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In the saddle

Your article (NCE last week) looked at some of the problems facing a potential cyclist simply from the point of view of local authority road space but failed to mention any of the many other problems, eg the rider, the bike itself and the facilities required at the start and end of the journey. It takes a period of acclimatisation to be able to cycle, the first few times are often hard work.

Most purchases are cheap ATBs which make it even harder work (compared to a road bike) and do not have such basic essentials for wet weather use as mudguards. Often they are incorrectly adjusted for the rider and badly maintained.

Add to this the fact that you need a secure parking spot, get sweaty so need to change your clothes when you get to work and must have the ability to do a roadside puncture repair on the way, etc.

I have commuted by bike for nearly 25 years but gasp in amazement at some totally unprepared and ill equipped attempts. No wonder people reach for the car keys again!

Roger Preston (M), r.preston@tay.ac.uk

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