One of the most popular and economical ways to get the blood pumping is to cycle. Etape Caledonia, the UK’s first and original closed event, is returning to Highland Perthshire this summer for its 13th year. Launching in 2007, more than 35,000 cyclists have pedalled the demanding circuit over the years which takes in some of Scotland’s most stunning landscapes.
Event organisers, Limelight are encouraging past participants to get back in the saddle on May 19 to pedal Perthshire on an 85-mile closed road circuit or a shorter, more forgiving 40-mile route option. Are you up for a new physical challenge this year? A cycling event like Etape Caledonia could be the challenge you’ve been looking for.
Here's a list of powerful reasons why you should consider getting on a bike in 2019.
It's obvious, but incredibly important. Cycling is a fantastic way to burn calories, increase your cardiovascular fitness and improve muscle strength. It's a low impact sport so there's less chance of you doing any kind of long-term damage to your body, particularly your legs, knees and ankles, when exercising. We do recommend that you build up to completing long distances - it can be a bit of a shock to the system to suddenly be cycling hundreds of kilometres.
Like all forms of exercise, cycling can make you feel better mentally as well as physically. Exercise offers you a boost through your body releasing adrenalin and endorphins which will make you feel positive. The exercise will also give you the confidence to try new things. Maybe sign up for a cycling event? In 2019, Etape Caledonia, the UK's original closed-roads sportive, is returning to Highland Perthshire with 85 and 40 mile routes for cyclists to take in some of the most spectacular locations in the UK.
What can be a frankly sad reflection of our daily lives, is the reality that the majority of us spend our weekdays indoors, in our jobs. It's unavoidable for most people. Cycling can offer that burst of fresh air and wide-open space that you've been craving when stuck indoors all week. Also, if the sun's out, you can soak up some all important Vitamin D which is great for your immune system and overall health. Don't forget the sun cream though!
Cycling can offer that burst of fresh air and wide-open space that you've been craving when stuck indoors.
There's a massive cycling community in the UK and its growing. Cycling on your own is great fun, but cycling with friends or with a cycling club can also be brilliant and really rewarding. It's definitely easier to power through a tough cycling event (or just a massive hill) when you've got other people to share the challenge with.
While cycling is kind to your mind and body, it's also kind to your surroundings. More and more people are choosing to tackle their daily commute by bike rather than adding to the escalating fuel emissions across the world. As well as being a green way to travel, it will save you the expense of fuel bills and will energise you ahead of a day in the office.
Many people take up cycling to participate in an event to raise money for a cause close to their heart. This year, Etape Caledonia's charity partner is Marie Curie and hundreds of those participating in the sportive will be raising money for this great cause. People's reasons for getting on a bike can vary from fighting illness themselves to cycling on behalf of a loved one. These stories are always inspiring and definitely give people an added motivation when taking on a tough sporting challenge.
Cycling is one of those sports that is genuinely universal. Whether you're 18 or 80, if you can pedal, you can enjoy cycling. Not all bike rides have to be a cycling sportive. There are few better feelings than the wind on your face and taking your feet off the pedals when going fast down-hill - you can be any age to enjoy that.
To register for Etape Caledonia 2019 visit www.etapecaledonia.co.uk
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