We’re now half-way through January and virtually every blog you come across, including Borders and Burpees, is awash with health kicks and all the expected trends for the coming year. I’d like to use this blog post to go into some detail about what healthy habit I’m attempting to do more of as a mini resolution for 2017; cycling. Thanks to the state of the trains in the Glasgow area, coupled with the amount of money it costs to run a car, I recently opted to get myself a bicycle and try to do a bit more cycling as a means of getting fit and saving some much needed pennies. The five week month in January has haunted my bank account particularly badly this month!
Buying A Bike
When I came to the decision of doing a bit more cycling for some extra exercise, the first thing I needed to get my hands on was a bike, obviously. The old Raleigh Blue Bird in the back of my parents shed, as adorable as it is, wasn’t going to cut it on daily commuting. Luckily, my sister, who’s very heavily into cycling, had recently bought herself a brand new road bike from Whyte bikes. This meant that her Merida hybrid bike was going spare. For those, like me, who are uninitiated in the terminology of bikes a hybrid bike is as the name suggests, across between a road bike and a mountain bike.
Hybrids are ideal for city commuting because they can cope with the potholes and other challenging terrain you’re likely to encounter on the way into work, but aren’t as heavy or cumbersome as standard mountain bikes. If you’re thinking about buying a bike for commuting but aren’t all that experienced, I’d definitely recommend trying to get a second hand bike. There’s a great shop near to where I live called The Bike Station that specialised in restoring second hand bikes and selling them on the cheap. I’d recommend trying and find somewhere similar near where you live, or try Gumtree.
Getting In Gear
I’d never suggest going in full on, road cyclist lycra if you’re heading to and from the office every day, but there are a number of essentials if you want to go down the cycling route (pun intended). A helmet is an absolute, no exceptions, must. There’s lots of great designs out there, so you don’t have to look like as much of a goof as you did when you were young riding your bike, and for the sake of having helmet hair when you arrive at the office, it’s something you should invest in. A couple of other vital things I’d recommend include a good set of lights and a hi-vis jacket.
If you go along to somewhere like Halfords, you can get a decent enough set of lights and blinkers to ensure that you’re well lit at night. These mornings in January have been particularly gloomy, and by the time half five comes around, you’re often commuting back home in the dark again. Unless you want to put your trust in the awareness of drivers after a long day in the office, I’d make sure you’re well lit through the winter months.
The Fashion Cycle
I’m definitely not the only person who has dug out a bike and started cycling as a 2017 fitness resolution. I think it’s safe to saw that the sport is pretty trendy at the moment. After Jason Kenny and Laura Trott’s success at the Olympics and becoming quite literally a golden couple of the sport, a lot of people have been inspired to try and recreate the magic the made in the velodrome on their own high street on a blustery Tuesday morning.
I have to say, even after only a couple of weeks, I’m feeling much better and like I’m getting a good work out. The best part about it is that it serves a purpose, in that it gets me from A to B. If I were to spend time in the gym on a treadmill, or a exercise bike for that matter it’s for the sole purpose of getting fit. Not only does this get me fit, it get’s me to and from work for free! A win/win situation.