Why you should ride a bike

Cycling is green and good for you and a great way to make short, everyday journeys. All you need is an ordinary bike — nothing fancy — on which to pedal to work, to school, to the shops, to see friends or even for a night out. There's no need to speed: cycling slowly means you see more along the way.

Health: Steady cycling for 30 minutes a day will burn 5kg (11lb) of fat in a year. That 30 minutes of daily cycling will reduce the risk of  heart disease by half. Who needs  a gym? Mental health is improved too. Read more about the health benefits.

Environment: You are part of the solution to traffic jams, not part of the problem. Cycling is nonpolluting: using a bike produces no greenhouse gases or particulates.

Time: Cycling can be a fast and predictable way to get to work — there are no traffic jams or timetables. Cyclists are less likely to take time off work because of illness.

Money: The cost of riding a bike is ridiculously low, especially when compared with cars and buses. Your company may offer subsidised bikes via Cycle Scheme.

Isn't it dangerous? Yes, cycling is risky but people also slip in the bath. The ratio of life years gained through better health (because of cycling) to life years lost (to cycling injuries) is 20:1.

You've read this far ... now get a bike and go out and try it! Most other people on bikes are friendly. They will be happy to offer advice on all aspects of cycling.

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