I love to: Cycle

I love to: Cycle

Cycling is awesome. If you are a fellow believer then enjoy this unadulterated ode to all things two wheeled. If you are perhaps somewhat sceptical allow yourself to be convinced that a life with some two wheeled time is the best life!

Reason one: Cycling is quick

If you live in a city like me I can almost guarantee that cycling from A to B will be quicker than bus, car, tube or any other means of transport particularly if you are travelling in rush hour. There is nothing quite like having some wide boy screaming past you in a puff of smoke from his wagon only to catch up with him again at the lights – NB try not to look directly at them looking too smug. That doesn’t go down well.

Reason two: Cycling gets you outdoors

An active commute or a weekend bike ride is a great way to get a quick outdoor fix into everyday life. I’m not a morning person at the best of times but without my morning wake up blast of fresh air it’d take me till lunchtime to be of any use at work! You spot things you wouldn’t otherwise see at a much quicker rate than walking. Try not to get too into spotting, most of my near misses have been as a result of taking a prolonged gander at something I’ve spied along the road.

bike
A crisp winter cycle to the outdoors

Reason three: Bikes are cool

There is a bike out there for everyone. All are cool. Whether you are Timmy Trendy on a fixie complete with beard or steaming up hills with a secret hidden motor you’re on a bike, you’re not in a car. You’re helping yourself and the environment. You are WINNING AT LIFE.

Reason four: You can think big on a bike

Bike time is thinking time, great for pondering day to day dilemmas and thought wanderings. Then you get to thinking where could I go on this bike…Then you start to think really big. Then before you know it you’re off on the longest ride you’ve ever done, then you’ve entered some kind of race, then you think of a challenge, then at the pinnacle of thinking big you just head off to conquer the world on your bike like these people!

www.alastairhumphreys.com/adventures/roundtheworldbybike

www.tomsbiketrip.com

www.supercyclingman.com/

Bike loading for the Round Taupo cycle race in New Zealand
Bike loading for the Round Taupo cycle race in New Zealand

Where are the women cycling the world I hear you ask? For some reason we just don’t seem quite as keen, or perhaps there are hundreds of women just out for a rather long bimble rather quietly. I hope it’s the second but I’d love to hear more about their adventures. Will @zo_outdoors every cycle the world? Maybe. Watch this space.

Myths about cycling

If you were one of the cycling skeptics at the beginning of this article congratulations for getting this far and now for the icing on the cake I’ll debunk a few myths for you!

Myth one: Bikes are expensive

Yes some are but generally they are ridden by people with more money than sense and an unhealthy penchant for Lycra in inappropriate social situations. Check out the cycle to work scheme http://www.cyclescheme.co.uk/ and local charities who refurbish old bikes e.g. http://www.lifecycleuk.org.uk/bike-back

Myth two: Cycling is dangerous and scary

Confidence is key. Some have it naturally, some build it, others are taught it. Check your local area for cycle coaching it’s often charity or council funded and free. I’ve been cycle commuting for years and feel as safe on my bike as in a car. Always check to see if there is an off road route you can take, see www.sustans.org.uk or use the cycle feature on google maps.

Myth three: Lycra is mandatory

It’s NOT. But it sure is comfy and on occasion makes you feel like an athlete. People other than myself have managed to make cycling look effortlessly cool I however embrace the Lycra look for a commute and a longer ride and I have no shame!

High fashion on the bike
High fashion on the bike

If all else above has failed I give you my final trump card…. On a bike this is possible.

All this writing of cycling has made me want to plan a little cycling adventure, I’ll keep you posted.

Zoe

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