Having agoraphobia, cycling is one of the few outdoor activities I can enjoy with my children. I find walking pretty boring, I always have. It’s too slow-paced for my taste, where as cycling affords the same scenery, but at a pace I determine. Cycling also means I have a faster way of escaping than by just being on my feet (even more so if you have access to my brother’s electric bike – just wow!).
I bought my bike from a local shop about eight years ago and I still love it now. It’s been left outside during the winters, heavily neglected and it could really do with some TLC, but it’s comfortable, reliable and solid. I’ve recently discovered a bike shop online called Cycle Republic that stock a huge range of products (also, I’ve just learnt about something, it seems everyone else already knew about, called The Cycle Scheme – what a great idea!!).
The Cycle Path
A strip of tarmac goes into the pub and orders a pint. After serving him, the barman asks if he wants to join his mate in the corner. Sitting in the corner is a strip of red tarmac. The strip of tarmac shakes his head violently: “I’m not going near him” it says, “he’s a cyclepath!”
Prior to moving house four years ago, we lived in very close proximity to a beautiful, long cycle path. It’s a traffic free, safe path that follows the line of a disused railway and has many historic landmarks along the way. You can read more about it here. My children and I spent much of their childhood on this cycle path. It was one of my favourite places to escape to.
Being on my bike instils inside me such a sense of calmness. I just love it.
Cycling Towards Happiness
I know (I really know) that when you’re feeling under the weather with your mental health, exercise is often one of the last things on the list of things you want to do. The way I’ve been feeling lately, the very essence of breathing has felt like too much of a struggle.
It’s widely known that doing exercise releases endorphins in your brain so that’s a good reason alone. It also improves your memory, helps you sleep better and relieves stress.
The biggest struggle for me with getting out there and doing exercise is the motivation. When my mood is low or my anxiety is particularly rubbish the last thing I feel like doing is stepping outside my front door. I usually need some pretty strong encouragement. The nagging is always worthwhile though. The minute my backside makes contact with the saddle, I remember.
The British Cyclists Survey
Cycle Republic conducted a survey of five hundred riders across the UK, to gauge the nation’s perception of a bike ride, collating a diverse range of insights and sentiments in the process. I found the results really interesting. Also, I think wearing a helmet should be a legal requirement because then teenagers wouldn’t feel so daft wearing them. Not wearing them is daft!
This is the infographic of the results collated.
If you haven’t hopped on a bike for a long time, remember the old saying, you never forget to ride a bike.
As always, thanks for reading.