ON YOUR BIKE FOR BIKE WEEK
This week is Bike Week, and this year’s theme is “Cycling to work.” This is a great opportunity to get your bike out of the shed, dust it off and get riding!
Cycling is a great way to get and stay fit – whether that’s cycling to work, enjoying a nice country bike ride at the weekend or taking a spin class, cycling is one of the easiest and most fun ways to be active.
Cycling to work can save you money in travel and parking costs, as well as helping you to get fit and to save the environment. It’s also low impact so it’s easier on your joints than running while still giving you a good cardiovascular workout. In this way it can be really useful for if you’re recovering from an injury but still want to maintain fitness.
The best way to build cardiovascular fitness with cycling is to cycle for at least two and a half hours per week. You don’t need to do that all in one go though; you could cycle to work several days a week and have a longer ride on the weekend.
If you’re just starting out with cycling, why not find a local group to join? Groups often hold events for people of all abilities so this can be a great way of making new cycling friends as well as finding new routes to cycle. Cycling with a group can also help you to build confidence to ride on the roads, which can be pretty scary if you’re just starting out.
Once you’ve got the hang of cycling you might find that you’d like to take part in a race as well. The British Cycling Federation has over 2,500 races registered with the site each year so there’s bound to be one close to you.
Lots of businesses are involved in the Bike 2 Work scheme these days, which is a salary sacrifice scheme that allows employees to buy a buy a bike through regular deductions from their pay. This can be a great way to get a bike if you don’t already have one but you’re looking to start cycling to work.
A spin class at your local gym is another great way to get into cycling if you’ve never tried it before – and it will definitely push you to your limits! Spin bikes are stationary bikes so you don’t need to worry about holding your balance. The great thing about a spin class is that you work to your own level, so unlike riding a real bike, where you might cycle a few miles out and then be tired and sore with a couple of miles to get home, you can just lower your resistance on a spin bike and keep going. Be warned though; spin is not an easy ride!
Obviously, you couldn’t ride a spin bike to work – they’re stationary – but many gyms and leisure centres have spin classes during lunch times so you could take a class on your lunch break.
Cycling is a great way to build and maintain fitness, to find new friends, to avoid traffic jams on the way to work and to enjoy time outdoors getting fresh air. Why not make this week the week you start cycling!