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This is an IELTS writing task 2 sample answer essay from the general training exam on the topic of bicycles.

Learn more about my exclusive IELTS PDFs here, my online courses here, and my writing correction service here.

Dave

IELTS Essay: Bicycles

Some people say that the bicycles are a good, modern means of transportation. Other say riding a bicycle has clear disadvantages.

Discuss both view points and give your own opinion.

Many people today are taking advantage of the environmental and health benefits of using bicycles as a primary means of transportation. I am largely in agreement with this practice, despite potential safety concerns.

Critics often point out that cycling can be dangerous. This conclusion is based on numerous studies showing the fatality and serious injury rates for accidents involving bicycles are considerably higher than for most other vehicles. Even if a cyclist is wearing a helmet, the rest of their body is completely unprotected and bikes themselves do not stand up well to collisions. Added to this are the driving conditions in most major cities, where there might not be bike lanes or cars and motorbikes may not respect cyclists’ right of way. The cyclists themselves contribute to the danger if they are overconfident and try to keep up with or pass motorised vehicles.

Nonetheless, the marginally increased risks involved in cycling do not outweigh its environmental and health benefit. Bikes are a modern, clean form of transportation because they do not burn any fossil fuels or require intensive industrial production methods for their manufacturing. This is the main reason many forward-looking, environmentally-conscious cities now encourage biking to work with bike lanes and bike-sharing schemes. The second advantage is health. Cycling is great cardiovascular exercise at a time when lifestyles are becoming increasingly sedentary due to advances in consumer technology. Riding a bicycle allows the average person to get in their daily exercise efficiently on their way to work.

In conclusion, bikes may increase the odds of serious injury, but these exceptions are dwarfed by health and environmental prerogatives. Cities should therefore enact laws to help cycling flourish.

Analysis

1. Many people today are taking advantage of the environmental and health benefits of using bicycles as a primary means of transportation. 2. I am largely in agreement with this practice, despite potential safety concerns.

  1. Paraphrase the essay topic.
  2. Add a clear opinion. Read more about introductions here.

1. Critics often point out that cycling can be dangerous. 2. This conclusion is based on numerous studies showing the fatality and serious injury rates for accidents involving bicycles are considerably higher than for most other vehicles. 3. Even if a cyclist is wearing a helmet, the rest of their body is completely unprotected and bikes themselves do not stand up well to collisions. 4. Added to this are the driving conditions in most major cities, where there might not be bike lanes or cars and motorbikes may not respect cyclists’ right of way. 5. The cyclists themselves contribute to the danger if they are overconfident and try to keep up with or pass motorised vehicles.

  1. Write a clear topic sentence with your main idea at the end.
  2. Explain your main idea.
  3. Develop it fully.
  4. Move on to a second disadvantage.
  5. Develop it fully.

1. Nonetheless, the marginally increased risks involved in cycling do not outweigh its environmental and health benefit. 2. Bikes are a modern, clean form of transportation because they do not burn any fossil fuels or require intensive industrial production methods for their manufacturing. 3. This is the main reason many forward-looking, environmentally-conscious cities now encourage biking to work with bike lanes and bike-sharing schemes. 4. The second advantage is health. 5. Cycling is great cardiovascular exercise at a time when lifestyles are becoming increasingly sedentary due to advances in consumer technology. 6. Riding a bicycle allows the average person to get in their daily exercise efficiently on their way to work.

  1. Write another topic sentence with a new main idea.
  2. Develop it.
  3. Continue to develop it as fully as possible.
  4. Vary long and short sentences.
  5. Develop the second idea.
  6. Conclude with the full development of the second idea.

1. In conclusion, bikes may increase the odds of serious injury, but these exceptions are dwarfed by health and environmental prerogatives. 2. Cities should therefore enact laws to help cycling flourish.

  1. Summarise your main ideas and repeat your opinion.
  2. Add a final thought. Read more about conclusions here.

Vocabulary

What do the words in bold below mean?

Many people today are taking advantage of the environmental and health benefits of using bicycles as a primary means of transportation. I am largely in agreement with this practice, despite potential safety concerns.

Critics often point out that cycling can be dangerous. This conclusion is based on numerous studies showing the fatality and serious injury rates for accidents involving bicycles are considerably higher than for most other vehicles. Even if a cyclist is wearing a helmet, the rest of their body is completely unprotected and bikes themselves do not stand up well to collisions. Added to this are the driving conditions in most major cities, where there might not be bike lanes or cars and motorbikes may not respect cyclists’ right of way. The cyclists themselves contribute to the danger if they are overconfident and try to keep up with or pass motorised vehicles.

Nonetheless, the marginally increased risks involved in cycling do not outweigh its environmental and health benefit. Bikes are a modern, clean form of transportation because they do not burn any fossil fuels or require intensive industrial production methods for their manufacturing. This is the main reason many forward-looking, environmentally-conscious cities now encourage biking to work with bike lanes and bike-sharing schemes. The second advantage is health. Cycling is great cardiovascular exercise at a time when lifestyles are becoming increasingly sedentary due to advances in consumer technology. Riding a bicycle allows the average person to get in their daily exercise efficiently on their way to work.

In conclusion, bikes may increase the odds of serious injury, but these exceptions are dwarfed by health and environmental prerogatives. Cities should therefore enact laws to help cycling flourish.

Answers

taking advantage of exploiting

primary means main way

I am largely in agreement with I agree

practice development

despite potential safety concerns possible dangers

critics often point out detractors usually argue

conclusion realisation

based on numerous studies because of research

fatality death

serious injury rates the figures for getting hurt a lot

considerably higher a lot more

other vehicles cars, motorbikes, buses, etc.

cyclist person who rides a bike

rest all other parts

completely unprotected not safe

stand up well can withstand

collisions getting hit, accidents

added to this also

driving conditions the quality of roads, driving

bike lanes side lanes for bicycles

respect be considerate of

right of way the car/person who should go first when driving

contribute add to

overconfident arrogant

keep up with maintain the same speeds

pass motorised vehicles go around cars

nonetheless regardless

marginally increased risks slightly higher danger

outweigh stronger than

clean form environmentally-friendly way

burn any fossil fuels use oil/gas

require intensive industrial production methods need a lot of machinery to make

manufacturing the process of making something

forward-looking looking to the future

environmentally-conscious caring about the environment

encourage support

bike-sharing schemes the option to have communal bikes

cardiovascular exercise good for your heart

increasingly sedentary more and more sitting around

advances in consumer technology more sophisticated phones, devices

average person normal person

get in do

daily exercise efficiently exercising without using much time

way to work while going to work

increase the odds a better chance

serious injury hurt a lot

exceptions cases where this is not true

dwarfed a lot less than

prerogatives should be considered more important

enact laws pass regulations

flourish do really well

Pronunciation

ˈteɪkɪŋ ədˈvɑːntɪʤ ɒv 
ˈpraɪməri miːnz 
aɪ æm ˈlɑːʤli ɪn əˈgriːmənt wɪð 
ˈpræktɪs
dɪsˈpaɪt pəʊˈtɛnʃəl ˈseɪfti kənˈsɜːnz
ˈkrɪtɪks ˈɒf(ə)n pɔɪnt aʊt 
kənˈkluːʒən 
beɪst ɒn ˈnjuːmərəs ˈstʌdiz 
fəˈtælɪti 
ˈsɪərɪəs ˈɪnʤəri reɪts 
kənˈsɪdərəbli ˈhaɪə 
ˈʌðə ˈviːɪklz
ˈsaɪklɪst 
rɛst 
kəmˈpliːtli ˌʌnprəˈtɛktɪd 
stænd ʌp wɛl 
kəˈlɪʒənz
ˈædɪd tuː ðɪs 
ˈdraɪvɪŋ kənˈdɪʃənz 
baɪk leɪnz 
rɪsˈpɛkt 
raɪt ɒv weɪ
kənˈtrɪbju(ː)t 
ˌəʊvəˈkɒnfɪdənt 
kiːp ʌp wɪð 
pɑːs ˈməʊtəˌraɪzd ˈviːɪklz
ˌnʌnðəˈlɛs
ˈmɑːʤɪnəli ɪnˈkriːst rɪsks 
aʊtˈweɪ 
kliːn fɔːm 
bɜːn ˈɛni ˈfɒsl fjʊəlz 
rɪˈkwaɪər ɪnˈtɛnsɪv ɪnˈdʌstrɪəl prəˈdʌkʃən ˈmɛθədz 
ˌmænjʊˈfækʧərɪŋ
ˈfɔːwədˈlʊkɪŋ
ɪnˌvaɪərənˈmɛntli-ˈkɒnʃəs 
ɪnˈkʌrɪʤ 
baɪk leɪnz 
baɪk-ˈʃeərɪŋ skiːmz
ˌkɑːdɪəʊˈvæskjʊlər ˈɛksəsaɪz 
ɪnˈkriːsɪŋli ˈsɛdntəri 
ədˈvɑːnsɪz ɪn kənˈsjuːmə tɛkˈnɒləʤi
ˈævərɪʤ ˈpɜːsn 
gɛt ɪn 
ˈdeɪli ˈɛksəsaɪz ɪˈfɪʃəntli 
weɪ tuː wɜːk
ˈɪnkriːs ði ɒdz 
ˈsɪərɪəs ˈɪnʤəri
ɪkˈsɛpʃənz 
dwɔːft 
prɪˈrɒgətɪvz
ɪˈnækt lɔːz 
ˈflʌrɪʃ

Vocabulary Practice

Remember and fill in the blanks:

Many people today are t________________________f the environmental and health benefits of using bicycles as a p___________________s of transportation. I_______________________________h this p_________e, d_________________________________s.

C__________________________t that cycling can be dangerous. This c________________n is b_________________________s showing the f____________y and s____________________s for accidents involving bicycles are c_____________________r than for most o__________________s. Even if a c________t is wearing a helmet, the r____t of their body is c_________________________d and bikes themselves do not s______________l to c_____________s. A_____________s are the d_________________s in most major cities, where there might not be b_____________s or cars and motorbikes may not r___________t cyclists’ r_____________y. The cyclists themselves c___________e to the danger if they are o_______________t and try to k_________________h or p_____________________s.

N______________s, the m__________________________s involved in cycling do not o______________h its environmental and health benefit. Bikes are a modern, c_______________m of transportation because they do not b_____________________s or r____________________________________________s for their m__________________g. This is the main reason many f__________________g, e_____________________________s cities now e____________e biking to work with b_____________s and b____________________s. The second advantage is health. Cycling is great c_____________________e at a time when lifestyles are becoming i______________________y due to a_______________________________y. Riding a bicycle allows the a__________________n to g______n their d____________________y on their w_________________k.

In conclusion, bikes may i____________________s of s___________________y, but these e_____________s are d____________d by health and environmental p_______________s. Cities should therefore e____________s to help cycling f___________h.

Listening Practice

Learn more about bikes here and use these activities to practice:

Reading Practice

Read more and use these ideas to practice reading the news:

https://www.wired.com/story/most-bike-friendly-cities-2019-copenhagenize-design-index/

Speaking Practice

Practice with these speaking questions from the real IELTS speaking exam:

Health

  1. How can people improve their physical health?
  2. What about their mental health?
  3. In what ways can teachers encourage students to do sports?
  4. What is the role of doctors in raising health awareness?
  5. Can social media also play a role?

Writing Practice

Write about the related topic below and then check with my sample answer:

When cars and cyclists use the same roads, there are often problems.

Why is this the case?

What are the solutions?


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