As celebrations of Bike Week 2015 start around the country, the team at Macmillan Cycletta, the UK's leading women-only cycling sportive series, has outlined their top ten reasons why ladies should be getting on their bikes this summer.
- It gets you fit (or fitter!): It's obvious, but incredibly important. Cycling is a fantastic way to burn calories and be good to your body at the same time. It's a low impact sport too so there's less chance of you doing any kind of long term damage to your body, particularly your legs, knees and ankles, when exercising.
We recommend that you build up to a long distance event. Entering a 150km event without training would definitely not be sensible!
- It's gets you into the great outdoors: A complaint of many, and a reflection of our daily lives, is the reality that the majority of us spend our weekdays indoors, in our jobs. It's pretty unavoidable for most people.
Cycling can offer that burst of fresh air and the great outdoors that you've been craving when stuck indoors all week.
- You'll meet new people: There's a massive cycling community in the UK and its growing. The 'Chris Hoy' and 'Victoria Pendleton' effect has taken its grip and more and more people are embracing their bikes and pedalling.
Cycling on your own is great fun, but cycling with friends or with a cycling club can also be brilliant and really rewarding. It's definitely easier to power through a tough cycling event when you've got other people to share the challenge with.
- You'll save some money: If it's commutable, cycling is a great way to travel to and from work. Also, it's an ideal way to energise after a busy day in the office. You can cut your fuel bills and get some exercise doing something fun on your daily commute.
- You'll be less stressed: This is probably as important as the physical benefits, but scientific research has suggested that exercise helps to ease stress.
If you think about it, do any cyclists you know ever seem stressed after they have been out on their bike? What about anyone who cycles to work in your office? The endorphins from the exercise will make them feel great. Think how relaxing and rewarding it could be...
- You can raise money for good causes: Events like Macmillan Cycletta are a great opportunity to get on your bike and use your pedal power to raise money for a great cause.
In 2014, more women than ever before - almost 5000 - took part in the cycling series and many of them raised vital funds for Macmillan Cancer Support in the process. You can use your favourite sport to make a difference to a lot of people.
- You'll see the world (or places you don't usually see!): Once you get the bike bug, you'll be looking for great places to go for a ride, from national parks to rural villages. You can even go on biking holidays in the UK and further afield to places like Forest of Dean or even Amsterdam.
Chances are you wouldn't be seeing this stunning scenery if it wasn't for your new found love of your bike.
- You will never have to give it up: Unlike football, running or snowboarding, cycling is a sport you can enjoy all through your life. It's as physically demanding as you want to make it and it doesn't have to be tough on your body like some sports are.
There are plenty people into their 60s and 70s cycling every day. This year, Macmillan
Cycletta introduced a brand new 150km distance to offer a greater challenge for the more experienced cyclists participating. The very first lady to sign up was taking part to celebrate her 60th birthday!
- You'll soak up lots of Vitamin D: Cycling on a beautiful day is good for the soul, but it is also great for stocking up on some Vitamin D from the sun which is great for your immune system and general health. Remember to put sunscreen on though - you don't always feel the heat when you're out on your bike.
- You'll recapture your youth and feel younger: Can you think of a better feeling than the wind on your face and taking your feet off the pedals when going fast down a hill? Guess what - you can still do that! You don't have to be eight to appreciate the exhilaration of going downhill on your bike. It still feels just as good at 40...60...80!
The Macmillan Cycletta website offers a host of information on training, race day advice and bike maintenance. There is also an active Twitter account (@cycletta) and www.facebook.com/cycletta resources to encourage participants to stay up-to-date with the latest news and developments. Macmillan Cycletta is part of the Human Race Women Only series which includes triathlon, swimming, running and cycling events.
Tagged in Cycling