|Me, on the left, somewhere in between New York and Washington, DC|
"They say money can't buy happiness, but it can buy a bike and that's pretty darn close"
I am a pretty big fan of bikes. I began commuting in DC on bike when I moved there three years ago. This spring I ventured into road biking and did a fabulous trip from NY to DC on my bike called the climate ride. While it is probably true that riding bikes can't solve all of the world's problems, it can help many.
1. I want to lose weight. Instead of trying to fit a trip to the gym into our busy lives, instead make your commute active. Many trips happen within a few miles of home and we can skip the car.
2. I want to save money. See above. Sure, you can spend money on a fancy bike, but even the fanciest of bikes is going to cost less than a fancy car. Allow some money for annual tune up and the occasional spare inner tube and you're all set. Check out craigslist for a deal and take it to a local bike shop to have a safety inspection and to ensure that the seat is at the right height for you and that your helmet fits well.
3. I don't want to be stuck in traffic. You aren't stuck in traffic, you are traffic. Hop on your bike and enjoy the freedom.
4. I'm buying too much crap. While I do like to challenge myself to see what I can carry on a bike, the reality is that it is never going to be as much as a car can carry. Making yourself evaluate if you really want to cart that splurge purchase home on your bike might save you money.
5. My kids keep borrowing the car. Send them out on a bike instead and keep the car in the garage.
6. I'm really upset. I'm sad. I'm having a lot of feelings. Nothing improves my mood like cruising down the street. The fresh air and physical activity help to clear my mind and to turn that smile upside down.
7. I can't sleep. Regular physical activity improves sleep.
8. There is no where to park. While we do need more bike racks, it is usually easier to find a bike spot than a spot for your car. To prevent theft use a U-lock and lock it through the frame and one wheel.
9. My family is stressing me out. Go for a bike ride together and see if you can get to the bottom of it.
10. I am craving ______ (insert junk food/alcohol here). Cravings are often tied to stress; use a bike ride to lower stress and see if your cravings recede.
Reader poll: what benefits keep you rolling on two wheels? Comment below!