nearly as many reasons for cycling as there are cyclists. If you
are thinking of leaving the car keys behind, but suddenly
develop a severe case of procrastination every time someone
mentions a bike, we are here to gently educate you and answer
any questions you may have as a potential cyclist.
Cycling is Good For You
Only 30% of men and 20% of women are as fit as they
should be for their age (British Medical Association).
Cycling can greatly improve your health: you will feel and look
better. Even moderate cycling every week can give you the health
and fitness of someone ten years younger.
A little cycling could also decrease your chances of
heart disease. Heart Disease rates would fall by five
to ten per cent if one third of all short journeys (less than 5
miles) were made by bike (CTC Bikes Not Fumes, 1992).
"Won't my bike get stolen?"
No guarantees here, but be sensible and lock your bike, even
when 'just nipping into the shop for a paper'. A British Home
Office survey of crime found out that the odds of having your
bike stolen were the same as having your car stolen.
"Isn't cycling in traffic dangerous for my health?"
There is now evidence to support the view that a car driver
breathes in twice the amount of carbon monoxide that a cyclist
does on the road. The Government have now accepted the fact that
pollutants inside the car are higher than out.
"But cycling is so slow."
Not so. In large cites motorised traffic is now slower than it
was in horse drawn Victorian days.
There have been lots of Commuter Challenges in recent years,
where the time taken to tavel a commuter route using different
forms of transport was compared. One such Commuter Challenge
commissioned by Strathclyde Regional Council summarised that:
For distances of two miles or less, a bicycle has a
clear advantage over a car and public transport.
For distances up to two miles walking is just as fast as
For distances of five to seven miles cycling is still
faster than a car and does not have the disadvantages of
Overall - cycling, walking and public transport were the
most sensible modes of transport for commuting in terms
of health and economic and environmental well-being.
Cycling is fun, it's a great way to spend leisure time, plus
it's a stress reliever - you don't suffer from 'road rage'.