Cycling: Why everyone should

While I was a student at the University of Illinois I often biked around campus. As anyone familiar with the campus knows that it’s fairly spread out and during the warm months it’s easy to bike around.  When I moved to Burlington I decided just like in college I would bike around more often, so when spring rolled around in 2012 I bought a dual sport bike (8.3 DS) made by Trek with 27 speeds and disc brakes. With a light weight frame and the ability to ride it on the road or on a trail made it a fairly good bike to own.

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Last year, I biked the 30 mile route during the “hubs on wheels” a city-wide bike ride in Boston and the bike performed rather well. I’ve been using an app called map my ride to keep track of how much I’ve biked and so far in the past two years that mark has reached 408.5 miles, this year I’m aiming to get pass the 1000 mile mark.

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People who live within 5-6 miles of work should consider biking when the weather is good. I often find that I get to work faster than driving since you don’t have to worry about areas with slow moving traffic or looking for a parking spot. Not to mention the added benefits from cutting down on greenhouse gas emissions and saving on gas.

There’s a variety of health benefits from biking studies showing cycling along with other physical activity helps create new brain cells in the hippocampus the region of the brain responsible for memory, reducing the risk of diseases like Alzheimer’s. One statistic I read claims that just cycling 20 miles a week cuts your risk of heart disease to less than half that of those that don’t exercise. Others say that cycling helps people be more innovative by increasing the flow of oxygen to your brain. Cycling also helps burn excess calories in an efficient fashion. So all around there seems to be an enough financial, and health incentives to get out there and cycle.

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