Research undertaken by TNS Global on behalf of Jyrobike suggests that 28 per cent of Brits haven't cycled since childhood.
Unsurprisingly, the pool of 1,304 adults aged 16 to 65 largely blamed a perceived lack of safety/fear of traffic on the roads (30%), as well as a lack of balance on a bicycle/mobility issues (21%).
Robert Bodill from Jyrobike said: “We wanted to get an understanding of Brits’ cycling habits away from the glitz and glamour of road races and the track and talk to ordinary people of all ages, regions and abilities. Most people don’t think of themselves as a cyclist, but the truth is, if you have ridden a bike in the last five years you are. We were really surprised with the findings.”
The figures also reveal that a further one in three (35%) Brits haven’t saddled up for more than a decade. The pool surveyed also revealed that women are much less likely to have ridden a bike since childhood when compared with men. Over a third (34%) of women haven’t ridden a bike since they were children, compared with just one in five (21%) men.
The research was commissioned as part of a wider study into British cycling habits as part of the development of Jyrobike, a new bicycle that uses gyroscopic technology to teach kids to ride in the quickest and easiest way possible and keeps adults riding for longer.
“Riding a bicycle is one of the most exhilarating things we do as kids and it’s a real shame that one in four of us haven’t got back on a bike since we were children," added bodill.
"A lack of balance is one of the main obstacles to more Brits cycling and that’s something we’re working to address at Jyrobike with the launch of our new Auto Balance Bicycle that uses patented gyroscopic technology to teach kids how to ride in a single afternoon and helps adults ride for longer.”
According to Census data, Methyr Tydfil in Wales has the lowest cycling rates in the UK, with 99.7 of the town's residents stating that they do not cycle in the 2011 survey.
Cambridge has the highest percentage of regular cycling residents at 29 per cent, followed by Oxford's 17 per cent.
The South East has the highest number of residents who responded positively when asked if they had cycled since childhood, with 76 per cent stating they had. For Scottish adults that figure is just 39 per cent.
Urban adults are nearly twice as likely to cycle regularly as those in rural areas.
Does profession affect uptake?
Research suggests that regular cycling is undertaken least by managers, directors and senior officials.
Adults working in elementary and professional occupations are most likely to cycle.
Reasons given for not cycling
Scotland: The main reason was perceived lack of safety among 39 per cent of those surveyed. Lack of fitness was given as a reason by 19 per cent.
Wales: "Lack of time" came out top in Wales, with 20 per cent saying they're too busy to cycle.
Midlands: 24 per cent blame a lack of balance and mobility here.
London: Seven per cent of those surveyed in London said they've never learned to ride a bicycle