7 Serious Benefits That Will Make You Want to Ride a Bicycle

bikebasket[sniplet tweetright]When I was a kid, I longed for a bike. I had dreams of getting one for Christmas, and when I finally got one, you couldn’t stop me from going all around the yard in zig zags and circles until it was dark and my parents called me in.

Just a couple years ago, I again felt the urge to have a new bike. This time was different though. The ability to get places quickly and without using gas seemed extraordinary to me. Even though commuting to work by bike wasn’t feasible, any trips I could take by bike instead of car would make a difference — to my health, the environment, and my wallet.

In this post I want to outline some of the benefits I’ve gotten from my new-found love of bicycles — some real benefits to bicycling that might make you long to buy a new bike:

1. Biking doesn’t create air pollution.

Unlike a car, a bike is an entirely human-powered machine, which means it doesn’t use gasoline. Just how much do you save by biking? Every mile you bike will save about 1lb of CO2 and other pollutants from entering our atmosphere.

2. Biking doesn’t make any other pollution either.

Your bike doesn’t use antifreeze or oil to keep you going, and it has a very quiet engine. You’d be hard-pressed to hear a bike that passes your home, but you could easily hear even the smallest car. Bikes are lean, green machines.

3. Biking burns calories.

Even a leisurely bike trip will burn more calories than sitting in a car. Every mile you bike burns about 25 calories. At a leisurely pace (less than 10 miles an hour), you’ll easily burn 275 calories an hour.

4. Biking costs less.

What if you didn’t need to pay for parking or gas? Better yet, what if you only used a bike and didn’t need to pay for car insurance, maintenance, car loan, gas, parking, or your registration? You bet you’d save money, and a lot of it. Even by riding a bike on short trips to a convenience store you’ll save money.

5. Biking is enjoyable.

Biking can be a whole lot of fun, even if you only ride for 5-minute trips to the market. You don’t need to sit in a traffic, you can feel the wind on your face, and you won’t have to worry about parking when you get there. That sure beats the short and annoying trips to get some milk where have to wait in a crowded parking lot at the convenience store.

6. Biking can increase your mobility.

If you currently don’t have a license, biking is the best bet to get back out and about. Alternatively, use your bike when you’re going somewhere with a large parking lot — bikes can usually park right near the front of the building and you won’t need to drive around the place looking for a spot. Biking can also take you to places that don’t allow cars: beautiful spots deep into parks or along waterfronts tend to be much easier to access by bike.

7. Biking is only becoming more popular.

Bike lanes are becoming more and more prominent across cities and even along rural roads. The more people bike, the easier it will be to do so and keep safe. By substituting car trips with bike trips, you’re not only helping yourself save money, keep healthy, and reduce pollution; you’re also supporting biking as an activity for others to enjoy too.

Have you loved your bike lately?

Have you used your bike to reduce your car trips? Any specific challenges you’ve faced or has it all been a piece of cake? What are some tips you’d recommend to others?

Photo by cyclesvalhalla on Flickr / CC BY 2.0

9 Replies to “7 Serious Benefits That Will Make You Want to Ride a Bicycle”

  1. On a less serious note, you will get noticed by the Ladies :-) , But really, great post! When it cools off I will be back to riding my bike back and fourth to work.

  2. In the Netherlands almost everyone has a bike and uses it atleast for inner city mobility. I ussaly go to work with my folding bike, cycle 10 min to the station, then take the train and finally cycle the last 10 minutes to my work. These 20 min outside keep me fit and happy.

  3. I really dread doing cardio at the gym, running, or cycling in the same spot… tedious.
    So now, I just take my bike to and from the gym. 20mins each way, and i’m sure every gym visit that i’ll be getting a minimum of 40 mins of cardio.
    I just hit the weights at the gym, and i’m off again!

  4. Good points. In regards to #2: All bikes use grease and oil to reduce friction on moving parts (chain, gears, wheel bearings, etc). Use of such lubricants is minimal in comparison to a car or motorcycle, but more frequent bicycle use requires more frequent lubrication. If you don’t maintain these moving parts with frequent applicaion of lubricant, they’ll wear out faster and you will have to use more physical effort to get from point a to point b.

    Do not use WD40. Its a cleaner not a lubricant. Most bike shops sell a wide variety of oils, including eco-friendly options such as wax-based chain “oil.” Choose your oil based on your riding habits. All weather riders, and those that store their bikes outside, will require heavier oil or wax.

    Like changing the oil on your car, maintaining your bike’s lubrication is the most cost effective and easiest action you can take to keep it running smoothly for years to come.

    Enough oil talk, get riding!

  5. I don’t discount the benefits of riding bikes, and there are alot of benefits

    (exercise and less pollution for the environment)

    But people steal bikes like crazy these days. Even with a lock, I’ve had bikes stolen from me, probably from the homeless or from some poor vagrant who doesn’t have any life goals, or who just wants a freebike.

    we need to work together to care for the environment and buy adding in a caring word for people, more people will feel good about their lives, and less stealing will go around.

  6. Rcmp normally donates all the bikes that are ‘unclaimed’ after being recovered after lost or stolen. These bikes are then recycled on sale at your local re-cycle depot prices can start at 10.00 (needing work) to 50.00 ready to drive off lot. Another option to find a special previously loved Bike.

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