Over lockdown, cycling increased by 300% in the UK. Across the nation, temporary cycle lanes have popped up alongside huge pushes to increase spending and create more permanent solutions to congestion, pollution and public health. Cycling is a crucial component to all these issues; here are just a few of the benefits of choosing cycling in the inner city.
One of the simplest and often overlooked benefits is speed! In a busy city like London, cycling is normally as quick or quicker than a car even on longer journeys out to the suburbs. At rush hour, it’s another story. Google Maps estimated that the trip from havebike HQ to Liverpool street station; a journey of 3 miles would take just 20 minutes on a bike and 39 minutes in a car.
The benefit that is talked about and most easily waved toward potential cyclists is the fresh air and fitness that you’ll gain from riding. These are both certainly true. Even in bad weather, with the right gear, you’ll have that smug warm feeling of passing lines of stationary traffic all whilst getting your free workout.
The cost of cycling is a big benefit as well. There’s certainly a shopping list when you first start out. This includes your bike, some suitable clothes for all weathers, accessories for winter, cleaning products and insurance. The running costs are far lower than a car or constant use of public transport. In London, an equivalent driver would have parking, congestion and emissions charges as well as their precious time wasting away in traffic. We try to relish our commute as some thinking time before and after work.
Safety is often the biggest concern for those starting out. It’s all too easy to be put off by simply observing the busy inner-city roads, and reading the occasional bad news story, however, the facts speak for themselves. The health and wellbeing benefits are great.
A recent study from the University of Glasgow found that people who commute on their bike regularly cut their chances of dying from cancer or heart disease by half as well as dropping their chances of dying prematurely by any cause by 41%. It’s safe to say the health benefits of cycling far outweigh the risks. The more of us choose it, the more money will go toward supporting cyclists and the safer we will all become.
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