Monday, June 20, 2011

The fall in numbers of people cycling

A dog can cycle.



But today, there is a starkingly unmistakable trend these days among people born in the new millenium as well as people born right before that. Increasingly, have the perfect excuse not to ride a bike - "I don't know how to". "I never learnt", etc.

Recently, I met a few people below my age and when I mention cycling, some of them surprisingly say that they don't know how to cycle. The first few times I was a bit taken aback, because I had this impression that cycling was a must-do-to-get-through-youth activity. But it isn't...

One of my previous friends, a lady who is a national volleyballer, has no clue about cycling. She has her excuses - mostly downplaying its benefits when I mention it to her. She has no idea what she's talking about.

The other was the case of 'once bitten, twice shy' parents. Another lady, whose sister got into an accident, got this OBTS syndrome and disallowed her from learning how to ride. In the end, she still enjoyed cycling, albeit behind me, in a tandem. Yet another guy friend never had another bike again after getting into an accident.

It seems that the trend is more apparent in females. Unfortunately, that's a true pity. Imagine if you had a partner that shared your interest. And I know how that feels like, it's great fun, especially when you two ride together on a tandem, going places.

There are many joys to riding, even for leisure. However, modern parents have their reservations about allowing their children the free will to go out and take a few hard knocks. Yes, riding is risky. Yes, letting your children go unmonitored is scary. Yes, accidents can happen.

But more often than not, the empowerment and possibilities with cycling beats the risks of not cycling. Unlike running, cycling can be enjoyed for hours in a healthy, weight-shedding way and you won't feel that pain you get when you were trying to pass your NAPHA or IPPT. And unlike other field-bound sports, cycling can take you to places. The same way that, unlike staying in front of the computer and playing games, cycling offers true dividends.

Not only is a bike a conveyance, it is also a toy. And that's where its magic stems from. It is functional as well as fun. It is a pity that too much protection and misinformation keep kids out of the reach of this splendid pleasure.

Now, take a look at this video to get inspired.

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