It’s a better time than ever for cyclists.
“In each of the last five years, federal money has supported 3,000 projects a year for bike lanes, paths and things like that,” says Tim Blumenthal, president of Bikes Belong. “Almost everywhere in the United States, there are better places to bike now than there were five or 10 years ago. Admittedly, not every part of the country is an ideal place to ride a bike. But the number of bike paths on roads and other accommodations for cyclists have increased considerably in big American cities. A 2011 study called “Bicycling renaissance in North America?” found that bicycling has at least doubled since 1990, and the New York City Department of Transportation reported a 289% increase in cycling from 2001 to 2011. As the country becomes better equipped to support biking, it’s only becoming more and more popular.
It’s a legitimate method of transportation.
If you’re headed to anything important, like work, biking is a completely green form of transportation that’s free (so long as you have a bike) and provides some great exercise to boot. As Clarke puts it, “Instead of slouching in front of the steering wheel cursing rush hour traffic, biking to work adds an additional calorie burn to your daily or occasional routine.” With Commute Solutions estimating the cost of a 10-mile roundtrip to work at $10 (including gas, insurance, maintenance, initial costs and indirect fees), it’s definitely a good idea to consider taking your bike instead.
It’s an activity you’ll be able to do the rest of your life.
Even if you’re in amazing shape now, weightlifting and certain exercises aren't going to be so easy years down the line. One of the best things about bicycling is that you’ll be able to do it long after you have to say goodbye to the weight room. “So many people I know ran for years then just ended up too stiff or too sore when they ran all the time, then they switched to bicycling,” Blumenthal says. “The great thing about it is you can do it day after day for the rest of your life.” NEXT: Get in touch with your inner kid >>