As part of Bike Wise Month, Whanganui Bicycle Users Group are encouraging Whanganui people to get out on their bikes. Here, coordinator Lyneke Onderwater10 reasons why …

1) Fun

This must be the number 1 reason by far. Who doesn't like the feeling of gliding along with very little effort?

Even very seasoned riders still get a buzz when they get on their bikes after a break of a few days.

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The best are the down hills and leaning into the bends (just like a real motorbike). Yeehaa!

2) Finance

Riding a bike is so cheap. No petrol, road charges, insurance, WOFs, parking fees etc. Once you've got your bike, maintenance is rarely over $100 in an average year.

3) Fitness

It's a great way to keep fit. It's a low impact activity that most people can do. And while you're having fun you're losing weigth and getting fitter.

4) Free anywhere parking

No need to ride around the block. No need for coins for the meter. You can always find a spot near your destination to park for free.

5) Fresh Air

Many of us spend our working lives indoors and getting some fresh air on the way to and from work is the perfect way to get some fresh air and sunshine.

6) Health

Riding improves your health. Most health problems can be prevented or improved by cycling. Just get started.

7) Mental Health

This warrants a special mention. Cycling clears the mind and bright ideas spontaneously pop up.

My daily brain gym exercises consistently produce better results after a bike ride.

All these reasons are enough to put riders in a happier frame of mind.

8) Speed

In cities riding a bike is often faster or as-fast-as taking a car.

As far as input is concerned, the only vehicle that is more efficient is a train on a flat track.

In the past the Supermarket Challenge was held in some cities, where a person drove a car, one on a bike and one by public transport.

They had to carry children and get a list of groceries. The bike riders were nearly always the fastest.

9) It's a social thing

How often do you stop to chat to another person in a car? Rarely, right?

But people on bikes often have a chat, compare gear, routes and tips. Kids love it too and often ride with friends.

Many informal groups have started up to have rides and a coffee stop somewhere.

10) Help the planet

Yes, riding a bike reduces your carbon foot print. Do it for your grandkids.

Most events on the Bike Wise calendar are suitable for people of any fitness level. There is even personalised help available for those new to commuting or using a bike for transport. Details are on http://letsgowhanganui.org.nz/bike-wise-whanganui-february/