In the U.S., cycling is generally associated with the young. Learning to ride a bike is a right of passage for kids. Young people ride bikes to school and around their neighborhoods before they are old enough to drive cars. And college students use bikes to travel to and from school and to ride around campus.
Most advertisements for cycling show happy young, fit riders. And, of course, there is a great deal of spandex clothing associated with cycling, a style primarily worn by younger people. So, cycling is seen as recreation and part of a healthy lifestyle for younger people.
That’s why what I read recently about the health effects of bike share programs was so surprising. A study published in the British Medical Journal revealed some interesting statistics about health benefits for men versus women and young versus older cyclists. Researchers from the University of Cambridge, University College London and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine set up this study to estimate the health impacts of London’s cycle hire scheme on its users. Continue reading ….