10 reasons cycling is the best thing ever

1. Freedom

There’s nothing that comes close to the freeing feeling of hopping on a bike. Taking the same old car journey on busy traffic corridors? Not for us. On a bike, you can twist, turn and duck through any side street, alley or park that piques your interest. There’s nothing better than setting out and not having an entirely coherent plan of how you’re going to get there. To bike is to adventure.

2. It saves time

You won’t get stuck in traffic, you definitely won’t find yourself pounding the steering wheel in frustration when you’re stopped at every red light, and scouring the city for a parking space? A thing of the past.

3. It saves money

Car costs are increasingly eye-watering, whether you’re shelling out for fuel, car upkeep, insurance or even parking. If American drivers were to make just one four-mile round trip each week with a bike instead of a car, they would save nearly two billion gallons of gas. Which leads us to …

4. It’s good for the planet

Twenty bicycles can be parked in the same space as one car. It takes around five percent of the materials and energy used to make a car to build a bike. Cars produce .97 pounds of pollution per mile annually. Bikes produce none. Enough said.

5. It’s good for you

Aerobic exercise is proven to be one of the greatest predictors of our physical health. Our body simply works better when we are physically fit, which saves on healthcare. It’s estimated that just 30 minutes of biking per day can save around $544 per year in healthcare costs. Plus, a flat, five-mile ride burns around 500 calories, so you can ditch that gym membership you’ve been meaning to use! Having trouble sleeping? Stanford University School of Medicine researchers asked sedentary insomnia sufferers to cycle for 20-30 minutes every other day. The result? The time required for the insomniacs to fall asleep was reduced by half, and sleep time increased by almost an hour.

6. It’s great for local businesses

When you ride, you’re more likely to keep your trips shorter and your shopping closer to home, which provides a valuable boost for the local economy.

7. You get to know your community

Whether it’s a new coffee shop on a side street, or a chatty dog-walker out for a morning stroll, you’ll discover hidden gems that just wouldn’t be accessible when you’re trapped behind a car window. You smile at people while when you’re riding a bike. People smile at you. It’s pretty rad.

8. It makes you happier

When you cycle, it has a positive effect on your mental health. As well as all of those exercise-induced endorphins, “savoring” is a powerful well-being booster. Fresh air, sunshine, the wind in your hair, that feeling you get when you stop at a location with a breathtaking view – taking the time to be present in these small moments can have a hugely positive effect on your mood.

9. It makes you smarter

A recent study found that just 25 minutes of aerobic exercise boosts at least one measure of creative thinking. Researchers from the University of Illinois, meanwhile, found that a five percent improvement in cardio-respiratory fitness from cycling led to an improvement of up to 15 percent in mental tests. You can thank the additional flow of oxygen to your brain.

10. It’s as easy as, well, riding a bike

All of these benefits can be yours with a mere hop into the saddle. Don’t have access to a bike? Simply stop by and grab one of Coast Bike Share’s 600+ smart bikes at 60+ stations around Tampa and St. Pete.  

Now tell us, what are your favorite things about cycling? Tag us with photos of your biking adventures using the #MyCoastStory hashtag on Instagram and Twitter.

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