Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Wednesday Bicycling

Today is the wednesday before saint patrick's day, are you ready to wear green? I am! I have a nifty leprechaun shirt I'll wear, hair bows, and leprechaun socks, even though no one will see them through my shoes. Perhaps I'll go to Target and see what goodies are in the dollar section.

I think more people should ride bicycles! It's so enjoyable. Maybe not as enjoyable in hot weather, but it's good for you and surprisingly efficient as a mode of transportation. You don't really realize how far you can go. From work to the house is six miles, although there is a monster bridge in there. I went six miles last week with a cold!
Today I went a different route, the other direction, stopped at the bank, and then Publix to grab a snack, since I left the house without one this morning. I was thinking cheese stick when I walked in, but graham crackers are buy-one-get-one-free. There were no individual cheese sticks, so grahams it is! They were calling my name anyway.

But riding there and back took almost no energy, it feels like. Oh sure, when the wind was blocking against me, I shifted down a gear. Big deal! I got to the bank in only ten minutes at a leisurely pace and stopping at 2 lights (like you're supposed to) like a car.

Seems to me that more and more people might turn to bicycles as a form of transportation if the gas prices keep rising as they have. It may be a symptom of not having my own car to worry about a gas gauge for, but I just realized that prices are up to $3.75 a gallon!! That's almost four whole dollars and I remember people absolutely flipping out about it nearly hitting three dollars a little while ago during a spill I think. Maybe its a good thing my husband and I have been mechanically forced to carpool...

The benefits of biking are many, and I feel like listing them:
-Biking doesn't use gas, deisel, or produce harmful fumes like a car.
-It's quiet! In some places the traffic is so noisy that you can't even hold a conversation, but on a bicycle it's the easiest thing in the world just to wave or say good morning to someone.
- You see more when you aren't going 55mph. Honestly. Think about the last time you went somewhere close to home. Can you list exactly what is between here and there? You can appreciate scenery or notice local tiny shops when you aren't rushing from point A to point B. (Or even if you are on a bicycle, there is time to read the signs :P)
-Exercise! The dreaded word for some, I know. But pedaling a bike is kind of like an elliptical I would think- low impact on legs. It's good for your legs and butt muscles, and even moderate exercise, such as a leisurely bike ride, has been shown in studies to improve mood due to chemicals released in your brain. Like during sex! How about a bike ride, hot shower, and then sex? Three good things in one!
-Bicycles are cheaper than cars! Well, some bikes can get outrageously expensive, but you know what I mean. A bike doesn't need a tag, yearly registration, or even a title! Tires are cheaper for a bicycle. You don't need insurance, only a good lock.
-Yes, you can take things with you on a bike. You can install a rear rack as well as a front basket or panniers. Or, you can go big and get an Xtracycle! This turns your ordinary bike into a longtail bike, capable of hauling small children, an adult, a ton (ok not a real 2000lb ton)  of groceries, or other weird stuff. You find out that you don't NEED to carry a whole bunch of stuff with you either.
-Community. A bicyclist is part of a whole community of enthusiasts who share experiences, complain about road-rage jerks in car-cages, and all the other stuff a group of people do with a common interest. You might bike only for pleasure, or be training for a marathon, but you have something in common with other bicyclists that maybe people in cars don't even care to try to think about. Does the average driver of a honda see other Hondas and smile? I know somemost Beetle drivers do! Just saying, you're like a bus driver waving to other drivers, bikers looking out for each other, or beetle owners spreading the goodwill.

So that's me up on a soap box for a minute because honestly, I just rode 4 miles and I'm feeling that awesome feeling I mentioned above. Now, it's really too bad I won't get home for another 3 hours to continue my checklist...  :P

Happy Wednesday!