TOUGH TRACK: Lismore's Hayley Oakes shows her grit and skills on the world-class technical trails at Stromlo Forest Park where she took the Australian Mountain Bike U15 Women's title.
TOUGH TRACK: Lismore's Hayley Oakes shows her grit and skills on the world-class technical trails at Stromlo Forest Park where she took the Australian Mountain Bike U15 Women's title. Dean Thompson Photography

Spending time on two wheels part of course

FUN, fitness, frugality and sanity.

Just four of the reasons I prefer two wheels over four.

For those of you who don't know the pleasures of cycling, if you want to know how much it is tootling along on your bike, just stick your head out of a moving car.

Yes, just like a dog.

Not while driving.

Obviously.

How much fun?

Sooo much fun. The wind in your face, sunshine on our back, getting to hear the world around you and fresh air instead of canned recycled stuff.

The fitness side is good too. I'm not talking about Vuelta a Espana 24 per cent gradient up to the mountain finish so high even the Columbian riders look like passing out.

This kind of fitness is about being able to pedal your way around town, get your heart rate up, re-oxygenate your blood, drop off books at the library, overtake slow dogs, feel good about being alive and a smile on our dial kind of fitness.

Frugality?

My middle name.

Once you get your bike, a helmet and chain, that's pretty much it.

No you roadies who live for the next ultra-space-age -carbon-whatever, I'm not talking to you.

For those of us who like to get around on the velo, it's as cheap as chips.

No fossil fuels, just air and energy from your legs.

No parking fees, speeding fines (OK it is very easy to hurtle down some very steep 50km/h streets on the Northern Rivers - the terrifying Cynthia Wilson Drive anyone? - in excess of the limit but hey, this is why we have brakes) or pricey running costs.

Sanity?

For me this is a key factor.

We all need time out from the pressure-cooker that is our personal work / life / family / whatever situation.

Getting out on the bike is one good way to escape these stresses and find peace of mind. Maybe it's a gentle roll on a bike path, a bone-jolting rev around a hilly mountain bike trail, a long ride on the region's back roads, on the trainer while watching a movie or just a cycle down to the local café. There's 24 hours every day, at least one should be spent on two wheels.