on the sidewalk. Turns out it's not legal here (US, Los Angeles)

You beat me to my comment! That's a bummer you actually got a ticket for it. It's illegal where I live too, but I've never seen anyone get a ticket for it. I did have a lady yell "get on the sidewalk!" one time while I was riding down a 2 lane 1 way road. She didn't like the fact I had my own lane, which is legally what I am supposed to do. Sometimes I wish they taught the cycling rules better at the DMV...

I have a strong suspicion that this is a spurious conclusion, for the same reason that the "moderate drinking improves health" correlation was debunked: http://theconversation.com/maybe-moderate-drinking-isnt-so-g...

The study doesn't appear to control for differences in wealth. I would suspect that the population of people who bike to work skews wealthier (higher rents close to work centers, less likely to have to go from job to job).

I'm curious how many of these types of longitudinal studies are at their core just confirming the correlation between wealth and health.

  I would suspect that the population of people who bike 
  to work skews wealthier

https://www.census.gov/content/dam/Census/library/publicatio... page 12

1.5% of people with household income less than $10,000 bike to work, 0.4% of people with household income $75,000 to $99,999 do.

I'd like to bike to work but I live in a small town and northern climate making it very car friendly. Small roads and limited funds mean no bike paths other than painted lines with a bike symbol or as I call it the "there ya go" lanes.

In the last few years I see bikes sold here in Canada with giant tires 15cm (six inch) wide tires.

Driving is hard enough I can't really see biking in winter in -20C then add the windchill making it feel like -40C. No room to bike on the road either and sidewalks are never plowed until hours later.

Sounds like regular exercise cuts the risk of cancer and heart disease. There was just an article here a couple days ago about the health benefits of aerobic exercise and how gene expression changes with exercise. Combine that with burning several extra calories and improving blood flow/circulation, getting the heart moving is really important for longevity.

So here's an insane coincidence...

Look for the initial comment posted by myself on this thread, then come back to this.

Biking home I still felt uncomfortable with using the roads, so I opted for the sidewalks again and came across this: http://imgur.com/a/2ktXP

Shoutout to the commenters who were spot on with their advise.

I have to commute by train and bus (1h) and I hate it. I would prefer to spend 1h walking, or cycling, but it's just not possible.

No idea where you are, but could a bike replace the bus bit? I find that city buses are slower than bikes for most trips. If the train doesn't permit a full size bike, a folding one like a Brompton, Bike Friday, or Dahon could be worth investigating.

I'll get hit by a bus in San Francisco before cancer or heart disease ever has a chance. I tried commuting and gave up after two weeks of endless close-calls and frustrations. Pedestrians wandering into the lane were the worst, then Muni whose drivers never look, then other cyclists and finally other cars.

Can anyone speak to the effects of increased activity on metastasis?

Physical activity is good for health? Wow, that is amazing. It's almost as if we evolved to be physically active, and not sedentary.

Correlation is not causation.

But yeah, exercising is healthy. Who knew?

In the UK context people cycle in cities. London, in particular, has a serious problem of pollution.

This research answers questions about whether benefits from cycling outweigh harms from pollution (yes) or harms from road traffic accidents (yes).

they don't really. Keep in mind this is only for constant cycling...mixed cycling and commutes is actually worse than constant walking for cardio vascular incidence and mortality, and only is better overall for cancer incidence.

You're actually more at risk to die if you constantly walk than if you are sedentary (1.03 to 1.0) and more likely to die from cancer if so (1.10 to 1.0). If you only occasionally walk though, you are less likely to die of cancer than if you always walk.

I think honestly there are issues here. And why would cycling affect cancer of all things, and only constant cycling?

> why would cycling affect cancer of all things

Obesity is linked to about 20% of cancer cases.

People who cycle tend not to be obese.

"I ride 70 miles to work every day. Both HERE and HERE are as red as a fire engine."

and another relevant piece of popular culture is this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hgCqz3l33kU


I'm not sure if this is just a low effort troll or not. Cycling is good for you, the environment, it's cheaper to cycle than to drive, and to many people is very enjoyable. If you really think people who cycle are scum you should consider the irony of your statement.

Maybe you would chill out a little if you went outside for a bike ride.

It also drastically increases your chances of death or injury due to being hit by a car or having an accident.

Fair, but if you abuse the the CDC's age-adjusted cause of mortality statistics a little, decreasing the likelihood of CVD/stroke/cancer/diabetes by 2.3% would result in more lives saved than eliminating all motor-vehicle related deaths. (560 / 100k vs. 13 / 100k)


I would rather take my chances with heart disease than get mowed over by a drunk driver. Cities in USA are not designed for bikers, you are putting your life at great danger by 'biking to work'. Three of my coworkers got killed in 2015, and I seen so many roadside 'memorials' all over chicago to people who died on bike on that spot.

One attempt to circumvent a pothole ( plenty in chicago) and next thing you know you head is under a truck tire.

No thanks, I'll go the gym instead.

This defeatist attitude is a major contributor to the sorry state of bicycle infrastructure in most of North America. I respectfully suggest that if you want to see it improve, it's entirely counterproductive demonize cyclists as reckless hooligans putting their lives on the line for nothing, and instead put the blame where it needs to be: Politicians and drivers.

This statement sort of requires an asterisk in that it's entirely dependent on your schedule, city, your location within it and your capacity for recognizing and taking risk.

Some people for example would say the same things of motorcycles, yet there is no shortage of people who recognize and take the risk to ride out there.

Also, many cities have a plethora of bike paths that network through them and lanes set aside for bikes. That combined with high-visibility gear and recognizing those pain points to avoid or tread carefully mitigates a great amount of the risk you take.

It's a factor to weigh in for sure, but it's not as bad as you make it out to be. Anecdotally that's a shame about your co-workers, but for example there are dozens of people who bike to work everyday at my work and none of them have died in the ten years I've been here.

So I suppose you should really phrase that as a factor to consider rather than a blanket statement that it's not worth the risk in the U.S.

>Some people for example would say the same things of motorcycles, yet there is no shortage of people who recognize and take the risk to ride out there.

This is not an equivalent analogy there are no health benefits from motorcycles, people do it purely for fun. If you are getting someone sort of thrill biking around heavy vehicles then, by all means, go for it .

I am talking about people choosing biking for their supposed health benefits.

> many cities have a plethora of bike paths that network through them and lanes set aside for bikes. That combined with high-visibility gear and recognizing those pain points to avoid or tread carefully mitigates a great amount of the risk you take.

I only have experience with chicago lanes. There are very few of them and almost none of them are actually protected from the traffic. For example, a car making a right turn has no option but to go into the bike lane, almost no one is trained to watch out for bikes and cars mirrors are not designed to accommodate bikers. There are many many issues like this.

But as you said it would be much safer if bikers knew what they were doing but biking on street requires no tests, anyone with a bike can get on the streets with 18 wheelers. Some of these people have never driven a car and are just guessing what needs to be done. They don't think general traffic rules apply to them, like zooming past stop signs , running red lights ect. I see this on a daily basis.

Why do we allow this to happen is beyond me.

That's a fair point; I wonder if some kind of licensing program or systematic training* for bicyclists would be beneficial.

Maybe incentivize it with a tax break or something if you take the (paid) training every x years and bike to work at least x days a month on average.

* I'll draw another inappropriate comparison here and say similar to the Motorcycle Safety Foundation that designs the cirriculum for virtually all motorcycle training

drunk drivers need not be involved in order for urban cycling to be dangerous...it is just dangerous, period. It's chaos....and gravity and physics mean that sooner or later the cyclist will have an accident.

Yes agreed. people who are downvoting my comment haven't tried making a simple yield left turn on busy street on a bike.

I mostly ride to work across the CBD in my city (Perth, Western Australia).

Three times I have been knocked off my bike by cars, with many more near misses. Luckily the worst outcome was one day off work and a couple of weeks off the bike.

Perth has a car culture and urban sprawl similar in some ways to Los Angeles. Most people drive to work if they can. The majority of cars on the road during peak hour have only the driver inside (ie single occupant). Traffic congestion on the major arteries is a problem.

Encouraging more people to ride bikes to work is one way to lessen traffic and parking problems. It also reduces environmental impact and as the article states - has health benefits. The state government here also encourages cycling and other car alternatives for commuting for these reasons.

My regular year-round cycle commuting has inspired a some of my colleagues to try it over driving and/or public transport (note this is not through any pro-active evangelizing on my behalf). A few of them have converted to semi-regular cycle commuters. Other colleagues who can't convert to cycle commuting due to distance, time or family constraints have been inspired to restart recreational cycling.

So while I am painfully aware of the risks of cycle commuting I also believe that leading by example is a powerful thing.

The more cyclists on the road, the more accustomed car drivers become to their presence which should lead to safer driving behaviors.

However, if no one is willing to take the risk of cycling on the road, how will it ever get wider adoption and acceptance?

People who get on the road go through govt regulated test to certify them to be capable of using the road and know what are the rules they are supposed to follow.

I've seen people who have never driving a vehicle buy a bike from walmart and ride next to 18 wheelers on the road.

That to me is insanity , why are people supporting this?

I see motorists conflate irresponsible cyclists with all cyclists all the time and this argument(? if it is one, I'm not sure what the argument is) doesn't hold any water.

Also, The next time you are on the road take a look around you and note how many drivers are distracted by their mobile devices. Just because the motorist has gone through government regulated tests doesn't mean that they are obeying the law.

If you're not comfortable with that, you just post up on the other side of the light and then resume when traffic flows in that direction.

You are being down voted because you assume if you don't cycle to work, you can't cycle at all, and if you cycle, you must always mix with traffic.

>You are being down voted because you assume if you don't cycle to work, you can't cycle at all

Well the topic at hand is 'Cycling to work'

you ended your post with going to the gym, implying a fitness strategy that excludes cycling entirely due to cons associated with bicycle commuting

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