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Cycling is a great way to get into shape – it suits all ages, it’s ideal for families, and its popularity is at an all-time high following last year’s Tour de France and Olympic Games.
There are numerous health benefits – you can cycle your way to a healthier heart, and increased strength, balance and flexibility – yet it's easy on the joints.
It’s inexpensive, eco-friendly, and one of the best ways of exploring the British countryside.
So what are you waiting for? Get on your bike, and get outdoors!
Choose a bike that’s comfortable for you, and suitable for the surface you’ll be riding on. Mountain or hybrid bikes will probably give the casual cyclist an easier ride than road bikes, which are more suited to the serious rider.
Make sure you know the rules of the road before you set off, and stick to cycle paths and tracks where possible. If you plan to cycle on the road, follow our advice on sharing the road safely with vehicles.
Younger or inexperienced cyclists could benefit from the AA’s CycleAble cycling proficiency scheme, which delivers training on road safety and awareness through the Bikeability programme.
Keep it varied – there are simply hundreds of great cycle routes to choose from across the UK, so there’s no need to stick to the same tracks every time you head out.
Need some inspiration? Try pedalling your way to a country pub, take a gentle ride along a towpath, or hit a forest trail – search our regional cycling guides for dozens of routes suited to all ages and difficulties.
(24 October 2013)
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