British Cycling Commute Membership
40 Things We Love About Cycling

40 Things We Love About Cycling

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To celebrate our huge 40,000 member milestone, we've racked our collective brains to come up with 40 reasons to love cycling. They say that life begins at 40; maybe you can use this inspiring list to convince someone to start their cycling life with us?

1. Get fit - OK, we're stating the obvious here, but cycling, along with walking, is one of the great ways to get fit, without really noticing that you're doing exercise.

2. Eat what you want afterwards - Cycling is a great way to justify the odd indulgence. Ride a bike regularly and you can afford to slip the odd slab of cake, muffin or bacon butty into your otherwise monkish dietary regimen.

3. Get to work fitter and happier - We're biased, but we think that cycling is the best way to get to work. In the words of Radiohead's Thom Yorke (a keen cycle commuter by all accounts), you'll arrive "fitter, happier and more productive". Many studies have shown that workers who cycle arrive on time, awake and are absent less.

4. Save money - Switch from driving to cycling and you'll save huge amounts of cash, which you can then justifiably spend on expensive bike parts. In short, win/win.

5. Avoid your better half! - Cycling is a great way to carve out quality time with your favourite person - you. If your significant other is getting on your nerves, take the bike and escape to victory!

6. A great way to spend time with the family - while we've just stated that cycling is a great way to get away from it all and take some time for yourself, conversely, it's also a brilliant way of spending meaningful and memorable time with your family. This weekend, forget the usual trip to the cinema/fast food ‘restaurant'. Take a picnic and a football to the park and have a proper day out.

7. Feel refreshed - Cycling is a marvellous way to wake your slumbering body up in the morning, refresh yourself at lunchtime and relax in the evening. Whatever time of day, cycling has the power to revive, refresh and reinvigorate.

8. Experience the great outdoors - cycling is one of the best ways to experience your environment. Whether town or city, the pace of travel on a bike is slow enough to allow you to experience the nuances of place, but fast enough to cover big distances and experience changing environments.

9. Challenge yourself - Whatever your level, the bike is a passport to challenge and adventure. Whether your challenge is to get to work under your own steam, achieve a time trial PB or conquer that scary drop off at the trail centre, the bike can be the perfect partner to help you push yourself.

10. Save the planet - Riding to work, school, shops or uni is one easy way to drastically lower your carbon footprint and help to create happier, safer and less polluted communities. Do your bit. Go by bike.

11. Meet new people - Cycling is a great way to meet new, likeminded and (sometimes) interesting people. Whether it's joining a cycling club, taking part in organised events or just striking up a friendship with fellow bike commuters on the train, the humble bike can be a great socializing force. Top tip - ride a blingy/quirky bike - it's a great conversation starter.

12. Ride to the shops - If you ride a bike, you can turn that mundane milk/bread/beer run into an excuse for a cheeky spin.

13. Get to school - Arrive faster, fitter and happier than your schoolmates. Arrive by bike. Thanks in part to sustainable transport charity Sustrans, many schools now have great new cycling facilities and Safe Routes to Schools programmes to help families ditch the dreaded school run.

14. An excuse to shave your legs - For men, getting into racing is a great excuse to cross the rubicon and crack out the Remington (or the Veet, if you're so inclined). The purgation of leg hair is one of the great traditions of cycle racing. Reasons abound; "more aerodynamic", "easier to massage", "easier to pick gravel out of after a crash" or just plain cycling tribalism. If you're hell bent on that silky smooth look, pick your reason, grab your razor and don't look back.

15. A good excuse to wear lycra in public - This is sort-of akin to #14. If you've always harboured a latent urge to strut around in tight fitting spandex in broad daylight (or dress like a Power Ranger) then cycling is your perfect cover story.

16. De-stress - Fed up with work, partner, life? Don't despair - take a bike ride and we guarantee that everything will seem a little bit better. In all seriousness, cycling, like many forms of exercise, releases endorphins, ‘happy hormones' into your system, giving you a guilt-free legal high, every day.

17. A great way to get fit after injury - Cycling is great rehabilitation exercise. Many Primary Care Trusts throughout the country use cycling programmes to help rehabilitate patients who have been suffering from cardio-vascular problems. Also, cycling is a low impact exercise, so it's great to regain fitness after knee, hip or ankle injuries.

18. Great excuse to spend money on your favourite person - YOU - Cycling is one of the most gadget-tastic pastimes a person could dream of. You can of course get on the road for a few quid with a secondhand bike, but if you're the kind of person who just can't stand holding onto your disposable income, then cycling's the game for you.

19. Adds a new dimension to holidays - If you're bored of beach holidays or tired of traipsing around theme parks, then cycling can breathe fresh life into your family holidays. Go for broke and organise a full on cycling holiday - try the C2C route across northern England, or maybe just try the hire bikes at Center Parcs or explore Cornwall's Camel Trail. Whichever you choose, your holiday will (for better or worse!) be one to remember.

20. Learn new skills - Cycling is a skill based activity. Learning to change gear, brake or corner effectively, learning to ride in a bunch or how to fix a puncture - cycling can give you a whole new bag of useful knowledge and skills.

21. A great way to travel independently - For both children and adults, cycling is one of the last ways left in our bubble-wrapped world where we can travel independently - independent of bus timetables, train delays, traffic jams or other people's agendas. Ever since its invention the bike has always had the capacity to liberate like no other form of transport.

22. Your ticket to travel the world - Ever dreamed about travelling from Lands End to John O'Groats, or Madagan to Anchorage (the long way)? Many have dreamed, and a few have dared to do it. Cycling is perhaps the ultimate form of transport for true world travel. Slow enough to really experience your surroundings, fast enough to cover great distances in a day.

23. Conquering the hills - Cycling gives you an intimate understanding of the topography of your world. Ride a bike and you'll soon know every killer climb, long drag and false flat in your neighbourhood. Nothing beats the challenge and reward of cresting a hill on your bike, feeling gravity release its grip and then the payback of descent.

24. To push yourself - Cycling can be as easy or as hard as you want to make it. Riding a bike gives you the chance to push the envelope, increase your fitness and shrink your world.

25. It's the quickest way around the city - In our increasingly gridlocked urban environments, cycling can often be the fastest way to get from A to B. Unlike driving or using public transport, you can be sure that you'll arrive on time, every time.

26. Great excuse to check out the local cafes - Riding a bike and eating cake are two intrinsically interlinked activities. It works something like this a) Work up an appetite on the way b) Stuff yourself with cake, c) ride home (burning off the cake-calories on the way) d) repeat often.

27. We've got the GB Cycling Team! - We're privileged be able to get behind one of British sport's greatest success stories. We're living through an unprecedented era; World and Olympic success on road, track and dirt; British riders as household names, inspiring people of all ages to get out on their bikes.

28. The best way to get legs of steel - There's no better way to get sculpted ankles, sinuous calves and thighs of steel than riding a bike. The best thing is that you don't need to hit the gym to achieve the look - you can get those benefits on the journey to work.

29. Finding your perfect partner - Many a love affair has blossomed on two wheels. The romance of cycling is a well documented scientific phenomena; the bicycle the vehicle bringing kindred spirits together. Or something like that.

30. Hugh Porter MBE - If you're unconvinced by our previous reasons, I give you Hugh Porter MBE. Hugh's dulcet Wolverhampton tones have provided the sonic accompaniment to countless cycling events. Hugh is the voice of cycling on the BBC. Hugh has given voice to those priceless Olympic moments, Sir Chris Hoy's Kilo gold in Athens in 2004, Nicole Cooke's epic win on the rainsoaked roads of Beijiing 2008. If nothing else, I can tell you this, Hugh Porter is the voice of British cycling.

31. Rob Warner's commentary - If Porter is the BBC's voice of cycling, then the raucous, tailhappy commentary of Downhill legend turned Freecaster commentator Rob Warner has threatened to upstage the performances of the world's best riders at many a World Cup. Always flying close to the sun, his ‘loose' commentary style is worth tuning in for all by itself.

32. The best excuse to watch TV at work - Come the summer and the Tour de France and millions of office bound cyclists are glued to live feeds as the biggest bike race on earth circumnavigates France. No other annual sporting event offers so much opportunity for extended periods of office based time-wasting.

33. To get great tan lines - Cycling is the best way to get serious, semi-permanent tan lines and that classic sunburnt nose, forehead and knees look. So throw away the tanning booth, forget that orange Essex look and get out on your bike.

34. Road awareness - Riding a bike not only puts you in tune with your physical environment - it also gives you an unparalleled awareness of the road conditions around you. You're acutely aware of road surfaces, conditions and the behaviour of other road users, making you a safer and more considerate driver.

35. A great excuse to get dirty - as an adult you don't get many opportunities to go out and get covered in mud. Throw a weekend mountain bike ride or cyclo-cross race into the mix and you've got a ready-made excuse to return home looking like the bog monster.

36. Ten years younger - Studies have shown that, on average, regular cyclists enjoy the general health of someone 10 years younger. They don't specify who that someone is, but this has to be good news, right?

37. Cycling gives you something to tinker with on long winter evenings - What other pastime allows you to fettle your oily bits on the dining room table? Owning a bike opens up a whole new world of tinkering opportunity. Embrace it.

38. Cycling is a great leveller - People of vastly different abilities can enjoy riding together. Where many sports favour big, powerful athletes, in cycling it's often the smaller, slightly built riders who succeed.

39. At your convenience - Cycling is the most convenient form of transport. With increasing car parking restrictions in city centres, not even the car can always offer the true door-to-door experience that cycling can.

40. Escape the sedentary - If you choose to cycle to work you are choosing active travel, shunning sedentary forms of transport. What would you rather have? Atrophy behind the wheel in the stuffy confines of the car, or expressing your genes and getting fit in the fresh air. If you ride for sport it's the same deal. What's your idea of a perfect Sunday? In the pub watching the match, or out on the road or trail giving it your all? You decide.