Why ride a bike? Bicycling is a very interesting method of transportation. It has only been around for about two hundred, yet it is extremely popular. People ride bikes for recreation, for racing, and for transportation. In this article, I present nine reasons why the bicycle is helpful as a transportation mode for college students.
- Save Gas Money – Remember what gas prices were like last year? When the prices rise that high, everyone is trying to save gas. Now that the gas prices have gone down some, many people have stopped being careful with their gas usage. However, even with gas prices hovering just over $2, you can save plenty of money by bicycling to school. Test it. Measure how many miles you car gets per gallon, record how many miles you ride on your bike, and figure out the savings.
- Save Money on Gym Visits – If you get your exercise naturally by riding your bike instead of lifting weighs in a gym, you can save a lot of cash. Even if you get a yearly membership, visiting the gym is surprisingly expensive. There are two types of gym visitors: the type that just want exercise and the type that want to strengthen their upper bodies. If you are the kind that just wants exercise, bicycling will give you plenty of exercise, and you can probably stop visiting the gym. However, if you are the second type, giving up your gym visits can be more difficult. Bicycling exercises the legs, not the arms. Therefore, you can either continue visiting the gym (riding your bike to it), or you can find some way to exercise your arms at home such as good, old-fashioned pushups.
- Relax Your Mind and Body – Bicycling can also help you relax after a long, stressful day of classes. Riding a bicycle helps calm and clear busy minds. In fact, if you have trouble concentrating during a long study time, taking short riding breaks can help you concentrate better. In addition, riding a bicycle, or any other kind of exercise, makes it easier to sleep at night. Do you have trouble going to sleep? Bicycle riding might help you with that as well!
- Keep Your Heart Healthy – Like most other exercises, bicycling is an aerobic form of workout. Your heart is a muscle, and, like every other muscle, it needs to be exercised. When you bike, your heart beats faster for a prolonged period of time. This prolonged period of more work strengthens your heart and helps stay healthy.
- Faster than Walking – Even if you live on-campus, bicycling can save you time. Think about it. Bicycling goes about twice as fast as walking. Therefore, if it usually took you 6 minutes to walk to a class, bicycling might only take 3 minutes. [Disclaimer: These statistics are only examples, they will not be the same for everyone. You cannot sue me if you get to class late. ]
- Wake Yourself Up – Do you have a cup of coffee every morning to wake yourself up? Save the coffee money and bike instead. Bicycling to class in the crisp morning air has a invigorating effect even better than that of coffee. Plus, bicycling does not leave you more sleepy a few hours later. I have also found that it is easier to plan my daily schedule while bicycling. Therefore, riding to class has many advantages. You save money (on coffee); you save time (faster than walking), and you can easily plan your day.
- Enjoy the Outdoors – Riding a bike is a great time to enjoy the God’s beautiful creation! When was the last time that you heard a bird chirp while you were driving your car? Or when did you see the squirrel run across the road in front of you? When was the last time you noticed the cats chasing each other up the street? Riding is simply an entirely different and more pleasant experience. You can see first-hand the beauty of creation.
- Skip the Traffic – If you attend college in a busy city, bicycling can actually be faster than driving. One of my favorite bicycling experiences is passing the traffic. Once, I actually beat the rest of the family on a one to two mile ride home. They drove, and I biked. It was in the middle of rush hour with bumper to bumper traffic most of the way. In the bike lane, however, I sailed past at my normally speed.
- Eliminate Pollution – Today, many people are highly concerned about pollution. I think that much of the environmentalist movement is based on unconfirmed hypotheses (For example, global warming has been scientifically disproved.). However, it is true that we should be good stewards of the earth. Therefore, we should be careful to avoid polluting the environment unnecessarily. Bicycling is the most environmentally-friendly method of transportation available to the modern world. Its carbon footprint is….nothing, zilch, nil. Therefore, bicycling to school can help decrease smog and pollution.
Do you ride to school? Why or why not?