Keys in door

Cycling: lockdown habit to lifestyle choice

Posted: 20 January 2021

Despite the upheaval of daily life, there have been some upsides. For instance, we’ve seen a rise in ‘lockdown hobbies’. With some no longer having to commute and generally, a greater awareness of the mental health implications of the pandemic, there’s also been a focus on health and fitness,1 and appreciation for the environment and sustainability.2

Cycling has proven to be a popular and accessible method of keeping fit with an extra million cyclists on the UK roads during April-June 20203. Since March, cycling retailers have seen sales grow by 60% and sales of e-bikes more than doubled in the same period. At the end of last year, the UK cycling market was expected to be worth £2.2billion.3

Although we all hope the end of the pandemic is in sight with the rollout of vaccines, many of our new habits and hobbies are likely to remain, including the focus on sustainability. As well as the rise in bikes and e-bikes, there are other factors pushing us towards more sustainable means of travel. With the recent announcement on the ban on petrol and diesel vehicles from 20304, we can reasonably expect to see a rise in electric vehicles over the next few years.

In light of this, it’s thought that the typical UK household vehicle ownership model will change, with more choosing not to purchase a vehicle outright but exploring other options instead5. Switching to cycling as a mode of travel could become more viable, especially as towns and cities develop to accommodate this with £2billion earmarked specifically for cyclist and pedestrian infrastructure investment by the UK Government.6

Although beneficial in so many ways, cycling does pose risks which aren’t always considered by riders and owners. In a recent survey of regular cyclists by BikeBiz, 35% of respondents have been injured whilst cycling in the past 12 months.7

In addition, there are situations where a cyclist may find themselves in a potential legal dispute. This could include:

  • Buying, selling or renting a bike
  • Buying a service associated with cycling
  • Personal injury from a motorist or due to a hazard such as an unkept pothole.
Mountain bike on dirt road
Cycling insurance is available as a standalone policy and can typically include legal expenses with an indemnity in the tens of thousands. This would cover legal fees if the policyholder pursued a legal action for personal injury. If a cyclist does take out a policy of this nature, there’s a risk that they may be duplicating cover they already have under their home or motor policy if that has legal expenses cover included, so being familiar with the cover you have purchased is always important.
With so many benefits to cycling, it seems likely that its popularity will continue to grow. However, with the benefits also come risks that cyclists will need to be aware of and, where relevant, ensure they’re covered by appropriate insurance and access to legal support.
Mike Wildy
Senior Business Developer
Allianz Legal Protection