We all know what a new year means – new year’s resolutions.
This new year, make yourself a promise to yourself that isn’t about dieting, denial and strict self-discipline.
Why not make a resolution that’s a lot of fun, will benefit your health, and will do your bit for the environment. Oh, and did we mention you’ll make a tonne of new friends too?
Many of us have a bicycle that’s cluttering the garden shed or storeroom and has got forgotten. The kind of thing you might have bought during lockdown and went overlooked when the world opened up, or maybe it needed a new chain and you never got around to it.
Either way, this is the time to get back in the saddle!
Maybe you’ve forgotten just how much fun you can have on the bike. You’re out in the fresh air, you’re getting some exercise, and maybe you’re getting the groceries while you’re doing it.
What’s not to love?
And don’t just take our word for it. Science says that cycling is one of the best hobbies too.
A recent study by Public Health England investigating the benefits of regular, moderate-to-vigorous physical activity – of which cycling is an excellent example – points to many amazing upsides.
Here are just a few of them:
- A 28 percent reduced risk of all-cause mortality in adults
- A significantly reduced risk of cardiovascular disease
- A lower chance of developing obesity
And let’s not forget just how much cycling can help the environment.
Swapping out short car journeys for a short trip in the saddle will help reduce pollution, reduce the use of fossil fuels, and help protect biodiversity. As the recent UN Climate Change Conference pointed out, we all need to do our bit – and you can help while keeping healthy!
HERE ARE SOME OF OUR TOP TIPS FOR TURNING YOUR BIKE FROM A FORGOTTEN FRAME SITTING IN YOUR SHED TO A NEW BEST FRIEND AND YEAR-LONG HOBBY:
Get it checked out
First things first, make sure it’s good to ride.
Drop your bicycle down to a local shop for a service by those that know best to make sure it’s safe and squeak free! A well-serviced bike makes a better ride.
Get a few key pieces of kit
There’s no need to go mad and go full-lycra (unless you want to), but a few good pieces of clothing will make your bike riding a lot better.
A good pair of shorts with a chamois pad and a wind- and rain-proof jacket will take you a long way. And whatever you do, get a helmet!
Make it social
We bet you know someone who is a regular cyclist already. If you don’t, nearly every town and village have a cycling club.
Hooking up with others for a bike ride is a great way to keep motivated and learn new skills. And a friend made on a bike is typically a friend for life!
While cycling is great for fitness, you don’t have to turn it into a chore. Even a short 20-minute ride will be great for the head, heart and lungs.
Keep it simple, keep it fun, and you’ll soon find you’ve landed a long-term and sustainable hobby.
Make 2022 the year you get back on the bike.