By Asitha Jayawardena
Much more people would be cycling or walking, bringing the lockdown to end with a greener and active transport, according to Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, who launched a travel plan on 9 May 2020.
This £250 million emergency active travel fund was the first stage of a £2 billion investment, he said. It will create pop-up bike lanes with protected space for cycling, wider pavements, safer junctions, and cycle and bus-only corridors.
After this announcement, the cycling sales rose steeply and the many cities gave cyclists additional space when the cars were absent due to the lockdown.
Here, let’s visit the NHS website to see what are the advantages of cycling. It mentions four aspects: Safety, Motivation, Exercise, and Benefits.
In cycling, safety can be ensured by these factors:
- Check your bike (e.g. tyres, brake, bell, etc)
- If you are new, practice in a safe place (e.g. park)
- Be alert and explore the route in a map
- Wear a helmet, even for a toddler
- Always follow the Highway Code
Practice ride with one hand; the other for using hand signals. To improve your visual awareness, get comfortable with looking over both shoulders while cycling.
Motivation can be as follows:
- Make cycling a daily habit
- Biking to work is cheap and green
- Cycle to school brings many benefits such as improved health, confidence and concentration
- Cycling is an ideal way for friends and family to explore their neighborhood and beyond
Taking exercise is two-fold:
- Adults and older adults at least 2 hours and 30 minutes (150 minutes) of moderate-intensity activity each week
- Children and young people, at least an hour (60 minutes) activity each day
- Whatever the age, a 30-minute ride can be the daily target
Benefits of cycling are many:
- Reduces chronic illnesses such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and stroke
- Boosts your mood
- Keep weight under control
Now you know about safety, motivation, exercise and benefits when it comes to cycling. And you know what the NHS says whether you are newcomer to cycling or experienced about biking. C-y-c-l-e!
£2 billion package to create new era for cycling and walking https://www.gov.uk/government/news/2-billion-package-to-create-new-era-for-cycling-and-walking
Cycling for beginners https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/cycling-for-beginners/
Coronavirus lockdown ‘boost to cycle trade’, say businesses https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-suffolk-52479919