Urban Cycling: Five Simple Reasons Why You Need a Bike.

Traveling is really awesome. Nothing like getting on a plane, train, car, or boat and ending up in a whole new place. But we can’t always be traveling. So in the spirit of living an adventurous life, it is important to see the value of your regular everyday. That means being able to appreciate the awesome things that are around you everyday. The best way to do that is to explore what is in your own backyard.

Now, I may not have a physical backyard, but there are a great deal of awesome places that I can get to in under an hour. What’s even better is that you can do it in a way that is sustainable and even healthy for you. Yup, in a city, your bike is your best friend.

Here are five reasons why you need to get a bike, asap, and use it all the time:

  1. It’s cheap. After the initial cost of a bike you really aren’t going to spend a lot on upkeep. I would recommend staying under the $400 range (extra points if it’s on sale). If you want a proper race bike, that’s a different story. What we are talking about is a simple bike that will get you from Point A to Point B with minimal hassle and minimal fear of theft. A good lock is also recommended.
  2. You save. Not only is it cheap, it also SAVES you money. Forget those public transit passes, gas costs, insurance premiums, parking meters…you get the point.
  3. It’s quick. In my own city of Toronto, biking cuts your travel time by three quarters when compared to public transportation. Driving can be even worse! You don’t have to worry about walking from the transit or parking stop. This is luxury service- door to door, simple as that.
  4. It’s healthy. If you are like me, sitting in front of a computer all day and have so little time for exercise, biking to work allows you to to kill two birds with one stone. You burn about 500 calories in an hour of biking. This is what 500 calories looks like! 
  5. It’s green. Unless you are a climate change denier (in which case, this may not be the right place for you) you know that we are doing considerably more bad for our planet than good. And while I am not advising you stop using electricity, move to a eco-farm (although how cool would that be?), and pick your own berries for sustenance, it is pretty awesome to be able to make a direct impact on your carbon footprint. For example, biking 5 miles to work 5 days a week saves 25lbs of CO2 emissions! Cool right?

So, grab a helmet, some good shoes, and a properly equipped bike (bell, lock, and front and back lights) and you are good to go. And I mean GO. Forget traffic. Forget being stuffed in un-air-conditioned public transit vehicles. Forget gas prices and transit change. Forget waiting. Forget endless walking. Just zip around the town like you own the place. How empowering is that?

Check back for more bike-related posts, including bike safety, biking with a child, biking when traveling and more specific biking adventures. 


2 thoughts on “Urban Cycling: Five Simple Reasons Why You Need a Bike.

  1. I read today on Torontoist that the the most doorings of anywhere in the city take place on College between Spadina and Landsdowne. I love urban bicycling, but planning your route is key to surviving that jungle!

    • I cannot agree more. Above all else, bike safety is the MOST important thing to consider (hint: post on this coming soon)!

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