Get ready for Etape Caledonia with these top reasons to practice your pedal power
In 2019, Etape Caledonia, the UK’s original closed-roads sportive, is returning to Highland Perthshire. With 136.8 km (85 mile) and 64 km (40 mile) routes for cyclists to take in some of the most spectacular locations in the UK, it’s an amazing way to see exercise and take in the views. The folks behind Etape Caledonia have sent us these amazing reasons to start cycling in 2019 and we couldn’t agree more.
1. It’s great for your physical health
It’s obvious, but incredibly important. Cycling is a fantastic way to burn calories, increase your cardiovascular fitness and improve muscle strength. It’s a low impact sport so there’s less chance of you doing any kind of long-term damage to your body, particularly your legs, knees and ankles, when exercising. We do recommend that you build up to completing long distances – it can be a bit of a shock to the system to suddenly be cycling hundreds of kilometres.
2. It improves your mental wellbeing
Like all forms of exercise, cycling can make you feel better mentally as well as physically. Exercise offers you a boost through your body releasing adrenalin and endorphins which will make you feel positive. The exercise will also give you the confidence to try new things. Maybe sign up for a cycling event?
3. It gets you out and about
What can be a frankly sad reflection of our daily lives, is the reality that the majority of us spend our weekdays indoors, in our jobs. It’s unavoidable for most people. Cycling can offer that burst of fresh air and wide-open space that you’ve been craving when stuck indoors all week. Also, if the sun’s out, you can soak up some all-important Vitamin D which is great for your immune system and overall health. Don’t forget the sun cream though!
4. It’s a social sport
There’s a massive cycling community in the UK and its growing. Cycling on your own is great fun, but cycling with friends or with a cycling club can also be brilliant and really rewarding. It’s definitely easier to power through a tough cycling event (or just a massive hill) when you’ve got other people to share the challenge with.
5. It’s kind to the environment
While cycling is kind to your mind and body, it’s also kind to your surroundings. More and more people are choosing to tackle their daily commute by bike rather than adding to the escalating fuel emissions across the world. As well as being a green way to travel, it will save you the expense of fuel bills and will energise you ahead of a day in the office.
6. You can inspire people
Many people take up cycling to participate in an event to raise money for a cause close to their heart. This year, Etape Caledonia’s charity partner is Marie Curie and hundreds of those participating in the sportive will be raising money for this great cause. People’s reasons for getting on a bike can vary from fighting illness themselves to cycling on behalf of a loved one. These stories are always inspiring and definitely give people an added motivation when taking on a tough sporting challenge.
7. Age is only a number
Cycling is one of those sports that is genuinely universal. Whether you’re 18 or 80, if you can pedal, you can enjoy cycling. Not all bike rides have to be a cycling sportive. There are few better feelings than the wind on your face and taking your feet off the pedals when going fast down-hill – you can be any age to enjoy that.
To register for Etape Caledonia 2019 visit www.etapecaledonia.co.uk
For more cycling ideas and tips, check out the On Your Bike sections of the Scots Magazine issue and website!