National Bike Week 2021 – “Health & Wellbeing”

“Bike Week, delivered by Cycling UK, is an annual celebration to showcase cycling and how brilliant it is. Join thousands of people all across the UK and enjoy the simple pleasure of riding a bike. Let's make the world better by bike.” This year's theme is "Health & Wellbeing", so we're celebrating the bicycle and it's impact on the nation's health, mental & physical.

Published: Thursday 03 June 2021

Cycling UK's National Bike Week 2021 at E-Bikes Direct

Celebrating All Things Bicycle - National Bike Day 2021

Now, the last 18 months have been the most testing for all of us, with a seemingly endless conveyor belt of hurdles chucked our way from job losses, lockdowns, and general lack of any remnant of normality… Public transport & establishments closed, businesses seizing, but one thing that has shone through as a saving grace, for many many reasons that we’ll touch on – the Bicycle!

With mental & physical health benefits, city congestion decline, and government backed schemes singing their praises, National Bike Week 2021 brings potentially the biggest mass appreciation for bicycles, ever!

The Bicycle

Appreciating the Bicycle - NBW 2021

The Bicycle traces back to the late 1830’s thanks to Scottish blacksmith Kirkpatrick MacMillan, the man known to be behind the invention of the worlds first mechanically propelled two-wheeled vehicle, or, bicycle to us. The logistic of a pedal crank returning propulsion through a means of drive is so simple, yet so affective that fast forward nearly 200 years, nothing has really changed and the bicycle to this day adopts near identical technologies, albeit slightly more refined.

Seen as a practical and cost-effective utility, the Bicycle has left a stamp in the history books on many occasions, from the 50,000 bicycle troops deployed during the invasion of China in 1937, to the ‘bomber bikes’ dropped from aircrafts to reach troops behind energy lines during WWII, to name a select couple. No doubt, the Covid-19 pandemic will now be added to that long list.

"Health & Wellbeing"

With the Nation couped up throughout the majority of the pandemic & the general morale being slightly stagnant to say the least, we’ve all noticed and perhaps been subject to a decline in mental & physical health. The government quickly realised that key to immunity and recovery is of course Vitamin C and general exercise, but key to preventing transmission was to eliminate both of these things… A double-edged sword. People needed a contact-free, morale boosting, cost effective means of exercise, just as much as they needed a public transport solution…. The bicycle!

In our ‘For A Healthier Britain’ blog published in August last year, we touched on a few key reasons why cycling and general exercise will improve your physical and mental state; “It’s no secret that exercise is key to a healthy lifestyle and will improve cardio and general fitness, but we think there’s nowhere near enough promotion for the benefits that a healthy lifestyle and exercise routine can provide not only for your mental health but also the health of your gut.

Without a healthy mindset, there’s often little desire or motivation to improve your physical health – a catch 22, I’m sure we can all slightly relate to. Studies show that regular exercise and the release of endorphins can promote significant changes to the brain including neural growth, reduced inflammation, and new activity patterns that promote feelings of calm and well-being, having a profoundly positive impact on depression, anxiety, ADHD, and more. As your mindset improves, motivation for exercise, dietary change and a generally healthier lifestyle increases thus forming a new routine, new cravings and a sense of achievement that repeats this cycle.”

As well as the neurological effects that cycling has on your health, the physical movement and muscle development, specifically within the abdomen, can encourage changes in abdominal activity and promote a faster metabolism. As some might be familiar with, your mental well-being plays a big part in digestion & organ health and visa-versa, so it’s true what they say – healthy mind, healthy heart.

National Bike Week at E-Bikes Direct

"The Facts"

A bicycle can really sharpen the metaphorical pivotal point of your mental & physical health, but just how much? Cycling UK have put a few quotes together to really demonstrate this;

  • “Cycling to work can mean you have a 45% lower risk of developing cancer, and a 46% lower risk of cardiovascular disease.”
  • “If all cycle journeys increased from the current level of 2% to 25% by 2050, the collective benefit would be £248bn.”
  • “If you cycle regularly in adulthood, you’re likely to enjoy a level of fitness equivalent to someone 10 years younger.”

Bo-Jo Loves It!

Since this national cycling craze, the Government have broadened retailer cycle schemes, introduced the ‘Fix Your Bike Voucher Scheme’ and launched the ‘Cycle Skills’ online training facility in the attempt to crack two conquers with one hit – Improve mental & physical health, sway city drivers into a more eco-friendly mode of transport, encourage a contact-free & responsible form of exercise, & finally offer the necessary cycle skills to the masses to aid the longevity and prepare for a slightly different future. NCW clearly has Bo-Jo’s support!

Electric Bikes?

Although they haven’t stood the test of time as traditional bicycles have, electric bikes or ‘E-Bikes’ have shone through as a great solution for those who perhaps love cycling but aren’t as mobile as they once were, or those with health conditions they want shifting, but need a little push in the right direction. Don’t be fooled by the ‘electric’ tag…. A common mis-conception it that electric bikes don’t have any health benefits as they do the work for you, but these machines are pedal assisted, meaning you still need to put in the groundwork to get a little help back! You can pick an entry level E-Bike up for under £800 even in the current climate, which squashes the other common mis-conception too! If the idea of assisted (but by no means lazy) cycling tickles your fancy, check out our full electric bike range.

Cycle To Work Schemes

At E-Bikes Direct we’ve always tried to make electric bikes as accessible to the masses as possible, so naturally the idea of employers willing to assist with this was welcomed warmly. Today we work with a number of schemes such as Halfords Cycle2Work, CycleScheme UK and Green Commute Initiative, to broaden the opportunity for our potential customers.

Check out our Cycle Schemes page for more information. Give us a call with any queries & we can help you get the ball rolling!

Fix Your Bike Voucher Scheme

Last July the Government announced a scheme that offers bicycle repair vouchers to cyclists across the UK in the hope that helping to maintain your bicycle will in-turn maintain the decline in public transport & rise in cycle commuting. So, if you’re wanting to get back out on 2 wheels but don’t have the know-how or funds to do so, the ‘Fix Your Bike Voucher Scheme’ might be worth a read.

#7daysofcycling

Every year, Cycling UK run a #7daysofcycling challenge in an attempt to get the Nation cycling. Simply post a photo or post on Social Media with ‘#7daysofcycling’ tag to join the craze, and you might even win a prize! If not, you’ve got out in the fresh air for the hottest week of the year so far! So give it a go! Check out the Cycling UK site for more info on the challenge and NBW in general.

On Ya Bike!

It’s fair to say that of all years, the bicycle deserves the most appreciation this year for it’s long-standing reign as the exercise and transport solution. Big up your bike!! (If you have one…), and If not, why?! There couldn’t be a better time.

Stay Safe, Stay Cycling.

National Bike Week at E-Bikes Direct

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