In the past ten years the UK has seen a 12% increase on road cycling, whilst in London there has been a colossal 110% rise over the same period of time, due to this Briton’s are spending more than ever on bikes and enjoying a bike ride for leisure as well as commuting. Still not interested? Here’s ten reasons why you ought to ditch the car and get on your bike.
1. Get fit
Let’s face it, gym membership is expensive and who wants to sweat over a treadmill after a ten-hour day in the office? Not me. Cycling often will enable you to get fit without great difficulty, as it’s low impact you can also encorporate it into your daily commute or a shopping trip; ideal for those with a busy lifestyle. Whilst in the saddle you’ll be toning up your legs and bum, perfect! And it won’t even feel like a dreaded workout.
2. Save money
£40 a week on petrol? £15 a week on toll roads? £25 a week on parking? £30 a week on the underground? The list is endless. A good bike will set you back around £200 and though regular care and maintainence of your bicycle is essential, it won’t cost nearly as much as running your car. Leave your motor in the garage throughout the summer and you’ll see. Not only will you save money on car running costs you can ditch the unused gym membership too.
3. Olympic fever
With the gold medals pouring in we’ve all got a touch of Olympic fever, so be inspired. You might not be the next Bradley Wiggins but plenty of towns hold family friendly and more difficult bike rides throughout the summer months, suitable for all levels of fitness, go ahead and challenge yourself!
4. See more
Cycling allows you to get to places you wouldn’t be able to by car thus exploring more nature and sights at ease. Visit www.cycle-route.com for tonnes of tried and tested routes across the UK, simply select your town and explore the routes. Rated by difficulty, duration and a route description it’s ideal for those with a specific route in mind. Whether you’re looking for country pubs, spectacular scenery or eye-catching nature, exploring by bike will ensure you can do all of the above.
5. Save the planet
It doesn’t take a genius to work out that using a bike is more eco-friendly than a car as a bike produces zero pollution. The average person making a daily round commute of 8 miles could reduce their annual carbon footprint by 6%, saving 0.5 tonnes of CO2. And whilst you would think a cyclist would enhale more pollution than those in cars, buses or taxis a recent study by Imperial College London Researchers has found the opposite, cyclists enhale less pollution due to riding at the edge of the road, not in the direct line of smoke.
6. Feel happy, healthy and awake
As with all forms of exercise cycling will help you get quality shut eye of a night as well as ensuring you are happier, more awake and responsive upon arrival at work. Studies from the Purdue University in the US have shown that regular cycling can cut your risk of heart disease by 50% as well as reducing the risk of cancer. Cycling regularly increases productivity as it boosts your brain power and gives you a better chance at living longer and looking younger, here here!
7. Relieve stress
For those with a particularly stressful job cycling regularly will help your stresses and worries float away. By focusing on the pedal strokes you will block out your other concerns and give your brain a rest from your daily problems. There is a proven link between gentle exercise and the release of endorphins creating a happy sense of well-being, so after a long day at the office hop on your bike and de-stress, it’ll leave you refreshed and able to enjoy the rest of your evening (which you now don’t have to spend at the gym.)
8. It’s quick and convenient
If you commute by bike through Britain’s major cities you’ll arrive in half the time. Citroen researchers have found that if you drive for an hour in Cardiff’s rush hour you will average 7mph compared to cycling at 12-15mph, impressive! With many cities introducing designated cycle lanes you can pass the queuing congestion to the front of the traffic lights, getting you home to that glass of wine much quicker!
9. Enjoy quality time
Researchers believe that the social side of cycling may be equally as beneficial as exercise, so turn off the TV and get out and about in the fresh air with friends, family or your partner and enjoy feeling good together. The endorphins will keep you feeling warm towards eachother resulting in a happier and all round healthier relationship.
10. It’s fun!
It’s not strenuous, it’s not a chore and you won’t be filled with dread at the thought of it. Give it a go, dust of your bike and spend a couple of weeks getting to grips with it, you won’t regret it and I guarantee you’ll even enjoy it.