There are many reasons why it might be a good idea to buy a bicycle However, it is a financial decision as you will have to pay out for the bike. It is therefore worth making sure that it will be worthwhile. Consider the benefits of having a bicycle as well as the costs and this should help you to decide.
Benefits of a bicycle
- Health– one big benefit for many cyclists is the improvement in fitness they see and feel when using a bicycle. You might be fit and healthy anyway, but if you cycle instead of driving or using public transport then you could see a significant change in your fitness and health. If you manage to find routes which do not have too many other vehicles then you will benefit even more as you will not be exposed to so much air pollution. It is easy to think that being outside in the air will expose you to more pollution than being shut in a car, but it makes little difference as fumes get into cars and they can be very close to the exhausts of other vehicles, particularly in queuing traffic.
- Save on transport costs – although there will be some costs to owning a bicycle, you will tend to save money compared to using a car or public transport. This is because it takes less maintenance and you do not have to pay for fuel. If you are doing lots of short journeys, then a bicycle can be particularly handy as it will not take that much longer and you will be able to get about almost for free.
- Do not sit in traffic – with a bicycle you will not normally have to queue in traffic for as long as you would if you are in a car. You will often be able to ride alongside stopped cars or you could always walk along the pavement and push your bike, if the traffic build up is really bad. This means that if you are going on a route that tends to get very busy, then a bicycle could make your journey quicker.
- Family fun – many families all have bikes and use them for enjoyable trips out. It can be a good way to keep fit and healthy as a family and to get the children away from their electronics for a while.
- Social- some people belong to cycle groups where they cycle along routes with lots of others. They find this can be a lot of fun and they make new friends. It can also be a good way to discover cycle routes that they may not have otherwise known about.
- See more of the area – as bicycles often have different routes to cars due to cycle lanes, canal paths and footpaths being accessible by bike, then it means that you can get to see a lot more of your local area if you have a bike compared with driving.
- Cost of buying it – you will of course have to pay out for your bicycle. You can get a bike fairly cheaply, especially if you buy it second hand. However, there are some which are extremely expensive. Obviously, you will need to find one that fits in with your budget, but if your budget is very low it could mean that you will not be able to find one that you can afford that is reasonable. It might even be tempting to get a loan to pay for a bike, but you will need to be careful of the extra costs associated with a loan and the responsibility of having to repay it.
- Cost of maintaining it – although bikes are pretty cheap to run, there will still be some costs to maintain it. You may find that you get punctures and need to repair them and will eventually need new tyres as they wear. You may also need to keep the chain oiled and you may need to replace that as well if it breaks. You will also need to make sure that your brakes are working properly and parts of these may need replacing to keep them safe.
- Takes longer to get to places – it will usually take longer to get to places using a bicycle. This is because you cannot cycle as fast as a car can drive. If you are only travelling small distances this might not be a concern for you and if you normally walk, then a bike will be quicker. However, if you are travelling long distances you may find that you just cannot use a bike as it will take far too long.
- Cannot carry as much – you can be limited in how much you can carry when cycling. It is possible to put bags on the bike to carry things and use a rucksack, but the amount of space is still small. If you need to take a suitcase or a significant amount of shopping then you will actually find it easier in foot than on a bike and a car would certainly be very much more convenient.