This post actually has a few purposes. 1) I want to talk about the benefits of cycling, 2) I want to talk about recycling projects and 3) I just want to show off about my shiny new bike!!
The city that I moved to is really great for cycling! Everyone cycles here and there are bike paths everywhere (good for people who are a little bit apprehensive about cycling on roads like me). So I decided that I would get a bike before I even moved here.
I looked for a new bike but it was going to cost me £250 for a very standard hybrid bike. So then I started looking on ebay as I prefer the shape of more retro looking hybrids but I had no success there either, although the bikes were pretty they would need some work done on them and I had now idea how to do that or who could do that for me.
When the university gave me a cycling map of the city with all the different bike shops in I found the perfect solution! York Bike Rescue takes bikes that people have donated to them and revamp them, putting new parts on and making sure that they are safe. Bikes cost around £50 (for standard) and up to £250 (for vintage). Mine cost around the middle at £100 for my retro shaped hybrid bike. I simply picked out my bike, they did all the work on it and then after 10 days it was ready for me to pick.
I know that other places around the UK have these sorts of projects or bike shops who reinstate old bikes to their former glory and I really would urge people to go to these instead of getting brand new bikes. I feel my bike has more character because it is older, it has already seen the world, but also, I feel better that not only am I reducing my carbon footprint by cycling over using a car but that my bike also has a smaller carbon footprint as it is getting double the use.
There are numerous benefits to cycling, not only does it reduce your carbon footprint but it also is really good for your health and keeping you fit. It saves you loads of money if you usually drive a car, like me, as you aren't paying for the endless expenses that they seem the create. It saves money over using public transport and you have the added benefit of not waiting around for buses. If you do need to take a longer journey though, as I do to go home, most trains have bike racks that you can reserve for free. There's also the obvious benefit of that it is actually fun, you get to see more and it is lovely just to go for a bike ride for the fun of it, to somewhere pretty.
It's not too expensive to get set up as I have spent less than £200, as I have had to get all the essential safety equipment: a lock, lights, helmet, etc, but after this I know my bike will cost me no more money.
So look at my pretty shiny new bike and consider taking up cycling yourself!