So many Australians love mountain biking that a network of unsealed cycling corridors, with tree roots, jumps and water crossings, would probably encourage mountain bike riders to use them for their daily commute. Road racing could be given a huge boost, if criterion circuits were built in prominent inner city locations, where spectators could gather; since most road cyclists commute to stay race-fit, raising the sport’s profile would indirectly boosts bicycle commuting, by increasing the number of people who race. Less sporty cyclists like being seen on their bikes, so let’s run cycle paths through all the café strips, main streets, or wherever crowds gather. Kids on BMX bikes should find jumps and berms in every park, like carrots luring them closer to school.
This revelation has come from the paper I’m currently drafting for this Conference in Brisbane, that I’m speaking at in July. It comes from looking at bike stores to understand cyclists’ various mindsets, rather than looking to Europe for ideas to ram into their heads, or asking cyclists leading question with spurious interview techniques. I think the plan has legs too, and would be an easy sell to a sports obsessed country. It would of course require the construction of secure end-of-trip bicycle parking stations with showers and lockers etc..
If I can get something off my chest to: there is no one style of cycling. Whether by fixie, down hill mountain bike, dutch bike, road bike, BMX, cargo bike or whatever, cycling is fun, healthy and harmless. Every style needs encouraging, by whatever means possible.