Why Ride a Bicycle?

Why should you ride a bicycle? It’s a simple question with a not-so-simple answer.

I think the first and foremost reason is that riding a bike is enjoyable. Whether you ride for entertainment or exercise or to commute, the experience should be fun. If you’re not enjoying it, stop riding. Give it a chance and if it’s not for you, it’s not for you. Simple as that.

Riding a bike can be a very refreshing activity. It feels great to get outside and get the wind in your face. To me, trail riding is a fantastic place to clear my head. I get out on the trail and forget about everything going on in my life and just concentrate on the next obstacle ahead of me. I always feel rejuvenated after a good mountain bike ride. Road riding kind of has the opposite effect for me personally. A good road ride gives me a chance to get some good thinking done. Bottom line…riding a bicycle is therapeutic.

Riding a bike is also, probably more obviously, beneficial to your health. It is a great low impact exercise. The amount of stress put on your joints is very minimal. For those with bad knees, cycling gives the opportunity to get a great workout without putting much stress on the knees and ankles yet still strengthening them. I have been through three ankle surgeries and a large portion of my therapy was to ride a bicycle. You can get a cardiovascular and strength workout without having to worry about putting the pounding stress on your joints. I definitely could not have handled much of that during my therapy so cycling was a great alternative workout. Another benefit for me was that the pedaling provided a large range of motion so my ankle was being stretched every stroke. All of these combined helped me recover quickly. Today I spend much of my workout time on my bicycle. Now I’m trying to avoid future joint problems that other activities may bring on.

Riding is not just good for you. By riding your bike you’re doing your part in helping the environment. Here I’m talking about using your bicycle as a mode of transportation. Anytime you don’t use your car you’re helping. Riding your bike is a very effective way to get around. A bicycle is actually one of the most efficient modes of transportation when looking at input versus output. Commuting to work during rush hour can be easily avoided by riding a bicycle. You can laugh at all the people inching along as you fly by on your human-powered vehicle. And hey…you even got a little workout on the way. I think this reason may have the most effect, at least right now. With fuel being as expensive as it is, think of the money you’ll save by commuting on your bicycle. I’m not saying to ride everywhere you go. Of course there are going to be times when it just isn’t practical, but I guarantee you will notice the difference in your pocket if you honestly make the effort to ride when you can.

These reasons can really all be tied together. Speaking from a completely commuting standpoint, you will avoid rush hour traffic while saving money and getting exercise and doing your part to help the environment. You may even have a little fun. It’s a win-win-win-win-win situation. There really isn’t a downside. All this by riding your bicycle to work.

These are a few reasons to ride that hit a chord with me personally and I hope it will provide you some insight into why people ride bicycles and maybe even inspire you to get out and ride and come up with your own reasons.

As always…Ride On.