There’s never been a better time to saddle up, according to The Independent

‘2009 is the year to get on your bike’

Bikes led the first front page of the year in The Independent newspaper yesterday, with the paper proclaiming that 2009 is the year to get on your bike.

The paper cited 20 facts that meant cycling is going to have a huge year, including the boom in the number of bikers on UK roads, the recent Olympic success in cycling, upcoming investment in the sector and the fact that it is cheaper than driving – thought to be a crucial factor for many over the next year.

“If you thought there were more cyclists on the roads recently, you’d be right – biking is booming. In London alone there has been a 91 per cent increase in the number of cycle journeys since 2000, with more than 500,000 trips a day. And, nationwide, Sport England’s latest survey, for the 12 months to October 2008, showed 1.8 million of us cycle at least once a week, a significant increase on last year – and that doesn’t include commuters."

The feature also pointed to the Cycle to Work scheme as a major factor in urging the public to saddle up, and added that it boosts the economy: “Cycling England estimates that every new cyclist saves the nation £382 a year in costs related to health, pollution and congestion. It says a 20 per cent increase in biking by 2012 would save £107m in premature deaths, £52m for the NHS and £87m in costs to employers through reduced sickness. A cut in pollution would save £71m a year, while reducing congestion would save £207m.”

The full feature is online here.

The paper also included training tips from Olympic cyclist Victoria Pendleton.

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