People think cyclists are cooler, smarter and more charitable - survey

BHF says ride London to Brighton and become even more cool, smart and nice

by John Stevenson   January 10, 2014  

London to Brighton (CC licensed by youngie:Flickr)

Cyclists are seen by the general public as red light jumping Lycra louts, right? Not according to a study by Mindlab International for the British Heart Foundation (BHF), which has found that people consider cyclists to be 13 per cent more intelligent, 13 per cent cooler and 10 per cent more charitable than the average person.

In the survey of 600 adults, almost two thirds even admitted to liking Lycra, and 23 percent would choose to go on a date with a cyclist over a selection of other sportspeople.

The survey used an ‘implicit association test’ to probe people’s subconscious attitudes towards different sports. The test revealed that people think cyclists have a unique blend of intelligence, generosity and the cool factor.

Many people also seem to think cyclists know lots of useless information. More than one in four (27%) would want a cyclist on their pub quiz team, but only 18 per cent would trust the trivia skills of a footballer.

The British Heart Foundation commissioned the research to draw attention to its annual London to Brighton Bike Ride, which has its 39th edition on June 15 this year. A fixture of the cycling calendar since the 1970s, the ride has grown from a handful of mates to almost 30,000 riders, making it the largest charity bike ride in Europe, according to the BHF.

Explaining the research methods, Mindlab founder and neuropsychologist Dr David Lewis said: “Because Implicit Association Tests measure unconscious responses, they are able to reveal what people truly believe. They provide insights into people’s beliefs unbiased by any desire to conform to the opinions of others. These results indicate we view cyclists as possessing attributes of which they can be proud."

And that includes raising funds for charity. Nancy Prior, head of events at BHF, said: "We see over 28,000 riders descend on the capital for our London to Brighton Bike Ride each year to raise much needed funds for life-saving heart research, so we have always known that cyclists are a pretty special bunch. These results just confirm that the rest of the nation feels the same."

Entries for the London to Brighton have opened early this year. To find out more or sign up, visit the British Heart Foundation London to Brighton Bike Ride site.

19 user comments

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In the survey of 600 cyclists

Fixed that for you.

Work harder. Buy a tank.

userfriendly's picture

posted by userfriendly [229 posts]
10th January 2014 - 13:30

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It's true that cyclists tend to know a lot of useless information, but i've yet to find the pub quiz that tests your knowledge about gear ratio's, lactate threshold and obscure Kazakh sprinters from the 1980's, so how much use they'd be i'm not sure...!

I don't know much about 'implicit association tests' but the experts seem to be suggesting that even as a motorist is swearing and attempting to clip you with their wing mirror, deep down they find you cool and smart and would quite like to take you out for dinner Laughing

ragtimecyclist's picture

posted by ragtimecyclist [118 posts]
10th January 2014 - 13:33

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I think they meant cold rather than cool. Most of the time in this country cyclists are cold.

posted by Simmo72 [274 posts]
10th January 2014 - 14:04

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Publicity for the (already) overly busy London to Brighton which perhaps feels its position is being threatened by the new charity jaunt through Surrey !
Don't let me put you off raising money for BHF but this is not a serious bike ride unless you:
a) get off & walk at every slight incline,
b) (probably) ride a poorly maintained mtb,
c) like queuing at road junctions/to get a drink etc
d) enjoy annoying anybody that lives on the route !
Add into the mix that the train company don't seem to put on any extra provision for carrying bikes for the return journey (at least on the 2 occasions I did it) & you have an excellent day out !

Timsen

posted by Timsen [32 posts]
10th January 2014 - 14:58

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ragtimecyclist wrote:

I don't know much about 'implicit association tests' but the experts seem to be suggesting that even as a motorist is swearing and attempting to clip you with their wing mirror, deep down they find you cool and smart and would quite like to take you out for dinner Laughing

Perhaps it's similar the playground tactic of a lad pulling a girls pigtails and pushing her when secretly he fancies her (or vice versa).

posted by farrell [1311 posts]
10th January 2014 - 15:04

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So you saying that when a car clips my bottom with their wing mirror, secretly deep down they are drawn in by my impressive pert lycra clad butt cheeks and want to give me a thorough going over. Well Sir, I can tell you, I am not that easy. How very dare you.

Kind regards
Pippa Milddleton, new cycling spokesman for non ugly who look good in lycra.

posted by Simmo72 [274 posts]
10th January 2014 - 17:06

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>More than one in four (27%) would want a cyclist on their pub quiz team,

Err..possibly 'cos we're quite good at knowing our hydration needs, and therefore guaranteed both to buy a round when appropriate and take the quiz team kittie to the bar when folks are running low Smile

posted by JonD [177 posts]
10th January 2014 - 17:54

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Timsen wrote:
Publicity for the (already) overly busy London to Brighton which perhaps feels its position is being threatened by the new charity jaunt through Surrey !
Don't let me put you off raising money for BHF but this is not a serious bike ride unless you:
a) get off & walk at every slight incline,
b) (probably) ride a poorly maintained mtb,
c) like queuing at road junctions/to get a drink etc
d) enjoy annoying anybody that lives on the route !
Add into the mix that the train company don't seem to put on any extra provision for carrying bikes for the return journey (at least on the 2 occasions I did it) & you have an excellent day out !

Yup, did it for the first and last time in 2013.

Too many people, and especially too many walking up hills. No bikes on trains that day either.

On the plus side, the Ditchling climb is very real, and a gps recorded 51.2mph down the other side was memorable. In contrast to the road ride, the L2B offroad was great

posted by allez neg [4 posts]
10th January 2014 - 18:02

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People must be right...for once Party

posted by jarredscycling [436 posts]
10th January 2014 - 21:27

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You forgot to mention :

1) Don't close the roads,
2) Don't stop motorist overtaking packs of weaving cyclists then cutting back into (through) them knocking them over (twice),
3) Crash heading down one of the steep hill towards the M25,
4) Never, EVER, take bikes on the trains to London or from Brighton and make you cycle back home again afterwards, with Southern Railway in particular employing bouncers at stations that eye everyone out with suspicion

Yet I still do it every year.. not sure why when I do 2x that distance every week at a minimum.

Extra bike? What extra bike dear?

goggy's picture

posted by goggy [87 posts]
10th January 2014 - 21:42

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I'd go on a date with me.

Don't buy upgrades. Ride up grades. (Merckx)

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posted by obutterwick [527 posts]
10th January 2014 - 22:03

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Generally people just think I'm mad

Follow me on-
Twitter - @StuKerton
Strava - http://www.strava.com/athletes/931095

stuke's picture

posted by stuke [302 posts]
10th January 2014 - 22:24

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Regarding London to Brighton and trains:

If eve just half those doing the ride wanted to get trains back to London afterwards, that means moving 12,500 cyclists and bikes.

A 12-car southern train can seat about 730 people (there's variations).

Trains to and from Brighton are already very busy in the summer. So you're really looking at putting on extra trains. Without even considering where they put bikes, just to move the people would require 17 extra 12-carriage services. Remember this is on a frankly conservative estimate of only 50% wanting to go back up to London. And this doesn't take into account bikes.

Anyone know how many coaches and lorries are hired in to provide transport?

posted by Al__S [494 posts]
11th January 2014 - 12:03

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77% that wouldn't go on a date with a lycra clad cyclist are probably put off by all that useless information we spout at them.

Always wondered why talking about bottom brackets out clubbing gets me an odd look or a slap.

THE ONLY WAY IS BIKE

posted by lushmiester [156 posts]
11th January 2014 - 12:39

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Wasn't he an Uzbek ? And without reverting to zwokopedoa (it's a typo but just believe me when I lie and say it is the Cyrillic version). Err, Djmolodine Abdoujaparov. Definitely was a clean living man !

posted by SimonT1971 [35 posts]
11th January 2014 - 14:04

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The question related to sports, which means Pro's from the Olympics and SPOTY, not us lawbreaking w*****s who clog up the roads, don't pay "road tax" etc etc!

posted by BikeBud [96 posts]
12th January 2014 - 2:22

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[[[[[ Do the BHF London -Brighton, if you don't mind being one of about 545 "riders" in every mile of the route. Not for me, ta. One's wife did it, on her Dawes Galaxy 531. (Eeeks!) But she is actually quite cool and smart.
P.R.

PhilRuss

posted by PhilRuss [271 posts]
12th January 2014 - 4:05

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"and 10 per cent more charitable than the average person"

me "well yesterday I rode out to XXXX and back"

questioner " what charity was that for"

me "99% the time I just ride for fun"

questioner "oh, not for charity then?"
Worried

posted by antigee [144 posts]
12th January 2014 - 10:23

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Al-S; ... whilst appreciating that trains do not materialise from nowhere in almost any other sphere this would be considered a business/marketing opportunity to get involved in !

Timsen

posted by Timsen [32 posts]
13th January 2014 - 14:51

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