When was the last time you rode a bike? If the answer is somewhere between ‘can’t remember’ and ‘years ago’ then keep reading.
I’ll remind you of how cycling is good for the environment, your hip pocket and your body and you’ll be jumping back on the bike faster than you can say BMX bandit!
1. Firstly, and most importantly, cycling is so much fun! Remember riding around on your bike as a youngster? Up and down those hills, faster and faster until fear was miles behind you. Your parents would make you promise to be home by dark so you’d wish the daylight would last forever. Well, I’ve got news for you – it’s just as addictive and fun as it was back then. Except now you’re probably a little more scared of falling off. But don’t worry, that fear will pass with practice. After a few rides you’ll be all like ‘trucks, trams, buses – they don’t scare me!’
2. Safety first. You might feel as invincible as Laurence Legend (remember him?!) but sorry, you’re not. Be safe and be seen in some high vis or just very colourful clothing. Match it with a helmet, bike lights and a cautious but confident attitude towards other road users and you’ll be good as gold. Don’t forget to keep your tyres pumped up and your brakes etc in good condition with regular services too. The Bicycle Network’s magazine Ride On has some great practical info on bike maintenance. And please, whatever you do, keep your eyes on the road!
3. It’s good for the environment. March is Eco month on Amica, so this is a big point. Every time you ride your bike instead of driving a car you’re helping reduce your environmental impact. Think about this – for each kilometre you ride your bike instead of driving, you save approximately 0.3 kg of CO2. This is equivalent to the energy from running a 60 watt incandescent light globe for close to 5 hours. Five hours! That’s a lot of energy. Imagine if you rode 5km! I’m no mathematician but I reckon that’s like 25 hours which is more than a day! Imagine all of that pollution you could prevent. For more interesting facts like that one check out this fab factsheet from Deakin University.
4. Free transport! Who doesn’t love free stuff?! When cars are damn expensive to buy, run and maintain and public transport can be unreliable, using a bike to get around just make perfect economic sense. Sure there’s the initial cost of buying a bike, helmet, lock, lights and what not but compared to a car and public transport it’s nothing.
5. Great for your body, mind and soul. As you already know cycling is great for burning calories and improving your cardiovascular health, which is extremely important for reducing your risk of chronic disease such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer. But cycling is also fantastic for your mental health. There really is no better feeling than having the wind in your face as you weave in and out of all those angry people stuck in traffic or with their faces pressed up against other people’s armpits on public transport. I can’t help but laugh at them when I wizz past 🙂
6. Get to your destination faster! For me, riding to work is actually faster than catching public transport or driving. You can’t get much more of a motivator than that! And by cycling to work or the shops or wherever I want to go I kill two birds with one stone and get my daily exercise in too.
So what are you waiting for? Get on your bike and start reaping the benefits!
This fabulous post is by Shannon Crane. You can check out Shan’s bio here.