Reasons to cycle
Below are some reasons why you should hop on a bike.
Health and fitness
Cycling is one of the easiest ways to fit exercise into your daily routine because it's also a form of transport.
It is a low impact activity making it one of the safest ways to exercise without putting strain on your muscles or joints.
Cycling helps to lower your risk of a heart attack by strengthening your heart muscles and can also reduce stress, anxiety and depression, partly due to the activity itself but also due to the pleasure of riding a bike in the fresh air.
Get there faster
Whether you are commuting to school or to work, cycling can get you there up to twice as fast when compared to travelling by car in rush hour traffic.
It will also leave you feeling energised and alert for the day ahead.
If you live less than five miles from work or school, you could cycle there in under half an hour.
One hour of cycling burns about 600 calories and can help you maintain a healthy weight by burning body fat and raising your metabolic rate.
Cut down on costs
With increasing car, insurance and petrol costs, cycling can offer a great alternative for those hoping to cut the cost of the daily commute.
Many employers in Northern Ireland also offer the chance for staff to get a bike and cycling equipment tax-free through the Cycle to Work Scheme, saving up to 50 per cent on the cost.
The greener choice
Reducing traffic congestion on the roads means a better environment and safer roads for everyone.
In Northern Ireland 29 per cent of total carbon emissions are from road transport, with cars providing over half of this figure. At current rates of change, in a few years transport will become the largest source of greenhouse gases.
Cycling will not only improve your fitness levels but will also reduce congestion and improve the environment.
Improving facilities for cyclists
There are over 1,300kms of National Cycle Network cycle paths in Northern Ireland, including 106 miles of traffic free paths offering long, medium and short rides for cyclists of all ages.
Further cycle facilities, paths and routes are being introduced throughout Belfast and beyond.