We love cycling! It’s obvious we do or we wouldn’t have set-up a business surrounding it! But many people hate cycling, they see it as boring and too much hassle or they worry about others on the road! So we thought we’d give you a hand in getting back on your bike and enjoying the exercise! So we’ll start off with ‘Why People Put Off Cycling’ and then tell you why you SHOULD get on your bike.
Why People Put Off Cycling
Bad Driving - Roads weren’t originally made for cars, but they dominate them now. this is one of the reasons people decide to leave their bikes at home, because somehow there are crazy drivers on the road that may or may not be able to see you. Speed limits are often ignored and this poses a huge danger to riders that are being passed at these high speeds.
Road Design - Roads are now designed for cars, usually only two cars wide and leaving barely enough room for cyclists. Cyclists also find themselves being pushed to the middle of the roads with the design of bus-stops etc.
Obstructive Structures - Cyclists not only have to deal with cars, but when their cycle lane incorporates the pavement, they often find telephone boxes etc. in their path, poorly placed to take up much of the one lane cycle path.
Fright - Sometimes cyclists scare themselves out of the saddle, this is because of… well reasons 1 – 3, they now often fear that cars, obstruction and general road design are too car emphasised and choose they’d rather not take the risk now.
Facilities - The facilities for cyclists are not very well maintained and when new ones are constructed, they soon become abused by members of the public for other things.
Past Injuries - Some riders have had genuine accidents involving all the mentioned reasons and that has in turn scared them to not ride again, or perhaps they have a past injury or niggle that they’d rather not upset by riding. Where-as some are tired of having to use public transport and want to get back out there on their bikes where they control their fate.
Road Conditions - The conditions of roads in the UK is, well…. Terrible, to say the least, the roads are often filled with rubble, litter and potholes the size of footballs. These combined with traffic and pedestrians isn’t a great mixture for cyclists to try and navigate. Roads are slowly being re-surfaced all over the UK but that’s usually not enough, when more and more potholes keep appearing.
WEATHER - We feel this is the main reason for people leaving their bike at home in favour of motorised transport. Who wants to ride in the rain and arrive at their destination dripping wet? Not many people. So they choose to take the umbrella and stick to being dry! But it is the UK after all, what else do you expect?
Why Should You Cycle?
You’ll get there faster – In the UK’s major cities (like London) it’s actually quicker to commute by bicycle than car, you’ll get there in half the time of someone driving a car, according to research by Citroen. In fact, if you drive for an hour in Cardiff’s rush hour traffic, you’ll spend over 30 minutes going nowhere, literally nowhere, and average just 7 mph, compared to averaging around 12-15 mph while cycling.
Sleep more deeply – An early morning ride might knacker you out in the short term and leave you wanting to crawl back into bed right away, but it’ll help you catch some quality shut-eye when you get back to your pillow later on in the day. Stanford University School of Medicine researchers asked sedentary insomnia sufferers to cycle for 20-30 minutes every other day. The result found that the required time for the insomniacs to fall asleep was reduced by at least half, and sleep time increased by almost an hour. Which in the world of an insomniac is a lot!
Look younger – Scientists at Stanford University have found that cycling regularly can protect your skin against the harmful effects of UV radiation and reduce the signs of ageing. Exercise also creates an ideal environment within the body to optimise collagen production, helping reduce the appearance of wrinkles and speed up the healing process. Don’t forget to slap on the factor 30 before you head out, though.
Increase your brain power – Need your grey matter to sparkle? Then get pedalling around the block. Researchers from Illinois University found that a ﬁve percent improvement in cardio-respiratory ﬁtness from cycling led to an improvement of up to 15 percent in mental tests. This is all because cycling helps build new brain cells in the ‘hippocampus’ – the region of the brain responsible for memory, which starts to deteriorate at around the age of 30. Exercise boosts blood ﬂow and oxygen to the brain, which ﬁres and regenerates receptors, explaining how exercise helps ward off Alzheimer’s and other brain problems, therefore helping to keep the brain health.
Save the planet – Twenty bicycles can be parked in the same space as one car. It takes around ﬁve percent of the materials and energy used to make a car to build a bike, and a bike produces zero pollution. Bikes are efﬁcient, too – you travel around three times as fast as walking for the same amount of energy and, taking into account the ‘fuel’ you put in your ‘engine’, you do the equivalent of 2,924 miles to the gallon. You have your weight ratio to thank: you’re about six times heavier than your bike, but a car is 20 times heavier than you.
Heal your heart – Purdue University in the US have found that regularly cycling can cut your risk of heart disease by around 50 percent. And according to the British Heart Foundation, around 10,000 fatal heart attacks could be avoided each year if people kept themselves ﬁtter and avoided fattening foods and drinks. Cycling just 20 miles a week reduces your risk of heart disease to less than half that of those who take no exercise.
Lose weight in the saddle – Loads of people who want to shift some weight think that heading out for a jog is the best way to start slimming down. or hitting the gym 50 times per weeks! But while running does burn a ton of fat, and the gym is a huge fat burner it’s not kind to you if you’re a little larger than you’d like to be. Think about it – two to three times your body weight goes crashing through your body when your foot strikes the ground. If you weigh 16 stone, that’s a lot of force! Instead, start out on a bike – most of your weight is taken by the saddle, so your skeleton doesn’t take a battering. Running can wait… Oh, and it also saves you cash from buying gym memberships!
You’ll make more money – If you’re cycling to lose weight then you could be in line for a cash windfall… Well, sort of. Research which saw 7,300 people regularly interviewed between 1985 and 2000 – to see how their obesity and wealth changed over that period. Zagorsky (The guy that performed the research) concluded that a one unit increase in body mass index (BMI) score corresponded to an £800 or eight percent reduction in wealth. So, shed a few BMI points on the bike and start earning. We don’t know if this is true but what difference does it make? Believe it and you’l be committed to losing those pounds!