The freedom, fun and fitness aspects of cycling mean different things to different people. Collect together any group of cyclists, and you’ll often get wildly different answers to why they ride, and what they get out of it.
For some it’s the ideal release from the stresses of work (or even home life), a way to unwind and relax. For others it’s a way of getting fit, sometimes alone and sometimes in the company of friends.
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There are few sports or past-times that can offer as much as cycling can. There are few people who can accurately claim that swimming, darts or hockey can provide them with a means of getting to work.
We recently asked Cycling Weekly readers what cycling meant to them, and here are a selection of their answers.
Feel free to add in your answer in the comment section below.
To me, cycling means getting outside and having fun, being free, getting away from everything into my own little world. It means dealing with depression and keeping a positive fighting attitude in all aspects of life. Cycling is more than just a sport or hobby, its a lifestyle and life changing thing to participate in. Cycling is life.
I love the fact that I never plan where I go on a ride. I just ride, if I want to turn left and see where it goes, I turn left and come back when I have had enough. Free as a bird and a bit of time to forget the pressures of life for a few hours.
What DOESN’T cycling mean to me?
Simply freedom from the daily grind of life. Cycling keeps me fresh and feeling alive for the rigours of work each week.
Since taking up cycling in 2013, I am four and a half stone lighter, fitter than I have ever been in my 54 years and have discovered that I am quite good at climbing hills!
An addictive, low-cost form of transport which can lift your spirits and burn unwanted calories.
Freedom, ease of travel, making friends, learning, wind, rain, sun on your skin. Views, chatting, silence, exhaustion, satisfaction, tan lines, addiction, gruelling, cake, thighs, pain, endorphins.
Life. Independent freedom of movement. Good health. Fresh air. Sensible way to commute. Avoiding traffic. Enthusiasm for exercise outdoors. Trees. Wind in face. Fun.
I ride to think. I ride to forget. Sometimes I just ride.
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Just getting out on my own and having some ‘me time’. The pleasure of being out on a beautiful morning and being surrounded by the great British landscape is one of the simplest but it’s also one of best.
Everything… But the ice cream at the end of the ride is the best!
It’s the only form of exercise that I look forward to rather than endure.
Appreciating my part of the country in much more beautiful detail. Getting faster, making friends, getting fitter.
Cycling saved me from a downward spiral that saw me headed for 19 stone at a rapid rate. I suffered depression after the birth of both my kids and cycling really improves my mental health, keeps my weight in check and all round helps me cope with life.