Clock change has come and passed, and with it has brought longer evenings, warmer weather, and plenty of reasons to get out cycling.
To mark clock change and the increase in daylight hours, we have compiled some of the key benefits of cycling this spring. If you’re considering taking up cycling, this will hopefully provide the motivation to take that final step and get on the saddle - and if you're an experienced cycling veteran, you can sit back and take pride in the positive effects cycling has brought to your life!
Enjoy the Longer Evenings
Most people can relate that it can be easy to fall into a routine of spending the majority of your evenings indoors - especially in the shorter, darker days of winter. Cycling to work, or incorporating an evening cycle as part of your after work routine, is a great way of counteracting this as we enter the longer evenings of spring and summer. Getting out into the evening sunshine is also a surefire way to give yourself a free mood boost.
It's important to remember to keep your bike light equipped while cycling this spring. It’s a common mistake to think that bike lights are only for cycling in the darker evenings. 80% of cycling collisions occur during daylight hours, so it's important to stay safe and equip a daylight visible bike light during these brighter evenings. You can read more about daylight visibility here.
We know it, you know it; taking up cycling is one of the most effective ways to keep active and incorporate exercise into your lifestyle. This is commonly known, but the benefits of a more active lifestyle really are enormous and cannot be overstated. Increased cardiovascular fitness, reduced body fat levels, stronger muscles, reduced risk of cancer and heart disease, increased mobility, reduced stress - the list is almost endless.
It is recommended to get at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week, which can be easily achieved by swapping out a few car journeys for the bike. Best of all, cycling is low impact, meaning you’re much less likely to sustain injuries than a high impact activity such as running.
A Useful Mental Boost
Getting out for a cycle this spring is a fantastic way to improve your mental health. Regular physical activity is one of the main ways to keep spirits high and reduce stress, and getting out into the fresh air is a great way to boost your mood. Cycling can also be an incredibly social activity at all ends of the spectrum, with cycling clubs offering the opportunity to socialise with like-minded people, while simply heading down to the local greenway with a friend can be a weekly highlight.
Help the Environment
Cycling is one of the most effective ways you can reduce your carbon footprint. The obvious change to make here, if possible, is to cycle to work, but there’s plenty of other ways cycling can reduce emissions. Trips to the park, picking up small groceries, meeting up with friends - all can be easily cycled and in fact are pretty normal in more cycle centric nations. A general shift towards embracing cycling for all purposes hasn’t quite happened in the UK and Ireland yet, but you can be amongst the first to make the change! The increasingly popular e-bikes are gaining traction for just this reason - you can cycle hilly routes or carry some luggage much easier, making cycling a more viable option for most occasions.
Remember, through the See.Sense App, you can also track exactly how much CO2 you have saved by cycling.
With 2023 seeing a sharp increase in living costs, cycling offers an opportunity to reduce costs. CyclingUK have crunched the numbers, and calculated that swapping out short distance car journeys for cycling can save the average person around £94 a year in fuel costs alone. Add in maintenance, tax, insurance, and the increasing up-front cost of purchasing a new car, and savings can be enormous for those who move away from car dependence. These savings can be increased further if your employer offers a cycle to work scheme. Of course, for many ditching the car entirely is simply not a viable option, but the financial benefits of cutting out even short distance car trips remain a compelling reason to take up cycling.
It's Just Good Fun
This blog has provided plenty of reasons for why you should cycle, but perhaps the best reason of all is the simplest - it’s fun. Nearly everyone cycles when they’re young, yet so many have to rediscover the joy of cycling in later life. Cycling is accessible to everyone; you don’t need a fancy bike or expensive gear, and it doesn’t matter how fast or slow you go, as long as you’re enjoying yourself. So give it a go, you won’t regret it!