Cardiff is a great city. It’s small enough to feel comfortable, but it has all the mod cons; a plentiful supply of greenery and is mostly flat, at least in the middle. It should be the perfect city to traverse by bike, but it is fair to say that the appetite for a city built for cycling has not always been there.
There is change in the air though, we can feel it. Campaign groups like Cardiff Cycle City and the Cardiff Cycling Campaign are making noise, they’re pushing the cycling agenda forward; talking to people and getting noticed.
However, it is easy to be side-tracked by what Cardiff “doesn’t” do for cyclists, or indeed, what it does badly. Yet if you scratch away at the surface, there’s a lot of fun to be had on two wheels in Cardiff.
Why is cycling & active travel important?
Not a week goes by that we don’t hear stories in the press about the strain on our NHS; the prevalence of obesity, diabetes, asthma and other entirely avoidable health conditions. As a nation we are eating too much and we’re not doing enough to burn it off. We’re also getting around by car, pumping carcinogenic substances into the air and making a lot of noise about it too.
But what if you could reduce rates of obesity (and therefore type 2 diabetes); make everyone more active; improve the quality of the air we breathe and give everyone at all income levels the means to get around safely, just by making one simple change?
Cycling burns calories like they’re going out of fashion; it’ll get you fit; it produces no pollution whatsoever and it can be a very, very cheap way to get around. The average person spends £388 per month just keeping a car on the road, despite it being parked for much of its life. £388 would likely make a huge differences to the finances of so many households, providing the ability to save and invest for the future.
A long road ahead…
Whilst we are starting to see change —we even have legislation now in the form of the Active Travel Act, we do have a long, long way to go. In the meantime, this site is intended to highlight some of the things we do well as well as the things we need to improve; the official routes we have on both the Enfys and National Cycle Network plus some of the ones we’ve found through trial and error. We’ll also be drawing attention to the many places in Cardiff that welcome cyclists with open arms —those who provide safe places to lock your bike and don’t give you funny looks if you hobble in on your road cleats.
We also want to help those people who really want to cycle to work, but are unsure how to go about it, what route to take and how to answer some of those nagging questions we all had at one time or another.
We’ll look at some of the challenges you may face, perhaps you want to visit someone in hospital; take a trip to the shops or just get out and about with the family.
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