This week I decided to try something different and so thought it would be a good idea to ride my bike around the constituency of Rochford and Southend East. I had the idea whilst doing the annual Foulness Bike Ride. Normally my bike gets used just for this then gathers dust over the winter. Having had the app Strava recommended to me I have started running and cycling with a bit more enthusiasm.
We all know the benefits of cycling, it is good exercise, it reduces the amount of air pollution, and it is easier to find a parking space! However, regardless of these benefits it is very easy to jump into our cars and rush to our destination. This in turn has negative effects ranging from increased air pollution, increased congestion whilst adding no health benefit. In this modern age obesity and air pollution are becoming increasingly more problematic. Therefore, I urge you to consider cycling as your go to choice of transport for shorter distances. Of course there will always be a place for the car for longer journeys, or journeys with the kids. However, for when you are popping down the shops or if you are going to an event along the seafront why not pick up your bicycle.
The benefits of cycling reach out beyond the health and environmental. During my ride this week I found myself taking far more of the surroundings in than when driving. I particularly enjoyed the taking in the hot soup in Rochford as an excuse to stop.
I may even start cycling to work. I will start with the journey from Thorpe Bay to my constituency office along Victoria Avenue but aim to cycle to Westminster before the year is out. Parliament sits from 2.30 -10pm Monday so I can drop the kids off and then set off down the seafront and beyond. Any suggestions on route? My phone says it is only 44 miles and I did 22 just circumnavigating the constituency in 2 and a half hours.
In summary – get on your bikes – it’s fun, healthy and cheap!