Sofia Galiano/ Staff Writer
It’s summer, it’s hot and most of all, it’s a perfect day to ride bike. I started cycling earlier this month after my parents bought me a powder blue, 700c Schwinn Admiral Hybrid as a gift for my 21st birthday. Since then, I have discovered a series of benefits from riding. Here are my top five reasons biking beats driving in Miami:
- No more traffic – While riding bike on a trail or in a bike lane, you have the ease of peddling at your own pace and can maneuver around traffic congestion and roadblocks. Although Florida’s bike law states cyclists must adhere to the same traffic laws as people driving in cars, cyclists will never have to suffer another traffic jam on Biscayne Boulevard due to a car accident, rush hour or the infamous people texting while driving
- Less costly – The bike I own cost about $150, which is less than a monthly car payment for most people, but also much cheaper than fancier bikes which can range above $1,000. Within two weeks of riding, I ran over a metal wire and had to replace the wheel’s inner tube which was a tiny $6 repair – compare that to the cost of repairing or even replacing up to four car tires. Treacherous parking fees are way behind me, as are the hassles of searching for an empty space. Last, but most certainly not least, you save on gas. Additional costs would include a helmet and lock, but really those are optional and minimal at that.
- Better for you – We spend all day sitting down at work or school, then sit in our cars to go grab lunch (where we also sit), and again at home either on a sofa or at a desktop for the remainder of the day. All that sitting is incredibly bad for your health and well-being. Yes, you are still sitting down while riding bike smart ass, but you are also increasing blood flow, producing sweat, exercising muscles and burning calories – which are all things people in today’s tech-savvy society do not get enough of.
- Better for the environment – You have all heard this speech way too many times, so I will keep it short. Go green.
- Embrace nature – Riding outside under blue skies, while passing butterflies, birds and palm trees (and the occasional road kill) is one of the luxuries we have living in South Florida. Yet many of us would much rather ride in our cars with the windows up, AC blowing, radio blasted, and while talking or texting on our cell phones. I too am guilty of doing this, but I balance those travels out by cycling to Haulover Beach every morning; soaking in the sun, gazing at the pier and appreciating the beauty that comes with living in paradise.