7 Ways Bike Commuting Can Save You and the World
2020 has been a year of upheaval, and I’m sure many of you are out there wondering what you can do to inject some positivity into this positively chaotic year. Something I found heartening was the phenomenal uptick in bike sales and enthusiasm for travel on 2 wheels.
Bike sales grew by up to 203% (Bike market skyrockets, Bicycle Retailer - June 2020) and many new and experienced cyclists might be looking for a way to get the new lifestyle to stick, even in a post-Covid world. Though I can’t be there to force you into this new habit, I can emphasize 7 reasons why your new hobby could be more meaningful than just a boredom buster - in fact, I have found that bike commuting changed my life and basically my entire lifestyle (including the creation of a bike and fashion friendly clothing line - check out my last post for my story Why I Ride)! In fact, I believe that making this switch could actually help save the world. Let be break this down for you:
Bike Commuting Can Help You Save Yourself
Mood Boosting When I began bike commuting, I was struggling with an oppressive anxiety disorder. But over time, as I became more mindful of my surroundings - for example, intimately noticing the weather, bumps and slight inclines in the road, strange animal or vehicle sounds, the wind on my skin...my mind and the panic inducing thought wheel slowed and I was finally able to see through the murky water of my anxiety.
Bike Commuting Can Save Your Community
Camaraderie of the Biking Community Did you know there is a whole community out there of like minded cyclists centered around a plethora of different interests? Once one embraces the bike, the community embraces the biker. Sure, there are a few snob groups out there, but many groups make inclusivity a priority. Get out there and find your tribe - social media is a good place to start.
Smiles and Human Connection There’s a special nod or grin or hand wave that cyclists offer to each other. In addition, it’s easier to say, “Goodmorning,” to those you’re passing on the sidewalk when there isn’t a car frame creating a barrier. It’s a lot less creepy to say, "Hello" from a bike than through a car window :). I’ve personally gotten into some incredibly interesting and valuable conversations with random strangers because of my mode of transportation. I would call that real, “organic” community building.
Literally Save the Natural World
Cutting Carbon should be a priority for all of us. Bike commuting is a lifestyle swap that comes with a load of benefits. In addition to some of the benefits I’ve listed above, some communities or companies offer incentives for bike commuters. Want to see just how much you’re cutting your carbon footprint? You can check a number of different websites including Map My Emissions which lets you compare the carbon output of different modes of transportation on specific routes. The less carbon you’re emitting, the healthier our Mother will be.
Reconnecting with Nature and Her Cycles, and I’m not talking about some weird girltalk. I found when I started commuting by bike that I became acutely aware when I new season arrived, or when a storm was getting ready to burst, or like the one time I went into the classroom only to emerge after a series of tornadoes zigzagging home through the debris - I started living in the world again, not constantly cocooned from it. This renewed sense of belonging to the natural world has continued to fuel the way I live my life and the way I am raising my children. The more connected we are to nature, the more likely we are to save it.
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