The wind blowing in your hair under your helmet, feeling the sun on your back, even the dull ache that you get in your legs the next day after a good workout, there’s nothing quite like cycling – especially when it comes to exploring somewhere new. Whether you’re travelling alone or with other people, cycling offers a unique way to discover a new destination. Here are 5 reasons why:
Cycling is excellent exercise – and good for your physical health
It’s widely known that cycling is great for your health. Not only does it strengthen your immune system, help you build muscle, and skyrocket your lung health, but cycling is also a great way to improve your overall fitness and care for your heart; studies show that just 30 minutes of cycling a day – which could be beginning to explore somewhere new – will quickly start to benefit your cardiovascular system and keep your heart healthy. Cycling is also a low-impact exercise, which means that it can be enjoyed by people of all ages and fitness levels.
You’ll see things you wouldn’t have if you’d travelled by car
Have you ever travelled somewhere new but instead spent hours stuck behind other vehicles on the road? By cycling, you can see way more of a new destination and take in a wild array of different environments and jaw-dropping landscapes. Not to mention miss standstill traffic! Given how many countries have smooth tarmac roads that are perfect to cycle on, or reams of quiet countryside roads apt for travelling on two wheels, this form of transport truly lends itself to exploring somewhere new. Some places even have their own traffic-free cycle paths for travellers and locals to enjoy.
You’re more in contact with nature – which is good for your mental health
Disconnecting from the outside world and exploring your natural environment has been proven to boost your mental health; a study by the YMCA discovered that people who had a physically active lifestyle had a well-being score 32 per cent higher than individuals that were inactive. Indeed, cycling mixes physical exercise with being outdoors and exploring new views.
Cycling solo is a great way to process any worries without the chatter of daily life while riding with a group broadens your social circle and encourages you to connect with people outside a screen. It’s also a great way to soak up the sun and get some much-needed Vitamin D, so deficient in today’s world. For a true retreat into nature, consider cycling holidays – the best way to escape your 9-5 but still remain social with the family and friends that join you.
Cycling helps you immerse yourself in the history and culture of a country
While travelling by bus or car will get you to all the best landmarks and cities, travelling by bike will help you truly immerse yourself in the local culture – sometimes the best way to explore a new place is by doing the routes in between the big landmarks! This is where you can witness the local life and the truly authentic version of the culture you want to explore. Cycling will give you a unique perspective of the place you’re visiting, giving you the opportunity to experience sounds, sights and even smells that you wouldn’t perceive by car.
Cycling is budget and environmentally friendly
Aside from the initial cost of the bike (which can easily be offset by buying second-hand or paying gradually and tax-free through a Cycle to Work scheme), cycling is free. This makes it a great budget option for exploring a new city… When cycling you won’t need to pay for gas, parking, or public transportation, which can add up quickly!
As well as being a cheap way to discover a new place, it’s also an environmentally friendly option, too. Studies have shown that cycling produces zero carbon pollution, which means you’ll also be doing your bit for congestion-related emissions nearby!
You might be able to meet new people
One of the best things about travelling – especially for those looking for enriching and memorable experiences – is meeting new people along the way. Cycling is a great way to meet new people while on vacation, as there are countless cycling groups all over the world. When you go to a new place, it can be as easy as finding someone wearing some professional-looking cycling gear and asking them for tips or suggestions to cycle in the area. This can be a fun way to make new friends and learn more about the place you’re visiting.
Perfect for all ages and abilities, and super easy to fit into your daily schedule, cycling boasts a large range of benefits. One of the biggest? Being a healthy, budget-friendly, and eye-opening way to discover a new destination.