Why Cycle? 10 Reasons why you should consider cycling…

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Why Cycle? Here are our top 10 reasons why you should keep cycling, or consider starting to cycle if you’re a new or ex-cyclist.

1. Freedom

Cycling gives a sense of freedom that sitting in a car can never give – descending a hill on a bike is exhilarating. Cycling also gives greater freedom about where to go – with a bike you can often take routes that are not open to cars.

2. It’s quicker!

In many congested towns, a bike can offer the quickest method of transport. For example, in London average speeds on roads amounts to a paltry 9mph (this is actually lower than 100 years ago!) Even a moderately fit cyclist will have no trouble in beating cars and public transport through the worst of the traffic. Also with a bike, you don’t have to spend time driving around looking for parking. You can usually park exactly where you want to end up.

3. Save money

A good bike costs £200; a reasonable car will cost £5,000. With oil prices rising, cycling can also save significantly on petrol costs. The majority of car journeys are for distances less than 5 miles – less than 30 minutes by bike. These short journeys also have relatively the highest petrol costs because cars are most inefficient in stop-start conditions and when they have not yet warmed up. It is estimated that by swapping the car for the bike, the average commuter could save roughly £75 per week (source: Cycling Weekly June 19th 2009).

4. Get fit

Cycling is good for the heart and can significantly reduce your risk of heart disease, one of the biggest killers amongst developed countries. Sedentary lifestyles also contribute to other ’silent killers’ such as diabetes and high blood pressure.

5. Lose weight

Cycling is a low impact aerobic exercise and is an excellent way of losing weight. Cycling can also be combined with shopping and commuting therefore enabling you to make exercise part of your everyday routine rather than having to make special time for it. It is also a lot cheaper than purchasing a gym membership!

6. Live longer!

People can worry that they will not be safe on a bike, but the health benefits far outweigh any safety risks. Evidence suggests that, on average, cyclists live 2 years longer than non-cyclists.

7. Relieve stress

If you work in an office or have a stressful job, exercise such as cycling can be a powerful way to help reduce stress and take your mind off many problems. Exercise releases chemicals such as serotonin, which is known to promote a feeling of well being. But, also vigorous exercise is an effective way to take your mind off the problems of everyday living. Often, after returning from a bike ride, you can see problems in a new perspective, and new solutions can present themselves.

8. Its egalitarian

People of all ages and from all backgrounds ride bikes; it is the great social leveller. Rich or poor, from the University Professor to the pre-school child, everyone can enjoy cycling.

9. It’s environmentally friendly

Cycling creates virtually no pollution or greenhouse gas emissions. It provides a simple way to help make a meaningful contribution to reducing pollution and preventing future global warming. A commuter who switches his/her 5 mile commute from car to bike will save around half a tonne of carbon dioxide a year.

10. It’s Fun

The bike has repeatedly been voted the most popular invention of the past 200 years. Surveys of school children repeatedly suggest that given the choice, the majority would cycle to school. Cycling is simply great fun.

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