FUN, FIT, FRUGAL : No matter your choice of bike, cycling offers so many benefits.
FUN, FIT, FRUGAL : No matter your choice of bike, cycling offers so many benefits. Tahlia Stehbens

The fun way to be fit and frugal

JUMPING on your bike is a cure for so many ills.

From keeping your heart beating and your physical health tip-top, through to the well-documented mental health benefits, I'm surprised more people don't enjoy a peddle about town.

Of course the state of the region's roads is a factor. Having lived in Melbourne, Sydney and a few rural areas in between, I have to say I've never experienced so many potholes. On arrival here three years ago, I replaced my road bike tyres with rubber more suitable to the harsher surfaces.

However, faced with gravel and cracks, this is where you put away the roadbike and embrace its more robust cousin, the hybrid or mountain bike.

MTB purists no doubt look at my old Giant and scoff. But she's a cracker - wide tyres and a stout frame make navigating the highways and byways of the 2480 region much safer if not more comfortable than my lighter roadie.

Another reason cycling is a life-saver is it's damn cheap to do once you get the bike as there are no parking fees, no petrol, no worries, even your commute can be fun.

But a good bike lock is needed as it's a long walk home with a backpack of library books or groceries if some creep nicks your transportation.

And no matter how gorgeous your hair, you do need a quality helmet, no matter your stance on them.

Let's face it, this is the law and there's no point in getting caught with a fine which could be better spent at your local bike shop.

BEST RIDES

Listening to people talk about their favourite road or trail rides means you can learn of a different route to try when you are doing a training session or simply out for a peddle with your mates. Send me your tips on the top rides in the region, I'd love to hear from you at alison.paterson @northernstar.com.au

RIDING SAFE

Cycling laws can be confusing and it seems to me road users have a mixed understanding of cycling road rules which apply to NSW.

Roundabouts: According to NSW Centre for Road Safety, bicycle riders are allowed to turn right from the left-hand lane.

When passing each exit, bicycle riders must give way to any vehicle leaving the roundabout.