Wednesday, June 17, 2015


I have been in lots of countries where bicycling in popular, such as:

  • The Netherlands
  • Denmark
  • Sweden
  • China
  • Afghanistan.

But I have never seen the likes of the cycles in Oxford, England.  Everywhere you look there are bikes parked, bikes ridden, and bikes being walked.  It is staggering.  I understand that this is a COLLEGE town with about 17000 students, whose fastest, cheapest, most convenient form of transport is the bike.  But you see the very old and the very young on bikes.  You see women wearing skirts riding bikes.

The streets are filled with bicycles, and watching for autos is only half the battle.  The cyclists follow the rules, stop for the lights, but they don’t signal their turns much.  About a third or so wear helmets, and the helmets often seem to have lights on top.

The bikes are mostly middle-class bikes.  Raleigh was the only brand I have recognized.  They typically have very sturdy locks in place.  Some have paniers and other means of hauling a few things.  The thing I have noticed most is that unlike at U of AL, most of the bike seats are well-adjusted to the leg length of the riders.

I cycle to work when there is sufficient light and good enough weather.  It is a way to combine exercise with the necessity of getting to work- so I figure it costs me NO TIME at all.  I try to work pretty hard in my cycling, to maximize the exercise benefit.  It costs very little.  I think $25 is the most I have ever paid for one of my own bikes at UA.

One thing you don’t see much of in Oxford is… obesity!  Reckon these two things could be related?

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