Why You Should Ride a Bike

There are many benefits and reasons to choose riding your bike over an automobile. Riding your bike is better for your health, the environment, and your wallet. Find out why in this short persuasive essay!


1. Why You Should Ride a Bike

Do you own a bike? If so, then not only can you use it to get outside and have fun, it can also be your main method of transportation. You can ride your bike to work, school, the supermarket, just about anywhere. Almost anyone can ride a bike. But why ride your bike everywhere when you when we have cars, which are so much easier and faster? I will tell you why.

    One advantage of choosing a bike over a car or an automobile is the impact on your health. Right now in the United States over one third of adults are obese. And it is well known that exercise can help you lose weight and stay healthy. And one of the most easy and fun ways to exercise is to ride a bike. Biking can also improve cardiovascular fitness and balance. It also gives you a healthier heart. The British Medical Association says that by cycling just 20 miles a week, which is less than three miles a day, you can reduce your risk of coronary heart disease by 50%. So, not only can a bike get you almost everywhere you need to go, at the same time you are improving your health.

    There is also the effect on the environment. Automobiles pollute the air with carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, which traps heat, warming the climate. You probably know this is called global warming. In 2010, 27% of greenhouse gas emissions came from burning fossil fuels for our planes, trains, trucks, ships, and you guessed it-cars.  Transportation was second only to Electricity on the United States Environmental Protection Agency list of major sources of greenhouse gases in 2010. If there weren’t so many cars on the road, just imagine how much less that would be. So, global warming heats the planet. Why is that a problem? Climate change is responsible for the crazy weather we’ve been having recently and the melting of the polar ice caps. 11 out of the 12 past years have been the warmest since 1950. During the summer we now often have triple digit temperatures several days in a row. And when was the last time it snowed this winter? The polar ice caps are melting. If you like polar bears, penguins, and other arctic creatures, then this should concern you. Not only does that endanger animals, but when snow and ice melt, they can no longer reflect sunlight and the planet gets even hotter. When ice melts, the sea level gets higher, and low lying areas are flooded. We now are getting either too little rain or not enough.

    If most people rode their bikes, then the world we live in would be much safer. How often do you hear about someone getting killed because they were hit by a bike? Even if a person was hit by a bike, or two bikes collided, while you might get slightly injured it is pretty unlikely that it will be severe or fatal. In a car accident, your chances of escaping major injuries are much smaller. Not only that, but when you are on a bike, if someone crosses in front of you, you are more likely to see them then if you were in a car. Emergency vehicles would also have a much easier and faster time getting where they needed to go if there were less cars on the road.

    Biking also costs less than driving a car. Other than the initial price of the bike and the helmet, it is basically free. Buying a car will most likely cost a lot more than buying a bike, and even after that you still have to pay for gas and maintenance. With gas prices higher than they’ve ever been, you’ll find that riding a bike can be very convenient for your bank account. And between damaging your car and damaging your bike, which one do you think will cost less?

    There are many other reasons for riding a bike. Cycling can make you happier and relieve stress because exercise naturally lets out feel-good endorphins. People who have a lot of stress don’t sleep as well, are more vulnerable to germs and recovery from disease is slower. These are just a few of the many negative things that can come out of being stressed. And biking can help. You might not think this at first, but biking is often more fun than driving a car and once you get out on the road you’ll be glad you did. Even though your workplace might seem farther away, biking doesn’t take as long as you think it will and you’ll be surprised at how fast you got there and how much you enjoyed it. You can even still listen to music. When you are on your bike, unlike being in a car, you can enjoy nature and interact with your friends. You’re also more likely to notice other things, such as your neighbor’s cat on the prowl outside.

    Many people who are uninterested in cycling to work and other places don’t want to because it takes longer. This isn’t always true. If you live in a heavily populated area, you might even get there faster because you can avoid traffic jams. And you can always get up earlier. Some people who don’t want to get up earlier because they don’t want to lose sleep. The solution to this is simply going to bed earlier, and not only that but studies show that riding your bike is likely to help you sleep better. A study by the Stanford University School of Medicine asked insomniacs to ride their bikes for 20-30 minutes a day and they slept almost an hour longer and the time it took for them to fall asleep was reduced by 50%. So whatever sleep time you lose from getting up earlier to ride your bike to work is likely to be gained back, especially if you suffer from insomnia.

    Two other things that keep people from riding their bikes is safety. People are worried about all the cars on the road. But think about this: if you have to go to work or wherever you need to go but won’t ride your bike there  because you’re worried about all the cars on the road, then you will probably be using a car, right? But isn’t that just adding to your own problem?

    Those are just a few of the many reasons and advantages to riding your bike. There are many more you can read about, and probably many more that we still haven’t found out about yes. I hope you think about what I have written here next time you are deciding on your mode of transportation.



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