I first got majorly into cycling when living in rural France for six months.
My friends in the next city persuaded me that we should cycle the 36km back to my flat in the countryside.
From then on, I was hooked. Instead of spending lonesome evenings after work pining on the internet, I was on missions to nearby villages, discovering beautiful car-free roads and the ecstasy of speeding through the trees under my own steam. They introduced me to the idea of cycle-touring and opened up to a whole new experience of “travel”, more complete than ever before.
Since this first contact, cycling has come to be almost my sole means of transport and I am waiting for the opportunity for my first extended cycling trip. Cycling for me offers an unparalleled freedom; we’re not bound by timetables nor limited by rush hours. In Manchester, cycling is often the fastest way to get across the city and has saved me hundreds of pounds since moving here.
The independence of the cyclist lifestyle is supremely satisfying, especially now that I have built up the skills to do my own maintenance and basic repairs.
Manchester has a reasonable network of cycle paths. One of my favourites, the Fallowfield Loop, lets me commute across all of south Manchester and see barely a single car. My advice to new cyclists is to make sure your bike is the right size and comfortable to ride. No point going for the fanciest bike if you never want to ride it!