Why is Cycling Not Popular in India? (10+ Reasons Discussed)

by | Aug 20, 2023 | Tips & Guide

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The United States and the United Kingdom are two examples of countries where cycling is both a popular mode of transportation and a popular sport. One can reasonably wonder, ” Why is cycling not popular in India? “

We’ll go over ten of the reasons why cycling is not popular in India in this post. The governments of other nations, such as the US and the UK, encourage bicyclists and make sure they have safe, dedicated lanes.

However, in India, cycling is hardly promoted and drivers rarely give cyclists the respect they deserve. Furthermore, nobody in India helps cyclists—not even the government takes any action to support them.

There are several explanations. Let’s go over each of the causes one by one.

The reasons why cycling is not a popular sport in India are as follows: I read a lot of papers, conducted a type of study with a hundred individuals, and conducted a poll on social media.

Please leave a comment below with any other reasons you may have. We’ll also include them.

1. India’s Dangerous Road Conditions

why is cycling not popular in india - An image showing multiple potholes on a road

Indian roads are in bad shape, For this and other similar reasons, cycling is not popular in india & cycling has yet to catch on in India. Whether using a motorbike, walking, or any other kind of public or private transportation, everyone is affected by this issue.

In India, many people avoid bicycling because they fear about their safety on the roads. When they travel, they go for autorickshaws and buses. This is not the case in all of India’s states, but poor roads can be found in almost any region in the country.

2. Excessive Levels of Pollution

A child riding a bicycle in smog wearing a mask due to pollution level

Everyone in Delhi experiences the highest degree of pollution after Diwali, during every winter. When in fact they are a mixture of pollutants and smog, many mistakenly believe they are smog.

The poor air quality index isn’t only a problem in Delhi; it’s a problem in several states across India. However, India is still a growing nation, and ways to combat the high amount of pollution are being developed.

In India, the majority of beginner cyclists avoid lengthy rides because of this issue.

India’s high pollution levels prevent Indians from taking up cycling as a sport or pastime.

What actions can we take to lower India’s rates of pollution?

  • Reduce or eliminate your use of plastic.
  • Riding bicycles is a great way to protect the environment.
  • Cease using the woodstove and do not burn plastic or any other substance.
  • Taking use of public transportation and limiting our automobile use is an option.
  • Don’t light firecrackers; this is one of the main causes of Delhi’s excessive pollution.
  • Quit burning forests and smoking.

City Cyclists (HBO) : Here’s How Much Pollution You’re Actually Inhaling, 

3. Road Safety Is Not Enough

road sign of construction ahead.

The lack of dedicated bike lanes on Indian roadways contributes to an increase in traffic accidents in the country. In developing nations, accident rates are greater; in India, they have risen to 1.3%, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Two-wheeler riders, including motorcyclists and cyclists, are typically the ones who fall prey to this. The majority of accidents happen when people ignore the red light of traffic signals. On Indian roads, consider the following tips for when riding a bicycle.

Recommendation: The Indian government needs to promote cycling and prepare to build dedicated bike lanes. Those people shouldn’t have to go through any pain just to enjoy riding bicycles or two-wheelers.

4. Increasing the Use of Spinning Bicycles

group of person riding  spinning cycles.

Because spinning bikes are increasingly often used in gyms, the number of road bicycle riding in India has been declining.

One explanation for this may be that people are generally lazy or that they are unwilling to explore the outdoors.

Cycles can help you exercise for at least 15 to 30 minutes a day. Getting fit and maintaining your health may be achieved through cycling. Cycling is a great way to become taller, too.

5. Cycling is not promoted by the government

a group of cyclists going for a race encouraged by people around

The government in India does not give cyclists the same consideration as it does in other nations, which is one reason why cycling is not popular in India. Although bikers follow the same traffic laws as everyone else, these rules are not in their favor.

In India, cycling is a sport that is becoming popular, but the government there treats the activity more as cycling a hobby.

The bicycles’ backs are equipped with neon stickers that make them more visible at night and in low light. The Indian government, if it’s serious about cycling’s future, must come up with excellent plans for the development of the sport across the country & make more innovative ways to promote cycling.

6. A number of roads prohibit cycling

To protect public safety, the government has outlawed riding bicycles on a number of roads and highways as most cyclists jump red lights. While the safety of the people is the top priority, the government could tackle this by creating dedicated bike lanes, as is the case in other nations.

Bicyclists in India have to deal with drivers who frequently drive or ride in hazardous situations on Indian roadways. Therefore, India needs dedicated lanes for bikers.

7. Bicycles Can Be Expensive

a expensive model of giant a cycle brand

Although there is a large selection of bicycles, purchasing the ideal sports bike can be somewhat expensive. There are several types of cycles. Depending on the cycle’s intended use, you can choose any form of cycle.

Electric motorcycles are quite popular in India these days. Yulu Miracle is one of the many persons I have seen riding e-bikes on Indian highways. Almost everyone is riding bicycles instead of driving cars thanks to this brilliant idea.

You can find a good quality gear cycle for anywhere between 10K and Lacks, but this will depend heavily on your budget. Hero brands’ standard cycles only cost between 4K and 5K. Why do premium bicycles cost so much?

8. It’s Common for Cyclists to Be Bullied

a girl holding a very important message to stop bullying

No one gives a damn about cyclists. This is a major factor in the low popularity of cycling in India. Because of the heavy traffic on Indian roads, the majority of cyclists are bullied by drivers of automobiles, lorries, buses, and even motorcycles.

The roadways in India are dominated by cars and buses. Although most people aspire to own cars or bikes, not many of them are avid cyclists. Cyclists are delayed because others pay little attention to the cycle bell.

9. There are a lot of hit-and-run accidents

Bicycle riders also frequently face this issue. Everyone believes that cyclists are to blame when accidents occur.

Despite riding for more than four years, the majority of the time I’ve faced trouble because of it. They do not even bother to look for injuries on cyclists.

10.  The Risk of Theft

a bike wheels stolen even after being secured by bike lock

Bicycles are more likely to be stolen in India since there aren’t many places for people to park their bikes, thus they end up placing them on the road.

No number plates are included with bicycles, making theft easier for criminals. It is for this reason that purchasing bicycles is frowned upon and unpopular in India.

Considering that all kinds of cars get stolen, I don’t think this is the legit cause. In order to make up for your loss, you have to obtain bicycle insurance, just like other cars do.

Despite being aware of the advantages of riding a bicycle, very few individuals do so for the reasons listed above. In India, people’s attitudes about riding need to be changed.

The environment benefits greatly from riding bicycles, which emit no carbon, yet owning a vehicle has grown to be seen as a status symbol by many. They enjoy driving cars that run on gasoline. The people of the country has to favor cycling, and the Indian government need to support it like the governments of other countries do.

Important to know: Cycling Competition in India: How to enter?

Why is riding a bicycle not popular everywhere?As a working professional, it can also be time-consuming. The majority of people are time-conscious and like to save as much time they could, due to their jobs and choose to drive or use the metro rather than ride a bike.

Solution: One possible solution may be to include cycling as a physical exercise into their daily routine, even if they are unable to ride a bicycle to work. Beginner cyclists in India are often unaware of the ideal distance to ride a bicycle.

Frequently Asked Questions: 

Q1. How may cycling be promoted in India?

Prior to finding a solution, issues must first be recognized. As such, we have identified the reasons (explained above) why cycling is not more common in India, All that is left is to come up with a solution to this problems. It is necessary to have bike parking, designated bike lanes on public roadways, rules relating to bicycle safety, among other things.

Q2. Is it safe to ride a bicycle in India?

We must take responsibility for the fact that nobody is immune to the dangers of driving. Riding a bicycle or motorbike or operating a vehicle requires us to be cautious. Therefore, to be safe when riding a bicycle, always abide by the traffic laws, don’t pass other people, don’t go too quickly, and always take safety precautions.

Q3. What makes riding a bicycle a hobby in India?

Since riding bicycles is not very common in India as a hobby, most people use them for commuting and health maintenance. The Cycling Federation of India is now working to promote cycling as a sport in the country. However, not many individuals take this sport seriously.

The top ten reasons for why cycling is not popular in India have been covered in this article, but that is just half the story. It’s only when issues are identified that answers may be found.

In several Indian states, cycling is not very popular for a variety of reasons, some of which are listed above. Nonetheless, there are a significant number of professional cyclists who have been riding for years in several states, including Kerala, Karnataka (Banglore), Chennai, Kolkata, and Maharashtra (Mumbai & Pune). Karnataka’s government made good decisions for the state’s next cyclists.

In fact, my study has shown me that riding a bicycle is a common hobby and a mode of transportation among Indians. However, due to lack of information, relatively few individuals choose cycling as a sport.

We need to work together to raise awareness among the public that cycling is a sport in India and that the government need to support this by implementing certain policies.

It would be greatly appreciated if you could spread the word about this article to encourage people to start riding bicycles.


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