“Cyclists aren’t going to go away,” Sir Bradley Wiggins has told The Guardian. “As the issues grow with cars, and emissions, and all these things – and roads getting busier – cycling is only going to get more popular; become more of a means of transport. So we’re going to have to learn to co-exist.”
Wiggins was in London, speaking at the launch of his new range of children’s bikes. He told the newspaper how impressed he was with the early stages of the new East-West Cycle Superhighway, describing the project as ‘superb’.
“People are aware at the moment that there is a boom in cycling. But as that boom becomes the norm and 20 years pass we may get to a stage where we’re like an Amsterdam. I can’t see it not happening, to be honest. I just think governments will put initiatives in place, like the new bike highway they’ve got down on Embankment, things like that.”
When in the capital, Wiggins says he frequently gets about on a Boris Bike (“if it’s not raining”) and he increasingly feels there’s safety in numbers for cyclists.
“Although it’s quite hectic in London, chaotic, there’s a lot of cyclists. You never feel alone. I always feel like you’re part of a group. There’s enough cyclists now, people commuting, that you’re not a minority any more. That’s a good thing.”
He also describes himself as being ‘quite sensible on the road.’ “I tend not to jump lights, I tend not to ride all over the road, or eff and jeff or whack cars and things – because I’ll be the one in the Daily Mail the next day. I feel slightly responsible, to be a role model.”
Looking ahead to the Olympics in Rio, he reiterated that it would most likely represent his final event in top level racing, even if he does continue to ride with Team Wiggins afterwards.
He also feels that Great Britain’s final medal haul will be significantly lower than for the ‘crescendo’ of London. He predicts three to four gold medals on the track, the team having won seven in 2012.
“But it would be something to top London – everything was building towards London, in every sport, it felt, right from when Lottery funding started in 1997. It reached a crescendo and I think it will dip a bit. We’ll still be successful but I don’t think we’ll repeat London. Maybe in time.”