What does cycling mean to you

Photo credit Alex Robinson

Now that National Bike Month has passed now is the perfect time for cyclists to keep the momentum gained in May and reflect on what it is we love about the bike and share with our non-cycling friends why the draw to two wheels is so strong.

I’ll start the list here but the number of reasons we ride is as big as the number of people who ride. So, let us know your reasons in the comments below.

The Body

Cycling is constantly cited as one of the best low-impact aerobic forms of exercise we can do. There are seemingly countless examples of how people are using the bike to get and stay fit, lose weight, and even overcome the effects of diseases most thought we couldn’t overcome.

The Mind

Besides the natural high we get from exercise, being out on the road or trail gives us a chance to get within our own mind.  Some of us use cycling as a way to de-stress at the end of a long day, or to clear our mind before jumping into the busy fray of the workday. Others get a mental lift just from knowing they are doing something healthy for themselves.

The number of club and group rides available in just about any town with a bike shop, and the increasing participation in mobile socials, Critical Mass, and community cycling events is proof that cycling is a social activity. The conversations we have before, during and after a ride ranges from the simple introduction to the diving into the deepest of topics. There is no doubt that strong and lifelong relationships are formed on the bike.

The Environment

For many of us the bike is a practical choice in addition to an emotional one. With gas prices hovering between $2.50 and $3.00 per gallon for much of the U.S. (and even higher in some international locations!) and the long-term effects of a massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico are still yet to be determined, could there be a better time to spend more time using the bike for transportation?

Unfortunately, sometimes it takes a crisis to effect change on a large scale. To that end it seems as though the build-up of environmentally unfriendly stories proliferate the news, has led to more people seriously looking at alternative means of transportation including, yes, cycling.

And hey, biking is just fun!

What’s your favorite reason to go get on the bike?