Long, warm weekends and hazy summer evenings. Amazing blue skies and that feel that adventure is just around the corner. Summer is amazing for getting out, catching up with family and friends and exploring the world around you. All things that are great to do by bike…
1. There’s Time with Family and Friends
Cycling is a great way to spend time together as a family, or to catch up with those friends you haven’t seen in ages. Riding to the local café for a drink and a bit to eat is a great way to catch up. Fresh air, sunshine (hopefully), a chance to chat and laugh. It’s also an activity that the whole family can do together, even the smallest tyke can take part from a child seat on the back of Mum or Dad’s bike or be towed along in a trailer. Also, as it’s a low impact form of exercise, there’s nothing to stop grandparents joining in either!
2. It’s Super Easy and Convenient
One common misconception about cycling to get around is that it’s inconvenient. But what’s more inconvenient than getting stuck in traffic for 45 minutes every morning and then spending another 10 minutes searching for somewhere to park. Wouldn’t you rather be cycling along in the bike lane, past all the traffic jams? With panniers and cycling bags, it’s easy to carry all the things you’ll need for work or uni as well as that delicious crusty loaf from the bakery! Also, many employers now offer cycle to work schemes, to help with the purchase of a bike and accessories as well as having secure parking available for bikes.
3. Even If You Can’t Cycle to Work There’s the Freedom to Explore
For many of us the moment the stabilisers came off our bikes signalled our first taste of freedom. The freedom to ride our bike to the park. The freedom to go to our friend’s houses without a parent. The freedom to freewheel down a hill with your feet off the pedals and a huge grin on your face… That’s the real feeling of freedom.
Once the teenage years come around then the car often takes over as the symbol of freedom. Shake off years of sitting in traffic jams, dealing with the never-ending search for a parking space and regain that sense of freedom by jumping back onto a bike and exploring your city. There are SO many areas that are just waiting to be explored by bike. Adventure really is just around the corner when you’re on two wheels!
4. Money and the Environment
Parking fees, servicing, tolls and petrol are just 4 of the costs that spring to mind when travelling regularly by car. With cycling you have the initial outlay of buying a bike, a helmet and lights. After that the comparative costs are really rather low. You might pick up a puncture every now and then and you should get your bike serviced at least once a year.
We often talk about wanting to be greener. Cars are accountable for a large part of our carbon footprint as well as causing air pollution. Cycling regularly rather than driving is a great way of doing something that is a step towards that greener lifestyle you’ve perhaps talked about.
5. You’ll Quickly See Real Progress
On day one of hopping on the bike, you’ll be at the bottom of the hill and it will fill you with dread as you know it will kill your legs. But you put your head down and pedal as hard as you can for as far as you can. You may have to get off part way up the hill and push the rest of the way. That’s OK, everyone has done that. Next time, you go a little further up that hill and before you even realise, you’re going down the other-side. No pushing, you’ve just pedalled up the entire hill! There’s no better feeling than the day you weigh yourself and find you’ve been burning lots more calories. Depending on your weight, you can burn between 240 and 355 calories per hour when you ride between 12mph and 14mph.1
6. Avoid Having to Use Public Transport
There’s never a seat. It’s cramped. It’s often late and more often or not you’ll end up crushed next to someone’s sweaty armpits. Yikes! There’s no getting around it, public transport is a chore at the best of times. If you want to avoid the crush and get to where you need to be on time, take action into your own hands and cycle!
7. Save Time and Be on Time
If you live in a city, you’ll know all about slow traffic. One of the beauties of cycling is that it’s faster than walking and usually quicker than driving for local trips and it’s not subject to the unpredictability and delays of public transport. You can normally guarantee how long a journey is going to take you, so you can avoid stumbling into a lecture or work late.