5 Excuses That Keep People from Biking & How to Overcome Them

renee moore bikearlington program manager arlington county
Renée Moore Tweet Us @bikearlington@bikearlington April 18, 2019

Renée Moore is a former Program Manager for BikeArlington.

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There are a lot of people in who don’t ride bikes for a variety of reasons. Learn what some of them are and how BikeArlington can help you start pedaling.

Over the years, we have heard a lot of reasons why people aren’t biking. Many of us assume it’s because of safety and the need to have more protected bike lanes. Although protected bike lanes are great, we’ve learned from talking to people at different events there are other reasons why people aren’t pedaling to work and other places.
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I’ve Never Learned How to Ride a Bike

This is the most common answer from people who would like to bike. Not being able to bike at all will definitely keep people from riding to work or to run errands. When someone tells me they don’t know how to ride a bike, I share with them that I learned as an adult. It only takes about three hours to learn how to do it through the education classes offered throughout the year.

I’m Afraid of Being Hit by a Car

This is completely understandable, but there are definitely ways to work around this concern. Ride on trails and avoid traffic which is possible due to the 50 miles of trails in Arlington. Sometimes though riding on the road is necessary, because a trail may not take you to your final destination. But not to worry, because the Bicycle Comfort Map is a tool that shows the low-volume streets and paths you can ride on to make the ride more enjoyable and stress free.

I Live Too Far Away from Work

Many people live a significant distance from their jobs or other amenities for a variety of reasons. Unfortunately, many of those places are designed for cars and may have limited access to buses, metro, biking, or walking. In cases like this, consider driving to the closest Metro station and ride Capital Bikeshare for the last mile of your trip to work.

I’m Overweight

Riding a bike can help you get in shape. Don’t try to do the entire 10-mile ride all at once. Build up to riding longer miles by using your bike instead of driving for short errands on weekends or riding for the first or last mile of your trip to work. You’ll be amazed at how fast you get in shape!

There are Too Many Hills

Arlington has a lot of hills, and they can sneak up on you sometimes. The good news is there are some options to help you avoid some of those hills.

Use Google Maps

Google Maps shows elevation changes on each route making it possible to avoid big changes in elevation by choosing a route most comfortable to you.

Take a bus

The Metrobus system and Arlington Arts buses are equipped with bike racks that make it easy for you (and your bike) to hitch a ride up the hills. We’ve even been given a few tips on how to conquer the hills and use the bike racks on the buses from Arlington resident, Susan McFadden.

Let’s Go for a Ride

It’s easy to make excuses for anything but we have plenty of ways to not only help you get started, but continue to ride on two wheels. If you want to learn more about biking confidently in the city, we partner with the Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) to provide adult education classes to teach you the basic skills needed to be able to incorporate bicycling into your daily routine.

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Photo Credit:

Sam Kittner/Kittner.com

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