Sir Chris Hoy says drivers and cyclists need to be less tribal, and accept that “we’re just people trying to get around.”
The former Olympian, a six-time gold medallist, has shared his thoughts on how to make the UK more cycling friendly, including removing the labels often put on different road users.
In an interview with The Herald, Hoy said he hopes the country can become more like Holland, Germany or Denmark, where cycling is simply a mode of transport.
He said: “The positive spin-offs from cycling....reduced congestion, reduced pollution, the general health of the nation, work-forces arriving at the start of the day alert and ready to go...the politicians are starting to understand that.
“People need to be less tribal about it. People see themselves as cyclists or drivers when in my opinion we are just people trying to get around.”
Hoy says a driving factor for the boom in cycling in the UK is the Tour de France and cycling for sport, which means people often associate cycling with racing bikes and lycra kit.
But instead he said he would like to see cycling become a go-to choice for travel, with people able to cycle in segregated lanes at lower speeds, without the need for high-vis clothing or feeling they need to wear helmets, like in Holland.
The biggest barrier for people cycling to work or school is safety, Hoy said.
Cycling levels in the UK have increased during 2020, in part due to the coronavirus pandemic as people have tried to avoid public transport and stay active.
The government has also introduced new measures in the hopes of ushering in a “golden age of cycling,” including the popular bike repair voucher scheme and freeing up funds for new cycling infrastructure.
Hoy added: "If you are absolutely determined never to ride a bike and all you want to do is drive a car then fair enough but if there are more people on bikes then there are less cars and drivers are going to benefit too.”
The best electric bike conversion kits and how to fit one
Feeling a little e-curious but don't want to splash the cash?
By James Bracey •
Best waterproof cycling phone cases reviewed
We have searched for solutions to riding with your phone, putting together seven of the best phone cases and mounts for you to view
By Josh Ross •
Sir Chris Hoy calls for end to ‘us and them’ mentality between cyclists and drivers
Sir Chris Hoy said drivers and cyclists need to put themselves in each other’s shoes to improve road safety.
By Alex Ballinger •
Chris Hoy apologises after saying he 'feels sorry for Mamils' and compares them to 'overweight football fans'
Chris Hoy has apologised for an article in which he offered style advice and said he "feels sorry for Mamils", saying that it was written tongue-in-cheek.
By Henry Robertshaw •
Chris Hoy: 'It's the right time for British cycling to have a shake-up'
Olympic track sprint gold medallist Sir Chris Hoy says that British cycling has been 'challenged' but not tarnished by recent revelations
By Nigel Wynn •
British Cycling confirms HSBC sponsorship deal
Sir Chris Hoy says the deal will "help anyone who wants to get on a bike" right up to the elite levels of the sport.
By Vern Pitt •
Sir Chris Hoy on Shane Sutton: "I have never met anyone who gave so much"
Olympic champion Sir Chris Hoy issues statement on Shane Sutton, saying that his "his uncompromising approach yielded unparalleled results"
By Nigel Wynn •
Sir Chris Hoy to race at Le Mans 24 hour event
The track legend to take on a new challenge
By James Smurthwaite •
March 23 is a great day to be born if you want to be an Olympic gold medallist
Sir Chris Hoy and Jason Kenny were born on March 23, as were Sir Steve Redgrave and Mo Farah
By Stuart Clarke •
Chris Hoy backs Bradley Wiggins to lead Great Britain to team pursuit gold in Rio
Sir Chris Hoy says says the Wiggins factor in the Great Britain squad could give them the edge over their rivals at the Olympics in August
By Stuart Clarke •