The cycling culture is growing & taking a huge space in our society. There is a real contrast between digital technology (which is everywhere all the time) and the simplicity of cycling within the urban landscape and the beautiful countryside.
Cylists need to have the latest equipment too in order to be seen day and night. Blaze has just brought up a laser light which projects an hologram 5 meters in front of the bicycle. This means that drivers will see clearly at night (despite the blind spot of their mirrors) that a cyclist is on their left handside. The current price (September 2014) is £125 - but safety has no limit, especially when riding at night - a helmet and a high visibility aren't enough to be seen early enough by drivers and pedestrians.
The other kind of situation is the price of a new bicycle. Of course, you can find a lot of them on e-Bay or at some local market/car boot sale. Last week a seller even came towards me as he was desperate to sell a fixed gear for just £30.00 and there was nothing actual wrong with it. Already having one bike, I couldn't accept his rather incredible offer.
But there are several alternatives when it comes to purchase a bicycle.
However, sometimes and in fact more often than you think, there is an old bike in your garage. The frame is usually fine, it is all about the wheels, tyres and brakes. But, this is not really an issue! Broken Spoke Bike Cooperative (Oxford) is bringing support, help and guidance to put everything back on the road. It is a bicycle workshop: teaching everyone and anyone how to fix and ride a cycle. More details HERE.
There are more and more evening/weekend tuitions in the United Kingdom showing/teaching how to:
- adjust gears & derailleurs
- change brakes
- repair and change a broken chain
- fix a puncture
- find the right saddle and cycling posture...etc
Bikelands in Exmouth (Devon) is one of them.
There is also another kind of cycling community: Ride On Cycling in Exeter - there you can be involved too as it is a social entreprise and registered charity. It is a magical place to visit and meet other novice cyclists/riders. There is in general no pressure...a friendly and laid back atmosphere without jargon to make everybody welcome without apprehension! And it is along the historical Exeter Quay. The cycle network and infrastructure in the region is rather vast as you can go from North to South Devon (Ilfracombe to Plymouth) - that's just over 100 miles (71 are traffic free). Devon is working hard on having great cycle paths and the focus is also on recycling general waste.
A lot of abandoned or discarded bikes can get easily and rapidly a second life, because there is a real interest for riding and saving the planet as well as driving less because petrol is expensive as well.
...It is interesting to imagine what leads someone to park a bike and never come back for it... Source
If you have an unwanted bicycle visit http://www.re-cycle.org/
This project is in partnership with Halfords and the two wheeler will go to Africa where it will be very useful in many ways (over 40,000 have been donated) - see video below.
A new bike can be too pricey and the main use is to go to work and back home in the first place. Then, some individuals have a commuter then decide to invest into a better cycle. Weekends can be dedicated to long rides to escape the noisy city and the ongoing pollution.
With the Tour of Britain 2014 hitting the Southwest on 11th Spetember and having a full stage between Exmouth and Exeter - the county will be buzzing and a lot of lycra will be on show. But is cycling just a trend or is it becoming a lifestyle?
A few people are just saving money to be able to buy a bicycle even if it is an old one; what they want is a frame with two wheels. As if owning a bike is synonym of freedom.
What is certain, there are more and more bicycles on the roads of Britain whether recycled or not and part of the Country has changed attitude by taking care of the environment. The nature is eventually taken seriously by using more green energy means of transport.
The less cars the more fresh air for the population and future generations.