10 August 2010
Mid-life crisis fuels bike boom - not cycling?
The Telegraph puts an interesting spin on Mintel's new report on the UK bike market.
The paper, which seems quite keen on cycling these days, portrays this as a boom time for bike sales, driven by middle-aged blokes splashing out on £7,000 road bikes to recapture their youth.
It also ends on the cheery figure of 10 per cent of the population cycling 'almost every day'.
There are a couple of less optimistic notes in Mintel's abstract of the report, though. The rise in the value of sales was caused by a weak pound: the number of bikes bought - despite the popularity of cheap bikes under the Cycle to Work Scheme - was down 10 per cent.
(Electric-assist bike sales are on the increase, but that's not real cycling.)
Mintel report that "Cyclists can be divided fairly evenly into the one in eight adults who ride regularly (once a week or more often) and the similar proportion who ride occasionally (less often than once a week).
"Non-cyclists are most likely to be deterred by the perception that it is too dangerous to ride a bicycle on the road."
Ah, those damn perceptions again. Nothing a blue line can't paint over!