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646 Three Reasons
to Ride a Bike

bike mileage marker

May is Bicycle month. To celebrate, there are many official biking days such as the Bicycle to Work Day, which is, by the way, today - May 18, 2012. Since I work at home, I thought I'd write about biking instead.

I love to ride a bicycle. It is such an efficient machine. You pedal a bit and then coast. Pedal more and coast even more. Feel the wind and the freedom. Most folks learned to ride a bike when they were young. Learning to ride was a significant milestone of our youth. Most adults still remember how they were taught to ride and even how old they were when they first pedaled on their own. Then our lives changed and the motor vehicle becomes our means of transportation.

Well, I still like to ride and I guess you could say that the bicycle is my primary means of transportation. If I say I am going to the barber shop, that means I am riding to the barber shop. If I am going to the grocery, that means I am riding to the grocery.

We are fortunate to live in a great neighborhood. Most of the places that I need to visit are within two miles and on mostly residential streets. Biking is easy. Many of our neighbors also ride bikes, but most still seem to drive.

To try and persuade a few more drivers to ride instead, here are my top three reasons I like to ride a bike ...

Health - Riding is a good form of exercise. It is low impact (but you still have to use proper riding techniques) and easy to change the intensity and the duration of the exercise. The more you pedal, the more you are exercising your heart and lungs. A simple cruise to the store burns more calories than driving, while a three hour pedal-a-thon will challenge even the fittest of the fit and burns thousands of calories.

Environment - Riding doesn't pollute. Every time I ride, instead of drive, I pollute less. When it is bad weather (hot, cold, rain, snow, etc) I have to remind myself why I need to ride instead of drive. I ride for our daughter, Rose, and for her generation.

Fun - None of these reasons is more important than the other, but if I did not enjoy riding so much, I probably would not ride. I enjoy riding on greenways, in bike lanes, and on the streets. I enjoy riding in the park and in the neighborhood. I enjoy riding long distance and for short jaunts. I enjoy mindless swirling (riding in circles) in a parking lot with no cars around. I enjoy the freedom from the complications associated with cars - parking, traffic, fuel, etc. I enjoy the happy feeling of zooming.

Last night, my wife's mother wanted to go out to dinner. Amy and I said yes, we would meet her at a neighborhood restaurant. It had rained a bit and we briefly discussed how we were going to get to the restaurant. I said that I did not even want to go unless we were going to ride. Sorry, but I just hate the hassle of the traffic and parking in the congested area. It was an easy sell. We rode. Parked our bikes on the sidewalk in front of the restaurant and had a great evening. We also had a great bike ride in both directions. Bicycling actually added to the overall experience and a hassle-free evening.

Happy biking trails - you know it really is fun!


Amy, heard an NPR interview about biking and shared it with me. I actually believed that she wanted me to share it with you.


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