A Dutch cyclist is urging people to rediscover the delights of Formby, by bike. Linda van der Haar from bike hire scheme Bike and Go, which operates from participating train stations including Formby, Ainsdale and Southport, says that the varied cycle routes around the area are a gift to those who enjoy cycling, but that even more people could be making the most of them. The keen cyclist who moved to the region from Amsterdam 2 years ago, has been particularly impressed by the Asparagus Cycle Route, the Cheshire Lines, and overall flat terrain. She is now calling for those more used to getting behind the wheel to use Bike Week, which runs until this Sunday, as the perfect opportunity to see their locality from a new perspective.
The biggest nationwide cycling event in the UK, Bike Week aims to get people to give cycling a go all over the UK, whether this be for fun, as a means of getting around to work or
School, the local shops or just to visit friends. According to Linda, the week offers the perfect opportunity to rediscover a love of cycling that, for many, begins in childhood and is then lost once they start to drive.
"The combination of the pretty village, flat spaces and Cheshire Lines means that the local area has so many spaces which are perfect for cycling. In the Netherlands we cycle everywhere, and picturesque spots such as this would be seized upon by people looking to chill out and enjoy some exercise in the fresh air. It's all too easy to say you are too busy to go on a bike ride, but by spending just 1 hour a week on a bike instead of watching a TV programme, people would feel the mental and physical health benefits as well as falling in love with their home Towns all over again." said Linda.
The benefits of cycling have long been reported, with a recent survey linking cycling to work with a halving of the risk of cancer and heart disease. The 5 year study of 250,000 UK commuters showed that regular cycling reduced the risk of death from any cause by 415, the incidence of cancer by 45% and heart disease by 46%. Cycling also took no willpower once it became part of the commute to work routine, the Glasgow based research team said, unlike going to the gym. Linda said:- "Even if people don't pick up a bike again for the rest of the year, I would urge them to spend 1 hour during Bike Week rediscovering cycling. You never know; it could be the start of a whole new passion."