Cyclists have long understood the strong link between happiness and the freedom of two wheels. Now city planners, transport officials and health professionals are beginning to catch up and there is an emerging consensus that cycling – and the more livable cities engendered by making it central to our travel planning – can make us all happier.
This recent Guardian Careers piece about the 10 happiest cities to work in in the UK tells us something striking about cycling and happiness. It’s no coincidence that of the ten, four are Cycle City Ambition Grant recipients (Manchester, Birmingham, Norwich and Bristol) where cycling is actively promoted by the Local Authorities.
The other six have well-developed off-road routes, beautiful leisure cycling close at hand (the Tour de France couldn’t resist Sheffield’s stunning outskirts…) or well-established and vibrant cycling communities – or all three. Plus the south coast cities have considerably better weather than much of the UK. We couldn’t help but notice that all these cities have in common is their relatively high, and growing, rates of cycling.
Photo Credit: Catherine