Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Cycling Your Way to Health and Happiness

A few years ago I was out in Cyprus visiting my mum and she suggested we take her bikes for a quick ride to the local supermarket. It had been years since I had ridden so if I am honest, I was dubious.

But after a wobbly refresher course in her (luckily) quiet road finding my cycling legs again we set off and I was amazed to discover how much I enjoyed myself.


Of course in Cyprus the sun was shining and I could hear exotic birds and insects in the farm fields either side of the road. there was very little traffic and it was not a long journey but it really reignited my love of cycling.

I realised that half the problem was that back at home I had the wrong bike for me. In a fit of wanting to get fit I had bought myself a bike - one of the many cheaper mountain bikes which were so popular a few years ago.
Riding my mum's "ladies bike" with cow horn handlebars at a level which didn't require me to crouch over them shoed me that choosing the right bike can make all the difference.

Back home I ditched the uncomfortable mountain bike for a proper ladies bike with suspension, only a few gears and, best of all for me, brakes which work by pedalling backwards. I added a whicker basket and now love pootling around on my bike. It's good for my health and it makes me happy!

Cycling is big news right now so more than ever before there are specialist bike shops offering advice on models, shapes and even frame material. You can still get mountain bikes of course but road bikes are proving very popular as more and more people discover that exploring the country on a bike is great for fitness and fun.

You can spend lots of money on a decent bike so it is well worth taking advice before buying. Maybe borrow a bike or ask around friends or at your local bike store to find the pros and cons of each design. 

Maybe think about joining a club? In the UK there are clubs for all with some clubs organising women only sessions, and training for young people to help them stay safe on their bikes.

From folding bikes which are great for commuters to power assisted models there really is a bike for everyone out there. Families can even take children who are too tiny to pedal along for a ride using bolt on child bike seats, trailers and tag along bikes where the child's bike is attached to the back of the adults bike.

For most people cycling is a relatively cheap hobby which means you can start without too much expense and add car bike racks, lycra bodysuits and specialist shoes if you really get into it.

The only essential really is, obviously a bike and that all important cycle helmet. You can buy them for as little as the cost of a takeaway and as long as it fits properly it may save your life.

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