The Many Benefits of Bicycling
Too often we seek simple solutions to single, complex problems. But there are also things that make improvements to a number of our challenges, though they may not completely solve any of them. Perhaps instead of trying to “solve” our problems we might strive to just reduce them, freeing up energy to address the others. Bicycling is that kind of strategy; it contributes positively to so many things we care about:
Routine physical activity is essential for good health. Since bicycling can be worked into one’s daily or weekly routines and can be done at whatever exertion level suits your desire, it’s hard to beat.
Whether you want to be fit for fitness’ sake, or want to improve your performance in another sport, cycling is a great option. It’s aerobic, low impact, and complimentary to a number of other sports.
It’s no secret that automobiles contribute to serious air pollution issues, including climate change, ground level ozone, and particulate matter. They also contribute to water pollution through stormwater runoff. Their noise contributes to stress. Millions of animals — wild and pet — are hit and killed by them every year. And we pave over huge pieces of land to store those vehicles.
Bicycles have no walls, no barriers between you and your surroundings. It gets you in touch with your neighbors, let’s you see the important details — good and bad — that make your community what it truly is. Bicyclists tend to be positive people and it’s a great social activity. As I can attest, it’s a great way to find a spouse! And if you’re already in a committed relationship it can make it stronger.
Sure, bikes and accessories can be a bit expensive, but they can pay for themselves quickly when used to replace car trips. Other savings can be harder to calculate, like healthcare and general well-being.