The Joy of Pedal Power

This morning while browsing my RSS Feeds I came across this great blog post by Jason Billows of Stop and Breathe about why he loves riding his bike. This post struck a chord and I have a feeling it will do the same for you. Enjoy this post from Jason and be sure to visit his website and follow him on Twitter.

Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race. ~H.G. Wells

I love my bike.  I always have.  For as long as I can remember I’ve delighted at the feeling of rolling along on two wheels.  As a child, my bike represented a source of freedom.  It was an exciting and fun way for me to explore the world.  Not much has changed.  As an adult I still get the same thrill every time I head out on my bike.

Whether I used them for fun, convenience, sport or economical reasons, bikes have always been a big part of my life.  I’ve owned every kind of bike imaginable, including road bikes, mountain bikes, time trial/triathlon bikes, cruisers, bmx bikes, hybrids, commuter bikes, fixies and even unicycles.

Lately I’ve been spending more time that usual on my triathlon bike, training for my upcoming Ironman race.  During my long training rides, I’ve had lots of time to think about why I love cycling and I thought I’d share some of those reasons with you.

9 reasons why I love my bike:

1. It’s fun
There’s an innocent and carefree joy I experience when I get on my bike.  Perhaps it’s a reminder of the freedom I felt as a kid.  Maybe it’s because I love rolling along with the wind in my hair.  I can’t really say why.  It’s just… fun!

2. It’s healthy
Cycling is one of the most enjoyable ways I know of to improve your health.  It strengthens your muscles and bones, reduces your risk of stroke, heart attack and cancer, helps you to sleep better, burns calories, increases energy, improves your cardiovascular health and encourages you to eat healthy.

3. It’s green
Cycling is a zero emissions form of transportation and it helps me to live a car-lite lifestyle.  Did you know that the bicycle is the most efficient form of transport ever invitented?

4. It saves me money
Not only did my bike cost significantly less to purchase than any car, there’s no cost for gas, insurance, parking and maintenance.  Every time I choose to bike rather than drive, I save money.

5. It saves me time
Consider the time it takes you to get into your car, wait at lights, fight traffic, make gas station stops, park your car and then walk from a parking lot to your destination.  You may be surprised at how fast cycling is in comparison to driving.  It’s the perfect way to achieve more with “smooth transitions”.

6. It gives me alone time
I love the alone time that my bike provides me.  When I’m out cycling by myslef, it gives me time to think and reflect on my life.

7. It connects me with others
Whether I’m out enjoying a social ride with my wife or training for a race with fellow triathletes, cycling gives me time to connect and enjoy the company of other people.

8. It reduces stress
Maybe it’s the exercise.  Maybe it’s being outdoors.  Maybe it’s because cycling is fun.  Whatever the reason, when I ride my bike I feel stress melt away.

9. It connects me with my community
It’s difficult to appreciate your community through the windows of a car.  When riding my bike I hear the sounds and see the sights of my community.  If I want to stop and check out a shop or chat with a neighbor, I just pull over.

When was the last time you rode your bike?  Far too many people have their bike collecting dust in their basement or garage.  Clean it off an take it for a spin.

Need a tune-up before your bike is road worthy again?  Check your local listings for a bicycle co-op like Re-Cycles in Ottawa, Canada.  They operate as a not-for-profit bicycle repair shop.

Still don’t think you’ll use your bike any time soon?  Consider being a champion for collaborative consumption and donate it to a bike co-op or used bike store so someone else can enjoy it.

Best of luck to Jason as he is competing in the Lake Placid Ironman this weekend!