Cycling doesn’t need to be all about pushing your limits and climbing big hills. In fact, cycling can be a delightful and easy-going means of transport to visit new places.
If we go back to the invention of the bicycle, the reason for this new form of transport in the 1800s was as an affordable and practical way to reach places (and without need of a horse).
Did you know that the first rear-wheel pedal driven cycle was made by a Scot, Kirkpatrick Macmillan, in around 1839?
Back then, the bicycle was not even seen as a way to get fit (although that would have obviously happened). The pedal bike revolutionised how people travelled and where they could reach simply by their own pedal power.
Perhaps, today, we have largely forgotten some of the formative reasons for cycling, although there are people that use the bike to commute to work.
The modern cyclist is more likely to ride to lose weight, record faster times, climb longer and bigger hills, to compete against others and because their friends have taken up the sport.
However, there is another gentler side to cycling and if you are looking for a great way to holiday then you could take the two-wheeled machine back to its roots and ride between new places and fascinating locations simply because going by two wheels is a practical and affordable thing to do.
Cycling on easy routes and flat trails can form the basis of a wonderful family holiday, too.
To see more: When cycling at an easy going pace you can look around and see more of your surroundings. Sitting on a bike gives you a great view, too. Rather than the scenery whizzing by through a car window you can pace your riding so that you see the countryside or town in more intimate detail.
To stop where you want to: Travelling by bike, rather than train, coach or other organised form of transport, allows you to spot something interesting and park up your bike to take a closer look.
If you want to stop every mile or every few miles or not stop for hours, it’s entirely up to you. Cycling offers a fabulous type of freedom for a holiday.
To feel good: Cycling is a great way to exercise and even if you do not pedal hard or fast it boosts the feel-good hormone, serotonin. Imagine how you will feel after a week or two of cycling every day on holiday? You will be bouncing with happiness hormones when you arrive back home!
To save money: Cycling is a practical and economical form of transport. Even if you need to hire a bike, or take your bike with you on holiday, it will be a cheaper way to travel than by motorised vehicle or public transport. Also see Should I Hire or Take my Own Bike on Holiday?
To enjoy family time: Cycling can be enjoyed by the whole family. If you have older children they can ride their own bikes while for youngsters there are great options such as chariots, tag-a-long and tandems.
Cycling along together, especially on traffic-free trails, offers the opportunity to chat, bond, enjoy doing things together and relish a family adventure.
For fitness: Cycling is a cardiovascular form of exercise and burns calories as well as strengthening leg muscles. During a cycling holiday you will spend many hours in the saddle and will most likely come home feeling fitter than when you left.
For outdoors life: Spending time outdoors is good for your physical and mental health. Many studies reveal the benefits for children and adult of being active outdoors.
For adventure: Cycling offers a wonderfully immersive style of adventure and one that afford many possibilities for exploring and rely finding our what a new place or country is like.
For meeting new people: If you holiday by bike people will be curious about what you are doing and where you are going. You will strike up conversations with all kinds of new people and the chances are you will meet other like-minded cyclists along the way.
To step back in time: Shedding modern conveniences, such as motorised travel, feels amazingly “free-ing”. You’ll find out how people once enjoyed life at a slower pace and because you are on holiday you do not need to be anywhere in a rush. Enjoy the chance to live life in the slower, more relaxing, lane.
Look out for our next blog that reveals 8 great easier going cycling holidays.