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The Top Ten Reasons to Ride a Bike

If you ask a group of cyclists why they ride a bike, some wag is bound to say "Because it’s easier than carrying it". Of course, you will also get some more serious responses and it’s these responses that give an insight into the mind of the modern Australian cyclist.

Members of the Australian Cycling Forums were asked about their motivation for riding a bike and 325 responses were analysed. This group represents the spectrum of cyclists: from performance orientated cyclists to cycle commuters and recreational cyclists. Some of them are addicted to the thrill of competition and racing, others enjoy travelling and exploring their surroundings, and yet others just use their bike to get to the nearest coffee shop. They were asked to reflect on their reasons for riding; here are the top responses:

Number Ten – Environmental Benefits

While saving the planet may not be at the top of the list for these cyclists, those who ride for transport have a significantly lower carbon footprint.

Number Nine – The Challenge / Goal Setting
Can you ride 50km? 100km? What about 200km? What about losing 5 or 10 kilos? Cycling provides the opportunity to set and achieve goals, and a way of reaching the next ones.

Number Eight – Hobby
There is more to cycling than just riding a bike. The international racing circuit is an exciting world of professional riders and teams; bikes require maintenance and repair and it is well within most peoples skill set to do this themselves; whatever style of cycling you prefer, there are more to explore; there is a seemingly never ending supply of new gear for bike and rider to try out; and there are clubs and enthusiast groups to cater for all levels of ability and passion. Cycling can be a lifestyle.

Number Seven – Exploring personal abilities and limits
Making the distance, overcoming a hurdle and taking it to physical and mental limits. Cycling can be a group or solo activity, your development and achievements when riding can benefit your personal and professional life.

Number Six – Freedom
Train schedules? Bus timetables? Peak hour? A bike allows you to escape, you can get where you want, when you want. On road or off road, all you need is a bike and surface to ride it on.

Number Five – Balanced Lifestyle
The beauty of cycling is its versatility. It can be a competitive sport, it can be a leisure activity and it can be purely functional getting you from A to B. Cycling gives you a way to incorporate much needed activity into your busy life.

Number Four – Time Alone / Getting away from it all / Serenity
There are no cubicle walls, no urgent emails, no demanding clients or customers; it’s just you and your bike. The wind in your face, your body powering you forward; you are in your zone, you feel alive.

Number Three – Commuting
As cities and towns across Australia struggle to cater for increasing and sprawling populations, thought is being given to the needs of cyclists in transport planning. Cycling isn’t just good news for congested cities; riding to work is cheaper, stimulates your body and brain and benefits the environment.

Number Two – Enjoyment / Fun
Whatever you ride or how you ride it, cycling is good for the soul.

Number One – Health and Fitness
The most popular response why to ride a bike is health and fitness. Cycling as a form of exercise is highly recommended by doctors: it’s good aerobic exercise, it’s low impact and joint friendly, it’s a great way to lose weight and, as part of a balanced lifestyle, will help to keep you in shape.

You can share your reason for riding in the Cycling Forum and view the results of the voting.

Christopher Jones
Christopher Joneshttps://www.bicycles.net.au
Christopher Jones is a recreational cyclist and runs a design agency, Signale. As the driving force behind Bicycles.net.au he has one of each 'types' of bicycles.
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