One of our favourite things to do is catching up with friends and when you add the feel-good factor of getting some exercise in, it makes for a seriously good weekend.
However, catching up on the gossip while pounding it out on the treadmill doesn’t quite cut it so we’ve taken to hitting the road with the girls for a good cycle and a healthy dose of fresh air. Safe and stunning routes are plentiful in Ireland so whether you’re a beginner looking to boost those fitness levels or athlete in training, you can plan a cycle to suit your fitness level.
If you’re in need of some inspiration, the An Post Cycle Series takes place around Ireland over the summer months and combines a picturesque challenge with a fun, social atmosphere. The event kicks off in Sligo on Saturday May 3rd and Sunday May 4th before travelling to Clare on Saturday June 21st, Meath on Saturday June 26th and Sunday July 27th and Waterford on Saturday August 23rd and Sunday August 24th. The series will then finish in Cork on Saturday September 13th.
Here are our top reasons why you should round up your mates and take to the saddle!
1) It’s free
Nobody has as much money as they used to and a hectic schedule of dinners and nights out can soon start to cause a pinch in your pocket. Once you’ve got a bike in the shed and a helmet under the stairs, cycling is completely free and can be a great way to spend time with friends in the morning, afternoon or evening!
2) Time to talk
Noisy nightclubs are fun but it’s pretty difficult to bare your soul when Beyoncé is discussing her bedroom antics at a high volume in the background! A leisurely cycle allows you to slow down and take the time to really talk to your friends about anything that might be bothering them, while the endorphin boost will make sure that you’re both feeling better by the end of it!
3) Lunch al fresco
Food always tastes better when eaten outside. That’s a scientific fact (well, kinda). Taking a break during your trip for a picnic or arriving at your destination to enjoy a hard-earned sandwich and a cup of tea is one of the life’s best and most simple pleasures.
4) It’s exercise…that’s actually fun
If it’s a choice between having an angry woman scream at us while we jump through tires and scream for our mammies or a cycle with one of the only people in the world who knows that we dressed up as Posh Spice for a school competition, we’re pretty sure which one we’re going to go with. Cycling burns calories, is great cardio and promises to give us some serious toned legs – we’re sold.
5) ‘Gioraíonn Beirt Bóthar’ – company shortens the road!
There’s nothing like having some moral support on your journey and a true friend is invaluable in helping you get through those last few miles!
An Post Cycle Series is supported by An Post and the Irish Sports Council and encourages communities around the country to get on their bikes. The Series began in 2009 and over 56,500 people have taken part to date.
The Series is a great way for family, friends and work colleagues to spend a day of fun together while the serious rider can follow a more challenging route. Family routes will be approximately 10kms while short, medium and long distance routes will be approximately 60kms, 100kms and 160kms. For more details, click here.