With the sunshine finally on the way and the Tour de France coming to an end, there’s every inspiration to get outside and enjoy your bike and the great British countryside this summer. Whether you want to improve your fitness, save money or see more of the UK, cycling benefits everyone and what better year than 2012 to get involved?

We’ve put together our top 5 reasons why you should ride this summer;

1. Exercise - Cycling is an easy and effective way of keeping fit and you can avoid those high gym fees! It exercises most of the muscles in the body, burns calories and is also good for your heart.

2. Save Money - After the initial cost of a bike and accessories, cycling is free and the maintenance and upkeep is much cheaper than that of a car. There are no pricey petrol costs and finding a parking space is easy, and free!

3. Explore - Cycling allows a sense of freedom to explore wherever you wish. There are some fantastic cycling routes throughout the UK with plenty of accessible countryside and with the introduction of routes on Google Maps, it’s easier than ever to find the perfect one.

4. Save Time - The UK’s roads are going to be busier than ever this summer and by opting for your bike you can avoid the long queues sat in your stuffy car. If you work within a reasonable distance of home, leave the car and cycle to work; you’ll notice just how much time you shave off in the mornings.

5. Fun - The main reason, it is good fun! You can do it wherever you like and with friends and family no matter what your age and ability. Cycling also releases natural feel-good endorphins that help reduce stress and make you happy!

Of course, it is important to stay hydrated and energised with food throughout your rides. Also make sure that you take necessary safety precautions including your LED bike lights if you plan to be out all day.