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from the link above:
Why rich people are more likely to get on their bikes
The humble bicycle offers an economical and environmentally friendly way of travelling: attributes you would think made it a hit among those with less money to splash on transport.
But official figures reveal the bike is in fact becoming the transport method of choice for the rich, rather than those further down the earning ladder. And the richer people become, the further they cycle, according to the Department of Transport's National Travel Survey.
The poll shows that the richest fifth of the population cycle on average five times as far in a year as the poorest fifth.
It also found that those with less money are unlikely to consider cycling as a way of getting around, despite the fact they are less likely to have a car to use instead.
Poorer people appear more concerned about the stigma of riding a bike, fearing that others will view it as a sign of inferiority.
The rich, meanwhile, are likely to be more confident in their social standing so seem to worry less about how others might perceive them from their transport choice.
Those on higher incomes also tend to be better educated about the health benefits of cycling and more aware of the need to be healthy.
A spokesman for the London Cycling Campaign said: "People on lower incomes may be more concerned with the need to earn money than worrying about what constitutes healthy living or about the issue of climate change and how cycling is the greenest option."
Those with less money might be more worried about being deemed socially inferior while rich people would be more confident about their social position, he added.
People living on council estates and in high-rise blocks are also less likely to have a secure place to park their bikes.
Cycling groups believe a negative stereotyping of cyclists, coupled with a lack of education about its benefits, are deterring poorer people.
Disadvantaged groups lack cycling role models, while the aspirational sector see the likes of Tory leader David Cameron and Newsnight presenter Jeremy Paxman opting to cycle rather than drive. In comparison, footballers and pop stars are rarely seen riding a bike and most would not be seen dead using it to commute to work.
Roger Geffen, policy manager of the Cyclists Touring Club, said the growing number of white, middle class men taking up cycling risked creating a stereotype which would deter others.
He said: "If we are to appeal to disadvantaged groups, we need to get away from the Norman Tebbit approach of telling people to get on their bikes. Nothing is more likely than that to put them off.
"We need to counter the powerful status symbol of the sports car by finding iconic figures to demonstrate that the bicycle can be cool. A few positive role models could have a transformative effect."
Studies show that regular cyclists typically have a level of fitness equivalent to someone 10 years younger and those cycling regularly beyond their mid-thirties add two years to their life expectancy.
Phillip Darnton, chairman of Cycling England, the Government-funded body that promotes cycling, said bicycle sales in Britain had risen from 2.8 million in 2000 to 3.5 million in 20006.
The number of cyclists in London has risen by 83 per cent since 2000 but there has been little change elsewhere in the country.
Mr Darnton said the most successful companies in recent years had been those selling expensive brands costing more than £400. He said: "These brands have helped to turn the bicycle into a lustworthy object to own but those on lower incomes are less able to afford them."