Cycling is truly the most efficient form of transportation.
But it is not the greatest cardio workout, since this machine was designed to propel anyone faster and further with the least amount of energy.
A cyclist can go far distances and at high speeds barely breaking a sweat depending on which gear they ride in. Fixed gears will shoot up and down hills, relying on swift pedaling, not the resistance in gear to power their ride. Geared bikes will put you to work if you choose, but riders will take off faster and ride more efficiently.
Despite this, cycling is definitely the most gratifying way to stay active. Riders can choose to burn hundreds of calories while enjoying views from the bike path or pair it with an errand for even more productivity.
Bike commuters are more connected to the environment around them, and cycling is a great way to make new friends and explore. From the main arterials to neighborhood side streets, commuters know the ins and outs of their city. There is no better way to travel than by bicycle. There are more destinations, options for travel, speeds. Bikes can take you to the most rural foothills or allow you to dart through the city like no car can do.
I personally am grateful for the friends that have taken me on adventures to find the safest and fastest route to a destination. I have discovered many small alternative routes that are parallel to major streets and now teach them to younger riders looking to expand their transportation options. It’s a ripple effect that is happening right here in Bakersfield.
That’s another thing about bicycles – there is a community. The shared struggles and great experiences alike bring riders together. It is comforting to know that no matter where you go there is someone else who rides, and I promise there is not a fan club for drivers who love to sit in traffic and hit every red light on Chester Avenue.
Health and wellness is more than just the calories burned. It is the lessons you learn along the
way about your body, mind and strength. An awareness for bad air quality and congested
roads may prompt many people who commute short trips by vehicles to consider an alternative
mode of transportation, and I encourage those people to try any form of active transportation.
Whether that be by bicycle, Bird scooter or skateboard, it has never been easier, more fun or more convenient to enjoy the wind through your helmet while burning a couple more calories compared to sitting at that red light. ￼
Aaron Gonzalez is the program director of Bike Bakersfield. The views expressed are his own.