In no particular order here are some reasons why I and so many more are cycling to work and elsewhere. Some of these were not even at the the back of my mind when I first started cycling to work but I have heard lots about them in the few years I have been cycling, with many being very sound reasons for ditching the car or public transport.
1 SpeedNo this isn't what you are thinking. Cycling to work is actually quicker than going in the car. This is especially true in winter when having to scrape windows of ice. In heavy traffic a Brompton allows me to go in and out of traffic and get to work quicker than if I had sat in a traffic jam.
2 CostOkay, a Brompton isn't exactly £99 from Argos but over time it has meant that I have spent less money on petrol which seems to go up every month. If I think about the savings I have made by not using buses or tube, I have saved a considerable amount.
3 FitnessSince cycling to work and at the weekend, combined with a heather diet I have lost weight. In addition to this I am definitely fitter than I was before I regularly started to cycle. Combining essential travel with light exercise i.e. cycling to and from work can only be a good thing. I have even been known to take a longer route home if I have been unable to resist a biscuit when at work. Studies have shown that regular cycling can help reduce your risk of heart disease of cycling just 20-30 minutes a week.
When cycling you use more oxygen and frequent cycling will help to improve all that cardiovascular stuff. This helps your lungs and heart to work more effectively in getting oxygen where it is needed.
4 IllnessApart from a really bad chest cold I have had for the past two weeks (from which I had suffered a great deal less than Mrs Orange Brompton). I do seem to have suffered from less colds etc.., and when I have got them their potency is diminished somewhat.
5 Feel happierCycling they say is a very good way of alleviating stress and allows one to unwind at the end of a hard day at work. I certainly feel happier at the end of the day knowing that I will be cycling home. This might be as for the majority of the day I have been indoors. Getting out in daylight can only be a good thing.
6 Save the planetCycling will give you a lower carbon footprint and mean that you aren't sitting in a car or bus giving off all those greenhouse gases and other nasty emissions.
7 Snob valueSome surveys show that people on higher incomes are usually better educated about the health benefits of cycling. So, if you are as common as muck or an elitist snob you have the perfect reason to start cycling to work.
8 AdditiveYes, cycling can be addictive, not of course in a crack cocaine / heroine kind of addiction but a good way. Some people have used the fix they derive from cycling to help them stop smoking or drinking.
9 Make new friendsIf you join a club or ride with similar minded people you will open yourself up to new adventures and possibilities. I look forward greatly to the many rides I go on but they are made even better by the many new friends and acquaintances I have made.
10 Improve performanceI have got fitter since I started commuting on my Brompton but a by product of all this was actually participating in formal races. This has induced a need to improve my performance. The desire to go on longer and ever more demanding rides has also meant that I have been forced to look at my diet, technique and a host of other factors that for me at least, have been positive.
11 Boost your sex lifeNow, I wound't want those of you without a bicycle to be rushing down to your local Evans tomorrow morning just because you read this but studies have shown that because of reasons 3, 4 and 5 (but especially 3) cyclists can enjoy a boost to their sex drive.
12 Raining! Who cares!On my daily commute I have cycled in all weather conditions. Wind, rain, sleet, snow, frost, fog, scorching heat...the list goes on. The great thing about cycling is that with the right clothing you can still get out there. If you have this mindset, you can not really put things off because of the weather!
There you have it, a dozen reasons for getting on your bike. Whether you decide to go the whole hog and cycle to work or part of the way, cycle more at the weekend or simply take the bikes out if you have a family, you won't regret it. Anyway what is the worse that can happen? You'll be happier, fitter over time save money and do your bit for the planet. So...it's over to you!