Every year the Tour de France inspires a host of people to rediscover their bikes. And what a great choice of transportation and fitness cycling offers!
Cycling at even leisurely speeds will burn off an average of 150 calories every 30 minutes. Riding at a moderate pace of 12 to 14mph burns double the calories.
There are a wealth of other positive health facts associated with cycling:
* One study found that regular cycling reduces the risk of premature death from ill-health by 39%.
* Research found that by cycling for half an hour most days of the week, you'll lose as much weight as doing three aerobics classes a week.
Go off-road on countryside trails or to one of Scotland’s many mountain biking centres and the health benefits increase. Riding uphill, going fast downhill and cycling on uneven surfaces will increase fat-burn and offer greater all-over-body toning.
Cycling is also a fantastic way to get around Scotland. Thanks to a wealth of off-road trails, purpose-built mountain bike centres and a network of quiet roads and traffic-free routes, there are many, many miles of countryside to cycle - and explore.
Most people are capable of cycling for an hour or so at a time and you’ll be surprised how far you travel in that time. And once you build up your strength and fitness, you’ll find that a bike offers a great way to get about.
Many more people are also discovering the delights of cycle tour holidays. Whether guided or self-guided, there are plenty of options and companies keen to organise routes, accommodation, bike hire and luggage transfer for you.
The advantage of following a route and schedule is that you are more likely to visit recommended places and benefit from the knowledge of local guides and cyclists.
Companies such as Glentrek know all the best routes in their area and can tailor a cycling tour to suit your aspirations and fitness. The cycling holiday could be a couple of days or a week or two. It might be off-road, on a long-distance cross country route or on quiet roads. It could be self-guided or part of a guided cycling weekend.
The choice is yours. But whatever you decide you’ll most likely lose weight, improve your fitness, meet new people and discover a host of attractions all in one holiday.