The Bicycle.

28 Nov

I wouldn’t say I’m a fanatical cyclist but I try to cycle wherever I possibly can and it’s not unknown for me to rack up 50 miles in a week. If my destination is within a six mile radius of my home the first transport option I usually look at is cycling. The other options would be driving or public transport (usually a last resort). Roughly 70% of my trips are either to College for classes/studying (2 miles), to work (4 miles), to the town centre (3 miles) or to the shops along the Stratford road (4 miles). Pretty much all of these destinations are within what I would call easy cycling distance and they tend to take me between 10 and 20 minutes to travel to. So for the majority of the travel I do on a day to day basis, using a car or public transport is not really necessary. In most cases making the decision to cycle is straightforward; there are a number of reasons and benefits that I see for cycling as a method of transport.

Firstly and chiefly I truly enjoy cycling. I’m not sure what really draws me to cycling maybe it’s the hum of the pedals and wheels, maybe the wind rushing past my face, or maybe it’s because it’s all my own effort, moving myself from A to B. Or It might be because I love being out in the fresh air and being able to not only see the seasons change, but feel the point when they do. Not something that you usually think about much when you’re inside a nice warm car. Even the pouring rain that used to get me down so much, doesn’t dent my enjoyment of being simply being outside and on my bicycle.

Whenever there a is direct comparison between the benefits of travelling by car versus bicycle, the topic of running costs always seems to crop up pretty fast. Cyclists are always quick point out the vast difference in costs and the relatively low running costs of the average bicycle, are one of the major selling points for cycling. Every time I drive I can’t help but imagine little dollar signs falling out the exhaust, this detracts somewhat from the driving experience in my opinion. I tend to be overly conscious of the cost of any detours I might like to make, whereas on a bicycle my only limits are stamina and time. As a result I tend to shop around a bit more on my bicycle, without having to figure in the extra petrol cost into any bargains I find.

Another key selling point for me is reliability; knowing pretty much when I will arrive at a destination and being affected very little by traffic levels. In the morning rush hour the time it takes me to cycle to a destination is almost half the time it would take me to drive. Cycling usually allows me to set off 15 minutes later in than morning than if I drove, allowing me to get that much more done in the morning and also reducing the pressure to get out of the house early.

For me most of the benefits of cycling can be summed up in one word: Freedom. The freedom to go where I want to, when I want to and without having to worry about journey times, costs or the chances of finding a parking space at the other end. Being able to jump on my bike after a morning of studying and cycle to a park just for lunch, is what I believe true freedom and cycling is all about.

What is cycling to you? A method for getting from A to B? A fun Sunday activity? A sport? Or is it just being on a bicycle no matter the weather or activity?

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