Like many things, cycling has its myths. There are are few that exist.
You don't need to be fit to ride a bike. In my experience fitness come up quickly, fast than any other sport that I've tried. As will anything, start slow and find your own pace and speed.
You don't need a lot of stuff to start. Most people will start with borrowed items to get started. Invest in a good helmet. I know that there is controversy about this, but I'm sure I've been saved by one. I know many others who say the same. I don't care how safe a riding you think you are. You can't predicate the actions of others and accident are what they say.
Like any sport, it can be costly, but it doesn't need to be. You can buy second hand and start with cheaper items.
You don't need to know where you are going. I know a lot of women who say that they have no sense of direction. Whether that is something to do with our brains or our culture. I do fear it the latter. Anyway, sometimes it is easier not to think where you are going. There are rides organised by British cycling, various sportive and cycle clubs. Cycle clubs often have beginners' rides and members who are willing to take out a newbie.
Cycling is relatively safe. You are far more likely to come to harm as a pedestrian. Compare to Europe are safety record is not so good. I do think cities like London add to the poor figures and of course, you had to take responsibly for yourself. Don't get me started on the people who jump lights etc.
Two links about keeping yourself safe on the road and figures. British Cycling and Cycling UK.
The Bottom Line
Your backside will be sore. Yes, there is some truth, there is a certain amount of 'hardening-off', as a friend put it. The right fit, saddle, chamois cream and of course shorts. It will minimised or even end discomfort.
Overall it a pretty good sport for those of us who don't consider themselves sporty. But of course, I'm biased. ;)
Photo credits: Rob Percy (main image)