Do you remember when you were a kid? You know, before there were cars and bills and jobs? Back then, you rode your bike simply for the pleasure of the act. There weren’t any fitness goals to strive for, it was riding for one reason only: fun. At Florida Biking we would like to let you in on a little secret….riding is still fun! Guess what. It can be more fun now and you don’t have to be home by dinner time. It is an awesome way to attain fitness and how many fitness programs are really fun? Yet, if you are having fun you are much more likely to stay with it and reap the many health benefits that it gives you.
When riding a bicycle you notice the sights and sounds that you, almost always, miss when driving or riding in a car and you get a whole new perspective on your environment. It gives you a chance to leave the rat race behind and lets you stop and smell the roses. Or, if you are a more active type, you can step it up and get all the action you want.
A bike doesn’t have to cost much. Unlike a car, a chrome-moly bike will outlast the owner, and few parts will ever break or fail. Some parts will wear out: the tires, the chain, the cogset, the sprockets, the brake pads, and the bearings. The wheels will fatigue. Replacing the tires is the greatest maintenance cost.
Some people have said that a cyclist has to buy special clothes or eat more foods. First, no special clothes are necessary, with the exception of a rain suit in place of an umbrella. Second, if the cyclist does buy special clothing and shoes, those items take the place of other clothing and shoes the cyclist would have to buy anyway. And cycling clothing lasts just as long as any other. Cycling clothing does not have to be expensive either. As far as eating more, I only eat more when on a long trip; then, I just add more rice or pasta to my diet.
Each person that rides a bike rather than drives a car is helping to save our planet. Our civilization has been burning huge quantities of coal, natural gas, oil, and their byproducts, thus pumping carbon dioxide into the ecosystem. Living creatures absorb most of this carbon, but the excess accumulates in the atmosphere. The result has been 1) a longer growing season, 2) more hot days, 3) more rain, and 4) greater drying. Predicted but not proven results are: 1) more frequent violent storms, 2) drought, famine, and the destruction of forests, and 3) the flooding of coastal cities. Of all of our fossil fuel uses, automobile travel is the least defendable.
Is there anything more pretty than a ride late at night with the stars overhead and, from time to time, a falling star?
Is there anything more enchanting than riding after dark with your headlight lighting up the swirling and falling snow?
Is there anything more deeply satisfying than sitting next to a lake or stream, beside your tent, bicycle, and stove, and eating the food you caught and/or gathered?
Is there anything more exulting than to be cycling in the clouds in the high mountains and to see the patches of green and the toy houses below?
Is there anything more humbling than a flat tire during a heavy rain with no shelter?
Is there anything more nostalgic than to be cycling down a road on a long bike trip and suddenly recognize where you are from childhood memories?
Is there any greater satisfaction than to return to the place where another trip had ended, and go on?
Is there anything more powerful than to realize after building up all summer that you can cycle all day and climb any mountain without getting tired?
Is there anything more wonderful than to turn your daydream into a reality?
A great little bicycle song by Laurence Cole. Click the link below to play!