The Top 7 Reasons to Ride a Bike

There are a lot of great reasons to ride a bike, but today were going to highlight our top seven reasons. Let's get to it.

1. It's great exercise

Road bike

Biking is phenomenal exercise. It exercises the large muscles of the leg, such as the hamstring and quad, and also hits smaller muscle groups in the core, the back and the arms. Cycling is also phenomenal for the cardiovascular and respiratory systems. Whether you prefer long, more leisurely rides or the thrill of the sprint, you can build a strong heart and strong lungs on a bike.

One of the great things about cycling is that it is a low-impact activity. Unlike running, which can be difficult on the joints, bicycling is an activity that is accessible for almost anyone. As long as your balance is decent, you should be able to ride bike. Even the elderly, the infirm, and people recovering from injuries can use cycling as a great way to keep their blood circulating and their muscles in good shape.

2. It's environmentally friendly

The green movement has long been connected to cycling. That's because bicycles are some of the most efficient machines on the planet -- certainly much more so than an internal combustion engine automobile. Fossil fuels are incredibly destructive to the planet, from production to burning

While the creation of a bicycle does involve some pollution, it's small compared to the production of a car or even a mass transit system. And once you purchase a bike, it can last you 10 years, 20 years or more. The only inputs it will take over that time is a few spare parts, some tubes, and a bit of lubrication. That's quite a bit different then heading to the gas station a few times a month to pay for a tank!

3. It's cheap

Because a bicycle is so simple and efficient, it can save you a lot of money. Most people do their commuting, errands and other short trips via car. But what if you could switch those trips to a bike? You won't just save money on gas, you'll reduce wear and tear on your car, which has an impact on how often you have to do oil changes and the lifespan of parts like brakes, fluids, tires, and the engine itself. A new report from AAA says that the average sedan owner pays about 60 cents per mile when including all costs of driving.

Turning a few of those trips into cycle trips every week could end up saving you $1000 by the end of the year -- or more. Just think about that number anytime you're tempted to hop in the car, and you'll be much more likely to ride instead.

Think about this, too: in congested inner cities, and for short trips, it might actually be faster to ride than to drive. And you can forget about looking for parking (let alone paying for it) and getting stuck in traffic jams -- good enough reason to start riding right there.

4. It's fun

Nice shorts...

Here at Bikewagon, we love to ride. Cycling is just one of the best feelings on the planet. The wind in your face, the churn of the pedals, the thrill of a race: there's just nothing better. Riding fast is a blast and riding slow is awesome. There is a reason that kids just ride a bike for fun, and that reason doesn't go away when you're all grown up.

Biking is also a great way to see the landscape. Riding along, you'll be much more likely to notice the scenery than you would be in a car. Whether it's just a beautiful garden in the city, a nice tree in a park, or a stunning view from a bridge or across rural terrain, cycling treats your eyes much more so than driving does. The pace is just so much more human.

5. Freedom!

The feeling of riding a bike is very liberating. You're free from car bills, free from dependence on fueling stations, and free from the confines of a car. You're also (more) free from annoyances than driving; you can go as fast as you want, take whichever route you want, and not worry about getting stuck behind a slow driver. Unlike driving or riding public transit, there's no waiting on anyone else.

6. It boosts your mood

Commuting to work or school is a great way to start the day off. You get some fresh air, some natural light, and bit of blood flowing. Even if you start the day in a bad mood, a good ride will likely make you feel a lot better.

The advantages are huge at the end of the day, too. After a stressful time working hard, a nice ride is very relaxing. It'll separate work from home life and help you feel great for your evening. And another bonus: you'll sleep better too!

7. It's a great group activity

One of the best things about biking is that it's more fun with friends! Cycling affords plenty of opportunities to chat while you ride. With exercise and vitamin D from sun exposure to boost your mood, you're all but guaranteed to have some great conversations while riding.

If you're looking to meet people, most cities and regions have cycling clubs that host regular group rides. It's always fun to enjoy good company while out riding in the fresh air!

What do you think? What are your top reasons for riding a bike? Let us know in the comments section below.