Taking up cycling can be one of the best decisions you’ll make in life. Whether you choose to hop on a bike for health reasons, to help the environment, try a new activity, or even to supplement another sport, cycling is a ton of fun.
After some time on the bike, you may find that the only downside to cycling is that it can be addictive!
And you won’t be riding alone. Globally, more people own bikes than own cars – about 42% of the world’s population – and that number is growing every year.
For example, in the US, the number of people biking to work has grown by 60% over the past 10 years and the number of cyclists has grown by 15 million people overall.
If you’re still on the fence about joining the global community of cyclists, here are 101 amazing benefits to cycling that span all aspects of life.
The best part is, you only need to choose one to start cycling – but as soon as you start, all the other benefits will follow!
Exercise is a critical component of staying healthy. But the type of exercise you do – strength or cardio, sprinting or endurance - also matters. Cycling is a great way to capture the health benefits of these different styles of fitness since it blends the line between lower body strength, aerobic training, intervals, and long rides in the saddle.
Of course, health benefits don’t come for free. While you might see some benefits after your first few times on the bike, many of these benefits require cycling regularly to develop and maintain. Mixing up your cycling workouts, for example by doing intervals one day a week and a long ride later in the week, can help you to hit on different aspects of fitness.
Cycling is a serious leg workout, and your quads, hamstrings, and glutes are sure to respond by building new muscle fibers to adapt. Although cycling at low resistance will slowly build muscles, you can maximize the gains and build muscle faster by riding uphill, riding in higher gears, or including sprint intervals in your workout.
Low intensity, aerobic, and consistent exercise is one of the most effective ways to lose body fat. Cycling for an hour or so each day is plenty to begin losing fat, and you can maximize the loss by heading into a training section after fasting for a few hours – but be careful not to overeat at the end of the ride.
Low intensity, aerobic, and consistent exercise is one of the most effective ways to lose body fat.
Cycling is far more fun than lifting weights in the basement, but it can help you achieve similar strength gains in your lower body. The best way to build brute strength, particularly in your quads, is to grind away in your highest gear – but if you drop below 60 pedal strokes per minute, drop a gear so that you don’t crush your knee joints.
Many athletes point to the “runner’s high” as a zen mental state that comes from exercise, but the same stress-free feeling can be found through cycling. Cycling forces you to regulate your breathing, breathe more deeply, and focus on the task at hand rather than the stress of other parts of your life.
Running, and most team sports that involves running, slowly breaks down your knee joints over time. Cycling, on the other hand, has a low impact on your knee joints and as a result is a sport you can participate even in old age. Be sure to fit your bike properly, since a seat that is too high or low can cause grinding or over extension.
Just as you can train the muscles in your legs, you can train the muscles that expand and contract your lungs. Cycling is a great way for this because there are ample opportunities to include intervals in your workouts, or to practice cresting a hill and then keeping up the hard effort. This type of training can help to expand your lung capacity and teach you to move air more effectively.
Even 30 minutes of cycling or other aerobic exercise per day has been demonstrated to improve your subjective mood. In addition, according to one study, people who exercise routinely have a decreased chance of falling into depression as they age.
Cycling has been shown to reduce stress levels by up to 40%, and as a result can keep feelings of anxiety at bay. By keeping your mind on the road in front of you rather than aspects of work or life that are bothering you, cycling can provided a much-needed mental break.
The motion of cycling forces you to extend specific muscles in your lower body that don’t often get stretched, like your glutes and hip flexors. This stretching can increase your overall range of motion and flexibility. However, it’s also important to remember to stretch these muscles after rides so they don’t tighten up after expanding.
Decreases in fitness have been found to correlate with levels of insomnia in both men and women, so it’s important to stay in shape to give yourself the best possible chance of a good night’s sleep. Cycling in particular is a great way to reap exercise-induced sleep benefits since it reduces anxiety and keeps weight down, both of which are thought to contribute to insomnia.
Building your cardiovascular system is a great way to increase your sex drive and counteract aging. In men, athletes can have the sex drive of non-athletes up to five years younger and one study found that men over 50 who cycle at least three hours a week are 30% less likely to experience impotence. In women, cardiovascular exercise can delay menopause by up to several years.
Hopping on a bike can drastically cut your risk of heart disease. One study found that cycling regularly can decrease your chance of developing heart problems by 50%, while another study found that those who ride just 20 miles per week have half the heart disease risk as people who don’t exercise.
Regular cardiovascular exercise can help to keep your lungs healthy by teaching them to move air more efficiently. Breathing hard actually forces the muscles that expand and contract your lungs to work harder, which can decrease your risk of losing lung function as your age.
Aerobic exercise, like cycling, is one of the best ways to boost your HDL cholesterol – the good cholesterol – and decrease your LDL cholesterol – the bad cholesterol. Just two months of regular cycling at an intensity that raises your heart rate, but doesn’t leave you breathless, is enough to raise your HDL cholesterol by 5%.
Exercise in general can reduce your risk of cancer, but studies have honed in on cycling in particular as one of the best sports to reduce cancer risk. One study in particular looked at bike commuters, and found that cycling to work can reduce your chances of developing cancer by 45.
Cycling to work can reduce your chances of developing cancer by 45%.
People with Type II diabetes often experience poor circulation in their lower body, which can lead to swollen feet. Cycling is a great way to help enhance blood return from the lower body, reducing swelling and foot pain. Because cycling uses up glucose in your muscle cells as well, it can also help people with diabetes regulate their blood sugar.
Cycling doesn’t just build blood vessels in your leg muscles – it also builds them in your brain. As a result, hopping on a bike regularly can improve blood flow through your brain which can help replenish the neurons involved in thought processing and memory.
Cycling can burn through your body’s fat and sugar reserves quickly, requiring you to eat small portions frequently to replenish your energy during long rides. That same habit of eating small portions frequently, rather than stomach ache-inducing large portions all at once, can help your digestive tract function more smoothly off the bike, too.
Any physician will tell you that high blood pressure is a risk factor for having a heart attack. They’ll also tell you that cycling is one of the best exercises for lowering your blood pressure since it helps your body circulate blood from your legs back to your heart.
For some people, cycling is more than just a fun sport – it’s an addiction. But cycling is a positive addiction, one that can help to replace or stave off developing other, less benevolent addictions and that can add significant satisfaction to your daily life.
Cycling, especially at a competitive level, requires you to understand all of the nuanced signals your body gives you about mood, fatigue, stress, and exertion. Tuning yourself to recognize these signals can be helpful in assessing and adapting your daily life, for example to stress at work or illness.
A study from Stanford University found that cycling regularly can reduce signs of aging by protecting your skin from harmful UV rays. The secret is that increased circulation allows your skin cells to gain nutrients and flush out toxins – just remember to lather on the sun tan lotion when you go out for a ride.
Cycling also works the muscles inside your body – the ones surrounding your digestive tract. Cyclists have more frequent bowel movements. That may not seem like a benefit, but it actually reduces feelings of being bloated, can result in softer stools that are easier to pass, and can reduce your risk of digestive tract cancers.
Aerobic exercise can be a significant boost to your immune system thanks to the boost in circulation it provides. One study found that people who exercised five days a week were more than 40% less likely to get the common cold compared to people who didn’t exercise, and when they did get sick they reported symptoms as being 30% less severe compared to non-athletes.
Resistance exercises are one of the best ways to improve bone density and fight osteoporosis as you age. Pushing and pulling on the pedals on the bike works the muscles in your legs, which in turn work the bones and signal your body to keep up bone structure.
By reducing your risk of some of the most common killers – car accidents, heart and lung disease, and cancer, cycling can actually help to stretch your lifespan. Numerous studies looking directly at lifespan have found that cyclists tend to live longer than non-athletes, by an average of an extra five years for men and four years for women.
Cyclists tend to live longer than non-athletes
Cycling involves a low impact motion that makes it a great option to strengthen muscles even when most other sports cause pain. One recent study found that because of this, cycling can both slow down the development of arthritis and reduce its effects on patients who experience arthritis pain in their knees.
Exercising during pregnancy has a number of benefits for both mothers and their newborns. Several studies have found that exercise can reduce the risk of caesarean sections and dangerous complications during childbirth, like preeclampsia. Children of parents who exercise also have a 50% lower risk of obesity.
Good hydration can promote cardiovascular health, keep your joints and muscles in working order, and help regulate your body temperature. Cycling is a great way to make staying hydrated part of your routine since performing at your best on and off the bike forces you to drink lots of water.
Studies have found a strong link between regular exercise and reduced fatigue. In one example, study participants who cycled at low intensity for 20 minutes daily reported feelings of fatigue 65% less often than participants who did not exercise. While the mechanism for this isn’t clear, researchers believe it may be because the stimulation provided to the nervous system lasts longer than the workout itself.
Correct posture is a big deal when cycling. It affects not only comfort during long rides, but also speed on the road and your risk for developing injury. While developing good posture on the bike takes some practice, that posture improvement will translate to all aspects of your life and can reduce your risk of back pain.
Let’s face it – cars aren’t great for the environment. They produce noise pollution and air pollution, and are one of the largest contributors of man-made greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change. But since bicycles don’t run on diesel, they can be an environmentally sustainable alternative to cars.
It's often said that one person switching to cycling won’t make a dent in the number of cars on the road, but switching to cycling can encourage friends, family, and even strangers to trade their cars for bikes. And the more bicycles that replace cars, the better these benefits get.
Even a short commute of around 5 miles to work each day can quickly add up to more than 100 gallons of gas over a year, and correspondingly contribute to carbon dioxide emissions and global climate change. Biking to work doesn’t require fossil fuels and can help to reduce your personal contribution to climate change.
Biking to work doesn’t require fossil fuels and can help to reduce your personal contribution to climate change.
Cars are among the largest contributors to air pollution because they emit not only carbon dioxide, but also pollutants like nitrogen oxides and particulate soot. Cycling doesn’t produce any of these pollutants and can help to keep city air clean to breathe.
Compared to a car engine, bikes are basically silent. Reducing noise pollution, especially in crowded cities, can drastically reduce noise complaints and make for a more pleasant environment. In addition, reducing noise pollution can actually have physical health benefits since long exposure to moderate noise levels can cause auditory damage.
A single parking space for a car can fit up to 12 bikes, which on the scale of a city can be a ton of real estate converted to uses other than parking. In fact, cities often subsidize the cost of parking – so that taxpayer money is being used to pay for people to drive.
Idling in traffic can suck up gas, producing carbon dioxide emissions and contributing to air and noise pollution. Not only do bikes not contribute to these problems when they’re stopped – they also require you to stop less frequently because you can weave through traffic or use a designated bike path.
Bikes do require materials and their manufacture has some environmental negatives, but the manufacturing footprint for bikes is minimal compared to cars. That’s even more true when accounting for batteries, leather seats, and the sheer amount of industrial materials required to put together a car compared to a bike.
All cars, even environmentally friendly electric vehicles, use large batteries that need to be replaced every few years. These batteries produce toxic waste that is hazardous to dispose and can’t be recycled. Bikes don’t require any batteries.
All tires use rubber, which typically comes from rubber plantations planted over rain forests that have been clear-cut and burned. But the skinny tires of a road bike use far less rubber than car tires, which helps to reduce demand for rubber and can save rain forests from being converted to plantations.
Motor oil, brake fluid oil, and antifreeze all leak from cars, and thanks to the number of cars on the roads have become a major source of water pollution and contain a variety of toxic substances. Bikes, on the other hand, don’t require any oil – so riding a bike can help to keep the water we drink clean of toxins.
The number of animals killed by cars each day is staggering – it’s estimated to be in the tens of millions globally. While bike-animal collisions can happen, the slower speed of bikes make these collisions much more avoidable and far less dangerous to both humans and animals.
Everyone wants to save money, and cycling is one way to keep more of your hard-earned paycheck in your pocket. Owning a bike is far cheaper than owning a car thanks to parking, insurance, fuel, and maintenance costs. And while a bike can be a significant initial investment, the money saved by switching from a bike to a car can quickly pay that back.
Cycling can also have an economic benefit that reaches beyond your own pockets. Cities generally lose money on giving up real estate for parking spaces and cars can cause significant road wear that has to be fixed. All of these things cost cities money, which in turn means higher taxes for everyone. So switching to biking can save your entire community a little dough.
If you need a way to get around, from a purely economic standpoint choosing between a new bike that costs a couple hundred dollars and a new car that costs several thousand dollars or more is a no-brainer. Even after spending money on accessories to enable your bike to carry gear and ride in any weather, you’ll save by opting for a nice bike instead of a cheap car.
Although far cheaper than a car, a new bike comes with its own price tag as well as additional maintenance costs over the life of the bike. Many cities offer bike-sharing programs that you can use for a low monthly cost, saving you even more money while still meeting most of your transportation needs.
Commuting 5 miles to work by car every day can use up more than 100 gallons of gas, not to mention the additional gas spent on running errands around your neighborhood. Using a bike for these trips instead can save a ton of gas, which in turn saves you hundreds to thousands of dollars per year – enough to recoup investing in a bike and accessories in just five months.
Parking your car in many places isn’t free – expect to pay a meter or invest in an expensive parking pass. Parking a bike, on the other hand, is almost always free. Even buying a reliable bike lock is far less costly than paying daily parking fees.
buying a reliable bike lock is far less costly than paying daily parking fees.
Car insurance can cost many hundreds of dollars per year, more than the cost of a nice new bicycle in many cases. While cycling more may not allow you to drop your car entirely, driving less and cycling more can save you money by making pay-as-you-go insurance contracts more economical.
Time is money, as the saying goes. In many cities, choosing to bike instead of drive can actually get you to your destination faster when traffic is bad. Biking can also save you time since you don’t need to search for a parking space when you get to your destination.
Let’s face it – you’re not likely to travel as far or as fast on a bike as in a car. But that provides an incentive to shop locally whenever possible – which keeps cash in your local community and supports local small businesses.
Even if you make a habit of bringing your bike to the local shop when it needs maintenance, owning a bike will teach you some simple mechanic skills. These skills can be translated to doing other simple mechanical maintenance around your home, which can save you money since you can fix more things on your own instead of calling in an expensive expert.
Biking is great for your overall health, reducing your risk of heart and lung disease and cancer as well as everyday illness. That in turn benefits your wallet because it means less doctor visits and can reduce the cost of your health insurance policy.
Biking can provide an extra barrier, mental and physical, to making unnecessary trips – like eating out or visiting a ton of stores and ending up with things you don’t need. The savings can add up quickly, especially if the restaurant you love is just out of range of an easy ride.
Cars cause significant wear and tear on roads over time, which can cost cities – and in turn taxpayers – tons of money to repair. But this road damage is correlated to the size of the vehicle using the roads: it would take an extremely heavy bicyclist 17,000 trips to cause the same road damage as the average car!
People enjoy cities that have a big biking culture because they’re less crowded, smoggy, and loud. Plus, many cities are discovering the economic benefits of bike tourism – as they build infrastructure for residents to cycle, tourists are flocking to bikes when they visit as well.
Some employers have implemented programs to pay their employees a bonus for biking to work as an incentive. Employers win because they can reduce their parking lots and employees are more creative at work and healthier. You win by getting more money in your paycheck.
If your employer pays you for cycling to work, you can actually claim that income without having to pay taxes on it later.
Switching to cycling as a way to build fitness can also allow you to cut another expense: your gym membership. Even if you don’t like to cycle for exercise in the winter, you can still save during the summer as many gyms will allow you to suspend your membership for a few months.
Life is about finding happiness, and having great friends along for the journey can make all the difference. Cycling is a great way to not only make new friends, but to form deep bonds and memories that last a lifetime.
Having different friends can dramatically change your life. For example, a friend you found through cycling may bring along other hobbies or opportunities for you. Or maybe you meet your significant other through a cycling club. The social benefits of cycling can have a far-reaching positive impact on your life that can be hard to predict when you first start out.
Cycling can help you develop deeper bonds with existing friends who cycle, or it can be a gateway to making tons of new friends. Many cities and towns have local cycling clubs full of people eager to ride with new cyclists, and it’s easy to walk away from a bike race with a handful of new cycling friends.
Cycling can help you develop deeper bonds with existing friends who cycle
Cycling teams and clubs welcome cyclists of all ability levels, and they offer a ton of benefits both on the bike and off. For cyclists interested in racing, they offer potential teammates, while for more casual cyclists they’re a ready supply of potential friends to bike with and can provide a critical sense of purpose to your rides. Many clubs also offer discounts on bike gear.
Nothing brings people together like adversity, and it’s relatively easy to manufacture difficult adventures on a bike – just target the biggest hill you can find, or a long route. Time spent cycling together is also spent disconnected from your phone and the outside world, and it can be the foundation of lasting friendships.
Tackle a massive route with big views or plenty of beer stops, and you’re sure to remember it forever. Cycling is a great way to enjoy experiences with friends that will turn into lasting memories and stories that you can share for years to come.
Being a mentor feels good – and it’s a possibility that cycling can open up for you. New cyclists are constantly joining the ranks (because they find out there are so many benefits to cycling!), and it takes an experienced cyclist to teach them the local routes, bike handling, and gear.
The bonds that cycling can build also apply to your family, since cycling is accessible to people of all ages and abilities. Cycling can also instill a sense of adventure and physical ability in your children, which will serve them well throughout their entire lives.
Cycling can be bigger than just you. Many race or organized ride entry fees directly benefit charity, and other rides require you to raise money for charity from family and friends. Best of all, you can pick and choose rides based on the charities you want to support.
When you meet someone at a party, do you think they would rather hear about your 9-5 job or your latest cycling adventure? The adventure that is an inherent part of cycling, along with the friendships you make along the way, can make you a more interesting person and help you attract even more friends.
According to one survey, people are 23% more likely to go on a date with a cyclist than any other type of athlete – and you can better your chances of having a second date by riding for charity since 80% of potential dates think that’s an impressive feat.
According to one survey, people are 23% more likely to go on a date with a cyclist than any other type of athlete
Cars aren’t always the best way to get around, and they certainly don’t have the versatility that bikes offer. Cycling can help you get places faster, take you to places a car couldn’t or wouldn’t go, and teach you something about your local community in the process.
Switching to bikes can also make the roads better for everyone, since every car taken off the road is one less car contributing to congestion. That can make it easier for everyone to get around, improve quality of life in crowded cities, and even contribute to the environment by reducing idling.
Let’s face it, not every ride can be a long ride - and the roads that you normally drive around your neighborhood may not be ideal for cycling. As a result, cycling forces you to explore the roads around your home that you don’t normally drive and may help you find a shortcut that you didn’t know existed.
It’s often easy to get around time-consuming traffic on a bike that would be impossible to escape in a car. For example, you can walk your bike on the sidewalk to go around a jam, or hop on a bike path to avoid a congested area. In fact, cycling is faster than driving during rush hour in many cities.
cycling is faster than driving during rush hour in many cities.
Being on a bicycle forces you to find your way, since checking your GPS requires you to actually stop and get off your bike – something that most people would rather not do. Practicing your navigational skills on the bike can help improve your sense of direction so that you may not need to check your GPS on your next car trip, either.
Long bike rides can force you to get out of your geographic comfort zone and explore new roads and areas that might offer the perfect pavement. Cycling can also be a great motivation to check out streets that you wouldn’t ordinarily drive down. Best of all, there are numerous lists of amazing places to bike around the world that cyclists can add to their bucket lists.
There are a growing number of bike paths both in cities and rural areas, and in many cases they offer much more spectacular views than nearby roads as well as the promise of zero traffic.
Taking your bike instead of a car means there will be one less car on the road. And while one car may not make a huge difference, people switching to bikes in large numbers can dramatically reduce traffic. That means less congestion for drivers and safer roads for cyclists – a win for everyone.
Cycling doesn’t have to be your only sport, or even your primary sport. But the training that cycling provides is an excellent way to increase your fitness and athletic prowess, setting you up for success in whatever sport you choose.
Cycling can impact not just your physical fitness for other sports, but can also reach your mental athleticism. The best athletes have the mental fortitude to push through difficult portions of a competition, and cycling can radically change the way you react to a burning sensation in your leg muscles.
For non-cyclists, adding a day or more of cycling per week can go a long way towards preventing injury. For starters, simply switching out your normal sport for cycling can help to prevent overuse injuries. In addition, cycling targets and stretches specific muscles like the hip flexors and glutes that many other sports, like running, can stress.
There are a ton of benefits to trading out your normal sport for a day of cycling once a week or more. Cycling can teach aerobic efficiency because of the nature of spinning your legs at a high rate, as well as provide an alternative to the monotony of training a single sport day in and day out.
Cycling can teach aerobic efficiency
Taking up cycling can be a great way to keep in shape while fighting injury that affects another sport. Peddling uses different muscles than running and many team sports and is low impact on joints and other sensitive areas, so there’s a good chance pre-existing injuries won’t be sensitive to cycling.
Bikes come with a series of gears that make it easy to choose the intensity of workout you want. Have a rest day? Go with an easy gear. Looking for a resistance training workout or to reap the benefits of building strength in your legs? Drop the chain into your most difficult cog.
Racing bikes takes explosive power in your legs, since the pack can break away at any moment and you must be able to reel them in quickly. That same lower body strength can also help you accelerate from a run to a sprint, making you an asset player in any other sport.
Cycling, especially over long distances, takes grit and endurance. It requires your legs to be able to meter out power steadily, and to train your ability to recover quickly. And that lower body endurance isn’t specific to biking – you’ll find yourself lasting longer on runs and in team sports as well.
In any sport, the difference between good athletes and great athletes is the ability to recover quickly after a hard, draining effort. Cycling can help your muscles adapt to hard efforts and active recoveries, which can boost your fitness and performance in any sport.
Cycling can make you a faster runner thanks to the high cadence of pedaling. The best runners have cadences of 180 steps per minute, which is difficult to achieve for many runners. But cycling forces you to aim for 90 large rotations per minute, which teaches your feet and legs to turn over quickly.
Any sport that involves running can wear down your joints if you’re practicing every day and increase your risk of injury, but every day without practice your fitness is at risk. Cycling as a form of cross-training can allow you to train with a low injury risk because it has a very low impact on your knees and hips.
For any sporting events that last longer than a minute, your aerobic capacity – your body’s ability to move oxygen to your muscles - defines how long you can play at your best and has been directly linked to performance in soccer. Cycling is one of the best exercises to improve your aerobic capacity because it combines endurance with intervals of hard efforts.
Cycling is one of the best exercises to improve your aerobic capacity because it combines endurance with intervals of hard efforts.
Learning to craft a training plan is an important skill for training for competition in any sport. Cycling is a great way to learn how to create a plan because there are so many resources out there, including premade training plans that you can tailor to your needs.
Many runners fall out of shape during the winter months because they’re hesitant to go outside in cold and wet weather. But cycling can easily be done inside by putting your bike on a trainer stand, which mimics the feeling of biking on the road and can help you stay in shape ahead of nice spring riding weather.
Cycling can be a fun and welcoming introduction to the world of competitive sports, since there are many races that cater to beginners and pros alike. Racing can in turn encourage you to become a better cyclist or athlete in another sport, which only enhances many of the health, social, and exercise benefits from cycling.
Bikes don’t simply stay upright by themselves, so the simple act of cycling and focusing on keeping the bike steady teaches your body and mind to balance. The resulting improvement in balance can rub off on every other movement you make throughout the day, of which balance is an important and often underrated element.
Cycling is a technical sport – there are descents, corners, and sudden stops and accelerations. Staying upright on two wheels requires understanding how to move your body weight around to adjust to the bike’s motion. While training this might feel specific to cycling, you’ll notice the benefits in many sports through improved agility and coordination
All sports are mentally demanding, and cycling is a great way to train for that. Long hours of solitude, freezing your fingers off during a winter ride, or dripping water from your whole body after riding through a rainstorm all build mental fortitude that can help carry you through any challenge, whether in sport or in life.
All sports are mentally demanding, and cycling is a great way to train for that
Training for cycling requires dedication, endurance, and the willingness to create a plan and stick to it. That same training ethic and the skill of building a training plan is crucial for nearly any sport and can be easily translated.
Situations can change fast on the road. In a race, changes in speed can be sudden, while even during daily rides it’s important to be able to shift and clamp down on the breaks quickly. Because of this, cycling can help you build reflexes in your hands and legs that can increase your quickness in all parts of your life.
Cycling can also have some unexpected benefits that are hard to measure, but that any experienced cyclist knows to be real.
These benefits reach beyond your body to your mind and outlook on life, and can play a huge role in how you choose to live and your quality of life.
Long rides can seem monotonous at first, but after enough hours on the road staring at your front wheel it’s easy to enter another, higher mental state altogether. This zen state isn’t “runner’s high” – instead, it’s a relaxation and acceptance that can only come from cycling long distances.
Riding a bicycle can be a statement of your lifestyle and values in itself, but you can also make a serious style statement with your choice of bike. Those who believe that life should be lived in the fast lane can pick up a racing-style road bike, while more easygoing people can ride a beach cruiser or mountain bike.
Unfortunately, things won’t always go right on the road. You may get a flat, find yourself lost on a new road with a dead phone, or run out of food or water. Cycling teaches you to be resourceful when you’re out on the road by yourself, and that same resourcefulness can help you solve problems that crop up in all aspects of your life.
Cycling teaches you to be resourceful when you’re out on the road by yourself
Cycling encourages exploration, and not just of your local roads. There are tons of amazing rides that other cyclists have compiled, and one of the best things about biking is that it almost always rewards taking a map and drawing out a new route from scratch.
There’s nothing worse than giving up a sunny day because you don’t know what to go outside and do with yourself. Cycling can be your go-to activity for nice days to feel the wind in your face, catch the sun on your skin, and enjoy the beauty of your surroundings on a blue-sky day.
Traveling the world is on many people’s bucket lists, and cycling offers a great excuse to make it to far-flung destinations that you wouldn’t otherwise see. Many tourist-friendly cities now offer bike tours, while many countries have developed Tour de France-like routes intended for cycling vacations packed with sightseeing and amenities.
Numerous studies have found that people who cycle to work are more productive than their non-cycling peers. Opting to commuter bike instead of relying on public transit or sitting in traffic can leave you feeling refreshed and energized rather than feeling stressed and potentially late for work.
Numerous studies have found that people who cycle to work are more productive than their non-cycling peers.
While your heart rate may drop soon after you hop off the bike, the benefits of boosting blood flow to your brain can last through the remainder of the day. Exercise has been shown to increase problem solving abilities and can encourage your creative juices to flow freely.
Especially on long rides, anything that can go wrong, will. That’s why cyclists have to be self-sufficient, carrying everything they need to fix a flat, find their way, and fuel themselves throughout a ride. That capacity for self-sufficiency translates well to other activities, like traveling on your own or even work around the house.
Eat more salt? Probably not what any non-athlete would hear from their doctor, but increasing salt intake can actually be beneficial for frequent cyclists to avoid hyponatremia during long rides. That means getting to enjoy more of the snacks you love that aren’t necessarily the healthiest.
Let’s face it, many cyclists are just in it for the beer. Finishing off a big ride with a beer is an essential part of the celebration and recovery. And best of all, cycling will help your body burn the calories from that beer so you don’t have to worry about gaining weight from it.
Cycling has a ton of benefits, any of which could be motivation enough to hop on a bike. But at the end of the day, it’s the fun of cycling that will keep you coming back – ask any biker how much fun cycling is, and an hour later they’ll probably still be listing all of the cool adventures they’ve had on their bike with friends.