Five reasons to get on your bike in 2019
19 December 2018
It's easy to lack a bit motivation in January so here's a reminder of why 2019 is the year to get on your bike.
Cycling is great for the mind and great for the body. Building muscle, burning fat and lowering risk of cancer are just some of the many physical benefits of the bike. Save some money on those monthly gym fees and take to your bike instead.
Exercise also releases endorphins, the ‘feelgood hormones’: there’s nothing quite like getting out and about in the fresh air to hit the reset button in your brain. Don’t just take our word for it: a study by the YMCA found that people who are physically active have a wellbeing score that is 32% higher than people who are inactive.
We know that life can throw up big challenges and that cycling isn’t going to solve everything but taking a break on your bike and refreshing the mind can have a massive influence on your happiness.
Two wheels can take you to new places and open up new adventures.
Getting from place to place quickly, under your own steam with the wind in your hair is pure freedom. It’s no coincidence that in the early 20th century the bike became a symbol for women’s fight for the vote.
If you don’t have a bike but are tempted to try cycling, hiring a bike is a great option to get from A to B and you’re not going to get stuck in a traffic jam. There are lots of hire schemes now across Scotland – search for bike hire online to find your nearest. You don’t have to go very far to see something new: just cycling down a different street can help you explore where you live. Escape the screens, dust off the bike and enjoy your freedom.
Cycling can be a great social activity. Whether it’s a ride with old friends and family, or making new friends through a club or organised rides, getting out and about on your bike in the new year is a great way to connect with other people.
The cycle community is big and diverse, and you don’t have to ride at pace to find other fellow cyclists. Encourage your friends to join you on a bike ride, ask around at work if anyone fancies a cycle, start a whatsapp group so you can all spur each other on or join a local group. Having a regular date in the diary with other people keeps up your motivation levels and the camaraderie of riding with others is something to look forward to.
4. For the planet
If there’s one reason to cycle in 2019, it’s for our environment. Travelling by bike improves local air quality and reduces carbon emissions, congestion and noise pollution.
Switching it up and leaving the car at home for short trips is a great way to reduce your environmental footprint, especially when we consider that over half of car trips in the UK are under five miles. Next time you need to pop into town, pick up some milk from the shops or are on your way to meet a friend for a coffee and find yourself reaching for the car keys, stop and think if you could cycle instead.
Last but definitely not least, a great reason to get pedalling this year is for the sheer fun of it.
You don’t have to go out to clock up the miles, simply get on your bike and head out to enjoy the fresh air and the freedom that cycling brings. Rather than give ourselves a hard time, see anytime spent in the saddle as time well spent. Try a totally different kind of cycling, decorate your bike with some festive tinsel or freewheel through some puddles and get a bit muddy. Have fun!