Here at CycleHouse, we think the bicycle is the best thing ever invented. Well, we would, wouldn’t we? As both a sport and a past-time, the bicycle has a lot to offer us, so we thought we would share some benefits of bicycle ownership!
1 – Keeps you fit
Yes, we’ll start with the obvious one first! Cycling for an hour at an average pace of 10mph, you can burn about 450 calories (about the equivalent of 2 Mars bars). You can burn more by running, but how many people can sustain an hour’s worth of running on their first outing? Not many, but you’ll be surprised how far and quick you can go on a bike, even as a new rider. The upside with cycling is that you can, time wise, cycle more than many other sports. Cyclists are also friendly, so don’t forget to wave and shout hello at passing cyclists.
2- Use your bike as transport
It’s a really simple idea but why not use you bicycle to ride to the shops, as a pub bike or even ride to work. Cyclehouse accepts ride to work vouchers. This is a government initiative that allows you to purchase a bike tax-free, saving over 40% on a new bike. Why not phone either store and have a chat about this scheme?
3 – Great access to traffic free areas (sustrans)
Cheshire has a great network of traffic free cycle paths that can take you all over the county and even into the next country, Wales! The Cheshire Oaks Store is even positioned at the end of a cycle path, sustrans route 563, whilst the Warrington store is only 1 mile from the Trans Pennine Trail.
Besides the traffic free routes, there are also plenty of rides that take in the quiet, ‘back-lanes’, these tend to go past small villages and rarely see traffic outside rush-hour times. These routes are way-marked, so all you have to do is cycle and enjoy the views.
4 – Cake stops and social rides
A lot of the Sustrans routes go past cafes, in fact, I’m struggling to think of a recent ride that did not involve coffee and cake! The cafes will vary, from the ‘pint sized mug of pale tea’ to the ‘flat white served with mini-muffins and raspberry jus’, but the social occasion will stay the same. These are not only a great place to treat yourself to cake, but also to socialise.
It is not always possible to chat to everyone on a ride, but once at the cafe, you can sip on your drink, munch on your food and tell tall tales! I have had some outings that have had a longer coffee stop than actually riding, but we don’t talk about these!
5 – (Relatively) Cheap
Compared to other sports and past-times, cycling can look expensive but it really does not have to be. The initial outlay can be daunting but it can work out much cheaper than a years membership at your local gym. CycleHouse also offer 0% finance on bike sales, with the option of spreading the cost over 12 months. Let’s look at what sort of bike you can get for your gym membership (and lets not forget, the bike will last much longer than a year too, so your second summer on the bike will be free!)
The local municipal gym at £32 per month – £384 per yearThe Ridgeback Anteron Motion at £349.99 is a great bike, designed within the UK, it is a reliable and comfortable bike. If this is your first introduction to cycling, you’ll be pleasantly surprised, it comes highly specced with an aluminium frame, Shimano gears and the highly regarded Schwalbe Marathon tyres. It’s perfect for popping to the shops or for your Sunday afternoon rides out to the local cafe!
The private gym at £75 per month – £900 per year
The Cannondale Quick CX 3 at £599 comes equipped with hydraulic disc brakes and a suspension fork, making it ideal for the more adventerous rider, or those wishing to have more comfort. The disc brakes offer improved braking over rim brakes, wet or dry, the brakes always work, whilst the suspension fork will dampen bump and will add more control whilst riding. If your rides take in the Trans-Pennine or the Wirral Way, this is the one for you.
The Cannondale Quick Speed 2 for £729.99 is set to become a classic. Think of it as a flat-barred racing bike, but with the benefit of a more up-right riding position that will be kinder on your back. It also comes equipped with disc brakes and a carbon fork, which is lighter than a steel fork with more comfort. You’ll have no excuses for not keeping up with your friends if you buy this bike. It has a great range of gears on it, so anything from the fast descents, to the steep up-hills will be achievable.
A year’s membership at the Deluxe Health Spa at £125 per month – £1500/yr
Lastly, the top of the range Whyte Montpellier for £1500. This has everything, the carbon frame and forks makes this lightweight and comforable, whilst the disc brakes offer superb stopping power. Whyte have designed this bike around 11 gears, so it’s simple to use, very reliable and above all, a joy to ride. Quite possibly the ultimate Hybrid bike on the market (if it was not for the Cannondale Quick 1 Carbon to rival it).