Busting Bike Myths

Finding the truth behind bike urban legends.

This post is in partnership with the CLIF Bar 2 Mile Challenge

Maybe it's that story you heard once about a friend-of-a-friend who got hit by a crazy driver while biking? Or the nervous calculation when you compare a 25 pound bike to a several ton car? Whatever their source, there are plenty of urban legends and misconceptions when it comes to bicycle safety and how hard it is to share the road. We’ve talked to cyclists and experts alike to reveal what's truth and what's fiction in common biking myths.

Myth: Cycling on sidewalks is safer than streets.

Not so, says Santa Monica, California-based cycling and fitness coach, Riley McAlpine, a former Cat 1 racer for Trek/Volkswagen. “It’s called a sidewalk for a reason. There are all sorts of hazards to be encountered on sidewalks including sign displays, slow moving people, children, planters, and dogs."

Myth: Riding alongside cars is dangerous.

A big rule of thumb when cycling is to avoid major streets and thoroughfares. “If possible, plan your route choosing side streets or safe roads with designated bike lanes,” recommends McAlpine. Though streets with bike lanes are safer than those without them, says McAlpine, remaining alert is mandatory (see our story on road-savvy biking techniques). “Approach every ride as if you’re a driver by understanding rules and laws and don’t assume people see you.”

Myth: Helmets aren’t necessary on the bike paths.

Kurt Snyder, an avid bicycler and resident of Fairfax, Virginia, learned the truth about this myth the hard way. “While cycling on a bike path, I had a head-on collision with another cyclist and woke up in the hospital,” he recalls. Ever passionate about biking, now he always straps on a helmet and carries identification and a cell phone when cycling.

Myth: Cycling is too tiring.

“As with any exercise, you just need to start and work your way up,” says McAlpine. “Start off easy, cycling once or twice a week to the grocery store. You’ll get used to the roads and get fit as you go along.”

Myth: Cycling to work will take longer than public transportation or driving.

Not necessarily. In fact, cycling may be the more expedient choice according to Ethan Spotts, director of marketing with Active Transportation Alliance in Chicago. “By cycling, you’re probably going to be about just as fast as someone who drives and maybe even a little faster than public transportation.” Another option he suggests? Combining public transportation methods: “Throw your bike on the bus or train for part of your commute, then bike the rest.” Another time saver is not having to look for a parking space.

Myth: Commuting to work by bike is too dirty.

“With a little bit of know-how you can safely, comfortably and cleanly bike to work,” says Spotts. He would know: Spotts commutes 10 miles to work each day. Beyond planning a route with bicycle support and infrastructure, he recommends choosing the right bike for the trip is important, too. “Choose one that’s not only the right size, but that’s set up to support your commute with fenders to keep wetness off and rack, panniers or bags to carry things (see Gear section).” As for wearing work clothes while cycling, Spotts is all for it, just make sure to place an ankle strap around pant cuffs. Says Spotts, “Biking in a suit one of the most amazing things you can do,” says Spotts. “Tails flying in the wind, tie back behind you and people waving at you as you ring your bell—it’s a blast.”

Read more about urban biking in our GOOD Guide to Biking for the Planet.

via The Howard Stern Show / YouTube

Former Secretary of State, first lady, and winner of the popular vote in the 2016 presidential election, Hillary Clinton, sat own for an epic, two-and-a--half hour interview with Howard Stern on his SiriusXM show Wednesday.

She was there to promote "The Book of Gutsy Women," a book about heroic women co-written with her daughter, Chelsea Clinton.

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Fortunately, you can cut down on the amount of waste you produce by cutting down on disposable products. And even more fortunately, there are sustainable (and cute) replacements that won't damage the environment.

Coconut bowls


Who says sustainable can't also be stylish? These cute coconut bowls were handmade using reclaimed coconuts, making each piece one of a kind. Not only are they organic and biodegradable, but they're also durable, in case your dinner parties tend to get out of hand. The matching ebony wood spoons were polished with the same coconut oil as the bowls.

Cocostation Set of 2 Vietnamese Coconut Bowls and Spoons, $14.99; at Amazon

Solar powered phone charger


Why spend time looking around for an outlet when you can just harness the power of the sun? This solar powered phone charger will make sure your phone never dies as long as you can bask in the sun's rays. As an added bonus, this charger was made using eco-friendly silicone rubber. It's win-win all around.

Dizaul Solar Charger, 5000mAh Portable Solar Power Bank, $19.95; at Amazon, $19.95; at Amazon

Herb garden kit

Planter Pro

Put some green in your life with this herb planter. The kit comes with everything you need to get a garden growing, including a moisture meter that helps you determine if your herbs are getting the right amount of food to flourish. All the seeds included are certified to be non-GMO and non-hybrids, meaning you can have fresh, organic herbs right at your fingertips.

Planter Pro's Herb Garden Cedar Planter, $39.00; at Amazonedar Planter, $39.00; at Amazon

Reusable Keurig cups

K & J

Keurig cups are convenient, but they also create a ton of plastic waste. These Keurig-compatible plastic cups are an easy way to cut down on the amount of trash you create without cutting down on your caffeine. Additionally, you won't have to keep on buying K Cups, which means you'll be saving money and the environment.

K&J Reusable Filter Cups, $8.95 for a set of 4,; at Amazon

Low-flow shower head


Low-flow water fixtures can cut down your water consumption, which saves you money while also saving one of the Earth's resources. This shower head was designed with a lighter flow in mind, which means you'll be able to cut down on water usage without feeling like you're cutting down on your shower.

Speakman Low Flow Shower Head, $14.58; at Amazon

Bamboo safety razor


Instead of throwing away a disposable razor every time you shave, invest in an eco-friendly, reusable one. This unisex shaver isn't just sustainable, it's also sharp-looking, which means it would make a great gift for the holidays.

Zomchi Safety Razor, $16.99; at Amazon

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