What Are Your Thoughts During Cycling?
This is how it is for most of us – we get on our bikes, start pedalling and our thoughts pick up pace. What are your thoughts during cycling? A simple question with many possible answers. Answers as interesting and diverse as the wide range of people who use their bikes to get around urban centres all across Europe.
Worldwide Thoughts During Cycling
Kerstin, 26, Munich
When I’m cycling in the city, I’m mainly just looking out for other road users. When I’m out around Lake Starnberg, then all I think about is the birds’ twittering.
Carlos, 42, Barcelona
Especially now when it’s starting to get hot in Barcelona, I just like to avoid using the stifling underground system or sharing a bus with sweaty strangers.
Ami, 28, Graz
I think about how lovely my bicycle is.
Markus, 26, Salzburg
Spanish verbs and how to conjugate them when I’m on my way to my Spanish class. Otherwise, about my surroundings, the buildings, the river, and how I feel about the things I’m passing by.
Marion, 27, Graz
About what’s the nicest way to get to my destination. And also about more pragmatic things like avoiding one-way streets, not cycling into tramlines or where to lock up my bike so it won’t get stolen. And about how lovely and green it is in the park.
Jacob, 37, Copenhagen
About what’s the best way to get my son and daughter to where we’re going on our cargo bike.
Ilene, 22, Barcelona
Mainly about work and what I need to do when I get there. And when the weather is nice, I just think about how lovely it is. Here in Barcelona, I use Bicing, the public city bike scheme.
Meli, 29, Innsbruck
I don’t have too many thoughts going through my head. But I do sing. Well, only in my head when I’m in the city, where people would think I was crazy. When I’m on my mountain bike, I like to sing out loud. I also make to-do lists in my head.
Simon, 32, Graz
About my favourite pastime, gliding. But I don’t want to distract myself too much so I focus on the traffic.
Ida, 29, Stockholm
That I can’t keep forgetting my raingear.
Donata, 34, Graz
In the mornings, about upcoming meetings and projects. I use the 40-minute commute to gather my thoughts. By the time I get to work, I’m fully motivated. On the way home, I listen to my favourite music and think over the day at work. Once I get off my bike at my front door, I’m really glad to be home and have my work day behind me.
Sabrina, 25, Hamburg
That I’d like to buy a helmet, but they all look awful. And that our cycle paths are actually really well designed.
Oliver, 32, Vienna
I’m just constantly focussed on safety when I’m on cycle paths. Most people don’t look at all when they step on to a cycle path. I also think about how much I get to see by being on my bike. You come across amazing places and discover new streets that you’d never see using public transport.
Sieglinde, 67, Salzburg
As a “fair-weather cyclist”, I just think about how lovely the nature is and about the beautiful area I live in. Green meadows and snow-capped mountains all around me are like the fountain of youth for me. I have no time for negative thoughts, I just enjoy the weather and the surroundings.
I mostly think about how I seem to be getting in the way of motorised vehicles. Cars often don’t keep enough distance to the side. Madrid doesn’t have many cycle paths, unfortunately, and the ones we have are mostly used by pedestrians, so you need to weave your way around them. I hope things will be better in the future.
Evelyn, 25, Graz
About how great it is to travel so much more flexibly, faster and chaotically than by other means of transportation.
And those who don’t think about much else while cycling, they are like Susanne, 23, from Salzburg, whose answer was: Where I’m going.
Image © Bike Citizens (Thus the respondents remain anonymous, the images were chosen arbitrarily.)