naked bikersThese gents are putting the lie to myth No. 4 in a big way.Photo: Donna RutherfordHere at Grist, we are all about accuracy. So when it comes to bicycling, the pastime that can solve all of America’s most pressing problems (well, most of them — see, accuracy!), we’re like heat-seeking missiles in search of myths and misinformation. Our goal is simple: to get you to trade in your four-wheeled gas guzzler for a lean, clean, calorie-burning machine. Here are the top 10 myths that we debunked this year, all linked up and annotated for your enjoyment. Read on, ride on — and for god sake, put some clothes on!

1. Biking is for elitists.

Yeah, tell that to the good people of Detroit.

2. Bikes are just for young people.

Meet Lucette Gilbert, a New York bike commuter who admits to being in her “high 70s.”

3. It’s a hipster thing.

Hipster? What’s a hipster?

4. I’d have to wear Spandex.

Eat your heart out, hipsters.

5. Bikes are for terrorists!

Hmmm …

6. Biking is bad for the economy.

Oh man. I can’t believe you’d even suggest that. If you’re not careful, Elly Blue is going to open a can of Bikenomics on your ass.

7. It’s all a Democratic plot.

Uh, no, says the Governator — and it’s not just the GOP’s left-coast fringe. Check out Ron Paul and his love-me-some-bike talk.

8. It’s just for the fellas.

Shame on you.

9. It’ll make me unattractive to the ladies.

GM would like you to think so. Apparently no one told the good people at the nation’s largest carmaker that bikes are only, like, the hottest accessory right now.

10. I just can’t …

Oh yes you can. Come on, try it. Trust us. You’ll feel happy of yourself.