Cycling can be hard. Busy roads, cars, lack of cycle lanes and potholed roads can all make cycling a tough endeavor. However, there are plenty of reason why cycling is awesome, and with plenty of cheap bikes and cycling accessories available it’s a low cost way to commute and get fit. With superb, low cost bikes such as the Vilano Aluminium Road Bike 21 Speed costing only £150, you can be ready to ride without spending a lot. In addition, you can also use a spinning or exercise bike to get a great workout without even leaving the house.
Here are some great reasons to cycle no matter where you live.
1. Bicycling is a Cheap Way To Travel
The popularity of bicycles as petrol prices increase is on a steady rise. Bicycle shops across the country are reporting increasing sales, and more people than ever are getting their bikes out of the garage, and taking to their two wheeled machines that have been idle for years.
2. Cycling Can Make You Healthier
Bicycling with even minimal effort at around 10 or 12 miles per hour burns 400-500 calories an hour. Cycling has been recommended as a way of contributing to solving the obesity problem in the UK. Convincing kids to put down there video games and head out for some exercise and fresh air isn’t always east but the fun of cycling can be a great way to encourage children to get fit. And why not mske it even more appealing by recording their cycling adventures on a kids action camera, like the VTech KidiZoom Action Cam
3. Old bikes can be modified for other tasks
From generating electricity to pumping water, modified bikes have the power to do more than get you from point A to point B.
The Engineering for Developing Communities (EDC) program at the University of Colorado developed a prototype of a human powered bike that pumped water in communities where there’s no electricity. Their model was able to pump at a maximum of 18 feet below ground, at 2.5 gallons per minute.
4. Cycling can help breakdown economic divides.
In wealthy countries, cycling has been adopted by all areas of society. In fact, the word “cyclist” tends to conjure the image of a upper-middle class athletic type with an expensive carbon fiber bike, spandex outfit, and bicycle shoes. However, in poorer countries, people who have adopted driving as a social status often equate bicycling with poverty.
5. Bicycles are versatile machines with many uses.
Again, Sam Aola Ooko in Kenya: “In Africa, versatility is everything and depending on where you are, a bicycle can be a large farm truck or an ambulance saving lives deep in the African jungle.”
But, as Sam cautions, be careful to select a comfortable seat and have it properly adjusted by a professional bike mechanic.
6. Bikes require less space than cars.
Therefore, an urban area developed for bicycles and pedestrians would be able to replace road area with businesses, walkways, and parks. Just imagine the impracticality of replacing every bicycle in China with a car.
According to EcoWorldly’s Eva Pratesi: “With a population of about 400,000 inhabitants and a traffic density that affects the historical center, Florence is a city where bicycling is not a choice. Every day a continual coming and going of students and workers flows slowly in the city-center riding for kilometers. Cradle of new Humanism under the Medici Dynasty, Florence preserves today the ancient charm that bikers can appreciate moving towards their destinations.”
7. In some places, with a little modification, a single bicycle can be a business.
“Peruvians also are masters at modifying their bicycles in creative ways,” writes Peru correspondant, Levi Novey, “so that they can be used to transport goods and tools for their work and businesses. Fruits, vegetables, construction materials, ice cream, meat, bananas, pets, and countless other items can be transported by bicycle, when a cart has been added. Unlike in the United States though, these aren’t your everyday bicycle carts.”
8. Bicycles are efficient vehicles.
Swiss correspondant, Mark Seall, writes, “A bicycle, I once read somewhere, is the most efficient form of human transport ever developed. Coupled with the fact that bicycles are relatively cheap and trouble free, and suffer few of the traffic problems that dog other forms of transport it’s no wonder that cycling has never been more popular.” And don’t forget that there are the latest electric e-bikes bikes which will assist your pedal power, giving you a great way to commute without necessarily breaking too much of a sweat.
But Mark is quick to add that bicyclists should be respectful of pedestrians. Indeed, it’s important for all cyclists to remember that in most places a bicycles follows the same rules of the road as any other vehicle. Check with your local bicycling group or city government to learn more about the rules of bicycling in your area.
9. Bicycling could save you a lot of money
The average car-owner can expect to pay a lot of money during his driving lifetime. These figures will increase with the price of fuel and the rising cost of the vehicles themselves.
A bicycle can serve your transportation needs for commuting, shopping, and getting around town. Urban drivers who are well acquainted with the frustration of paying parking tickets will also find that bicycles are an excellent solution. Of course, you’ll still need that fuel: the occasional sandwich or cup of coffee will do nicely.
10. Bicyclists breathe in less air pollution.
Various studies indicate that bicyclists breathe in less air pollution, making cycling an even more healthy activity. Of course, bicycles emit no air pollution themselves, which ensures cleaner air and better lung health for everybody.
11. Bicycles are zero-emission vehicles.
Bikes get an infinite number of miles to the gallon. Now that’s hard to beat! Bicycling emits no greenhouse, ozone, or any gasses of any sort. Cycling, therefore, is an excellent way for all of us to stand up to Global Warming, ozone thinning, acid rain, and other negative effects of air pollution that come in part from cars.
12. And of course, bicycles are fun!
Just take a look at some of these cycling videos filmed on GoPro cameras, that capture some of the excitement and fun of cycling!
And as the last video shows, combining a cycling with camera drones can produce some amazing footage that will truly inspire your creativity!