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It is Summer term, which means it’s time to bring out the bicycle. I’m sure I don’t need to preach to anyone about the benefits of cycling – it is exercise, after all – but now that the weather is improving I would be remiss not to enthuse about the opportunity. I can’t recommend bringing a bike to University enough, for a number of reasons. Firstly, cycling is great for your health, as I’m sure everyone knows. As the physiotherapist’s exercise of choice, cycling is a fantastic cardiovascular exercise that is low-impact on your joints when compared to other jarring activities like jogging. Add this physical benefit to the mental ones and you’re on to a winner: Cycling is great stress relief. Using your bike to get to and from University during the revision period allows you to clear your head, creating a smooth transition between the library ‘work mode’ and home ‘relaxation mode’. This is aided by the beautiful scenery we are afforded in Lancaster. Our cycle route travels through Bowerham and into the country roads, with lovely views of fields filled with sheep and wind turbines. On a sunny day it is a real joy.
If that doesn’t convince you, perhaps appealing to your savvy student brain will. A bus pass in Lancaster sets us back a criminal £93 per term, which in third term, when we don’t even have lectures, seems about as logical as throwing money down a drain. Cycling is free, and leaving a bit earlier to fit the journey around your revision timetable is not only worth saving the money but might also help you to create a regular sleep – work schedule.
The main obstacle that students seem to face with cycling is actually getting hold of a bike. For those of you that can’t bring one from home and don’t want to splash any serious cash on a new one, there are alternatives. Online selling websites seem to have an abundance of second-hand bikes available and the ‘Buying and Selling in Lancaster’ Facebook page regularly pops up with students hoping to get rid of one before they leave. These may be free to a good home or available for a small fee, but either way it is cheaper than a new one – and probably cheaper than buying some appropriate running trainers or a bus pass!
While I’m sure everyone is aware of these benefits, I think a reminder is always helpful and I hope this inspires some of you to make that change and start cycling; even if it’s only once a week. After cycling from town onto campus I feel energised, clear-headed and ready to work – I hope it does the same for you too.