Is cycling a basic right? That is the question being asked by a member of the recently organized World Cycling Alliance – officially founded at Velo-city Global 2014 in Adelaide, South Australia last week. The WCA is set to provide an international network aimed at promoting the advantages of cycling to major institutions such as the United Nations.
The ECF president Manfred Neun told supporters that ‘I am excited and encouraged by the reaction of our cycling colleagues around the globe to the launch of the World Cycling Alliance. Together we are stronger.’
‘Cycling Recognized As A Fundamental Right’
One of the members of the board – D V Manohar – is from the Hyderabad Bicycling Club in India; and he said that ‘at the conference, it was decided that the WCA will take up the agenda with the United Nations and other agencies to get cycling recognized as a fundamental right. With this mandate, governments across the world will have to promote cycling in their respective countries.’
We at Wheelie Good Guys only see this new organization as a positive set up; and are pleased that people are campaigning to improve cycling conditions across the world. It also inspired us to compile a list of what we think are the best characteristics of cycling:
6 Great Things About Cycling
Fitness and Wellbeing
There are few things better for the human body than regular cycling. Your cardiovascular system will be strengthened over time; ensuring that over time you can do more exercise for less effort. Research has also shown that the body’s metabolic rate is increased not just for the course of the rider; but also in the hours afterwards. Cycling at any time of day can also leave you feeling revitalized; with the endorphins released by the activity providing a key boost to your mood. If you’re feeling run-down and tired; a long cycle can actually be the best things possible. Studies have also shown that on average, regular cyclists possess the health of someone 10 years their junior – reason enough to get out there on your bike.
Experiencing the Outdoors
City living and endless work commutes can be a real drag on the mind. By taking to your bike; you can improve the situation in countless ways. Travelling to work at traffic-jam crawling pace can be replaced by taking to the saddle for your journey instead. The fresh air will boost your mood and you’ll arrive feeling endlessly satisfied thanks to the time that you’ve resultantly saved. Outside of work; the possibilities are simply endless. Being based near the Peak District; we at Wheelie Good Guys know just how fantastic countryside cycling can be. You’re senses will be heightened to the wonders of the outdoors; and you’ll see places in a way that you never have before. For a change from the monotony of staring at the walls of your gym; there really is nothing better than stretching your legs on your bike and leaving civilization behind.
Escape and Independence
Sometimes the stresses of life can just be that bit too much. Work, home-life and a number of other factors can leave you feeling like you need to escape. For this; there is nothing better than a long cycle. As mentioned; the experience of the outdoors and the invigorative benefits of exercise can both help to provide perspective and give you some much-needed down time away from the stresses of the rest of the world. People also rarely devote enough time to their own happiness; and a few hours spent alone on your bike can be just the tonic towards helping you to achieve a healthy balance.
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The media can’t produce enough global-warming themed scare-mongering content. But the fact is that climate change really is here and upon us; and we can’t just continue to ignore it. By ditching your car and opting to use your bike for things such as your work commute; you are acting responsibly by cutting your carbon footprint and respecting the earth in the process. For work commuters; you’ll also significantly reduce the pollution that you would inhale through choosing motor transport such as cars and taxis. A bike simply produces zero pollution; and the creation of a bike takes around five percent of the materials and energy than those that would be required to make a car.
From entry level cyclists to pedal-loving veterans; the scope for constantly challenging yourself through cycling is a constant. You are in charge of whatever goals you want to strive to achieve; however large or small. Individuals thrive on a sense of challenge; and the satisfaction that can be achieved from setting targets, smashing through them, then setting them again; can provide you with welcomes boosts of endless positivity. It can also help you to analyze life in new ways; and encourage you to aim for other targets in varying aspects of your life. You’ll feel the benefits as well – cycling regularly will improve your lung capacity and resultantly your performance in other sports. Set those goals and start pushing yourself.
Finally – what better way to spend some enjoyable family time than cycling. It’s healthy, anyone can do it, there are always new routes to explore and it’s free – so what are you waiting for?
Do you agree with our list? Are there any great parts of cycling that you think we’ve missed out? We’d love to put together a piece on our readers’ favourite things about the sport so please get in touch with us via our mailing list. Click here.