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There are 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 a car.
  • For distances of five to seven miles cycling is still faster than a car and does not have the disadvantages of parking.
  • 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'.

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