Taking up cycling is one of the best decisions you can make. It's great for your health, is kinder to the environment, and will save you money in the long run too - the benefits are almost endless!
If you’ve fallen off the saddle, or you’re thinking about starting cycling for the first time, we’ve got you covered with 6 reasons to cycle in 2023.
1. Get Fitter
One of the best reasons to cycle in 2023 is simply to stay healthy and active. As I’m sure we’ve all experienced at one point, it can be easy to let your fitness slip during the winter months. It's dark and cold before and after work, so it can be tough to summon the motivation to get on the bike. A good way to counteract this is to get yourself into a cycling routine.
Having a set schedule for cycling will make taking that first step out of the door much easier, and once you’ve got the first few rides under your belt you won’t think twice about heading out again!
2. Improve Your Mental Wellbeing
In addition to the extensive physical benefits of cycling, cycling is also excellent for maintaining and boosting your mental wellbeing.
A Cycling UK survey of over 11,000 cyclists found that 91% of respondents felt that cycling was fairly important or very important for their mental health, while 71% of respondents to our mental health survey reported that they felt a mood boost after cycling.
Not only does exercise release endorphins that boost your mental state, but the simple act of getting out into the fresh air can have a huge positive effect on mental wellbeing.
This is particularly important if your current exercise routine involves largely indoor or gym work. While there’s always a place for rollers and exercise bikes, it’s also important not to underestimate the benefits of getting outside into the fresh air too!
3. Achieve New Goals
A new year means new resolutions, and while these can be hard to stick to, it can be helpful to set yourself a goal or challenge to complete.
You can make these as easy or hard as you like, but it's helpful to have a goal to aim towards to keep you cycling in those days or weeks where you’re lacking motivation to get on the saddle.
You can aim to build your fitness to cycle a personal best distance, aim to explore a number of new routes in a month, or even try to cycle a certain number days in a month.
4. Train for an Event
If you’re a bit more adventurous, you can take this one step further and set yourself a goal of training to participate in an event or race.
Taking part in a race is a good goal to set if you’re an experienced road cyclist, but if you’re simply a leisure cyclist there’s still plenty of fun events you can take part in without the competitive edge.
Both Cycling Ireland and British Cycling have put together event calendars where you can find a full list of events coming up in 2022 across Ireland and the UK.
5. Commute to Work
Swapping out your car for a bike on your daily commute is not only great for your health, but it comes with a host of other benefits too.
By cycling to work you’re helping to reduce emissions, and with the See.Sense app’s ride stats you can see exactly how much CO2 you’ve saved each ride.
By cycling to work you’ll also save plenty of money on fuel, and if your commute is traffic heavy, it could very well be quicker to cycle than to drive. However, even if the cycle takes a little longer, the satisfaction of incorporating regular exercise into your day is well worth it!
6. Stay Social
Cycling can provide a healthy way of staying social. Cycling with a friend comes with the added benefit of making it easier to keep up your cycling routine, as you’re more likely to stick to your ride in the cold weather if someone is depending on you!
You can also take this one step further and join a cycling club, where you can participate in group rides and build a network of similar minded people.