What will make you use a bicycle? - India Renewable Energy Consulting – Solar, Biomass, Wind, Cleantech
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Poll: What will make you use a bicycle?

Ah, the humble bicycle – that two-wheeled chariot of simplicity and sweat. We pedaled this question out into the LinkedIn landscape, curious to see what it would take for the modern-day warrior to trade horsepower for pedal power.

Poll results

Electric bicycles/easy to ride 22%
Safer roads/bicycle paths69%
Feeling of looking cool 7%
Seeing others ride bicycles 2%

With a whopping 69% of the vote, safer roads and bicycle paths wheelie stole the show. It seems that the road to our hearts (and our offices) is paved with well-marked, pothole-free bike lanes. My personal choice? I’m with the majority here, dreaming of a world where cycling to work doesn’t feel like a game of Frogger.

The Crossroads

Now, tackling the daily commute on two wheels seems doable for distances short and sweet – say, under 5km. Speaking from the saddle of firsthand experience, anyone can triumph over these short treks. It’s the 5km to 10km stretch that begins to test your mettle, and anything beyond 20km? That’s when you start wishing your bike had a jetpack.

Crossing highways, navigating through truck-laden roads (oh, the tales I could tell of truck drivers and their unique interpretation of road sharing), and simply getting from A to B in one piece – it’s enough to make you consider wrapping yourself in bubble wrap. Yet, if we glance over at our friends in Europe and America, we see cyclists blending into the morning commute with the ease of a local in a coffee shop.

CEOs globally making statements

In these places, nobody bats an eye at a bicycle parked next to a luxury car because, hey, that cyclist could be a billionaire just choosing to save the planet one pedal at a time. In Britain, even prime ministers have been known to cycle, and CEOs globally are making sustainability statements by arriving at the office on two wheels, not four.

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Yet, amidst this pedaling paradise, danger still lurks on every road and junction, reminding us that it’s not about the vehicle but the velocity – how fast can you get there, and at what cost?

As for the percentage of the world using bicycles for their daily or last-mile travel, real-world data paints a varied picture. While exact global figures are elusive, cities known for their bike-friendly infrastructure, like Amsterdam and Copenhagen, see incredibly high cycling rates, with bicycles often outnumbering people! However, globally, the numbers dwindle, especially in urban areas where the car is still king.

To gear it up,

To shift gears and encourage urbanites to embrace cycling, we need more than just dedicated lanes. We need a cultural revolution that celebrates the cyclist as much as the motorist, coupled with policies that promote safety, accessibility, and convenience for all road users.

Creating a bicycle-friendly urban environment isn’t just about laying down paths; it’s about paving the way for a healthier, more sustainable future. It’s a journey of a thousand miles, beginning with a single pedal stroke. So, as we contemplate the road ahead, let’s not just ask how we can make cycling an option, but how we can make it the first choice for the last mile.



About Narasimhan Santhanam (Narsi)

Narsi, a Director at EAI, Co-founded one of India's first climate tech consulting firm in 2008.

Since then, he has assisted over 250 Indian and International firms, across many climate tech domain Solar, Bio-energy, Green hydrogen, E-Mobility, Green Chemicals.

Narsi works closely with senior and top management corporates and helps then devise strategy and go-to-market plans to benefit from the fast growing Indian Climate tech market.

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