Why Drive When you can Ride? by Peter Silburn of Horsham District Cycling Forum

Knowing what to do in the face of the global climate crisis can often seem a daunting task.

Whilst it’s true that the really big changes need to be prompted by Government action there’s still a lot you can do as an individual. Small changes build up, especially when other people join in.

A major cause of global warming is our over-reliance on cars in towns and cities, which also contributes to poor air quality, traffic congestion, road danger and noise, and the obesity crisis.

One small step you can take is to cycle for those short journeys where through force of habit you instinctively get in the car.

For short journeys in town it’s often quicker by bike, and it saves you money too. What can be just as important – even where the journey time is slightly longer than by car – is that the time taken can be remarkably consistent, meaning you don’t need to leave extra time for your journey just in case you get stuck in traffic.

You’ll feel better, both physically and mentally as you get outdoor exercise, all the time knowing you’re helping reduce carbon emissions.

The number one reason given for choosing not to cycle is that it’s too dangerous (all those cars!) and whilst it’s true that cycling in this country is more dangerous than it ought to be – due to untamed car use and the lack of dedicated infrastructure for cycling – it isn’t nearly as dangerous as people think.

Although it can initially feel intimidating, statistically you are more likely to be putting yourself at risk of things like heart disease, diabetes and strokes by sitting still than by cycling.

Taking to two wheels can feel liberating and empowering. It’s a great way to see your neighbourhood in a new light and to feel the wind on your face. Unlike sitting stuck in traffic, you’re in control of your own destiny and can change your route on a whim.

Contrary to what you might see in some sections of the media you don’t need any special clothing either, just wear what you would anyway.

You’ll soon realise there’s no end to where your bike can take you – popping to the shops or to work, to see friends, or just heading to the park to relax.

Are you happy to continue being part of the problem, or would you rather be part of the solution?

To find out more about what the Horsham Cycle Forum is doing to make cycling for everyday transport a natural choice for short journeys go to: Web: www.hdcf.org.uk/
Twitter: twitter.com/CycleForumHorsh
Facebook: facebook.com/CycleForumHorsh

Written by by Peter Silburn of Horsham District Cycling Forum