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Reasons to ride a bike

Words by Cycles UK

on 17/01/2020 16:16:49


what are the reasons to ride a bike? It's an important question because the strength of the answer dictates how easily you can be dissuaded. Is there a better time than a new year to review the reasons to ride and how to overcome the reasons we don't.

I recently read an article which echoes what I have found myself saying to various colleagues and reps when discussing our cycling habits "road riding feels more dangerous".

I started road cycling properly after years of mainly commuting and using my bicycle as my primary vehicle for short journeys. I quickly fell in love with those vast 4-6 hour road rides through the Essex and Suffolk countryside. I've been lucky only to have a handful of close calls all of which involved motorists overtaking and leaving no space, well aware that a pothole would have been the difference between my ride becoming a disaster.

So what's the answer? I still love road riding so much, so I brought myself a new road bike this summer, but I don't road ride in winter. I've been unfaithful and started Mountain biking. It feels like a relief being able to focus on nothing but speed and technique without distraction. It will inevitably improve my road-handling come summer when I plan to get back out on the roads early Saturday and Sunday mornings. It doesn't surprise me that Gravel is now hugely popular — the perfect mix of road and mountain technologies. Gravel is versatile, adept and elegant while successfully conjuring notions of great adventures in foreign lands and still being perfect for your morning commute. Mountain bikes are also back; those robust, agile bikes never fail to impress me. A mountain bike is a bike you can rely on to get you through anything. Any apocalypse plan I have would always include a mountain bike! I got the Mountain bug so bad I'll ride in the pouring rain and come home covered in mud!

It's hard to ignore the fires in Australia or the floods in Jakarta. We can all do our bit to help the environment. One way we can do our bit and improve our health is to take the bike instead of the car for short journeys. Car journeys of 5 miles or less are some of the most significant contributions to climate issues created by the public. Affecting our air quality which recent studies have shown is particularly bad in several parts of the UK. There have never been so many options available to make cycling an appealing alternative to a car. One you may not know much about is electric bikes. Available in all shapes and sizes, from town bikes to full suspension mountain and even road bikes. Electric bikes exist to ease your journey up a hill/mountain or reduce the chances of working up a sweat on your commute. E-bikes are perfect for the more mature rider that doesn't want to give the saddle up but needs a less intense workout.

Cycles UK has a collection of electric bikes in stock purely for you to test ride. We understand that such new technology is best tested first hand. Simple factors such as; can I get the bike up the stairs to my flat, etc.? are critical to ensuring you get the best service from us. I've included details at the end of this blog.

The by-product of riding a bike is the money you save. Even an expensive bicycle will save you thousands and last for years if you look after it. Servicing and educating yourself on how your bike works are essential. Most people can temporarily fix a puncture and if you're a regular rider changing an inner tube and tyre are as basic level knowledge as a runner tying a shoelace. Bikes benefit from regular servicing, at least once a year. A new bicycle should always be followed up by a 6-week checkup.

Finally, health, I know that riding not only makes me feel good for doing the activity it also improves my mental health. For years I didn't believe that physical activity could make a difference to my mental state. I think because although always active I didn't notice anything, that changed when I started to exercise regularly. I recently had a back injury which stopped me from riding. It was so bad it woke me up at night. I spent most of the summer just feeling drained and pretty discouraged about everything in general. Eventually, I saw Chiropractor and discovered the importance of the right stretches, Yoga/ Pilates, which I would recommend to anyone who rides weekly. You can perform some simple yoga moves at home, which you can find online or invest in a yoga book for cyclists; there are loads out there. The moral of the story is my mood lifted, and I can get back to eating pretty much whatever I fancy, within moderation.

Test ride electric Bikes

A few of the bikes available to try are Cannondale Treadwell Neo hybrid, The Urban Canvas neo, Tesoro Neo, ideal for Touring, Habit and Trail Neo full suspension mountain bikes and the Raleigh Stow-E-ay folding bike. Test rides are available at Cycles UK stores upon request. Please speak to your local store to arrange a ride.

Our free accessories worth 20% of the bike* runs until the end of January. So bag yourself a great deal while doing your bit for the planet.