We all know cycling creates so many positives - from mental health and financial savings, to environmental benefits and, well, pure joy! But how specifically is cycling contributing to the path towards a net zero carbon emissions world?
If you've been living in a cave - a deep and distant cave, at that - then the news about this month's COP26 gathering in Glasgow might have passed you by.
Otherwise, you'll be only too aware that it's been billed variously as the Last Chance for the Planet or the Wake Up Call for Humanity.
Whether you've been living a net zero life for years or you've been taking the ostrich approach and burying your head in the sand, it's impossible not to be affected by the dire statistics of just how much needs to change.
And the unequivocal conclusion is: we all need to pull our weight - and to do it right now.
We are experiencing a global and unavoidable sea change in how we live. Unless everyone, from behemoth petrochemical firms to Mrs Smith's commuting journey, makes significant changes, then the future is surely terrifying.
As cyclists, even if only occasional cyclists, we know we are doing A Good Thing. But what exactly are the benefits from choosing to ride a bike? Here are 5:
1. Air Pollution
The big one.
By choosing to ride a bike as your mode of transport, you're choosing not to drive or take public transport - both of which need energy, much of which still comes from burning polluting fossil fuels: the root of the problem.
Not only is your choice of transport creating zero pollution as you ride, you're also removing one potential vehicle (yours) from that traffic jam - meaning the vehicles of those who can't or won't make the change can at least run more efficiently rather than sit stationary belching out fumes.
2. Vehicle Manufacturing
It's common knowledge that not all of a vehicle's emissions come from driving it. Far from it. Data varies, but many sources suggest around half of a car's lifetime pollution is created before it even leaves the factory.
Raw materials, manufacturing energy, shipping costs and so many other factors ensure that even electric cars are not guilt free when it comes to pollution. By contrast, manufacturing a bike accounts for a tiny fraction of those levels of emissions.
3. Noise Pollution
When was the last time you were troubled by a noisy cyclist? Doesn't happen, does it?
Certain sectors of society may still abuse and grumble about 'bloody cyclists' - but it's certainly not on account of the roar of an engine. Let's face it, cycling is quiet. And we could all do with a bit more of that.
4. Strength in Numbers
With every extra cyclist out there, cycling becomes more 'normalised'. As cyclists, we know already that nothing feels more normal and invigorating than riding a bike, with all its associated benefits for our mind and body.
But as numbers swell, the pressure on corporations, governments, local councils and urban planners grows to create a better world for cycling in. It inspires behaviour change.
As the Covid years have shown so clearly, a more cycling friendly world is possible. More cyclists means more demand for bike lanes, slower speed limits, fewer new roads and fewer hazards from other road users.
5. The VeloVixen Factor
We're not perfect, but as a small business we are doing our level best to lead by example. We package our orders in recyclable packaging, and we strongly encourage our suppliers to do the same.
We also focus on the simple things: of course, we cycle to work whenever possible; we limit the proportion of our warehouses that we heat; we turn off lights whenever an area is empty. It all helps.
For a fuller description of our environmental efforts, click here:
Perhaps more significant than any efforts we make in-house, we advocate cycling: getting out there, whether for fun, exercise, practicality, cost, weight loss, mental health... whatever your reason, we try to be part of a greater movement to shout about how fabulous cycling is.
And with every new cyclist, the environment thanks us all just a tiny bit.