The pharmaceutical and beauty industry makes millions from our desire to stay healthy, look younger and avoid illness, but as yet no such company has come up with the miracle elixir that provides all of these benefits – if such a pill did exist it would be hailed as a wonder drug.
Luckily for us the panacea to combat many of the scourges of humanity already exists. Study after study have shown that riding your bike can reduce the risk of contracting diseases by up to 50%.
Cycling improves a person’s mental health, reduces weight gain, makes our environment a better place to live and so on. But despite all this we continue to ignore the benefits that cycling can bring us as an individual and as a society as a whole and continue with our dreams of a remedy for our ailments.
Part of the reason for this may be the perceived dangers that cycling can bring, but risk is associated with many things, including driving our cars in congested streets, and I for one would rather ride my bike and benefit from the health gains it provides than not do so because of a potential accident.
In reality I think the real reason behind our unwillingness to ride bikes is the perception of the effort involved. The medical community has been encouraging us to be more active for decades and despite gym memberships rising and cycling and running becoming more mainstream the general population becomes increasingly sedentary and unhealthy.
One reason may be that an active lifestyle is seen as an add-on to our daily lives, rather than being part of it, and as such can become an inconvenience rather than just something we do. Cycling to work is one aspect of this and some people think the faff and time involved outweighs the benefits.
In fact, a short commute by bike can take less time than the same journey in a car. I have often sat in a traffic jam in my car looking on enviously as cyclists have easily flowed through the traffic. It reminds me of the old adage: “You’re not stuck in traffic, you are traffic”.
The “faff”, on the other hand, is only as much as you make it – worrying about needing specialist clothing and equipment really only obscures the fact that all you need is a bike to jump on to and start pedalling. It really is that simple.
Cycle to Work Day is on September 13 and is the fifth annual celebration of getting people riding to work. The day aims to encourage adults across the UK to get on their bikes and try out cycle commuting. It’s not only aimed at individuals, but also employers too, offering them an opportunity to promote active travel and healthy living among their team.
With so many opportunities available to get affordable bikes now, from Bike to Work schemes to recycling projects such as The Bike Station in Perth, there really aren’t any excuses not to try riding to work. If you’re looking for a way to improve your health, mood and waistline then cycling to work is a no-brainer and the Wednesday September 13 should already be a date in your diary.
Join the Blazing Saddles Strava Club at: www.strava.com/clubs/BlazingSaddlesWeekendCourier
When to Ride? Cycle to Work Day
When: Wednesday September 13 2017
Suitable For: Anyone and everyone.
Description: If you haven’t cycled since you were at school then the mention of cycling to work can instantly throw up all sorts of barriers in your mind as to why it would never work for you. All of these barriers are myths. You don’t need expensive bikes, or specialist clothing (although good weather-proof clothing does help in inclement weather). If you don’t fancy riding in traffic most towns and cities have traffic-free routes that can get you to where you want to go. Even if you feel your skills aren’t up to the job there are many places you can go to now for cycle training from learning to ride to advanced skills riding on busy roads.