On Your Bike!

Regular cycling can reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and some cancers and can boost your mood and keep your weight under control.

We all know we should move more. Our increasingly sedentary lifestyle is contributing to an obesity pandemic. Being overweight increases the risk of heart disease and stroke, diabetes and some cancers. The statistics are compelling. According to the Stroke Association, stroke is the single largest cause of death in the UK. Reducing cholesterol can cut one’s risk of stroke by 21%. The Institute of Economic Affairs estimates the net cost of obesity as £2.47 billion, attributing 7.1% of deaths annually to an elevated BMI, a health risk which loses the individual on average 12 years! Couple these startling figures with the need to reduce our carbon footprint and there has never been more reason to get out of the car and on your bike.

Regular cycling can reduce the risk of chronic illnesses, boost your mood and keep your weight under control. For health benefits, adults and older adults should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity each week.

We’re all busy and it can seem so difficult to find the time to fit in exercise, but the benefits are undeniable and replacing one car journey a day with a 30-minute bike ride will count towards your recommended weekly activity target.

And it couldn’t be easier to find a bike to suit your tastes and your wallet. From road bikes (racers and tourers and everything in between), to hybrids, to mountain bikes, town bikes, folding bikes, electric bikes, and gravel bikes, you can spend anything from £400 for a reasonable, functional bike that would be pleasant to ride, to north of £10,000 for a super lightweight carbon and titanium confection of bi-wheeled artisanship.

Cycle to work scheme

A government initiative introduced to get the nation onto 2 wheels and promote cycling to work. The employer simply signs up to the Cycle2work scheme and buys the bike of the employee’s choice, along with accessories, up to £1000 then loans it to the employee as a salary sacrifice. Effectively, it’s buying the bike out of pre-tax income and spreading the cost, savings you up to 42% – even more reason to get on your bike!

On the market

The new Roux electric model – the Big Slick –  is a 27.5” wheeled urban commuter capable of tracks & canal paths etc – this bike isn’t being marketed as a purely off road capable machine, but it is amazing fun.

It has Suntour suspension with Lock-Out, Schwalbe Big Ben tyres (slight tread, designed primarily for tarmac/light trail use) and most importantly it sports an integrated battery for when the lactic acid starts to really burn.

Available in 18” and 21”, it has an RRP of £1299 so hits a sweet spot between cheap looking product around £900 – £1100 and Shimano/Bosch equipped bikes now starting realistically around £2000.

Portable bikes are experiencing a resurgence in popularity. Bickerton Portables effectively kickstarted the folding bike genre over 40 years ago. Combining heritage, modern style and technology, it’s a natural choice in one of the most dynamic cycling categories. Portable bikes are the smart solution, not just with commuters and flat dwellers, but also with owners of yachts, caravans, motor-homes and private planes. The range of 16”, 20” and 26” wheel sizes, manufactured with aluminium frames and premium component parts are priced to retail from £450 to £1300.

For more information, go to Bickerton Folding Bikes

 

 

 

 

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Happiest in the snow, Carlton is an ex-police officer and prison governor who has migrated to the world of adventure travel via motoring journalism. Carlton drives boats and pickups with more enthusiasm than skill, and is currently working on his first novel in addition to his prison memoirs.