There were some very satisfied looking riders in The Hub last week as the news story broke that Theresa May had conducted a major study and realised that cycling had major health benefits!…
The real story about cycling’s health benefits came from a study by Glasgow University. It found that regular cycling cut the risk of death from any cause by 41%, the incidence of cancer by 45% and heart disease by 46%. It was great to see the report shared widely across national newspapers and news media to add to the messages and research that Sustrans have been producing for many years.
So how can you go about cycling more?
As many of our members can tell you first hand, cycling has brought benefits to their lives in many ways beyond just the certified health benefits. We understand that not everyone will become a cyclist overnight so we have a number of different rides and services to help you become more confident and motivated to cycle at your own speed.
The first step is very important. Simply come and give it a go! Our Easy Riders ride is set up to welcome people who haven’t cycled for a long time or aren’t very confident cycling. You don’t need to worry about cycling in to the Hub to join the ride. To begin with, use whatever transport is most comfortable for you and borrow a bike from us for the ride. The rides only cover 5 or 6 miles and include a café stop halfway. And the speed is controlled so that nobody is left behind. Many of our volunteers and participants have all been in the same position as yourselves – you might start off unsure how to use your bike or how far you will get on your bike, but over time you will realise just how much your confidence will have grown. Come for a ride and a coffee and you’ll see how much our volunteers relate to your situation!
What the report won’t have told you is how good some of the cycling infrastructure is in the Tees Valley. Admittedly there is room for improvement, but I was pleasantly surprised that I could get from the Hub in Stockton to Hemlington Lake, almost entirely on cycle paths. Another benefit of joining our rides is that you might suddenly realise how many great places can be reached safely from your doorstep.
Weekend Family Ride/Easy Ride
It was great to see some new faces, both young and old, enjoying being on 2 wheels on our ride at the weekend. We stopped to feed the ducks in Ropner Park before using the greenway along the railway line to get to Preston Park. Away from the road it was great to see the younger riders really riding with freedom. Please encourage your family and friends to look out for our family rides throughout the year. As proved, cycling is a good habit to get into at any stage in your life!
Stepping Out In Stockton – Malton Away Day
88 walkers enjoyed another good Away Day last Friday under the guidance of our committed walk leaders. The trip was nearly at full capacity and everybody completed the 3 mile walk along the River Derwent. Even a stray young cyclist joined the troop for a while although that was because he’d taken a tumble from his bike in the woods! As the Glasgow study concluded, regularly walking also benefits your health. If you wish to participate in any ‘Stepping Out In Stockton’ walks please visit us in the Hub to get the walk programme for May and June.
Many thanks to all the volunteers who make our activities possible. You make many people very happy each and every week.
The Hub Team.