cycling · fitness

Reasons to Ride a Bike (That Don’t Include Weight Loss)

So one of the things I do as the person mostly responsible for our Facebook page is follow a bunch of other blogs and scour the internet for fun things to share to the page. I really like the blog GIRLBIKELOVE and when I saw HOW CYCLING BENEFITS WOMEN: 10 REASONS TO START BIKING NOW I almost shared it without reading. Almost! Phew.

Because Reason #1, is, you guessed it, weight loss. Argh! It also mentions, sigh, toning your legs.

For a wide range of reasons that’s not the sort of thing I’d share to our FIFI Facebook page.

Why we don’t we want to be seen as endorsing biking for weight loss? Lots of us on the blog are living proof that you can ride your bike an awful lot and not lose weight. See also “On yer bike” for oh so many reasons, but weight loss isn’t one of them and an older post, Big Women On Bikes. But also you might not lose weight and then quit and miss out on all sorts of other good things about riding a bike. Or you might not need to lose weight or want to lose weight and think therefore, there’s no reason to ride. Rubbish!

I asked some of the cyclists in our blog community what their favourite thing is about riding a bike.

Here are our answers:

Diane: “I would start with “it’s good for the environment”. Also, since I have a basket and panniers, it’s a convenient way to buy groceries and carry them home (much less work than walking with bags). I can use it to explore parts of the city I would not otherwise see (I am currently mapping my way to all the trendy ice cream shops so I can bike there and have a celebratory cone). It is something I can do with my family. It’s often much easier to find a place to park my bike than a spot for my car. It’s great on hot days because you always create a breeze when you cycle. It’s relatively easy on my joints. You can decorate your bike with cool stuff – goofy horn, flashing lights for safety, little reflectors on your spokes, even tassels if your heart desires. Or get a helmet with spikes or flowers or kitty ears. What other sport has that?”

Catherine: “My favorite thing about riding bikes: bombing downhill as fast as my legs, nerve and reason allow. It was true when I was 8 years old, and it’s true now at 59. It feels like flying on wheels. Who can say better than that?”

Kim: “Feeling the breeze, looking at the scenery, feeling strong!”

Cate: “On my bike, the world is accessible. I’ve ridden bikes in more than 25 countries, and every time I experience the landscape, the smells, the people, the feel of the ground, the rhythm of the wind, the ache of a hill in a way that makes me feel part of the space and community around me in a way nothing else could. I can find new places further and faster than on my feet and much more intimately than any other vehicle. Plus, what Catherine said.”


But if you want health benefits, here’s a better list of the mental and physical benefits of riding a bike.