March marked my 1 year cycling anniversary! And what an AMAZING year . . . Cycling has become a huge part of my life, and as I look forward to all the things I want to achieve on my bike this coming Summer, I thought I’d share the top 10 reasons I love it so much, and why I think everyone should join the cycle life
- The views – rolling countryside, picturesque villages, looking down over entire cities after a tough climb – the great outdoors is free and there’s so much of it to take in! You’ll discover the prettiest of places – and you may find they’re right on your doorstep.
- Cycling can take you anywhere! – As your fitness and confidence on the bike builds, you can look at cycling further and further afield, even planning trips that take you abroad. Literally, the options of exploration are endless!
- Be part of something – as I’ve discovered via this blog, the cycling community is such a supportive and encouraging one, and there’s plenty of cycling clubs and organised group rides around, so you need not cycle alone.
- It’s (very) hard work at times, and you’ll definitely feel that a lot within the first few months, but the sense of achievement and satisfaction you can get from each ride, is like nothing else. Every ride offers an opportunity where you can feel proud of yourself; you cycled a mile further, conquered that hill with one less rest stop (or without resting at all!), you finally got the PB you’ve been aiming for on that Strava section!. . . The progress can be constant and it’s tailored to you!
- It’s not a competition with others – it can be, of course – professional cycling is all about the team (and obviously beating other teams!), and there’s plenty of amateaur races that you can get involved with. But for me, it’s me against myself. Me, my bike and I! It’s a sport you can do at your own pace, setting personal targets and goals.
- You don’t need any previous experience, or any particular ‘credentials’ to get on a bike – If you learnt to ride a bike as a child then you’re good to go!
- If your other half rides, it’s something you can do together. Getting into cycling with my partner has honestly been the most amazing journey. I love that we can go out on evening and weekend rides together, discovering new places as we pedal around the South West, and beyond. . . as I get better!
- Fitness – As well as all of the above benefits, cycling is of course a great form of fitness; it burns calories aiding any weight loss goals you may have, your endurance will improve with every ride – increasing your overall cardiovascular fitness levels, and as well as being a great overall workout, it of course particularly targets the lower body – with cycling exercising all of the major muscle groups in the legs; quads, glutes, hamstrings and calves.
- As well as being good for ones fitness…. I have also found a bike ride to be a good reason for a cake stop! Only when cycling those longer distances though… of course 😉 When we’re out on a day’s ride, one of the perks is that tea and scone stop – and if you’ve read much of my blog you’ll know that these feature quite often as a highlight!
- You’ll look forward to it – for all the reasons above, it’s exercise that you’ll look forward to – mainly because the fact that it is great exercise . . . is just a bonus!
For those with concerns about cycling on the busier roads – have a look at this link for helpful advice on road safety. The page also provides a further link to cycle training courses – And advice for motorists!