It’s January, it’s cold and the thought of cycling probably doesn’t appeal, but there are plenty of reasons why we should be jumping on our bicycles and heading out for a ride.

It’s cheap

No need to spend money on tube, bus or train fares.  Whether you’re commuting, visiting friends or just doing local errands, cycling is easy to fit into your daily routine and you will have a free, and sometimes, faster journey. 

Your body will thank you

The health and fitness benefits of cycling are endless.  It’s great for the heart, reduces cholesterol and lowers blood pressure.

You’re less likely to catch a cold too, as exercise helps build up the immune system.

You can burn about 650 calories an hour when out cycling, so the pounds will drop off if you’re trying to lose weight.

As you are supported by a bicycle, there is less strain on your joints and back unlike other endurance sports, such as running.

Looking good

Most muscles in the body are used during cycling, so over time they will become stronger and more toned.  In particular, the legs and bottom, and the upper body if you’re regularly riding up hills or off road.

Feeling great

Exercise raises your levels of endorphins, those feel-good chemicals, so you’ll be smiling in no time.  There’s also something very satisfying about the independence and freedom of riding a bike.  Just think, no more bad moods when you’re stuck in rush hour or stressed out because of signal failure on the tube.

Meeting new people and making friends

By joining a local cycling group you will meet like-minded people who live in your area.  There are lots of groups in London who organise supervised rides for cyclists of all abilities.  You can find some on the London Cycling Campaign website.  There’s also the Breeze network, who organise local, women-only rides.

Discover a new London and beyond

London is one of the most fascinating cities in the world and what better way to explore it than on two wheels.  You’ll discover new streets, shops, buildings, views and parks.  And, if you’re feeling a little more adventurous, why not pop your bike on a train and travel out to local counties, such as Essex, Hertfordshire or Kent.  The countryside is beautiful and it’s hard to believe that you’re only a few miles out of London.