3 reasons I love to bike - The Dainty Squid

3 reasons I love to bike

Monday, September 22, 2014

I learned to ride a bike when I was really young. Since we lived on a dirt road in the middle of nowhere and my mother rarely let me out of her sight, I basically only rode my bike around the yard as the child. I didn't ride much as a teenager and I rode even less as an adult. In May I rediscovered my love of biking after my first ride around Cleveland on a borrowed bike. I immediately bought one of my own and haven't looked back since. I can't believe I wasted so much time not biking. Today is world car free day so I thought it'd be a perfect opportunity to share my top three reasons I love to bike and hopefully encourage at least a few folks to get back on the saddle.
 My top three reasons I love to bike...
1 // It's a new way to see your city. This is probably my favorite reason to ride a bike. I have seen so much more of Cleveland by getting on my bike and just setting off than I ever would have in a car. It doesn't matter if you've been living in the same place your whole life, I guarantee if you start exploring it on your bike you'll see things differently.

Something that I really enjoy about cycling is that I can basically stop where ever I want to soak up my surroundings or to shoot photos. In a car I have to worry about finding a parking spot (and dude, I hate parking!) On my bike I can just hop up on to the sidewalk and do whatever I please without worrying.

2 // It's healthy. No, I'm not promoting it for weight loss because we all know that doesn't happen when you're biking to get pizza and ice cream all the time. Ahem. Biking makes you feel good. I am slowly but surely gaining muscle in my legs, and I can feel it in my stomach, back, and arms after a good ride. I feel strong when I ride. I am what's powering my bike. I'm in control.

If I'm stressed, having a bad day, or just feeling plain lazy a bike ride will make me feel so much better. It seems counterproductive and it shouldn't be the case at all but when I'm tired and I go on a bike ride I somehow end up feeling full of energy. It's my absolute favorite stress-relief activity, even more than eating junk food, and that's saying something!

3 // It's fun! This is probably the first time in my life I have ever thought exercise was fun but it really, really is. Out of all the things I could have done for my birthday my first thought was "bike ride!" There are few times I can think of something more fun than biking.

Being on my bike is freeing. I suppose that sentence could also fit up there with my number two reason I love it since that is also a mental thing but feeling of freedom also fits into the "fun" category. I have never felt anything like the freedom I feel while zipping around on my bike.

More reasons to get on a bike...
Critical Mass. I don't need to add anything else here except you have to participate in at least of these at some point. SO. MUCH. FUN. (This Friday, y'all!)
+ What's a traffic jam? Being able to beat traffic on your bike is absolutely one of the best feelings ever. As someone who is terrified, overwhelmed, and mystified by city traffic it blew my mind when I found how fun that traffic was on a bike. Game night traffic in Cleveland is my favorite to bike through.
+ Guaranteed front row parking, always. No need to waste time driving around looking for somewhere to park! You can always lock your bike up close to where ever you need to be.
+ You don't have to purchase fuel (except aforementioned pizza!)
+ Fresh air always makes you feel better.
+ Biking gives you a sense of fellowship as well. Not every cyclist you meet will become your new best friend but it's a similar thing to when people on motorcycles see each other. You're immediately part of an awesome new club.

I know, I now seem like the cyclist version of a televangelist but I feel like so many adult forget how great biking is. You learn it when you're young and then somewhere along the line you forget about it. I encourage you to take a ride around your neighborhood today. If you don't own a bike, I'm sure someone you know will let you borrow theirs, and with the increased popularity of bike share programs (Cleveland just got one, it's pretty neat!) you have no excuse to not give it a spin!
xoxo

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21 thoughts

  1. Buying a bike was the best thing I ever did and I kick myself when I don't get out on it enough because I feel so great every time I do. It'd be much better if this city wasn't so hilly or have such high bike theft as well. x

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  2. you really do love your bike. i have been thinking about getting one as well

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    1. Well, what's stopping ya?! You won't regret it. :)

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  3. Your recent posts make me long for my biking days. My bike has been sitting around and constantly getting flat tires. I use to live in Philadelphia, which is one of the top 10 bike friendly cities in the US. It was so cool feeling like you were PART of the traffic, but could cheat when you could (running red lights when no one is around?! Yes please) But now that I am back in the burbs I've found biking really frustrating. Nobody seems to know how to treat bikers. Sometimes I feel like I have to avoid being hit, and other times, people stop for no reason to let you go. Oh, and I HATE when people drive their cars on the opposite side of the street to pass a bike. I am not the size of a car, and I am close to the curb. *sigh*

    BUT I am loosing focus on what I can to comment about! One of my favorite things about biking in Philly was that I could go through sketchier neighborhoods without feeling weird. One day I biked to the zoo and got lost. Lord knows if I was walking I would of felt 100% freaked out and scared. But on my bike I thought, just keep going, turn around and try to figure out where you went.

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    1. Oh my gosh, I HATE when people stop to let me go. I'm turning left, you're going straight, just goooo! It's so confusing when they do it to, most of the time they don't even wave or anything they just stop. So frustrating.

      Exactly. I go so many places on my bike I wouldn't walk!

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  4. I love biking, it makes me feel like a kid again with that sense of freedom and just whizzing around as I like! I really should do it more, I just need to replace my saddle.

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  5. I used to think I absolutely hated exercising and it wasn't until I was an adult that I figured out that I actually just hated organized sports. But non-competitive activities like biking or yoga or hiking have become a huge focal point for me now.

    I've been loving your biking posts- it's neat to see someone become so passionate about something so quickly.

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  6. I got a bike a couple years ago and I agree, riding a bike is an awesome experience! I have discovered so many new places in my city too, just as you mentioned. That really amazed me because I've lived here for 20 years and thought I've seen everything. Happy riding!

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  7. I don't bike at home much because I don't like my city and it's too cold for me for about 9 months of the year, but when I visited the US this summer biking was the best way to sightsee. It's pretty cheap to hire a bike for the day, easy to get around and good exercise! I'm hoping to move somewhere warmer and hopefully I can bust out the bike then.

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  8. Grrrrr. See, I've got this idea of moving to a city, and using a bike, and my feet, and being places without driving them. It sounds lovely. But I live in the middle of nowhere, so my frustration is that I can't actually get anywhere on my feet or on a bike.

    Enough stilly stupid. I can still do it, right? So I'll keep doin' it. :) A good motivater, you.

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    1. Hey, I know exactly what you're talking about. I lived in the middle of nowhere for the majority of my life. Moving to the city was the best thing ever for me, in so many aspects!

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  9. The last time I rode my bike around a city was when I spent a few days in Amsterdam... and it was SO MUCH FUN. I walked all around the city my first two days there, and rented a bike on my third and final day, which was such a good choice because I already had a good feel for where everything was and I was able to just enjoy the ride.

    I really want to get back on a bicycle, but I just don't think Philadelphia is the right place for it. Considering we live in the suburbs and not the city, the roads around here are just far too busy and the drivers are just too ignorant. I don't have the guts to ride around here! Maybe one day, when we move somewhere a little less crowded and more bike-friendly. I've had too many friends around here get into serious bike accidents.

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    1. You know what might help? Going on a few rides with experienced city cyclists. When I first started the idea of riding around the city with all the traffic was just insane. My boyfriend and his friends are all incredible on bikes. It doesn't bother them at all. Riding around with them and watching the things they do in certain situations made me confident enough to go out on my own. Without having seen them zip around downtown I would have never been able to do it.

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  10. The university I go to recently started a Bike Share program with all the Green Fees that student pay along with tuition every month. I think it's an awesome use of the funds, and it helps out students by offering a service that only costs you a quick look at your Student ID and a helmet. I think it's a great deal! (I've been borrowing a bike this way for the past couple of months, and I'm so glad!)

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  11. I used to love bike riding when I was a kid. Your post reminds me of my childhood.

    http://kintsugioflife.blogspot.com

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  12. I'm in the same thoughts as you! I didn't bike till my 25 birthday, but now I'm crazy biking lady already 4 years. I love to ride till my job which is 9 km one way. It is so refreshinh in the mornings, but in the evenings it takes all job stress away so I come home with fresh and clean mind! And now when my husband and I are saving money for some bigger trip, it is our best adventure together - it is cheap and fun. All we need right now. I love biking!

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  13. i'm pretty terrified of traffic, too, and honestly the thought of being a bicyclist in traffic is what has kept me from pursuing my ideas of cycling around, so my interest was totally piqued by you saying you love traffic rides! maybe i'll just have to give it a try before i decide it's not for me.

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  14. woww love all your photos! love the color especially when it takes together with your bike!

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