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Why Every College Student Should Ride a Bike 14

Cycling Makes You Smart ;)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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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!
  4. 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.
  5. 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. 🙂 ]
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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?

14 thoughts on “Why Every College Student Should Ride a Bike

  1. Reply Kris Apr 22,2009 7:14 AM

    I live just off campus and I walk about 20 minutes to get to class. It’s nice way to exercise, it saves money ($100 parking pass per semester), and it’s not as dangerous as biking. The drivers here are crazy. I do envy the bike riders when it’s snowing and windy out, though, which is pretty much the whole winter.

  2. Reply Ryan Smith Apr 22,2009 7:15 AM

    Great post, Nate.

    Most college towns are great for bike commuting with bike lines and plenty of racks. If the students were to save the gas money they don’t spend they would have a nice little nest egg when they graduated as well.

  3. Reply Nate Desmond Apr 22,2009 7:48 AM

    @ Kris
    You are right, sometimes bicycling is dangerous, and walking is a better idea.

  4. Reply SmartSecurityPeople.com Apr 22,2009 8:50 AM

    Our local University is celebrating Earth Week by putting a challenge to students to ride their bikes and fill up all the bike racks on campus. We don’t have a large number of bike racks, so hopefully the challenge will be easily met…

  5. Reply Baker @ ManVsDebt Apr 22,2009 10:22 AM

    Great post, man!

    My first year in college we weren’t allowed to have cars (or at least park on campus). Looking back this was one of the coolest years. I rode my bike more, walked more, and in general just enjoyed the outdoors more!

  6. Reply Stephanie PTY Apr 22,2009 10:30 AM

    I didn’t ride a bike on my campus – too much rain and snow! But I did walk as much as possible.

  7. Reply Paul Apr 22,2009 12:03 PM

    Definitely truths here. Unfortunately, my school is on a hill, so using a bike is a massive workout that I’m usually too lazy for. But biking is definitely worth it — many are so accustomed to taking a car that when they don’t have the option, they forget about cars.

  8. Reply Aveen Apr 24,2009 8:06 AM

    Nice post. I work and go to school in London, where you just can’t really drive because you’d never manage to get anywhere, but cycling saves me about £90 a month in train/tube fares (around $130) and it’s a lot more reliable than the trains!

  9. Reply ChristiaanH Apr 24,2009 9:47 AM

    It’s with posts like these that I like living in the Netherlands. There are more bikes here than people, and bikes have a designated part of the road to use. If a car hits a bike, it’s always the car’s fault…

    Than being said I do own a motorcycle… Everything within 5 miles or so is done by bicycle, the rest with the motorcycle.

  10. Reply Nate Desmond Apr 24,2009 10:00 AM

    @ ChristiaanH

    I wish we had better bike laws here in the US. From what I have heard, here the bicyclist is often assumed to be at fault. However, the bicycle laws are getting better. 🙂

    Thanks,
    Nate

  11. Reply Stefan | StudySuccessful.com Jun 29,2009 12:44 AM

    Cycling is great! Here in the Netherlands, everybody uses a bike. It is the most seen way of transportation over here. In this country, there are more bikes than people!

  12. Reply charadeur Sep 7,2009 3:42 PM

    Riding a bicycle as much as possible is a great idea.

    The article (Feb 2007) you point to on Global Warming is wrong and has long been disproved. Today even past global warming deniers have to admit that global warming is a reality. They have even given in on it being mostly caused by human activities. Now the deniers argue is that it is not as bad as scientist say. They have been so right in the past so we should listen to them now. (sarcasm)

    Please get educated on global warming and stop spreading the oil and coal industries lies.
    Check out realclimate dot org.

    BTW: You may want to ask your English professor about the use of the word disproved as disproven is not a word.

  13. Reply Nate Desmond Sep 7,2009 6:01 PM

    Hi Charedeur,

    Thank you for your comment!

    I entirely agree with you about the importance of bicycling; it is a great means of transportation!

    I also appreciate your disagreement with me on the topic of global warming. Although I entirely disagree with your stand, gentlemanly discussion of political issues is advantageous to both parties involved.

    I will attempt to defeat your position and state mine as succinctly and clearly as possible.

    Holes In Your Position

    – You said that the article I cited has “long been disproved”. Perhaps so, do you have any proof?

    – You maintain that past deniers of global warming have now admitted that global warming is a reality. Please kindly supply me with names and statistics.

    – You assert that scientists even agree on a man-made cause of global warming. Once again, please present me with proof.

    – Although it can be tempting, sarcasm is not necessary… if you have actual evidence. Please replace your useless sarcasm with much-needed proof.

    In summary, your statements need proof. A series of vague assertions are of absolutely no value unless solidly backed by true statistics and facts. (Is this based on hear-say or are you perhaps a climate scientist?)

    My Position

    Resolved…

    – that man-made global warming, on the scale claimed by some scientists, is absolutely false. These scientists either knowingly or unknowingly are spreading falsehoods.
    – that weather cycles can result in temporary “global warming”, but the same weather cycles also result in “global cooling”.
    – that modern scientists do not “agree that global warming is a reality”, nor do they agree that it is man-made.

    A Few Useful Resources
    This is my proof…

    A Telegraph.co.uk article on global warming (Dec. 2008)
    A John Birch Society article (Jan. 2009)
    An interesting article about India’s climate position (July 2009) (Note New York’s record low temperatures.)

    Your English Usage Correction

    Thank you for your correction of my English usage! The word I used in that case was incorrect, and it is now updated.

    However, if you are interested in discussing English, you might wish to speak with your English professor about proper punctuation. Your short comment is missing no less than three comas and includes one misplaced modifier and one missing word.

    Thanks again for your comment. As long as gentlemanly courtesy is strictly maintained, I see no reason why we could not exchange two or three comments here on the topic of global warming cooling. 😉

    Thanks,
    Nate

  14. Reply Chris Aug 27,2010 12:23 PM

    Maybe in cooler climates [or another country where people’s noses aren’t so easily offended], but not here in Florida. I tried riding my bike to class back in ’04…and quit soon thereafter because even a short bike ride in 90+ temperatures leaves your shirt soaked in sweat and noone wants to be near you.

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