Just when you start to wonder if the message is starting to get through; if the amazing health, environmental and financial benefits of cycling are starting to hit home, this news breaks:
Launching on Wednesday (May 8) the groundbreaking pilot scheme will allow local GPs in Cardiff to prescribe patients with a six month membership to nextbike – as doctors say regular cycling could cut the risk of death from heart disease by half.
The pilot, which is led by Cardiff and Vale UHB, is the first of its kind in the UK and will start with two GP practices initially.
Cardiff’s Nextbike scheme has been enormously popular. Hardly surprising when you consider it is probably the cheapest and fastest way to get across Cardiff.
New stations are popping up all the time and apparently, 10,000 journeys each week are made on a Nextbike in Cardiff alone, but now there is the potential for patients to be prescribed cycling too.
Now, we usually associate prescriptions with medicines, but medicines often have side effects. If you’ve ever read the label that comes with each box of pills, you’ll no doubt have been horrified at the laundry-list of potential side effects, with everything from itchy palms to total liver failure.
Cycling has none of those.
Whether you are prescribed cycling for helping to manage your weight, your cardiovascular health or your mental health, it’s likely to improve all three in one fell swoop. We’ve talked before about how cycling can help with depression and anxiety, plus I’m pretty sure I’ve already talked about how it helped me to lose a few stone in weight and to feel younger than I have in decades.
Best of all, by taking trips to work or to the shops on a bicycle, whether you own it or rent it, you help to improve the health of everyone around you by not generating any additional air pollution.
It’s a win-win situation. A machine that just makes everything better, now available on prescription.