25 reasons why you should start cycling

Picture of cyclist cylcing arround the avon gorge

Cycling has LOADS of benefits for both you and the planet, so here is why you should start…

1. It’s better for the planet

Cycling uses minimal fossil fuels and is a pollution-free mode of transport. Bikes reduce the need to build, service and dispose of cars. Cycling 10 km each way to work would save 1500 kg of greenhouse gas emissions each year.

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2. Great Exercise

There is no doubt about it, cycling is fabulous exercise and you won’t even realise you’re doing it!

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3. Improve mental health

It is no secret that exercise releases endorphins and adrenalin which boosts your mood. Cycling has the added advantage of combining physical exercise with being outdoors and exploring new views.

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4. Save money

It’s no surprise that cycling saves money. If you drive, costs are very high and include petrol, car tax, insurance, maintenance & repairs; not to mention the actual car. But also parking costs or speeding tickets need to be accounted for. The bus tickets also add up which makes cycling a much cheaper alternative.

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5. It saves time

Driving a car means sitting in traffic, finding a place to park, paying for parking and then walking from your car to the destination. Equally, when taking the bus, you could be waiting over 20 minutes for it to arrive, get frustrated as it stops at every stop and then have to walk from the bus stop to where you want to be. Cycling offers a much speedier alternative, you hop on, filter past the traffic, lock up and arrive.

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6. It reduces traffic

The less cars and buses on the roads mean less traffic; this means safer roads, reduced pollution and more pedestrianised areas.

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7. It’s good for your heart

You can reduce your risk of coronary heart disease by 50% just by cycling 20 miles a week.

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8. Boost your immune system

A study has found that cycling can hold back the effects of aging and rejuvenate the immune system.

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9. Increase your vitamin D

Lack of sunlight can have an impact on your vitamin D levels, this is even worse during those long cold winters when all of us would rather be soaking up the latest box set on Netflix. But reduced vitamin D and not getting enough sunlight can have a huge impact on your mood. So grab your bike and get out in the fresh air – you will feel better for it!

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10. See Bristol in a different way

 Going by bike can make you see the city differently and visit places you wouldn’t normally – cycling routes in and around Bristol can be found on the Better by Bike website and the maps also show you which roads are usually busy so you can stay safe and plan your route. https://betterbybike.info/maps-and-rides

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11. You can always get a parking space

No need to waste time trying to find a parking space or worrying you’ll get a parking ticket, because you can park you bike right next to uni in one of the bike sheds. The shed will stop them getting wet and keep the bikes safe and secure.

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12. You can get FREE cycling lessons to learn how to ride or become more confident on the roads

Life Cycle offer FREE training for people of all ages and abilities from absolute beginner to experienced cyclist. The lessons are held local so you can feel safe on your local routes. Check out the website here: https://www.lifecycleuk.org.uk/adult-cycle-training-bristol

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13. Get buns of steel

Cycling tones and strengthens your legs and bum and before you know it you’ll have a booty like Beyoncé.

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14. You can get FREE cycling maintenance on every campus!

Dr Bike offer free bike check-ups every Tuesday in term time between 10:00 and 14:00 – no booking required! Dates and locations can be found here: http://www1.uwe.ac.uk/about/departmentsandservices/professionalservices/transport/buscycleandtraintravel/cycling.aspx

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15. There are free bike pumps located all over the city so you’ll never have to worry about a flat tyre

Free public bike pumps are maintained by local businesses and funded by the local transport fund, as part of a project to make Greater Bristol a cycle-friendly city and improve safety for cyclists. Find the map of bike pumps here: https://betterbybike.info/bike-repairs/bikepumps

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16. Get a refurbished second-hand bike

You can get a refurbished second-hand bike and support your peers by purchasing a bike from Green Wheels – a venture by students at UWE. They also offer servicing/repair and support. Check out their page here: https://www.facebook.com/pg/GreenWheelsBristol/about/?ref=page_internal

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17. Or you can rent a bike from UWE for just £50 for the whole academic year

UWE students are now able to loan a Bristol Bicycle for the academic year. The cost of rental is just £50 (£40 from January) and includes a bike, full maintenance for the year, lights and a secure lock. The bikes are commuter bikes which have been hand-built in Bristol and designed for the city with plenty of gears and powerful brakes to cope with the hills, and solid reliable components to prevent rust and wear and tear. Find out more here: http://www1.uwe.ac.uk/about/departmentsandservices/professionalservices/transport/buscycleandtraintravel/cycling/uwebristolbikeloans.aspx

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18. You can win prizes the more you cycle with Love to Ride!

You can log your rides using the Ride Report app and each ride gives you an entry into the competition to win a free holiday! You can choose between a cycling holiday in the Grand Canyon or a trip to New Zealand. The app also tracks your rides and you can compete within your university to get to the top of the leader board. Check it out here: https://www.lovetoride.net/

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19. Become part of the cycling community in Bristol and visit Cafes and Restaurants for Cyclists.

There are plenty of cycling cafes in Bristol that attract other fellow cyclists, the Mud Dock on the Harbourside offers a handy repair service and showers. No1. Harbourside, also the base for Cycle the City, offers ample cycle parking and a great range of beers and food. Roll for the Soul is Bristol’s Community Bike Café and workshop and The Crofters Rights, a craft beer pub in Stokes Croft has wall storage inside the pub for customers to store their bikes.

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20. Enjoy two breakfasts!

If you cycle to work, you’ve got a great excuse to add a couple of guilt free snacks to your day. A half an hour journey burns between 200-500 calories, so you’re allowed to enjoy a smug second breakfast!

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21. There are plenty of showering and cycling facilities at UWE so you don’t need to worry about being a sweaty mess all day

Scroll down to see the campus map and locate the shower that is best for you: http://www1.uwe.ac.uk/about/departmentsandservices/professionalservices/transport/buscycleandtraintravel/cycling.aspx

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22. Save water (and reduce your water bill)

Showering on campus will reduce the water you use at home which will decrease your water bill – save money, save water – simples.

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23. Low impact exercise will reduce injuries

Cycling is great exercise but it is also low impact which means less injuries because you’re not jumping and pounding on the ground. Your joints will be thankful!

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24. Sleep Better

It probably isn’t rocket science that tiring yourself out on the bike will improve your sleep – but now it’s been proven. Researchers at the University of Georgia studied men and women aged 20 to 85 over a period of 35 years, and found that a drop in fitness of 2 per cent for men and 4 per cent for women resulted in sleep problems.

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25. More funding for our communities

The more people that cycle means less government money on improving and maintaining the roads which means that it can be spent on better things like the NHS or more funding for university’s or maybe even reducing tuition fees (one can only dream eh?)

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Send us your cycling pictures on Facebook or twitter! If you would like more information then please contact thegreenteam@uwe.ac.uk