Have you got 10 minutes? I have instant motivation that will get you on your bike!
“You never forget how to ride a bike.”
How much truth is there in this statement?
In my case, little to none!
I am the living proof that riding a bicycle is a skill that can actually be erased from our memories.
As a kid, I never had my own bike. I’m not sure I can tell you the reasons. Maybe because I spent my summers in a mountain village and my parents were afraid of accidents or maybe because they didn’t know how to cycle themselves… I think.
But I did learn how to ride a bike, using friends’ and cousins’ bicycles. Twice actually! Once in my childhood and a second time just before I enter adulthood.
And I recently discovered I had forgotten everything about both of these times…
I had to re-learn how to ride a bike after my kids had already mastered this skill…
And I’m really glad I gave them the satisfaction and the treasured memories of having taught something to mom. They were so proud to be giving me directions and advice and cheering me up all the time! Teamed with their wonderful daddy, they were the best instructors I could have asked for.
This is actually how cycling became part of our family life. And we couldn’t be happier!
Are you a bike rider? Read those great facts about cycling and you’ll love your bike even more! And if you’re not a keen cyclist yet, you may start singing “the wheels on my bike” before you even finish reading this post!
Here are the 10 best reasons for getting on your bike:
1. Fitness levels
An adult cyclist typically has a level of fitness equivalent to someone 10 years younger and a life expectancy two years above the average. No wonder countries with the highest levels of cycling and walking generally have the lowest obesity rates. Feel younger, look younger and actually live longer!
On a bicycle you can have your cake and eat it. Simply because a moderate half-hour commute will burn eight calories a minute, equivalent to 11kg of fat in a year! So, cycling burns an average of 480 calories per hour! Not bad for a seated activity, is it?
3. Healthy heart
On a bicycle you use a motor and you can improve its strength and efficiency – and even its working life – the more you cycle! Which motor? Your heart, of course!
4. Killer legs
Calves, quadriceps, thighs, all made of steel. Who doesn’t want that?
5. Healthy planet
Using a bicycle means caring for our big home, the planet! Bicycle traffic in Copenhagen prevents 90,000 tons of CO2 from being emitted annually!
6. No parking worries
You can park about 15 bicycles in the same space that one car takes. No more parking tickets!
7. No car expenses
A bicycle can really shrink your car vehicle maintenance expenses. Maintaining a bike annually costs twenty times less than maintaining and riding a car. Oh, and rising gas prices? On a bicycle you can travel up to 1037 km on the energy equivalent to a single liter of petrol! Because you simply use up fewer watts of energy than a car consumes just to power its lighting system for the same distance.
8. Less noise
Not only is the bicycle itself so much quieter than any other vehicle but you can save yourself from so many noise-polluted situations when you’re on a bike. No crowded buses and subways, no traffic jams, no honking, no problem!
The bicycle is the most efficient vehicle ever devised; a human on a bicycle is more efficient (in calories expended per kilo and per kilometer) than a train, truck, airplane, boat, car, motorcycle or jet pack. In simple words, it can – theoretically, of course – take you further than any other vehicle without pit-stops!
The feeling of freedom, the fresh air caressing your face, the wind breeze finding its way through your hair, the warm sunshine touching your skin, the bonding with nature and with the people you can share such a fun activity with, can all create a huge smile on your face. And they can help with stress, sadness, depression and other negative feelings.
Well, have you started singing yet?
I really hope I managed to make you think about it. Even for seconds. Toy with the idea of trying a new fitness activity and daring to make a change in your means of transportation. And enjoy the best of both worlds at the same time. All while awakening the long-forgotten bike enthusiast from your childhood…
And I hope your neighborhood is ready for your biking adventures. Because unfortunately, not all cities are cyclist-friendly, and as a result, many accidents – some serious ones – increase the risks of riding a bicycle in a city. If we add the drivers’ carelessness to the lack of cycling lanes – many drivers are not properly educated on how a cyclist should be treated on the road – the dangers involved rise significantly.
What can we do about it? What we can always do about everything that we don’t like around us. Become the change we would like to see. Just think twice the next time you’re in your car and you find yourself next to a cyclist on the road. They’re going somewhere – like you do – but in a way which protects our planet, the home we all live in. They deserve their safety. And we all deserve chances to live better in a healthier planet, don’t you think so? So why not follow their example?
Why not join them?
Have you got any biking stories to share? I’d love to read about them in your comments below!