- You will keep fitter.
- You will save money (if you would normally pay for your transport)
- You get to say hello to a lot more people and you don't have to stop for a chat if you don't want to!
- You will reduce your CO2 emissions (if you normally use fossil fuel powered transport)
- Parking is easier and it's free!
- From home to shop is very often quicker by bicycle than by car.
There are many more benefits which are slightly harder to categorise,one valuable side effect to regular cycling is simply being outdoors and in touch with the real world, not feeling isolated in a moving metal box.
Now I know I'm putting a bit of gloss on this and some days the prevailing weather conditions might make you wish you'd left the bike at home, but in my experience the bulk of the year is perfectly fine for cycling and particularly on this, the dry side of the UK.
It is important, however, to make sure you invest enough in your cycling equipment to allow for changes in our weather which can be dramatic and sudden!
Apart from the weather, the other oft-quoted reason not to cycle is the traffic, this is a perfectly reasonable if not slightly over emphasised fear. Motorised transport is a real danger to pedestrians and cyclists alike. We are vulnerable, soft bellied organisms that unlike the rhinoceros, do not have the evolutionary advantages of body armour. Ideally we should have protected cycle lanes that separate us from the dangers of the mobile metal box, but we don't have that luxury and so we must rely on three important understandings.
The first understanding is that, barring clinically certified psychopaths, no driver of a motorised vehicle
actually wants to hurt anyone. "I never saw them" is, I suspect, one of the first lines to go in a policeman's notebook following a car/bike collision and so....
The second understanding is that as a cyclist it is your responsibility to make sure that you have not rendered yourself "invisible". What you wear and where you ride in the road must make you highly visible to all other road users,
The third understanding is that you must be confident about what you are doing on the road and that you clearly communicate that confidence through your actions.The vast majority of drivers will give you the respect and time you deserve.(There is a caveat to this as there are some drivers whose empathy levels evaporate once behind a steering wheel..but as long as you stay in control and let them pass at the earliest opportunity the only thing expelled will be a bit of hot air).
So the question really should be "Why not cycle?"
Please read on to Where to start?