Is Riding a Bike Practical?
Have you ever noticed how much a walk, even a short one, improves your mood? Somehow, a trip around the neighborhood makes you feel more alive and connected. I was on such a walk and it got me thinking… I was spending quite a few hours each week in my car, not to mention all the fuel that was burning. What if I took some time already set aside for the gym and rode my bike around town for errands and appointments instead? It wouldn’t really be costing me extra time, on the contrary, I would be getting in some cardio while also getting things done. I decided to dust off the old bike and try it out.
Now, I have to admit that up until now, I have not been a regular biker. I’ve ridden on trails and around the neighborhood, which is great, but never as a means of transportation. Riding on the street made me a little nervous at first, only because I had to get used to how it all worked. It really wasn’t hard at all. In fact, over the last two months, I have absolutely fallen in love with it. Instead of driving 2 miles to an appointment, I bike there. Rather than drive the car down to the grocery store or farmer’s market, I ride my bike.
There are some logistics to get used to. Instead of a 15 minute car ride, I have to plan for a little more time. When I started getting serious about riding, I bought a few things that were necessary: a front/rear light for night riding, a good helmet, and the cutest little bike trailer ever. Here is the one I got. When its time to shop, I simply hook up the trailer, shop and load up the groceries. I get my shopping and my exercise done at the same time. So, that’s actually a time savings!
The Hidden Benefits
What I love most about this change is that it requires me to slow down my schedule. Riding a bike prevents me from overloading my schedule with too many stops. I can’t pack out my morning or evenings like I can when driving because it does take more time. And, just like that walk I was talking about earlier, it makes me feel more connected. As I ride, I feel the cool breeze, smell the freshly cut grass, hear the birds singing and have the opportunity to speak to people who are also out and about. I would miss out on all those things if I were shut up in a car. Instead, I am engaged with my environment and I love being part of it. It is such a refreshing change.
On the weekends, my husband joins me. We ride together to the farmer’s market, our community garden, or anywhere else we need to go. Maybe we’re old boring people, but it is the best date ever! The time together with him is building memories that I know we’ll look back on for years to come. I seriously doubt we would feel quite the same riding around in the car!
So, try something new. It may take some planning and getting used to, but I know you’ll love it.
Simplify, slow down, savor your moments.