It’s 2019 and the world feels more accessible than ever in so many ways. My generation has proven less interested in big houses and more interested in travel. We’re less interested in having a fancy car and more interested in spending on a life-changing trip abroad. Daily life has seen its own changes, too. People are taking to two wheels not just to get exercise but also to get their daily errands done. In case you’re not yet on board with bringing cycling into your life, here are a few reasons that may help convince you.
When you’re à vélo, you don’t depend on anyone or any transportation schedule. You don’t have to make sure you have gas in the tank or check with the family that no one will need the car while you’re gone. You’re free as a bird to come and go as you please.
3. Your body gets you to your destination
5. Clears your head
6. It gets you out in nature
Sometimes I am discouraged by how distant from nature we have become. We have our TVs, phones, and all kinds of other distractions that keep us holed up inside when we have an innate need for connection with nature that needs to be nurtured. Making cycling part of your routine will help get you back in touch with nature, even if you are in a city.
7. When you fall off, get back on and keep moving
As you may have read in my post about how I named Falling Off Bicycles, I love the Einstein quote “Life is like a bicycle; to keep your balance you must keep moving.” The metaphor is of course that life obliges us to keep on going just like cycling obliges us to keep on pedaling.
8. Embracing the unknown
Even when you take the same route on your bike every day, you’re still going to encounter something of the unknown with a closeness you wouldn’t have access to from a vehicle. A road construction detour may lead you down a street you’ve never taken, cutting through back alleys otherwise inaccessible to cars may create a new discovery, or you may just be more likely to get lost. And that’s not always a bad thing.
9. Releases endorphins
According to Cycle Plan, when you ride, “you’ll experience a spike in neuro-chemicals such as serotonin and dopamine. Not only do they improve your mood, but this hit of endorphins can stimulate the same areas of the brain as a painkiller.” Any cyclist can tell you all about this “high” we get from riding.
10. Forces us to look people in the eye
11. It’s easy to start and stop
12. Wind in your hair
14. Fresh air > the gym
15. The environment
A zero emission trip, now that’s something to celebrate!
16. No added noise pollution
I am very sensitive to sound and find street noise particularly difficult to endure**. The Paris streets, especially the scooters (les motos) are huge offenders of this. The pollute the city with their loud motors, often with no regard for the quiet neighborhood they’re passing through. On a bike, you only have the gentle hum of the wheels turning (and in my case, the occasional clink clank from my vintage ride), making noise while you ride.
17. Easy on the bank account
It goes without saying that when you’re not dumping money into a depreciating asset like a car (think insurance, gas, maintenance), and getting the occasional tune-up and equipment refreshments, you can save a ton of money.
18. Childlike JOY!
Not dissimilar to my points on the wind in your hair, I just love the return to childhood riding a bike offers. It seems that no matter what age you are when you ride, being on a bike, feeling like you’re free as a bird and flying through the air, takes you back to childhood and simpler, more carefree times.
So voilà. I hope I’ve managed to debunk the long-held idea that cycling is for kids or serious riders only and encouraged you to hop back on the saddle. Happy riding!