How We Develop Cycling – Post Pandemic
Chris Froome winning TDF number 4 – image copyright of Robert Thorpe
As a kid, I remember public information broadcasts for a variety of things, and maybe there’s an opportunity to continue with the resurgence of these, promoting both walking and cycling and laying down a better infrastructure to allow cycling to take place safer for young families. Across Europe there are superb examples of integrated cycling systems, and indeed I witnessed some in Flanders a couple of years ago, being able to cycle for miles and miles between town and then leave my bike safely in a huge covered bike park adjacent to the train station, whilst sharing a cappuccino with a friend.
It’s not about re-inventing the wheel; it’s simply about making sure that more cycle wheels are being used and that we have a healthier population, better able to cope with any future pandemic.
Bikes in Verona, Italy – image copyright of Robert Thorpe
The cycling industry has an opportunity presented to it; how it reacts will determine more than just sales figures in board rooms. It could literally change the shape of our society; a society that i truth, here in the UK has needed its shape changing for far too long. We failed to capitalise on the 20212 Olympic fever, quickly slipping back into fast food and processed meal Britain, with too many people being overweight. Looking back, the sale of school sports fields many years ago precipitated this, as too many children were no longer actively encouraged to take part in sports.
Yes, the actual shape of our population needs to change, and cycling is a proven way of not only doing this, but also of helping towards a better mental well-being – and, after the catastrophic effects of covid here in the UK and elsewhere around the world, that has to be worth working towards.
Bike park in Kortijk, Belgium, next to train station – image copyright of Robert Thorpe