On a bicycle you can travel up to 648 miles on the energy equivalent of a single litre of petrol.
On a bicycle you can expect to be as fit as an average person ten years younger, if you cycle frequently.
On a bicycle you protect yourself against heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity and stress.
On a bicycle you can travel four times faster than you can walk using the same amount of energy.
A reasonable half-hour each-way commute will burn eight calories a minute, or the equivalent of 11kg of fat in a year.
On a bicycle you are faster, friendlier and more free than any other vehicle in city traffic.
UK cycling contacts
The British Cycling Federation are the official cycling organisation in the UK for competitive cycling.
The website has information on how to take part in all disciplines of cycling covering all ages. Access the British Cycling Federation website from the link on the right. The telephone number for further information is 0870 871 2000.
We have a Council that encourages faster traffic and out of town developments, abandons bus lanes, and has seen 25% of children become obese, 50% overweight, and so on.
|It's easier to cycle in the jams|
We, the cyclists, have been trying to make a difference and are hopeful that the health lobby will actually get the Council to act.
We simply cannot understand their logic. We know that 66% of motorists are happy to accept slower speeds, but they are not implemented. We know that 66% want more cycling, and are prepared to spend a little longer getting around to allow this, but nothing seems to change.
Making a difference
Cycling in Birmingham is scary, too scary. That's why I joined Pushbikes, to help make cycling better for young people. Pushbikes has been going for about 25 years; founder members can still be found cycling round the city. It has run relentless campaigns, and tried really hard to get people onto bikes.
|A packed bicycle stand in Amsterdam|
During that time, we have seen cycling safer and more fun than ever in Holland and German cities.
Birmingham just gets more cars, faster cars, cars that ignore you, cars that deliberately try to knock you off (yes, that does happen), cars that think the one inch space they have left for you is enough, buses (fully loaded) that also try to knock you off.
I have been a cyclist as long as I can remember. I remember occasionally falling, occasionally getting wet, but it was always a great way to get around as a child. School was two miles away, or 10 minutes cycling. I could get up at 8:30am and still be there on time!
At University it was cheap and convenient, though by then not all that many students cycled. When I lived in London, cycling round the centre of the city was fantastic, the more the jams, the easier to cycle, and everything was in easy reach.
|Be safe while cycling|
In spite of the drawbacks, Birmingham is still a wonderful place to cycle. I can park outside the shops and in the market. I can keep the bike with me and just load up the shopping.
My journey to work always takes a similar time, traffic jams don't slow you down, and I only rarely get soaked through! Coming home from work, I forget all the problems, it is really wonderful therapy.
Now I am part of a family, we all cycle. My sons can get up at 8:40am and still be in class on time, though thank goodness that is not their regular schedule.
How can I get involved?
You can contact myself at email@example.com or visit our website. We run regular rides. For the first time we are trailing family rides, which we hope to run regularly if successful. Join the longer guided rides, a must on a wonderful summer's evening.
Join for fun, join for support, and join to add your support.