Get Inspired: Finding Excuses To Cycle!
Over the last ten years, cycling has really taken off; more people than ever before are using bicycles as a regular mode of transport and it’s not hard to see why. Firstly, cycling is cheap, easy and eco-friendly. Secondly, it’s incredibly good for you too. The only major stumbling block for new cyclists is finding the drive to get out and hit the road on two wheels. If you’re used to taking a car to work, or if you really need to, it’s hard to break out of the usual automobile reliant routine and make cycling your number one mode of transport. Fortunately, we’re here to help; below, we’ve compiled a little list of jobs that you can do utilizing your bicycle and what things you may need to make the whole activity much easier too.
Obviously, if you live in an urban area and work within the same post code, commuting to work by bike is the first step you can take. At first, you don’t have to cycle every day and you don’t even have to cycle the whole way either. It’s possible to combine your ride with the use of public transport to make things easier. Sadly, if you don’t live close to where you work, it’s hard to find a reason to cycle. If you remove work from the equation and focus on your other weekly errands, you may be able to find a regular excuse to get on your bike and ride your way to fitness!
Recently, a friend of mine was compelled to get into cycling and give up smoking at the same time but sadly, he was at a loss to find an excuse to get on his bike. Luckily, he made the transition to E-cigarettes; these electronic devices require a regular top-up that couldn’t be found in his local shops. Now, every Sunday, he cycles a fifteen mile ‘round trip to get his top-up. While the jury is still out on the positive effects of E-cigarettes, cycling regularly can only be a good thing. If you keep this story in mind, you might be able to find an excuse of your own to get in to cycling and make a positive impact on your life.
A List Of Possibilities:
- The Shopping Trip – Of course, the weekly shopping trip is easier in a car but you may be surprised by how much you can carry on a bicycle. If you’re not up for the big shop, why not cycle to your local shops to pick up anything that you need throughout the week. Rather than drive to the off licence, cycle their instead!
- The Gym Trip – If you’re into keeping fit, why not cycle to and from the gym? If you cycle there, you’re already going to be warmed up and if you cycle home at a leisurely pace, you can cool your body down the proper way.
- Combining Hobbies – Now, if you have any other hobbies, it’s easy to combine them with cycling. If you attend a regular book group or go to the cinema, why not cycle there? If you’re into photography, you’re going to find more interesting things to shoot when you’re on two wheels, that is for sure. If your hobby forces you to leave the house, try and fit a bike ride into the equation!
- Social Calls – Everyone has to keep regular appointments, it could be social, it could be medical; either way, it’s much more fun to cycle to them instead of driving. When you promised meet your Mum on Wednesday evening, get on your bike and cycle there instead of driving – it’ll be much more fun!
- Family Activities – There’s no easier way to get into cycling than to get the family involved in it too. Put some time aside every week to go for a family ride; you can combine this with another activity, like a trip to the coast or the woods. It’s easily done and the kids will love it, plus they’ll keep you from slacking off!
- Dog Walking – Dogs need regular exercise and so do you! Taking the dog for a walk is good for you but it could be even more fun for you and the dog if you break up the pattern with a bike ride instead. That way your dog can really stretch it’s legs and you can have a casual ride too.
- De-Stress Yourself – Cycling is a great way to clear your head when life gets a bit stressful. People explore many different avenues in a bid to de-stress themselves – some even pay extortionate amounts of money for therapy! If you’re getting stressed, get on your bike and go for a ride; it’s free and it definitely works. Two-wheeled meditation is the best kind.
- Make It Competitive – Rather than enter a race, why not compete with your friends in a friendly way. Most modern smartphones are equipped with apps that can trace how many miles you can clock up in a day, week, month or year. Make a deal with your friends and whoever clocks the most wins and whoever clocks the least has to buy the drinks!
- Exchange A Bad Habit For A Good One – if you have a regular drink after work, why not trade that drink for a bike ride. Enlist your friends or co-workers to join you too. It doesn’t have to be every day, as long as it’s regular!
- Go On An Adventure – You know that road that you always drive past? The one that you’ve been wondering about for ages? Get on your bike one day, take it and find out where it leads! You don’t have to go far to find an adventure when you’re on a bike – just take an alternative route, get lost and have some fun. Give in to your curiosity; it’s much easier on a bike!
One of the major stumbling blocks that many potential cyclists face is the lack of storage space on a bicycle and of course, the threat of turning up at their destination dripping with sweat! Fortunately, bicycles are incredibly versatile and with the right equipment, you can carry anything you want be it a week’s worth of fruit and vegetables, camping gear or a simple change of clothes.
Buying the right luggage can make your ride incredibly easy; if you’ve got the wrong tools for the job though, you could be walking into a world of discomfort. Here are the some of the most popular biking luggage styles. If you invest in the luggage that you need, you’ll be able to cycle everywhere!
What You Might Need:
A Backpack: Proper cycling daypacks are a perfect for cyclists; they can carry a lot of stuff and their straps are carefully designed to distribute the weight carried to all of the right areas. A regular backpack has similar functions but a proper cycling daypack will help you carry as much as you want with relatively little effort. They’re perfect for some light shopping, a change of clothes and anything else you might need to carry.
A Messenger Bag: Messenger bags are great things and every cyclist should have one. Messenger bags are the kind of bags that you see bike messengers wearing slung across their backs. They use one strap and can carry a lot of stuff. They’re usually used for transporting laptops, folders, office related equipment and the like. They can also be held like a briefcase for when you’re on your feet.
Panniers: If you’ve got some serious luggage to transport around, a good set of panniers will make your life much easier. They’re the staple choice for bike touring and for carrying big loads. If you can imagine yourself hitting the road for a multiday trip, then these are a must. Similarly, if you’re just heading down the shops, combine these with a daypack and there is no reason why you can’t carry a large amount of shopping with you!
The Classic Basket: If bags aren’t your thing, nothing beats the classic bike basket. Modern bicycles have removable baskets that clip on and clip off, meaning that you can take them with you when you’re running your errands. They’re great for shopping because if you can fit it in the basket, you can easily transport it home. These baskets can fit on the front of the bike or the back, providing that you have back rack!
Extras Options: There are handlebar bags out there that simply attach to your bars, enabling you to carry small things, with easy access too. These are great for short rides, especially if you have adventure in mind. If you want to go to the extreme, you could invest in a bike trailer. Bike trailers come in two styles, one for hardcore touring and the other for bringing the kids along. Unless you’re planning on tackling a trans-European adventure, go with the latter. Even if you don’t have kids, you can still use the space for your weekly groceries!
With so many excuses to ride, you’ll struggle to find excuses NOT to ride! Armed with the right gear and the right attitude, anything is possible on a bicycle. You don’t even need the gear – it just makes life a lot easier! All you have to now is get up and go!