The Joy of Biking
If you were to purchase a bike or pull your old one out of the garage, you might quickly be surprised at how much enjoyment you get out of biking around town. When I talk to people about using a bike as part of their commute or even all of it, something that consistently comes up is how much fun it is. While the environmental benefits of biking should not be overlooked, it’s a great transportation choice for a variety of reasons, including that it might make you feel like a kid again! I’ll give you a few of those reasons here, and then, if you’re convinced to start looking for a bike, I’ll point you in the direction of a few local options.
Reason to bike #1: Psychology Today tells us that riding a bike can be beneficial for your mental health. Cycling can help in the short term by decreasing your cortisol levels, a hormone that makes you feel stressed out. It can also help in the long term as regularly biking can help strengthen the white matter in your brain. White matter helps connect the different regions of your brain and allows them to communicate with one another.
Reason to bike #2: While it might seem counterintuitive, cycling can in some cases be faster than driving a car. A study from Scientific American reveals that traffic congestion in major cities in the US has become so bad that a person cycling at a rate of around 12 miles an hour would arrive at their destination faster than a person who started from the same point and was traveling to the same location in a car. Bicycling also saves you time by allowing you to skip parking and walking from your car to your location.
Reason to bike #3: Owning a bicycle is a lot less expensive than owning a vehicle. The average American spends around $8,000 dollars a year between car payments, insurance, maintenance, and gasoline. Of course, a bicycle will also cost you, but a lot less. You can purchase a good used bike for less than $200 and the annual maintenance will not cost you much. A lot of bike maintenance tutorials can also be found online so you may not even need to seek out a bike mechanic.
If I’ve convinced you that a bicycle might be a good fit for you, here are some local bike shops for you to consider:
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