Posted - January 11, 2021
Not to jump on the new year, new me bandwagon, but it really is a great time to start. We understand how difficult it can be to change up your routine and get into better, healthier habits (we are definitely guilty of taking the easy option). We also understand how great cycling is, how diverse it is, and how it can be different things to different people.
For so many of us at Cycle Solutions, it has changed our lives. Along with it being our whole world, cycling is our job, hobby and something we can’t really get enough of. Cycling doesn’t have to mean heading off on a 100km epic on a lightweight road bike, it can be whatever you want it to be. Whether that’s taking your e-bike on a five mile commute or heading out into the hills on a loaded up touring bike. It really is whatever you want it to be!
Whether you’re getting back into it or you want to cycle more in 2021, setting some goals for the year ahead is a great way to start. Whether that’s joining a group ride, hitting a certain number of miles a month or mastering some new skills, it’s up to you. Hopefully this list will help get you motivated and onto the bike, we can’t wait for the year ahead and are already planning some rides and adventures. Here are five reasons to choose cycling in 2021!
It’s a great way to get around
If you’re not used to getting around by bike it can take some getting used to. But with the likes of e-bikes, bike bags, folding bikes and racks, it’s never been easier to get around and take everything you need. As long as you get kitted up with the right stuff (such as waterproofs for bad weather) cycling is a fast and efficient way to travel.
Leave crowded public transport and traffic jams behind. Not everywhere has good cycling infrastructure, we’re well aware of that, but a quick search may reveal a cycle lane, group or route that you can join or try. It’s well worth joining a local cycling group or signing up for a British Cycling Breeze women’s ride or guided mixed ride so you can get to know your area a little better if you’re not feeling too confident.
Cycling isn’t just for transport, it’s a great way to enjoy some downtime, get some exercise, meet new people or do something with family. As we said before, it can be whatever you need it to be.
It’s never been easier to get a new bike
Whether you take advantage of our flexible finance options, the Cycle to Work scheme that we provide, or even finding a bargain in our nearly-new selection, we have many ways for you to find your perfect new bike. We may be a little biased but the Cycle to Work scheme allows you to make fantastic savings and get either a bike or accessories (or both) and pay for it monthly. Check if your employer offers Cycle to Work as an incentive, if not get in touch and we’ll be happy to chat to them about setting up the scheme (it’s free and super easy!).
The mental and physical benefits
A survey by cycle insurer, Cycleplan revealed that 75% of people noticed an improvement in their mental health when they cycled. The results also showed that the respondents were able to sleep better, were less stressed and were more able to relax. Now we’re not saying that this will come easy, for many who haven’t been on a bike in a while it will take some getting used to again, so start small and work your way up.
Cycling is also great for your heart and lungs giving your cardiovascular health a boost. Regular cycling will have many benefits and help you stay healthy. Studies have shown that cycling can help prevent type two diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity too.
If you’re getting back on your bike after a while, make sure you give it a thorough check over. If you’re not sure, pop into your local bike shop and ask them if they can take a look and make sure it’s safe. If it’s a new bike it’s well worth considering the fit. If it’s a road bike, a bike fit really is beneficial. If you’re riding a mountain bike you can consider your touch points and think about bar width, stem length, seat position and crank length. A bike that fits well will be more comfortable and will mean you’ll be able to cycle longer.
It can save you money
If you commit to cycling once or twice a week (or more if you fancy it) to work or elsewhere the savings can be surprising. Filling up your car or paying a train or bus fare to get around can add up. Work out the savings you can make based on what you spend travelling, that should help incentivise you to take the plunge to cycle more.
If you still need to take public transport then consider investing in a folding bike or making sure you check out how to travel with a bike (such as booking a slot on the train). If you’re worried about not being able to take what you need there are a number of storage options such as panniers, messenger bags, racks and more to enable you to carry what you need when you cycle.
Here’s why we ride, and why we think you should too
“I bought my first decent MTB when I lived in the wilds of west Wales with no car, so it was used to ride to work and explore the area. I always loved being out in the countryside anyway, and on a bike I could cover much more ground. I soon moved into racing, and found I thoroughly enjoyed it, and that dominated my life for the next few years until I started a family. From early on, I loved the sense of community, and have made lifelong friends because of riding. I have also been to parts of the world I’d never otherwise visit, whether that’s an April day riding cobbles in Belgium, or a baking day on the edge of the Sahara. Or a muddy field near Milton Keynes.
These days, I ride a bike so that I can get out to places that feel like wilderness, with like-minded friends. It keeps me fit and sane. It allows me to eat more cakes and biscuits. On the way to work last week, I saw foxes and owls, and Venus setting as the sun came up. I can’t imagine not riding a bike – it would be like not breathing, or not eating.” - Jon Parker
“I gave up mountain biking around 15-years ago. To be honest, I was (and still am) out of shape and just didn’t enjoy the slog to the top of the trails enough to make the downhills worthwhile. But, that all changed two years ago when I tried a Specialized Turbo Levo FSR e-MTB. Like many others, I had a preconception that e-Bikes were just heavy and cumbersome and wouldn’t really recreate the feeling I got from mountain biking back in my twenties. How wrong I was!
I would never have got back into mountain biking if it wasn’t for the assistance I get from an e-Bike. I love the fact that the uphill trails and fire roads I used to loath are now just as sporty and challenging as the downhill sections. I now get to ride routes and trails (that I would have struggled to get up without the need for a defib!) two or three times in a session. And I enjoy the whole ride, not just the downhill bits.
I loved my Levo, and they are great bikes for anyone wanting to get back into mountain biking like I did. I have though just upgraded to the new Orbea Rise M10 and that has taken my riding to another level. It’s light (for an e-MTB), nimble, and forgiving. Now I can’t wait for the weekends and will try and get out night riding at least once a week with the help of the powerful Moon Canopus light.
Whether riding at night or in the day, come rain or shine, you can’t beat the exhilaration and freedom that you get from an e-MTB.” - Steve Edgell
“Like so many women I got introduced to the sport because of a partner. My partner, Chris grew up cycling and although he hadn’t cycled as much when we met, when he encouraged me to try mountain biking it was something we could enjoy together.
I can’t say it was plain sailing diving right in with a downhill bike but I’ve essentially gone backwards and tried different types of cycling over the past few years. I mostly mountain bike but also ride road and gravel too. We’ve met so many amazing people and done so many great things because of the sport, including travelling around Europe to ride. I don’t think I could be without it now, I don’t ride as much as I’d like but always feel so much better once I have.” - Lauren Jenkins
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