The masses of morning bicycle commuters take to the streets in cities all over the United States. They fill up the bike lanes, weave in and out of traffic, wear funky helmets and make hand signals for turns. It’s sort of like watching the bees start flying out of a hive in the early moments of dawn. For anyone who is not a bee, it’s a daily show. For us in cars, we always ask ourselves as we see them riding along, should I start riding a bike?
That question stems from a number of value-oriented places, like: economics, environmental issues, health and, of course, some personal interest. Standing on the outside of the window and looking in on the bicycle community is a propellant for envy. Its natural community connectives make anyone want to throw the car keys in a drawer and pump up the ole’ rubber tires of the cruiser sitting dusty in the garage.
Watching these dedicated riders who have a strong belief in what they are riding and what it stands for as they ride translates into the understanding that, yes, this is a well-built, oiled, devoted and growing community. The average person spends their entire life looking for a community, a connection point to others, a cause and the action, and just something to be committed to. All of that exists in the bike community.
Here are three very simple reasons why the bicycle lifestyle is attractive to those who don’t bike:
1. Saving precious time and money.
For anyone who lives in a city and has any sort of morning traffic, the amount of time spent in a single day commuting to and from work, or to just get around and run errands is more than anyone wants to put in. Besides time, an already valuable resource, the cost of gas when sitting or stopping and going, plus a heavy foot to the brakes…it all adds up. Time and money can be saved riding a bike.
(A list of average amount of time spent in traffic for one year, by city: http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2013/02/the-american-commuter-spends-38-hours-a-year-stuck-in-traffic/272905/)
2. It’s a social kind of thing.
For the person who seeks human attention or even the shiest of personalities, being a part of a community is a huge part of making life feel complete. The small talk, the friends, the events, the cool gear and rides, and all the rest of the jazz are just another piece of happiness to tap into. Having a cause and doing something about it will bring social connections, and that’s invaluable.
3. All that pedaling, it has to be good for you, right?
That’s right, on the simplest of logic: riding compared to driving is an easy way to fit some activity in your life. The list is long, but it ranges from cardiovascular health, to muscle strength, flexibility and, gained stamina, and even helps keep your immune system running on full. Not to mention that when the weather seems to be gleaming with beauty, exercise seems to just be a perk when you’re enjoying a nice Sunday ride.
A list of reasons why women and men should start riding bikes:
Women’s Health Magazine: http://www.womenshealthmag.com/fitness/bicycle-fitness
Men’s Health Magazine: http://www.mensfitness.com/weight-loss/burn-fat-fast/10-reasons-to-get-on-a-bike