On Your Bike! Cycling to College

By Steven Galvin - Last update


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We’ve been blessed recently with fabulous weather and many people have been taking advantage of it and been out and about enjoying the sunshine. And a lot of these people have chosen the bicycle as their favourite way to spend time outdoors. There has been a noticeable increase in cycling over the last couple of years of living through the pandemic and there has been well-received work done on improving cycling infrastructure in Dublin in the shape of segregated cycle lanes. There is still a lot of work to do to make Dublin bicycle friendly but the increase in the number of cyclists and the willingness of DCC to address the problems of safety means we’re heading in the right direction.

Maybe you’ve been one of those people who got on a bike and took to the cycle paths. Maybe you haven’t but you’ve been thinking about it. Whatever your situation, why not start planning now to use it to get to college when classes resume in September. Why not ditch the car or escape the bus or train trip and enjoy the freedom and control of commuting to college by bike. Cycling has so much to offer people of all ages and abilities and below we look at 5 reasons why cycling to college will improve your life and bring a bundle of benefits!

On Your Bike! Cycling to College

Health

Of course cycling is great for your health, increasing your cardiovascular fitness and improving blood pressure by pumping blood to the heart, contributing to a healthy cardiovascular system. Cycling also improves muscular strength and stamina, building a better body for you. Plus, Cycling lowers “bad cholesterol” and raises “good” cholesterol levels, burns a lot of calories, and contributes to maintaining a healthy-weight. Not bad for a couple of wheels!

Environment

Cycling is a great way to play your part in fighting climate change. Cycling uses no fuel, creates less noise, causes less air pollution, and results in fewer emissions that are warming the atmosphere and raising pollution levels. According to experts, if just 1 percent of the driving population switched to bikes, it would translate to a 2-4% reduction in mobile emissions. Also by choosing to cycle over driving you are reducing your ecological footprint – a commuting cyclist has about one-tenth the ecological footprint of a commuting driver. Choosing a bike over a car just once a day reduces an average citizen’s carbon emissions from transport by 67%, according to research led by University of Oxford transport professor Christian Brand. “We found that those who switch just one trip per day from car driving to cycling reduce their carbon footprint by about 0.5 tonnes over a year, representing a substantial share of average per capita CO2 emissions.Global warming is the greatest single threat to planetary survival. By cycling you are doing your bit to make the world a better place for future generations.

Time

You never know what the roads are going to be like when you are driving or taking public transport. Heavy traffic can hold you up and add significant time to your journey and can often lead you to arriving at your destination later than you had planned. Also public transport timetables can sometimes be as reliable as banana skin shoes on ice and you spend more time waiting than you planned resulting again in you losing time and arriving late. With cycling you are always in control of your time. If it’s a 30-minute cycle to college then it will always be so! Plus you can take the shortest route which public transport never does and also you have your pick of parking which you never have with your car – all of which saves you time and puts you in control.

Money 

It doesn’t take a mathematical genius to work out the financial benefits of cycling to college everyday. Petrol costs money. Public transport costs money. Cycling a bike costs nothing.

Well Being

Cycling has so many benefits to your well being. On top of the obvious benefits that come from the physical side of things, there is the reality of being in tune with the world around you. You are not stuck inside a metal box being propelled forward by an engine. You are at one with your momentum and can smell the roses on your journey. You can hear the birds sing. Nature is around you. You are more aware of the world around you and your place in it. This contributes to a much better sense of well-being than being stuck in a car listening to the radio or on the bus or train listening to someone else’s phone conversation.

Cycling can often have a meditative effect and is known to reduce stress. In a recent survey two thirds of respondents said riding was “very important” for their mental wellbeing.

So don’t just go on those summer cycles – make the bicycle a part of your everyday life and get ready to cycle to college.


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Steven Galvin

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