I’ve been a member of the CTC (Cyclists’ Touring Club) for almost 20 years, and one of the many benefits the club offers members is a bi-monthly magazine entitled ‘Cycle’. One thing that I’m fond of, and which has remained in the magazine, is the obituaries column.
Now this interest may appear morbid or at the very least bizarre, but believe me those columns are actually life affirming, but you have to be a cyclist to get the benefit. Why do I like them so much? Well leaving aside all the wonderful things that these people have done for the cycling community, and how they won the 1949 Wobbly Wheelers’ 25 mile time trial on cane rims and a packet of Senior Service cork tipped. What does it for me is how old they are when they finally expire, and almost to a man or woman they are always getting on. Among the ten obituaries in the issue I’m looking at, four were in their 80s and three were in their 90s when they passed on.
Could regular cycling have anything to do with this?
It’s well known that regular cycling is an effective aerobic activity. It strengthens heart muscles and lowers your resting pulse. Blood fat levels are reduced and so is blood pressure. It’s good for weight loss; a 15 minute ride to work and back five times a week will burn off around 11lbs of fat a year. Cycling also helps with some forms of diabetes.
It increases strength, stamina and muscle function, reduces stress and makes you feel happier.
Cycling is easy to do without the risk of over exertion; it’s easy to fit into your day as most journeys are less than five miles and therefore very manageable on a bike.
So if you want to be fit and healthy, and live a long time, cycle regularly.