Cycling is possibly one of the best hobbies anyone can get into. Your health, your bank account, and the planet all benefit from your frequent use of your bike. Knowing how good cycling is for you probably makes it hard to stop yourself from raving about it to your friends. If they love cycling as much as you do, they’re probably gushing with you. If not, then why not get them on board?
Many friendships have been created and developed through cycling. Riding with your closest friends may make your bond grow stronger. Most importantly, cycling may improve their lives in several ways. Here’s why.
Cycling Is Good for the Health
Regular exercise is essential to be healthy. Unfortunately, most people get less than 20 to 30 minutes of moderate physical activity every day. This is especially true for people with jobs that have them sitting all day. To make it worse, it can be tough to muster the motivation to exercise by yourself, which is why you should get your friends into cycling.
Cycling doesn’t feel like exercise. You’re just having fun riding your bike, but you get a workout as a bonus. Thirty minutes pass by so quickly when you’re cycling. You can also motivate one another to get up early in the morning and go for a ride or push yourselves more.
With cycling, there are tons of opportunities to work on your fitness. Avid cyclists take it up a notch by undergoing rigorous interval training with the aid of cycling gadgets and accessories, like power meters, heart monitors, and indoor trainers, to track their performance.
Through the sport, you and your friends can reach your fitness goals and become healthier physically and mentally.
It Helps Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
Traveling by bike has considerably lesser impact on the environment as compared to using a car. Bikes don’t run on fuel or energy, except the power you expend when you hit the pedals. If more people traveled by bike, there will be lesser carbon emissions and greenhouse gases on earth.
If 14 percent of the travels in the world were made through bikes or e-bikes, this will cut down carbon emissions by 11 percent, says the Institute of Transportation and Development Policy. Eleven percent won’t stop global warming or climate change, but it’s a step to mitigating the problem.
The love for cycling almost always goes hand in hand with a deep concern for Mother Nature and the environment. It will be impossible to enjoy cycling if the weather is always unstable, if the air is too polluted, and if the natural scenery disappears.
Commuting by Bike Is More Cost-Effective
It’s cheaper to own a bike than drive a car. In 2015, car users spent an average of $1,962 on gas and motor oil. That year, owning a midsize sedan cost about $8,600; an SUV, $10,250. In contrast, owning a bicycle only cost $300.
If you factor in inflation rates, the result is the same. Driving a car is still significantly more expensive than owning a bicycle. With the new Bike Commuter Act of 2019, owning a bike is also likely to be even more cost-effective. According to the recent amendment, bike commuters can now enjoy a $53 tax break every month, as opposed to the $20 tax-free reimbursement of the previous law.
Cycling Makes You Happier
Among all kinds of commuters, cyclists are the happiest, says a 2019 study published in the Journal of Transport and Health. The research identifies the following reasons for cyclists’ high rate of satisfaction:
- A high degree of commuting control and “arrival-time reliability”
- Enjoyable levels of sensory stimulation
- The feel-better effects of moderate-intensity exercise
- Greater opportunities for social interaction
Traffic jams are everyday occurrences in population-dense cities where many people commute by car. Unlike the car-driving population, cyclists can take alternative routes, avoid high-traffic areas, and weave through jams.
In bike-friendly cities, cycling commuters also have more advantages on the road, as compared to car users. They have protected bike lanes, more efficient routes, and little to no traffic jam, which makes commuting so much enjoyable.
Like any form of moderate-intensity exercise, riding a bike activates the production of more endorphin, serotonin, and dopamine, which are also known as feel-good hormones. At the same time, the exercise reduces cortisol and adrenaline levels (a.k.a. stress hormones). In short, cycling boosts mood and happiness levels.
In many places, cyclists often band together and form communities. Their shared passion for the sport brings them closer and helps them develop friendships with other riders. The sense of belongingness the community offers provides security and companionship that are increasingly hard to find in today’s increasingly alienated world.