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I want to ride my bicycle

by Michael Turner, serious injury paralegal

It seems many of us have agreed with Freddie Mercury’s famous lyrics, a July 2021 report in the Guardian suggesting that over the past two years there has been a steady rise in leisure-time cycling. 

This rise is not reciprocated in weekday riding, however. Sarah Mitchell of Cycling UK notes that the rise in cycling is seen in longer distance rides, usually at the weekend, as opposed to shorter rides for shopping or commuting for example.

Better infrastructure will make cycling safer and easier

Sarah goes on to argue that the correct infrastructure and safety measures in our towns and cities will make it easier for people to use the bicycle instead of the car to make every day journeys.

As a keen cyclist I cannot help but agree. I am lucky enough to live in an area with near-by access to the traffic free Trans-Pennine trail which provides a great, and, it must be said, very scenic route into the heart of the City. 

In Sheffield City Centre a recent Grey to Green Project has seen previously drab concrete roads usually filled with buses, transformed into a traffic free walkway and cycle path bordered by attractive wildflowers. Whether I am walking or cycling, barely a day goes by that I don’t encounter fellow bike riders making use of the new space. 

It would be great to see similar initiatives not only throughout the rest of the city but around the country.

Environmental benefits of cycling are significant

The physical benefits of cycling are clear. The psychological benefits should not be underestimated either. In a world where climate change is coming under increased scrutiny, the environmental benefits of cycling are also significant.

To encourage more people to put the car keys down and climb on the bike instead, cyclist, and budding cyclist alike need to feel that a clear infrastructure in which they can feel safe, is available to them. 

Find out more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in supporting cyclists at our dedicated cycling section.

Analysis of government cycle count data from March to July shows pedal-powered trips were up 28% on Saturdays and Sundays across England and down 3% on weekdays against pre-pandemic levels. ”