By: Imogen Church

Published: December 2, 2016

The Sweat Blog

I’m going to address the oft unspoken issue of sweat; sweat as a barrier to cycling, sweat as something that deters people from the utter joyfulness of sailing along in the fresh air, getting fit and healthy and to work on time.

When you cycle, you sweat and this puts some people off, particularly us gals who sometimes have make-up, hairdos and pencil skirts to keep in order. I get that. I get that the vanity industries (dieting, cosmetics, hair styling) are billion dollar industries and we have grown up inculcated by them. I also get that it can be an adjustment to arrive at work a little early every day so you can cycle in and do your makeup and hair at work instead of home.

But I also want to let you in on a little secret… IT’S WORTH IT!!!! If you perhaps don’t feel massively confident in yourself, with your body or your looks, firstly, it’s not you, it’s an obscure and meaningless standard you are being pressured to pit yourself against for no good reason at all, but secondly, cycling can help you with that! Cycling will tone those thighs and lift that butt with surprising ease, it will help build up those core muscles that support your back and also make you look the way you’re made to think you should in figure hugging clothes. The fresh air helps you use more lung capacity which feeds your brain with more oxygen and gives you energy and brain power. The exercise gives you all those lush endorphins that make chocolate seem merely adequate in the pleasure-giving stakes (although let’s face it, chocolate will always be great). The work you are doing will help burn off your food intake so, hey, you can STOP DIETING! And that sweat, those trickly, salty, droplets of healthy goodness, they may well be the bain of your made-up skin but your skin, your actual real skin, LOVES IT! So maybe you need less make-up down the line anyway, as you feel fresher, as your blush becomes real and the glow is from within. I wonder if all this might make it worthwhile? Might make sense? Might make your life more full of sunshine and energy?

Let’s forget, just for a moment, all the jazz about cycling saving the planet, even about cycling saving you all those thousands of pounds that go on cars, let’s take a moment to be really amazingly vain and self-indulgent and say that cycling makes you feel great and look hot!

And if you start cycling your child around, like we do in our super awesome 8Freight, then your fitness (in both senses of the word) goes up again! The first few weeks of cycling my son to school on the 8Freight I got so ripped that I was strutting myself round like some sort of bad ass, Doc Martens wearing, frizzy bonced, tattooed, mid-30’s supermodel (if by supermodel you mean the model of everything that is super and bad ass). I actually have to catch myself in the hall mirror some days and remind myself that that ass is mine! So for any of you readers who maybe avoid the mirror, or mentally beat up on yourself for your perfectly normal body, get yourself on an 8Freight, or indeed any bike, and turn yourself in to a SUPERHERO! Because let’s face it, I feel like I could wear a cape and hot pants on any given day of the week and totally get away with it.

Now there’s an idea….

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