10 Reasons Why You Should Take Up Cycling in 2018
The world of cycling has enriched my life in so many ways. Either through meeting new friends, discovering new parts of the world, becoming fitter and stronger mentally and physically.
As I live in the hustle and bustle of London, I find nothing more theraputic to do at weekends than cycling out into the countryside for a few hours. To raise my heart rate , smell the crisp fresh air, feeling the wind in my hair, chatting to good friends putting the world to rights, feeling strong and powerful when tackling some hills, pushing boundaries and limits, seeing some absolutely beautiful countryside. It makes me feel ALIVE.
I wanted to share with you top reasons why to jump on a bike in 2018.
1. SEEING NEW PARTS OF THE WORLD
Cycling allows you to cover so much ground in a short space of time. You see parts of the world that you may not if by foot or car. Cycling has taken me on so many adventures. So far I've cycled across 6 islands in Japan across suspension bridges (it was stunning) cycled from London to Brussels, from Amsterdam to London, London to Paris in 24 hours, up Alpe D'Huez (part of Tour de France) and from London to Brighton and back. A quote that really hit home with me is from Ernest Hemingway:
“It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them.”
2. CONNECTING WITH NATURE
For most of us that work in an office, it's a chance to get out into fresh air, cycle through some beautiful country lanes, see some absolutely amazing views. I use it to go future house hunting. I love seeing all the big country houses and oast houses in Kent and dreaming about living there one day :). You'll cycle over rolling country hills, up tough climbs, down fast descents.
3. INCREASED STRENGTH & FITNESS
It's a low impact sport, which means less stress on your joints (less injuries) and you'll be travelling at a lower heart rate (obviously depending on how many hills you decide to climb!) so good for all ages and even pregnant ladies. You'll be working your quads and glutes, meaning a nice pert bottom!
4. OWNING A NEW SHINY BIKE
You'll discover a whole love for your bike. You'll cover so much mileage on it, it will become a very close companion that you'll clean and look after like your own baby. There's so many different brands to pick from. My favourite brand is Liv. A year ago I searched for SIX MONTHS for the right bike to train and race at Ironman Switzerland. Hayley Jane Warnes from Break the Loop recommended I take a look at Liv bikes. Liv is the first female cycling brand dedicated solely for women. Their bikes are BEAUTIFUL and are designed specifically around womens' geometry. They have bikes that range from off road, to your first road bike, triathlon bikes, lightweight bikes for hilly climbs. Their designs are stunning too. I fell in love with the Liv Envie and no other bike I saw after this, compared.
5. THE WOMENS CYCLING COMMUNITY
The amount of women taking up cycling is increasing ever year and it makes me so proud to be out cycling as a women. Cycling has a rep of being prominent in middle aged white men in lycra. Cycling clubs were previously known to be very cliquey. Thankfully there are many accessible cycling clubs opening up to women now. For example, in London there are the THREO & DIRTY WKND and QUEEN OF THE MOUNTAINS.
6. ALL THE CAKE AND COFFEE
You can plan your cycle route via a coffee and cake shop. Again, a perfect way to catch up with your friends over a cycle and coffee/cake stop.
7. POST RIDE FUEL
Food will have never tasted as good as after a long ride. My favourite post LONG ride is pizza! It's such a treat.
8. GAIN CONFIDENCE AND PUSH YOUR LIMITS
Surprise yourself by pushing your limits and barriers whilst on the bike, whether it be cycling up that mountain or hill you thought you couldn't. Cycle further than ever before, or cycle faster than before. It's an amazing feeling that I can't describe when you ride to the top of a mountain, and look down at the spectacular views, and how far you have come. It's a huge confidence booster that will be transferrable to other parts of your life.
Cycling gives such a therapeutic feeling, The continuous momentum of circling the pedals, gently breathing and raising your heart rate. Being away from the phone and technology (obviously apart from maybe a navigation system ;). I find that it's the best way for my creativity to come to life, where all my ideas and thoughts come to life. For me, it sorts my head out so I can think straight and feel positive for the rest of the day :)
10. SAVING YOUR PENNIES
Instead of boozy nights out, and hungover brunches, I'm now swapping them for early morning rides and either a mid-ride coffee/cake or post ride brunch.