5 Ways Cycling Benefits Any Couple

Bike Riding

All over the world, cycling has seen an overwhelming resurgence. Dan Koh shares why, and how you can participate as a couple.

Originally published on DanKoh.net

By Dan Koh

All over the world, cycling has seen an overwhelming resurgence. Thanks, in part, to past trends of hipster-fawning and the current trend of ecological green-crusading, cycling has never been so appealing, both aesthetically and functionally.

There are many signs that point to the brimming popularity of cycling in cities globally, and the following are but a tiny little drop in the ocean of signs that cycling is going to stay popular for quite some time.

  1. Bicycle tourism is seen as an emerging sector in global travel and tourism markets.

  2. Governments are providing more transparency in the economic benefits of cycling as a replacement for driving, and encouraging the development with financial support.

  3. Continental, regional and national bicycle route networks are growing at exponential rates. More parks, major highway connectors and roads are constructed with cyclists in mind.

  4. Bicycle route networks are increasingly developed in accordance to the region’s scenic, cultural and historical assets.

  5. Explosive growth of single-day bicycle tours, and short-trip bicycle tours in countries.

  6. Governments provide significant amounts of support for bicycle travel in cities, towns and counties.

  7. Increasing popularity for bicycle-sharing programmes in major cities in the world.

  8. Surge in the number of cycling events, both charity and commercial, in cities all over the world.

  9. Proliferation of cycling support groups in mainstream media and on social media platforms. There exists numerous Facebook Groups, and neighbourhood collectives that organise regular cycling events, amid others that provide tutorials and advice on the various components of buying and maintaining a bicycle.

Therefore, as with many well-connected countries, my country (Singapore—that tiny little island-state in Southeast Asia that packs quite the hefty punch in a small package) caught the hipster bug rather early on. The ensuing waves of interest in all things hipster created a tsunami of avid cyclists riding cheap single-speed bicycles, otherwise known as fixies (a no-frill bicycle that was popularised by Jospeh Gordon-Levitt in Premium Rush) and vintage bicycles. That was at least three to five years ago. Now, despite the waning popularity of the hipster movement, the interest in cycling thankfully continues strongly, and has hooked a whole wide range of enthusiasts from children to the elderly.

Beyond the aesthetic appeal of riding a bicycle (and the street credibility that comes with using cycling as a main form of commuting [#biketoworkday]), cycling as a lifestyle has tacked on a new dimension of meaning – a long-term sustainable and conscientious lifestyle. Frankly, this lifestyle sounds very attractive, especially to newly-wed and car-less couples like us. Therefore, since our new apartment is situated really near to a large park that has recently been renovated and furnished with cycling amenities, my wife and I dove into this lifestyle with much ardour.

Barely six months into this lifestyle, we are slowly realising that cycling as a couple is incredibly therapeutic for a variety of reasons. Here are the top five reasons:

  1. Cycling is a good form of couple exercise: Now that we have cancelled our commercial gym memberships, the amount of exercise we engaged in has dropped significantly. Cycling provides an invigorating way for us to work out together while enjoying the scenic perks that the park offers.

  2. Cycling makes us feel better and kills arguments. True story: my wife and I got into an argument while cycling to the park. She sped off while I lagged behind (she’s a lot fitter than I am). The long stretch of cycling allowed our tempers to cool, and by the first pit-stop, the argument was over and we were good again. The tranquility of the park certainly helped, and the atmosphere boosted our moods considerably.

  3. Cycling is an adventure: We packed our folding bicycles (foldies are fantastic and versatile little beasts!),  got ourselves into the train to the heart of Singapore and cycled the perimeter of the island. We explored nooks and crannies, found graffiti art and street food in alleys and shophouses we would never found otherwise. We were basically tourists in our own country. That feeling was refreshing, and very much welcomed!

  4. Cycling allows us to stop anytime and marvel at our surroundings: “Darling! Stop! Look at that, won’t you? That is beautiful!” Stopped, took gorgeous photos, made glorious shared memories. Couple-hood leveled up.

  5. Cycling saves us (SO. MUCH.) money: This is a premise that will be inevitably discussed because dates can tend to be so expensive in Singapore. Before my wife and I got hooked on a cycling-infused lifestyle, our weekends tend to be a weekly research study in the latest cafe-hopping trends to partake in, the latest movies to watch or the best sales to decimate our budgets. Now, with cycling, we only fret about the most scenic route to take to unexplored corners of the island.