There’s never been a better time to get out on your bike than during lockdown.
The lack of cars and commuters has meant cyclists of all abilities can ride on the normally busy roads with a new-found confidence. While gyms and outdoor sports have been out of action, it has proven to be a fantastic way for whole families to get active together safely.
Now, with lockdown rules relaxing and more people returning to work, you’d be forgiven for thinking your time on the bike could be coming to an end.
But don’t give up hope just yet! The public’s love of cycling hasn’t gone unnoticed, and massive investments are already being made to make Britain’s streets more cycle friendly.
Safer streets for the future
In May the Government announced a £2billion investment to boost greener, active transport. In some areas this has already led to the introduction of pop-up bike lanes with protected space for cycling, wider pavements, safer junctions, and cycle and bus only corridors.
It is hoped that this will not only encourage new cyclists to continue their love affair with cycling, but encourage people who have been anxious about the safety of roads to have a go too.
Dedicated cycle lanes mean you are kept within a safe space away from fast cars, you are less likely to encounter impatient drivers, and you have more space to negotiate obstacles in the road such as pot holes or people stepping out, so any investment is positive.
Cycling isn’t just a good way to stay out of contact with others while travelling during the ongoing pandemic, it’s also a healthy choice for your body and will significantly improve yours and your family’s fitness.
The Government recommends that adults should do at least 30 minutes of moderate activity a day, while children should be aiming for an hour.
Take into consideration your commute to work, a cycle to the shops or a family bike ride on a weekend and you are eating into a good chunk of this target with ease.
And that’s not all, cycling can also help keep your weight under control and reduce the risk of chronic illnesses such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke and cancer.
Get in gear
The great thing about cycling is that there are bikes, helmets and other pieces of equipment to suit all abilities and budgets – especially when you get hunting online.
Many buy and sell sites in particular will enable you to pick up a second, third or even fourth hand bike that is still in great condition. Just remember, if you do pick up an older bike or uncover one in the back of your shed, be sure to get it serviced before you go out on a ride as you don’t want it failing on you mid-cycle!
There are also many bikes available for people with disabilities, so check out Wheels for All and Cycling UK if you or your family can’t use a traditional two wheeled bike.
Keep it up
If you’ve become a regular peddler during lockdown then you already know how quick and easy cycling is. But as routines change and roads become busier, it’s easy to find excuses to go back to the car or public transport.
Don’t! You’ve developed a really good habit that will be harder to get back into if you stop.
And remember, if you are a bit anxious about the roads getting busier there are plenty of other options – why not take advantage of local parks, canals and towpaths, for example.
If you do intend to stick to road cycling it’s also worth reminding yourself (and this goes for cyclists old and new) of the Highway Code so that you are confident and don’t make any risky manoeuvres.
Just do it!
With massive investments in greener transport there has never been a better time to get into cycling.
And it’s not just about getting healthy. Getting active before work, or as a family, will also do your, and your family’s, mental health the world of good – reducing your risk of stress and depression, and boosting mood, sleep quality and energy.
Safer streets will mean you and your kids can take to the roads with confidence, whether it’s cycling to school, commuting to work or heading out as a group.
So, what are you waiting for!? Get on yer bike!