When I started this lark, one of my main aims was to improve my health and fitness. I've been properly overweight for nigh on twenty years now. So is it working?
Well I wouldn't say I'm back to the 1980s. I haven't even really lost weight - although that is slowly starting to happen. But I am definitely much fitter. I did nearly 15 miles yesterday with no ill effects. And even since last autumn I'm noticeably faster on the road: I'm using 2nd or 3rd gear on the steepest uphill bits of my commute, where originally I would walk or use 1st gear. And I quite regularly hit top (8th) gear, which used to be a rare event. So although far from the fastest, I am definitely not the slowest person on the roads any more.
At the beginning I was a bit worried about the effect of cycling on my creaky knees, and they did ache at first. I even consulted my GP. But the Doc was right: now my legs are much stronger it's really not an issue. I do still have to restrain myself from using the full force of my leg muscles, for fear of hurting my knees.. but 'mind your knees' speed is now considerably faster than it used to be.
So there seems to be no downside. If you're dithering, just do it!