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

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.

Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.

Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.

Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.

The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.

19 comments

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userfriendly [562 posts] 2 years ago
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In the survey of 600 cyclists

Fixed that for you.

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ragtimecyclist [158 posts] 2 years ago
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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  21

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Simmo72 [603 posts] 2 years ago
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I think they meant cold rather than cool. Most of the time in this country cyclists are cold.

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Timsen [71 posts] 2 years ago
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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 !

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farrell [1950 posts] 2 years ago
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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  21

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).

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Simmo72 [603 posts] 2 years ago
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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.

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JonD [401 posts] 2 years ago
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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  1

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allez neg [497 posts] 2 years ago
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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

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jarredscycling [456 posts] 2 years ago
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People must be right...for once  36

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goggy [153 posts] 2 years ago
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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.

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obutterwick [474 posts] 2 years ago
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I'd go on a date with me.

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stuke [335 posts] 2 years ago
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Generally people just think I'm mad

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Al__S [1024 posts] 2 years ago
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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?

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lushmiester [187 posts] 2 years ago
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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.

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SimonT1971 [35 posts] 2 years ago
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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 !

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BikeBud [205 posts] 2 years ago
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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!

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PhilRuss [388 posts] 2 years ago
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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.

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antigee [335 posts] 2 years ago
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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?"
 17

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Timsen [71 posts] 2 years ago
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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 !