Image Credit: Wikimedia
We are all guilty of using our cars too much. It’s just so easy to get behind the wheel and cruise to your every destination, even if it’s just around the corner! And yet, many people also complain that they don’t have enough time to squeeze a workout into their hectic schedule.It seems like there is some room for re-evaluation here.
What if – and this is a radical suggestion – you ditched the car and cycled instead?
It’s certainly worth a thought. Rather than wasting time sat around in your car or on a train, you could be doing the very exercise you didn’t think you had time for.
Increase Your Daily Exercise
For lots of commuters, travelling to work each day is either the daily grind of being stuck in a long queue of traffic or cramming yourself into a packed out train and hoping that you can hold your breath just long enough to reach the next station. And that’s not even considering all the Londoners who have to put up with so many rail cancellations, delays and lost tourists on their way to work!
But there is an alternative and it comes with your own personal space and plenty of air too. You might even find it faster…
Cycling is a brilliant way to travel, especially in the city, because it gives you the chance to improve your fitness with gentle exercise each morning without having to squeeze onto a busy train. It might take you a little longer, but the journey will be so much more pleasant and you will soon get used to an added few minutes. Plus, you don’t need to worry about paying for a gym membership, commuting costs or seat reservations that never actually work. You just need to invest in a good road bike and a helmet and you’re away.
Observe Road Safety
The most important thing, is to make sure you observe road regulations and cycle safely. Even if you are cycling on roads that are well adapted for bikes, you need to make sure that you are wearing a safety helmet and reflective material so that you can be seen easily. It’s not necessarily a fashion choice, but if you are visible, you’re much less likely to get into trouble.
Where there are bike lanes make sure you stick to them and indicate using your hands to give drivers plenty of warning when you intend to change lanes or turn. The vast majority of drivers will be patient with you but you can make their lives easier with simple signals. You must also observe the rules of the road and make sure you stop at red lights. However, be wary of the traffic next to you, particularly if it is a large vehicle turning left.
Though there are constant improvements being made to make cycling safer in cities, there is still a chance that you could be involved in an accident. The best thing you can do in this situation is move to a safe position, take photos of any damage and injuries, and take down the details of the driver and vehicle involved such as their name, insurer and registration plate. Then simply contact a bicycle accident solicitors and they will handle the rest for you.
Join The Cyclist Movement
As we take ever more steps towards environmentally friendly ways to live, cycling must be a natural move for many people and it seems that many cities are starting to make it easier to cycle too. While there are no UK cities in the top 20 best cities for cycling in the world, it is clear that there is a trend for making our cities much more cyclist friendly with similar ideas.
There have been all sorts of improvements and experiments going on in the UK to encourage more and more people to cycle rather than drive. In London, the Santander Cycles (or Boris Bikes as they are informally known) allow anyone to rent a bike using an app and they can return their bike to any docking station in London. And, in Manchester, a similar idea sprung up in August with Mobikes appearing around the city which can be picked up and left anywhere using just an app.
Though cycling often seems like a bit of a novelty and not all experiments go down so well, joining the cycling movement is a great way to do your bit for the environment and encourage local councils and travel departments to improve the infrastructure available. Plus you get free travel and free exercise everyday.