A world in which bicycle lanes fringe most streets; where people of all professions, statuses, and colors ride side by side; where cycling is not a disregarded option to commute but is a convenient necessity.
A bit too far-fetched? Well, the people of Copenhagen (in Denmark) beg to differ! Officially known as the first Bike City in the world, the city proudly possesses 390 kilometres of designated bike lanes. The above description is one of Copenhagen. Bike conveyance is a part of the rich culture of the people, not merely an easy, economic means of transportation (nonetheless it is!).
Most of us temporary fitness enthusiasts often consider cycling as a healthy habit. We all know its benefits–stronger immunity, toned muscles, healthier joints, and not to forget, its economic and environmental friendliness. We have been told way too many times that we need to reduce our carbon footprint by cycling to work, college, or school.
How do you convince yourself to crawl out of your cozy bed or lift yourself off your bed-sized sofa and onto your bike?
It’s easy to get demotivated. It’s even easier to demotivate others. However, contrary to the belief that humans are complicated beings (maybe anatomically), we are quite easy to manipulate.
When you enjoy something, you do it willingly.
Tweak the way you think.
Stop perceiving cycling as this major lifestyle change that will guarantee you a healthier life and greener planet. As noble and true as your intentions and foresight may be, look upon cycling as a fun activity (much like thanksgiving feasts or carnival dancing). Adoption of a cultural perspective makes everything more fun.
It’s not all in the mindset. Safety and infrastructure are major concerns, too.
It’s all well and good if you live in a city like Copenhagen. If your city doesn’t encourage cyclists on its roads and doesn’t weave bicycle tracks into its regular streets or if your city’s terrain doesn’t permit cycling to be a viable option, you can’t be inconsiderately told to simply cycle to work every day. It’s impractical.
The best you can do is map out your city’s cycling trails (if any) and try to figure out routes via them to places you visit often like your workplace, your kid’s school, the supermarket, etc.
If the odds are not in your favor, identify parks that have bicycle lanes. Enquire if there are any time restrictions. This is also when joining a local bicycle club comes in handy. You can easily avail info about routes you can take while making like-minded friends.
Another fun way to appease the adventurer in you is to explore on your gas-free two wheeler. Cycling through natural parks and reserves (obviously legally!) on weekends is a fruitful way to spend your well-earned free hours.
Remember the terrain obstacle? When outside your city in a place that does encourage cycling, like when on vacation, take advantage of the opportunity.
It’s also a great way for spending quality time with your loved ones. Don’t you want to make that extra effort?
Know your vehicle.
With the advanced geared bikes available today, it is technologically wrong to look upon bicycles as inferior vehicles. Scan the internet and educate yourself about these eco-friendly beasts. You may soon find yourself fascinated with a particular model that suits your needs—everyday use, weekend mountain biking, recreational racing, or even occasional gallivanting.
Don’t forget safety gear.
Yes, I’m sure you already know this one. Even if playfully, don’t attempt cycling without your gear—helmet (an absolute must!), gloves, knee and elbow guards (especially if you’re a novice), lights (if you’re going to ride after dark), and eye protection like sunglasses (to keep out the dust and block glaring sunrays).
Cycling on a regular basis is a decision that must not be pondered too much upon. Spontaneity is key.