Do you want to know why the Dutch consistently choose their vintage-like city bikes over mountain & road Bikes?
Safe and Social Cycling.
Tip 2. WHY RIDING A CITY BIKE CAN CHANGE AND SAVE OUR LIVES
Now you know what the benefits of Cheetah (road) and Kangaroo (mountain) cycling are. As modern and sophisticated they can look like, these bikes might not be the most appropriate in an urban context. Especially if you want more comfort, less danger and ultimately see the number of cyclists increase in London.
Where do City Bikes Come from?
City Bikes like we know them today, were designed in the UK in the 19th century (1885) and originally called “Safety Bicycles”. Their superior design allowed everyone, including women, elderly, children, to ride faster and in a safer way than their precedents. They gave the chance to ordinary people, rich and poor alike, to broaden their horizons beyond the neighbourhoods in which they lived and to discover a new-found sense of freedom of movement. They were the symbol of a great societal revolution, especially by asserting women and facilitating the suffrage movement.
Since then, we have never invented a more practical bike than a city bike aka ‘Safety Bicycle’ to ride for the daily routine and city scene. Find out more about 5 advantages.
What are the benefits of city bikes?
On a city bike, which greatest characteristic is to give its user an upright, nearly standing position, we can:
1. Rest our Back and Neck
The upright position allows us to have your head, body and legs aligned. This is very comfortable and very similar to the position you have when we walk. A lower position obliges cyclists to unnaturally bend their neck to look well in front of them. In addition, hunching over instead a sitting upright brings more stress on the body because of gravity.
2. Use our Hands and Be Social
Both mountain and road bikes force cyclists to share their weight on both their saddles and handlebars. That means that these cyclists need to keep their hands on their handlebars otherwise they would fall. An upright position on a city bike, where the weight is mostly placed on the bottom, and where there’s no pressure on the hands, allows us to use one hand or even two – if we’re very skillful – to, for example:
- Indicate where we’re going! I can’t stress enough how important it is. Let’s be civic cyclists please my friends.
- Blow our nose or scratch our chin.
- Hold an umbrella or the hand of the girl/boyfriend (very common in the Netherlands).
- Wave to a friend or a beautiful girl / handsome guy… or do some other gestures if we feel like!
3. Look around us 360°
On a race track or in the wild, we do not need to see 360 wide, but in every city and especially a busy city like London, it is extremely important to be aware of one’s environment to stay safe and not have an accident. On a road or mountain bike, the lower position prevents us from turning your head to look around, especially behind us and above car roofs!
4. Be Tall and Visible
And yes, on a city bike, we’re taller. On a ‘kangaroo’ (mountain) or ‘cheetah’ (road) one, we might be hidden by other vehicles, and it is not safe for us to be invisible by other road users, especially trucks.
5. Feel Confortable and Balanced at a Slow Speed
Gravity again, a vertical force, makes it difficult for hunched-over cyclists to stay balanced at a low speed or nearly stationary position. In an urban context, it is necessary to be able to cycle at a low speed at junctions, while overtaking buses, when we see kids playing near the road, when we cross a crowded park, etc.
Cycling just like on a race track is actually very dangerous as we might not be able to stop or deviate in time in case unforseen happens. Think, for example, of traffic lights going red, pedestrians suddenly crossing the street, or city buses pulling to or away from a stop. It’s very important to be able to quickly adapt in order to stay safe. And that’s impossible if we ride too fast.
You still think London is too hilly for a city bike? Did you know city bikes had gears too? 3 to 8 are more than enough for our London little hills. You think that the Netherlands is flat and that cycling there is effortless? See how Dutch wind falsifies this myth. That’s not a reason for them to abandon their comfortable and easy-riding bicycle.
“NL is flat -> cycling is effortless-> Dutch levels of cycling are unattainable elsewhere”. See how Dutch wind falsifies this myth: pic.twitter.com/mARRQ7INvA
— Cycling Professor (@fietsprofessor) 25 février 2017
What about trying using a comfortable city bike and see what it does to be a social and relaxed “Cycling Suricate” and to promote safe and easy cycling around us? Let’s get inspired by the Dutch and cycle everyday as easily as we walk! Read more about how you can save time and money riding the Dutch way.
Let us know what you think!
(Remember this is a satirical website about serious cycling stuff)