Why ride a bike at all?

I had never really thought about cycling in the context of an adult activity. I figured that kids had bikes and then they grew up and got a licence to drive and the bike was abandoned. Unless of course, one was very good at cycling, in which case it became a sporting career.

But this site is not for those who are very good at cycling (in my view, these hardy folks cycle as a sport). This space is for those of us who may never have ridden a bike, or who have not ridden for quite some time and want to get back to using a bike. I ride for relaxation and pleasure – time trials and races are not even mentioned on my priority list!

There are many reasons why you may be considering taking up bike riding. You may have had a bike as a child and enjoyed it and now want that fun to be part of your life again. Or your reasons may be more practical – for daily exercise and to keep some level of physical fitness? You may simply wish to save money on fuel and/or do your bit for the environment. Maybe you would like to ride as a family and everyone is keen to get involved.

Whatever your reason, you may have already spent some time in your local bike store and looked at what is available. Or if you are a web fan, you may have done the same on the internet. If you are anything like me, I was overwhelmed at the prospect of having to select a bike and nearly decided that biking may not be for me after all!

But I was driven by the need for some daily exercise and running or walking (readily accessible alternatives) were just not for me – they took up too much time and I am not athletic in any way, so found them a real challenge.

I have now been riding for over 3 years, and ride regularly only 14km a day (the trip to work).  I ride practically every day, and it has now become habit. It does not cut into my daily time too much and I generally enjoy it. Wintertime is a particular challenge, however, as I feel the cold and I hate getting going on frosty mornings! But the upside is that by the time I arrive, I am warm and feel good.

Posing with my Anthem near a disused water well in rural France.

In addition to my commuting, I have travelled overseas on two occasions with my bike and cyclotoured in both France and the UK. These trips were just superb and I can’t wait to go on the next one! I have also travelled within Australia and New Zealand and taken my bike along. It is an easy way to get around your destination and a great way to sightsee.

If you would like to (re)start riding and eventually end up doing these sorts of trips, then I hope you will find lots of inspiration on these pages.

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