Spring(ish) weather is back, which means I’ve been spending more time on two wheels. After a winter of too much car driving, it feels like freedom. The change of seasons has my friend Kaitlin longing for a bike of her own, so today we stopped into a Fyxation store to find her an affordable commuter bike. I’m pretty pumped to teach her the ropes of city riding and to go on random adventures together once she makes the big purchase.
Now that I rely on the Silver Steed (that’s the not-so-clever name of my bike, pictured above) so often, it’s hard to remember being bike-less. Riding for transportation, not just sport, changed how I view travel, exercise, even my own city. So I put together this little list to point out just a handful of the ways that bike commuting will rock—and roll (ba-dum-chh)—your world.
1. You develop quads of steel.
Even in flat Milwaukee, biking requires lots of thigh strength. The more you bike to work, the stronger those quads will get and the easier riding around will be.
2. You save lots of money.
In spring and summer, I often go full weeks without driving my car—a major perk of living in the city. It feels good to be unburdened by the fluctuation of fuel prices.
3. You always score the best parking space.
No more circling the block for a spot or scrounging up change for a meter. When you bike, you can zip right up to the restaurant and lock your bike out front.
4. You get better at giving directions.
It’s easy to rely on Google Maps while driving, but on a bike, it’s best to know your route before you start pedaling. Cycling gives you a crash course in navigation.
5. You become deeply distrustful of cars…
Especially in cities or suburbs that aren’t the bike-friendliest yet. Drivers don’t always check the bike lane before opening their car doors or making right turns, so you learn to be on guard whenever you’re in the saddle.
6. …and dread driving your own.
Now that I bike, driving my car feels tedious. I can’t stand waiting in line to turn onto a busy street when I could sideline the car queue on the Silver Steed and sneak right into the bike lane.
7. You gain a new appreciation for your surroundings.
Biking attunes you to what’s around you. You’re not in a hulking metal object, so you can hear the sounds of the street and smell food from that Indian or BBQ joint as you ride by. You’re bound to discover something that you might miss in a car.
YOUR TURN: Do you own a bike? Do you bike commute? If so, how has it changed your perspective?