Wednesday, 23 May 2012

A Great time time to Cycle

England has finally started to see the British summer and what a great time to be a commuter on a cycle.

I have had to put up with rain, snow, sleet, hail. You name it I have had to along with my fellow hardcore buddies cycle through it all to get to work.  Now finally it is starting to pay off.  So why is the experience so more enjoyable?

Well, the sunshine is out which means I am happier from the start, all that serotonin in the brain.  But you also have the great benefits of being able to look up when you cycle without having rain and ice flicking in your eyes.  Granted there is more chance of getting a fly or 2 in your mouth though!  You get to wear shorts and t-shirts and the work on the golden tan begins.

To add to it all the fair weather cyclists appear which gives you the great satisfaction of not being alone on the road but also the great smugness that they only come out when the weather is nice.  The reality is though is fantastic to see how many people are willing to bin the cars and get on their bikes.  I appreciate not many people are lucky to be in a position like me where I can shower and change at work. 

This does bring me to another point and that is.  If we are going to encourage an environment policy where car usage is to be discouraged and other forms of transport and especially the likes of running, walking and cycling are to be encouraged we need to encourage companies to invest in facilities

As a country we are right to offer tax relief on bikes, but surely we should be doing so to companies willing to offer facilities such as showers, changing rooms and lockers.  Some companies believe in the value of investing in their employees other may need a little more encouragement.  Everyone would benefit.

Cycling is really a summer sport, only the mad and insane would do so in the winter.  I would encourage anyone thinking about commuting to have a go.  Just once a week.  What we also need though is for everyone who is a keen cyclists to follow the examples set out in America and flash the benefits of cycling all over the web, on twitter, on the blogs and on other social networking sites.  We have a real opportunity with the Olympics and with a success cycling team to really start to get people out of their cars and onto the roads, the pavements if they are runners and generally into a healthier fitter way of life!

Back to what I was writing about which is summer Cycling and the reasons it is such a treat

1) More cyclists on the roads
2) More sunshine, less rain and snow
3) One layer of clothes.  After 6 months of having to remove4 or 5 layers after a long cycle it’s nice to just have shorts and top
4) Fewer punctures!  With less rain and wind it means less rubbish on the roads to damage the tyres
5) Slick tyres - never under estimate the benefits of thin slick tyres when you are looking at increasing times and speed
6) Friendlier cyclists.  I have had more people chat and say hello this week alone than in the whole winter.  No wonder us Brits have a reputation for being moody??  Not enough sunshine!
7) Glorious scenery - obviously depending on the route - I am quite lucky with open fields
8) Getting back to some serious training rather than the winter slog
9) Thoughts of new bikes and new kit!
10) Planning the summer excursions - where are we going

Get out on the roads while you can.  Especially if you live in the UK.  The weather is bound to last for a couple of weeks!  Happy cycling

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