For me, there is no better feeling than that of riding through the streets with the wind in my hair and a smile from ear to ear. Just me and my bike and the city around. But I've lost count of the number of times my friends have begged me not to cycle around London. They've heard too many horror stories, seen urban cyclists come to a nasty end on the big screen and - more recently - they've heard all the gory details via the Times Cities Fit for Cycling campaign.
My friends are not alone. A survey released yesterday by Sustrans shows that a whopping 56% of people in the UK think our roads are unsafe to cycle on.
Up until recently I'd have immediately attempted to reassure my concerned pals, explaining that I work for a cycling organisation so understand the risks and know how to stay safe. I'd tell them how careful I am: I avoid renowned hazards - like undertaking HGVs and buses - and make sure I'm high vis-ed up to the eyeballs.
But my feelings towards city cycling have changes since I fell pregnant a few months back. I feel a heightened sense of the risks given the responsibility I've now got. I'm still getting on my bike but when I do, it's with a far greater awareness of the risks. It IS scary out there sometimes but it shouldn't be.
I challenge the notion that we should just give up our streets to cars. Cyclists, and pedestrians, have an absolute right to use our streets and shouldn't feel scared off by cars and lorries.
This Thursday will see MPs debate cycling safety in the House of Commons. It's bound to generate strong feelings all round - whenever this issue comes up cyclists blame drivers and drivers blame cyclists and MPs are likely to be no difference. The question of who's to blame is the default response to the issue but it's actually a massive distraction because safer streets would benefit everyone - including motorists.
I don't want my child to be afraid to cycle to school - and I certainly don't want to be one of those parents who is too scared to let my children get out and about independently. But until things change - with slower traffic, more cycling lanes and better training for everyone - I'll certainly have more reservations about cycling gung-ho through the city than I did in the past.
As a Londoner, it seems clear to me that there are a few easy wins which would changed the way that I, and many other people, feel about cycling in the city. Reducing vehicle speeds to 20mph is the single biggest thing which would make me not only feel but also be safer. Seeing London become a City of 20 like Manchester and Liverpool are about to become would make a world of difference.
If you, like me, want to see speeds dropped in places where we live work and shop and where our children play, then please sign up to support the Sustrans Free Range Kids campaign.
Follow Eleanor Besley on Twitter: www.twitter.com/Eleanorbesley