5 Reasons to leave the car at home…. Even in winter
There is quite a lot of coverage on this particular subject and that is a good thing, extolling the virtues of cycling is always worth it, what with rising CO2 emissions and an obesity epidemic raging through the developed world.
But I have found that most of the articles available have one flaw in common; they all seem to be preached by people who have never found themselves overweight, addicted to cigarettes or unable to gather the motivation to leave the sofa. So seeing as I have dealt with all of these criteria I thought I would do my version of this sage and healthy advice.
So here it goes….
- Everyone* is not as thin as they want to be and were not getting any younger…. All of us have looked at ourselves in the mirror and thought “where the F”£$ did all this flab come from??” and the reason is a fairly systemic one; in the past century our caloric intake hasn’t changed much, we eat for the most part a similar amount to our previous generations. However we do less than half the physical activity that they did, technology and time saving appliances have all helped to make our lives more sedentary and because of this we’re all piling on the pounds. So all of us need that extra exercise and cycling is a bloody good start. Even if we just go for a short ride every weekend we are at least making a start on re-addressing the activity/food intake balance. Cycling is good exercise because it’s low impact and pretty good fun. Also studies have proven that once the weight’s there it’s more difficult to get rid of once we reach 35 so there’s no time like the present ( if you are already over 35, don’t despair just do more!). (*Everyone apart from those irritating people who aren’t).
- It’s good for the air you breathe… If you have ever had to walk down the side of a dual carriageway or a motorway or even taken a deep breath at a service station you will know that unpleasant, acrid feeling of car exhaust going down your throat. This should be a demonstration simple enough for any of us that we should reduce the amount of car journeys, especially short ones. In fact most of our car journeys are unnecessary. Up to 98% of our car journeys could be done on foot or by bike. So if you’re going on a trip less than 10 miles think whether you could bike it or walk it, you’ll reduce the amount of crap your breathing in and lose weight at the same time.
- It’s safer than you think…
One of the most common excuses I hear from people who Don’t cycle is: “it’s not safe, I might get run over” and this is a thing to avoid, however if you cycle properly, taking care and making sure to look where you’re going you no more likely to get hurt than whilst sitting in your own home. And for those who are still afraid to start pedaling; take it slow, do small journeys first, even take a cycling proficiency course before you set out. Once you’re confident on your bike you’ll be fine and you never know you might even enjoy it!
- It’s not always quicker by car….The second excuse I usually hear is: “I haven’t got the time” which is frankly bulls£$%. Most of us spend more time staring at a TV screen than we do anything else. So you have the time and even if you think it’s going to be quicker to drive it’s not. Most of the time modern man spends in the car it’s stationary, usually in traffic, on a bike you can avoid the jams and often take more direct routes. For example my commute to work takes half an hour, my colleague Colin who lives a 3 minute walk from myself, takes the bus, his commute takes over an hour along the same route as my cycle ride. ’nuff said.
- It lets the inner child out….Lets face it, how many times have you thought “I wish my life was more fun”? Well the reason it’s probably not is because you don’t take the time to enjoy the little things. Cycling satisfies the inner child; just the excitement of freewheeling down a steep hill or racing against the clock makes the inner child go WEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!! so start pedaling and have some more fun!!
For cycling proficiency and tips visit: http://www.dft.gov.uk/bikeability/the-three-levels/cycling-skills-for-adults/