Cycling is really cool, saves the planet and makes you more attractive - Alexander Brown

I don’t know when it happened, but at some point in the past few years, it became acceptable to hate cyclists.

Newspapers began screaming about bike lanes causing congestion, but also that not enough people were using them.

After a few years of collective agreement that we should save the planet, almost overnight the mood changed, with pundits more angry about slower commutes than governments letting children go hungry.

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But it shouldn’t be like this, and not to do the thing where they say the name of the movie in the film, but cycling is really cool, saves the planet and makes you more attractive.

A man cycles past cherry blossom trees in Battersea Park, in London. Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP/ Getty

Now I didn’t get into cycling in the city until Covid, having always been scared of going down roads I didn’t know and putting my life in the hands of drivers who often are more interested in their own phones than being aware they’re drifting into a bike lane.

But when Covid hit, I ordered a bike, it took forever to come, and then I built it myself and the streets opened up.

Sure it got nicked two weeks later, but my wonderful parents delivered my old paper round bike and the love affair began anew.

Instead of being stuck on buses or trains, each journey became a joy brimming with the possibility of what I might see or where I might go.

Gone were the endless hours staring at my phone or book on crammed trains with my eyes instead basking in the wonder of the places I’d never seen, the areas between stops I knew existed but never visited.

Long journeys to bakeries or swim spots that had been rare treats due to the distance took on their own allure, with the cute streets or greenery part of the appeal of going in the first place.

It’s not a 45-minute journey to see my friend stuck in a metal box, it’s a quicker delight filled with sights and fresh air.

As much as the city opened up to me, so did the possibility of pedalling to another continent if I’m feeling particularly energetic or need new Hinge photographs.

It’s also much quicker than public transport, and crucially, makes you fitter.

As someone who bakes so much a friend asked if I actually eat them or just post to Instagram, cycling basically enables my greed because I can tell myself it’s fuel for the trip.

Cycling every day keeps you fit, a helmet gives you an excuse for bad hair, and going up hills every day lets me call myself “Captain Quad” with a straight face.

It also saves the planet, with my only emissions being the numerous swear words I scream at the vans turning into the bike lane without looking, or the loud singing I do late at night with my headphones in.

They aren’t noise cancelling so it’s basically fine, and also gives me, an idiot with no sense of direction, instructions on where to go.

Riding a bike is fun, liberating, and frankly makes you a better person than someone who drives.

Ignore those in the pocket of big car, get on your bike, be sexier and help save the world.

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