Cycling is great for you and the environment. Why not give it a go?
Zooming around Oxford on my little bike has always been one of my favourite activities. Cycling is without doubt the fastest and most efficient way to get around Oxford - especially with all its secret passageways, one-ways, and pedestrian roads.
In fact, zooming around ANY city has proved to be quite efficient (albeit sometimes scary - but always fun!). Rather than coping with crowds and stale air on the tube, I routinely cycle around London instead. I've rented city velos in Paris and got to my destination faster than I would have on the metro, and cycled around in rural parts of India (with so many water/laying on the ground/fanning myself breaks). The photo above was taken in Hampi, Karnataka, India where Alex and I encountered a bit of a traffic jam!
Until yesterday, however, I had only really cycled recreationally or to get from A to B. For Christmas Alex bought me a road bike (which I took to be a big *hint hint*). He's very into cycling and quite often escapes the city for hours at a time to do long distance solo cycles.
The first thing in my accomplishments 2016 jar was this: cycling 60km in an afternoon. I thought I was dying for the latter half of the cycle, complained a fair bit, and demanded a long cider-accompanied lunch break at a pub along the way, but ended up enjoying it (a bit) in the end. Although I was completely wiped by the time I got home, the exercise endorphins are telling me I had a good time today!
Although long-distance cycling may not be for you, I definitely encourage cycling in general (even if it is just to get from point A to B). Oxford is super cycle friendly and a wonderful place to get comfortable on the roads. You'll find yourself at intersections with about a dozen other cyclists (and you get to go in front of all the cars!).
If you're unsure about cycling, Broken Spoke - the wonderful organization that gave us our Yoga Quota bike - runs cycling confidence courses. They're a bike cooperative, so they'll also teach you to fix your own bike and let you use all of their tools for a fiver. Alex volunteers there frequently, so perhaps you'll be able to get some tips from him if you drop by!
Cycling is so good for the environment, so practical, and super good for you. It builds confidence, gets you around quickly (at least in Oxford, cyclists move much faster than cars), and releases tons of those sweet endorphins that make you forget how much you wanted to tip off your bike and lay in the ditch on your 60km cycle the day before.