Being Bike-curious

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‘Tis finally the season for short pants and slip-on shoes worn sockless. You may be getting itchy to spend more and more time outdoors and if you’re not a bicycle enthusiast already, it may be time to explore your bike-curiousness as an ecologically and body-friendly means of getting around this summer.

Bicycling is a great way to squeeze out every enjoyable moment of the short and sweet summer months. Coasting past traffic and pedestrians gets you to your destination swiftly, and gives you the means to do so while providing both essential bouts of exercise for your body and of sun’s sweet Vitamin D for your mental health.

Body benefits of bicycling include amping up your immune and cardiovascular systems, ramping your metabolism, and toning muscles in your lower half. Plus it’s low impact enough that people with joint problems, as well as seniors, can generally find biking to be a great means of being active without aggravating injury or being too physically intense.

Speaking of aggravation, bicycling is also a great way to avoid being stuck roasting in a car during heightened traffic times during the summer months—and exposing yourself to the myriad of chemicals that comes with automobile congestion. A study in the UK found that on average, taxi passengers were exposed to more than 100,000 ultrafine particles (which can settle in the lungs and damage cells) per cubic centimetre. Bus passengers sucked up just under 100,000 and people in cars inhaled about 40,000. Urban cyclists, meanwhile, were exposed to just 8,000 ultrafine particles per cubic cm. (BicyclingInfo.org)

Whizzing by bumper-to-bumper traffic in the bike lane is efficient for the waistline and wallet. Beyond the obvious fuel-saver cost analysis, author Joe Friel outlines his top 10 reasons to bicycle for personal health:

  1. Promotes a Healthy Heart
  2. Improves Blood Chemistry, including HDL (“good”) cholesterol
  3. Lowers Blood Pressure
  4. Decreases Risk of Cancer
  5. Builds Stronger Bones
  6. Reduces the Chance of Diabetes (now at epidemic levels in the US)
  7. Promotes Greater Muscle Strength.
  8. Reduces Stress
  9. Decreases Chronic Pain (arthritis, back pain, and more)
  10. Improves digestion, lung function and joint flexibility

“[On bicycle] you travel around three times as fast as walking for the same amount of energy and, taking into account the ‘fuel’ you put in your ‘engine’, you do the equivalent of 2,924 miles to the gallon.”- BikeRadar.

Ecological responses to a society built on biking include the benefits of reduced traffic congestion and improved quality of life for healthier communities less plagued by health care costs and dependency on fuel.

Twenty bicycles can be parked in the same space as one car. It takes around 5% of the materials and energy used to make a car to build a bike, and a bike produces zero pollution. –BikeRadar

Not only is bicycling good for your body and your greater community environment, but it can be a wonderful way to network and make good use of resources in your community by being able to participate in an increasing number of bike-related charity opportunities– and really fun events.

1 thought on “Being Bike-curious”

  1. I already ride anytime it’s not raining too hard, snowing, or frozen. I got disgusted with unrealistic gasoline prices, excessive insurance costs, and the hassles involved with licensing and registration. Bicycling lets me avoid need to pay for gym time, eliminates fuel and insurance scams, and sets me free from traffic jams.

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