- Road Biking – Has It Peaked?
I think there’s a ceiling on how much more growth can be swallowed up by the roads of Britain. Already we’ve seen a lot of backlash against the proliferation of organised races/sportives around Surrey (Box Hill in particular).
I did up until quite recently ride on the road a lot, but the attitude of other road users had got a bit too much and I think this has got worse in the last couple of years. I’d put this down to the growth in number of roadies out there, whether certain road users are annoyed by the increase in numbers, I’m not sure.
Anyway, it’s made me realise that riding MTB (first love) and cross is far better in every way and numbers in the uk are still low. Head away from degla, cannock and ladybower and the trails are in the most part empty. Most of my big rides lately have been punctuated with a handful of riders over 5 hours. My local trails are always empty apart from the usual dog walkers.Posted 4 years ago
It’s possibly reached a peak in Canada with participation in Fondos and the like on the decline. How about elsewhere? If it’s dropping, what are the
golfersroadies going to do next? Plenty of people seem to be running around here. It’s not as far to fall I guess.
BTW I don’t mean commuting. More the affluent middle age / class who drop 6K on a Cervelo, wobble around a lot, crash and then return the bike three weeks later because it’s ‘too fragile’ 😀Posted 4 years agoahwilesSubscriber
jeffm – Member
I think there’s a ceiling on how much more growth can be swallowed up by the
roadscafes of Britain.
the roads are fine, 1 more person on a bike is l less person in a car, etc.
but try getting served in the caff, on a sunny sunday afternoon – it’s rammed!Posted 4 years agothisisnotaspoonMember
Our cycling clubs news group seems to hage 1-3 new members each week, not sure how much of that is new members or changed e-mail addresses but that seems like a lot of growth.
Did a quick 40 miles arround the Surrey, Berks, Hampshire borders on tuesday and only saw 3 guys on road bikes and arround 5 commuters, so were not overcrowded yet!Posted 4 years agotonSubscriber
I think we will see a bit of a decline in ‘new’ cyclists, once we have had a proper nasty cold wet winter.Posted 4 years ago
since the Olympic boost, the weather has not been too bad, hence the popularity still going.
roll on minus a few, with constant rain/wind……they will drop like flys.. 😆bokononMember
Head away from degla, cannock and ladybower and the trails are in the most part empty. Most of my big rides lately have been punctuated with a handful of riders over 5 hours. My local trails are always empty apart from the usual dog walkers.
My local trails are on Cannock Chase and I rarely see anyone – all summer, I was out once when I saw a large number of people on the chase. That’s not to say it’s never busy, it’s just that the busy times are pretty limited and you can get on empty trails at the most busy places quite easily, we’re no where near full on saturation point on the chase yet.Posted 4 years ago
Participation in our local club TT events was up 50% on last year and club runs are also a lot busier with multiple groups now (no one on 6k Cervello’s though!) Suspect some of this is the 2012 effect and that we won’t see a similar jump next year, but it’ll be interesting to see if the trend is still positive.
As for the roads being congested with cyclists, I can do 50 miles of country roads and maybe see a couple of other cyclists and a dozen cars. Plenty of room out there in the royal county of west berkshire!Posted 4 years ago
More the affluent middle age / class who drop 6K on a Cervelo, wobble around a lot, crash and then return the bike three weeks later because it’s ‘too fragile’
You might just be seeing less of them because your bike shop has got a reputation for being staffed by snobby ****?Posted 4 years agomindmap3Member
I think it depends on where you are – my local roads are pretty empty. I can do a 60 mile route and only see a handful of other people out on road bikes.
I agree that the cold will sort out the people who really enjoy it from those who have bought a road bike because its the done thing. I know that I’ll be out on the road bike a lot more now – I’m bored of cleaning my MTB already!Posted 4 years agobrooessMember
Hard to say. Still pretty high numbers commuting in London Village even though the weather’s cooling off.
Last year the numbers in my club mid-winter were around 100, same as we used to have mid-summer about 3 years ago. Be interesting to see if that’s sustained this year.
Personally I think growth rates are unlikely to be sustained but growth will still continue – driving is such a rubbish experience – at least in the South East – and we do seem to have hit a tipping point of normalising it – which has always been CTCs argument for growth.
Anecdotally there’s people at work and friends of mine who’ve been nowhere near a bike for years, who’re starting to get into road riding. I think this is in part because they see how much the ‘new’ cyclists are enjoying it and enthusing about it. It’s one thing for me to bang on about it but when they see ‘someone like them’ also loving it, they start to consider it for themselves.
Hopefully now the balance will tip and we’ll start getting less hassle …Posted 4 years agomindmap3Member
Taking part in tri events seems to be gaining poprlarity – there are a few guys at work who were MTBer’s and are now heavily into triathlon’s and training pretty hard for it too.
As far as commuting goes, I think while motoring is expensive and train fares keep going up, more and more people will be turning to bikes. I’ve noticed on my commute that there are more and more people riding to work (although slightly less now the weather is turning and the nights drawing in). We’ve had to increase the number of bike racks in our office and most days they’re pretty full.Posted 4 years agokcrMember
Sounds like you have a very narrow view of what road riding is, and possibly of cycling in general? Over 600 members in our club (riding all sorts of bikes). Anecdotally, I reckon there are more people riding road than there has been for many years, and numbers are still growing.Posted 4 years ago
Have no idea what you’re talking about and don’t really care.
Had roadbikes for over 30years, ridden with road clubs but other than the odd club TT only ever raced mtb. Mainly ride the road on my own these days and rarely ever see another rider if it’s cold/raining/dark
Don’t understand sportives
don’t care what bike others ride.
Never liked rude **** who ignore a friendly nod/smile/wave/hello.
More (expensive?) Road bikes may be being sold but as far as I can see nothings really changed.Posted 4 years ago
You might just be seeing less of them because your bike shop has got a reputation for being staffed by snobby ****?
Ooh did I touch a nerve? 😀
My question was a genuine one, and yes one based on seeing a certain demographic buying into high end road stuff with no real cycling experience. It’s their money but I wish that they would forget fashion and buy something more suitable (whether it be a road bike with more relaxed geometry, touring bike or CX bike). I don’t think that wanting people to enjoy cycling in the long term is snobby. This trend is possibly dying off a bit here and I was wondering what the road scene is like elsewhere.
Good morning Chris / Scruff 😆Posted 4 years ago
^ I don’t sell anything. As a company we never push anything on anyone. But if something is trendy, good luck trying to sell something more suitable but ‘un-trendy’ to someone who is specifically buying their way into a culture / scene.
But having a no-quibble return policy does mean that I see people finding out the hard way that a carbon bike with ‘RACE’ written all over it is not the best option for them, when we get the bike back two months after they have bought it…normally all scuffed up and the customer blaming the bike…Posted 4 years agoneilsonwheelsMember
Our roadie club sees 30+ riders out on a Saturday morning. Loads have turned to the road due to there being a complete lack of off road stuff round here. There are definitely a few all the gear and no idea types but to be they have stuck with it, on the whole most of the lads just enjoy riding of any genre. I am pretty sure if the peaks were on our doorstep then we would be riding full sussers and having just as much fun.
My main concern in with the lads who have not ridden a bike of any sort since they were a youth. Three abreast and some very twitchy riding.
As above the winter will sort the the men from the boys.Posted 4 years agokennypSubscriber
BTW I don’t mean commuting. More the affluent middle age / class who drop 6K on a Cervelo, wobble around a lot, crash and then return the bike three weeks later because it’s ‘too fragile’
I know loads of affluent middle aged and class cyclists and none of them has ever spent 6K on a bike.
As for the roads not having the capacity for more cyclists because it would upset poor little motorists, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry at that statement.Posted 4 years agocrashtestmonkeyMember
Might have been a serious question but pretty dismissive sneery attitude. No quibble return policy for 2 months? Madness.
It hasnt peaked yet, growth might be slowing but looks like its still growing in the UK – more sportifs every year and club numbers swelling.
Triathlon seems to have exploded, Munqe Chick is doing a half ironman next year (wimbleball?) and its already sold out, this years version had entries open pretty much up to the event.Posted 4 years agovickypeaMember
Our road club is mostly made up of middle aged men on expensive bikes, but almost without exception, these are guys who have been cycling seriously for 30 or 40 years. Cycling does seem to be growing more popular in our area (Peak District and Cheshire) but this seems to have manifested itself in the number of sky rides with large groups of inexperienced cyclists who apparently think they are exempt from the normal rules of the road.Posted 4 years agooldgitMember
My feeling is that folk who just want to ride a road bike are on the up still.Posted 4 years ago
The people I know or have seen that threw shed loads of cash at it seem to have gone quiet.
That’s sort of reflected in races. Lots of early booking of races and a very very high percentage of no shows on the day.
So the humble core cyclist yes on the up. The buy my way to a 1st cat no, on the decline.
Road cycling is either very pleasant, social, fun and open to all folks. Or requires hard work not cash.
Thanks Oldgit. That’s the sort of info I was wondering about.
As for some other comments, our return policy is perfectly good thanks. As shown by the fact that someone CAN return a bike after a significant length of time. The used bike just gets sold to staff and the customer can get a more suitable bike once they’ve realized their mistake, even if it’s not from us. No biggie.
Derisive attitude? Am I meant to take someone seriously who just buys a bike because it’ll look good on top of their Audi Q8? I’d rather they bought the right bike for their needs personally.Posted 4 years agoDugganMember
My mate reckons that the local running clubs near me are also really swelling up in numbers and I know I read somewhere that climbing and Bouldering etc are growing rapidly.
Kind of feels to me that a lot of outdoor activities and recreational pursuits are growing in numbers. There seems to be loads of these mud/obstacle racing things going on these days (Hellrunner, Tuffmudder or whatever) and I’m sure there never used to be much of a market for these? Maybe it’s just me though.
Can’t really think why there would be such an upsurge, it can’t just be the Olympics. I guess it’s an awful lot easier to get into a hobby and meet like-minded people with the internet now.
If you’re interested in something like Paragliding (or whatever) you can read all about it online, watch videos, join forums, join a local club online and chat to people before you even have to get off the couch. You know what you’re letting yourself in for. Or you get an idea, at least. Must be a lot easier than back in the day when you presumably had to get in your car to drive and go and meet a load of strange blokes in a field somewhere…Posted 4 years ago
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