Eight reasons why your friends should get into cycling

If the prospect of spending time with you isn't good enough, then here are a few other things that might convince your mates to get into cycling

(Image credit: chris catchpole)

It's a great way to explore the countryside

When it comes to exploring, it's hard to beat a bike. Walking is all very well, but you can't actually go very far, whereas if you're in car, you're hidden away in a small metal box, and will generally only go where the main roads take you.

But when you're on a bike, not only can you go a decent distance, but you can also branch off down a tiny lane, just because you're not sure what's at the end of it.

It's surprisingly sociable

Most rides are as more about having a chat in a cafe than riding a bike
(Image credit: chris catchpole)

If your friends's only experience of cyclists is stony-faced commuters only opening their mouths to curse errant taxi drivers, then no surprise they might not see cycling as the friendliest sport.

However take them out with a group at the weekend and stop at a cafe on the way home, and they'll see that cycling is more about having a good chat than anything else.

>>> Best cycling sportives for beginners

It gets them away from the family

I mean, we all love our families don't we, but then again, you can always have too much of a good thing.

A regular group ride that's in the family diary every week is a great way to get out of the house for a couple of hours, and enjoy some quality bike riding time with your mates without causing too much domestic friction.

They'll do better at work

That pay rise will be on its way, as long as you don't spend too long on Strava

If your mates are complaining about not getting that pay rise or promotion, then maybe cycling is the answer, as various studies have shown that cycling to work increases productivity and time management, and makes people better able to deal with stress.

Even better, they'll also be able to get started on stuff as soon as they arrive on the office, as a short bike ride in the morning will make them wide awake as soon as they get to their desk.

>>> Nine reasons why commuting by bike is surprisingly brilliant

It'll get them fit and healthy

A bit of a no-brainer this one, but cycling's one of the best ways to get fit and healthy quickly, and doesn't come with quite the same injury risk as running or some team sports.

And don't let you friends be put off at the start, they'll be amazed by how quickly they can improve in the first few months of riding, and will quickly have no problem keeping up with the group.

They can eat more

Ian Bibby eyes up the cake, Madison-Genesis training in Majorca, 2013

OK, we might cancel out the getting fit and healthy point here, but you can get through a hell of a lot of calories on a long bike ride, meaning that slice of cake at the cafe stop and beer in the evening can be enjoyed guilt-free.

Of course, it's worth pointing out that they don't want to go too far, but then again, it's better to be safe than sorry and be knackered the next day. Isn't it?

>>> Top three nutrition mistakes that amateurs make (video)

It will save them money

This is a long term benefit to cycling, as obviously the initial outlay on a bike and proper kit can be pretty big.

However once that's out of the way, then they can start commuting to work by bike, potentially saving a small fortune on train fares or petrol.

It'll improve their sex life

No, really. Various studies have shown that cycling (and exercise in general) can help to improve performance in the sack.

A study by the University of California found a 30 per cent increase in the sexual vitality of men who followed a regular training plan, while researchers from the University of Chicago found that one in four women experience sexual arousal while exercising.

Now if that isn't enough get your friends out cycling, then there's no hope for them.

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Henry Robertshaw began his time at Cycling Weekly working with the tech team, writing reviews, buying guides and appearing in videos advising on how to dress for the seasons. He later moved over to the news team, where his work focused on the professional peloton as well as legislation and provision for cycling. He's since moved his career in a new direction, with a role at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.