Cycling in the Rhondda Valley

Last year I did a post on some research at the University of Cambridge that proved exercise and healthy eating could lead to a long life.  It was the theme of Ben Goldacre’s Bad Science that celebrity nutritionists often unnecessarily complicate things with their attempts to make us eat so-called super foods and go on expensive detox diets.

By making little changes over the long term we can lead healthier lives.

Having recently moved to a new area I wondered how I could that in to opertion in my own life.  As luck would have it there was poster in Pontypridd library advertising a Sunday morning cycle ride organised by the local council.  So earlier this morning I cycled up to the Rhondda Heritage Park.  It was closer than I thought so, for once, I was early.  I took the opportunity to have a look at the exhibition inside.  It told the story of how difficult life was miners in the 19 and 20th centuries.  Certainly it was difficult to see what good a detox diet would have done.  Archie Cochrane’s autobiography “One Man’s Medicine” tells the story of how his interest in evidence-based medicine began in the Rhondda.

People started to arrive at the heritage park. For just £1.50 you could hire a bicycle and helmet for the ride.  For the next two hours  we were taken up and down hills and tracks.  It seemed an excellent way to meet new people and also get fit.  (As you know from one of my previous posts I am always very keen to meet new people!)  The leaders provided excellent advice on how to cycle better.  Thanks to Rhondda Cynon Taff council for putting the event on.  There was even water and squash provided at the end of the ride.  Certainly I never experienced anything like that back in the south-east of England.  It seemed like a cheap and easy initiative to get people fit and healthy.

Why not see if something similar is going on in your area or try to set something up if there isn’t?


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