Cycling can often be a bit of a touchy subject. You either love cyclists or you hate them. The thing is not all cyclists are like the ones you see running red lights (yes, we hate them too), but I thought I’d explain why I love cycling to maybe give it another side.
I did the standard bike as a kid thing but never really got into riding it until I started working for an independent bike shop local to me, where I saw photos of some of the boys racing Cyclocross. The mud drew me in and I saved up and brought my first cyclocross bike to start riding and racing on. I’d already brought myself a basic mountain bike to go trail riding on but was looking for something else to do as well, and cyclocross just fit well. I started training with a local cycling club and raced my first race a few months later. I’m never going to be an amazing cyclist winning races, but I enjoy the races and the atmosphere so I’m not really fussed where I end up results wise.
Cycling for me is a bit of extra freedom. I prefer riding off road to on road, but I do have a road bike and will be racing road races next season, but for me off road will always win. There’s something about riding in the mud/gravel/grass and being surrounded by trees and roots that you can try bunny hopping that makes you feel so free. You don’t have to worry about cars as long as you watch out for pedestrians, children and dogs (who will run after you cause they think its fun) and as long as you’re polite and don’t ride recklessly around others, can be so freeing. Rather than cars hurtling past you and hearing engines for an hour or so, you some quiet and some nature instead.
I love racing cyclocross because for the same reasons but I get to push myself further on a purpose made course, with out the worry of children and dogs. Although I’m not a fan of the cold, getting covered in loads of mud is really fun for me and I feel I’ve not raced hard enough if I’m not covered in mud at the end of it. My boyfriend is also a cyclist and a much better one than me, gaining top 10 results most weeks at races so its also a fun way for us to spend some time together.
Bikes are also a really good way for commuting into work or university. My current travel cost is around £76 a month to travel into university three times a week, where as by cycling in, I get some fresh air and its free. Although I’m not a fan on the heavy traffic it does help to wake you up in the morning and make you more alert by the time you get in. If you wear the appropriate kit as well, you don’t have to worry about being freezing cold on the ride in.