Happy Cyclists

If you're reading this article then chances are you're already hooked on cycling and know the vast array of health benefits you can gain from some two-wheeled action.

However, we also know that not everyone in the world shares our biking enthusiasm.

For those of you trying to convince friends, family members or colleagues to get into the cycling groove - share these fifteen fascinating cycling facts, they'll soon figure out what they have been missing out on.

Even if you are a cycling convert, we're sure there will be something among these facts that you haven't heard before.

All of these prove just how awesome riding a bike is, so go forth and be ready to feel smug.

Headline image by the Washington Area Bicyclist Association via Flickr.

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[part title="Fascinating cycling facts: a bike ride a day keeps the doctor away"]

Happy, healthy cyclists

We all know that riding a bicycle has a wonderful affect on both your physical and mental health. However, from time-to-time we can all struggle to find the energy to saddle up.

If you're ever wavering just remember these fascinating cycling facts and statistics:

  • Pedal on past Cancer: A long-term study carried out by a team of Finnish researchers found that those who took part and exercised at a moderate level for at least 30 minutes a day were half as likely to develop cancer as those who didn't
  • According to the Chief Dietician at St George’s Hospital in London, “moderate exercise makes immune cells more active, so they’re ready to fight off infection"
  • The British Heart Foundation released data highlighting that around 10,000 fatal heart attacks could be avoided each year if people kept themselves fitter and healthier. Cycling just 20 miles a week reduces your risk of heart disease to less than half that of those who take no exercise, it said.

[part title="Fascinating cycling facts: Fitness and wellbeing - bike away the bulge and blues"]

Runs-on-fat

I'm the first to admit there have been many times when I've hopped on my bike in a miserable mood, only to find myself grinning away about 5 miles into the ride.

We guarantee any amount of time on a bike will lift your spirits and it's proven, as Andrew McCulloch, chief executive of the Mental Health Foundation explains;

Any mild-to-moderate exercise releases natural feel-good endorphins that help counter stress and make you happy

  • Figures show the average person will lose 13 lbs (5.8 kilograms) in their first year of cycling to work (Source: Outdoor Foundation 2010)
  • Biking improves your health and quality of life. It gets you outside, relieves stress, and just generally makes you feel better about life
  • A study found that just 25 minutes of aerobic exercise such as cycling boosts at least one measure of creative thinking
  • Give yourself a legal high. We've all felt that euphoria post ride and it's been proven that there's a direct link between feelings of wellbeing and exercise.

[part title="Fascinating cycling facts: Healthy workforce = healthy profits"]

Bike at work

Is your boss dragging their heels in signing up to a Cycle to Work scheme? Why not email these facts over, they will definitely make your manager sit up and take note.

  • According to research from the University of North Carolina, people who cycle for 30 minutes, five days a week, take about half as many sick days as couch potatoes
  • 42 Brompton folding bikes or 20 standard sized cycles can be parked in the same space as one car, meaning you employer could save on car parking space
  • A study of 200 people carried out by the University of Bristol found that employees who exercised before work or at lunchtime improved their time and workload management, and it boosted their motivation and their ability to deal with stress.

[part title="Fascinating cycling facts: Cycling helps keep money in your purse"]

Money background

Okay so we know that you have to outlay money to purchase a bike, but with schemes like the Cycle to Work system it's never been easier to get your hands on a trusty steed. Once you've bought a bicycle, just sit back and watch the money roll in.

  • Commuting to work on your bicycle costs nothing, as opposed to using your car or taking public transport. To use public transport in the capital it costs a whopping £1,744 for a zone 1-4 travel card for the year. Imagine the bike you could buy with that!
  • Maintaining a bike annually costs twenty times less than maintaining and driving a car

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The world's longest bicycle is recorded at 92-foot (28-metres) long.

Engineering students in the Netherlands successfully broke the world record for riding the longest bicycle in 2010.

They managed to beat the previous record set by an 85-foot bike in Italy back in 1998, by 7 whole feet.

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