Five great reasons for an evening bike ride

Tommy Morrisroe

During British Summer Time, we might not get guaranteed sun and dry roads, but we can count on the days being lighter for longer. This gives us the time to go for a spin after a busy day.

Here are five great reasons for choosing to cycle in the evening:

1. The perfect way to unwind

Cycling has been shown to improve mental wellbeing – the chemicals released in the brain through physical activity are thought to help us deal with stress and think more positively. So getting in the saddle is a great way to unwind and get refreshed after the demands of the day.

Recommended route: Tameside Trail

This scenic 7.5 mile ride is largely traffic-free and features the beautiful Reddish Vale Country Park, the Trans-Pennine Trail and the Tameside Trail. With only a few roads this ride provides a good next step for the beginner cyclist. An excellent fun, family ride.

Click here to download the route.

2. Al fresco dining

The warmth of the evening sun, the smell of fresh air and something mouth-watering to eat: a great combination. Fill a saddle bag or pannier with a few supplies, and roll out to a picnic spot to enjoy your evening meal out in the open.

Recommended route: Roundhay Park Easy Loop

This is a fantastic route through the beautiful grounds of Roundhay Park in Leeds. The route starts at the dam end of Waterloo Lake before setting off on a twisting loop through the whole of the park on wide pathways and tracks. If the beautiful grounds aren’t enough to enjoy, you can make at the mansion and lake for a breather and a chance to take in the sights. At three miles long this route is perfect for families, newbies and born again cyclists alike.

Click here to download the route.

3. Extend your commute home

An extra 30 minutes on the bike could burn around 250 calories! Why not make your cycle commute home a bit more interesting by taking a less direct route. You might even find a scenic route though twisting lanes that you’ve never thought to look for.

Recommended route: City Farm Frolics

This is a gentle route, so ideal for a leisurely extension to your commute home. It consists of mainly traffic-free paths along the Newcastle Quayside, over the Millennium Bridge, following Sustrans route 14 towards Bill Quay Community Farm in Gateshead. There’s a chance to get yourself some refreshments at the start of the ride and at Bill Quay Community Farm.

Click here to download the route.

4. Get some free Vitamin D

Pick a glorious evening to go on a short ride after work and grab some immune system boosting vitamin D. We often complain that the sun doesn’t shine much in the UK, even in winter, but according to Met Office records, we get an average of 165 hours of sunshine in August. I make that one out of every three days featuring at least some sun, which isn’t too bad put like that.

Recommended route: Mount Batten Cruise

Taking the water taxi from Mount Batten to The Barbican this route explores Sutton Harbour, the South West Coast Path, the River Plym, Radford and Hooe Lakes. This is a great route exploring waterways, greenery and stunning scenery. From the Sutton Harbour you’ll pick up the South West coast path which crosses the River Plym via Laira Bridge. After crossing the dam, the route continues along a tree-lined dirt path until it emerges in the Hooe area of the city. Embark on a hilly challenge up to Turnchapel finishing at Mount Batten. There’s a small charge for the ferry crossing – see the website for further information.

Click here to download the route.

5. Take a great photo

The glowing oranges and pinks at the end of the day make for a perfect photo, and there’s no better way to find a suitable vantage point for capturing a sunset than on a bike. Another option would be freewheeling around local points of interest to work out an interesting angle. Don’t forget to tag your photos to @letsride / insta / facebook so we can enjoy your handiwork!

Recommended route: Horseguards and the Royal Parks

Celebrate the best of British culture on this wonderful route around the peaceful and traffic-free Royal Parks along Horse Guards Parade. See the Royal Albert Hall, Buckingham Palace and Speakers’ Corner and great views of the Serpentine, the Achilles Statue, the Albert Memorial and Wellington Arch. This route is great for families.

Click here to download the route.