Benefits of Bicycle Riding
The Tour de France is a race that happens every year, as the name implies, in France. It is a bicycle race at its finest and only involves the best and well-trained bicycle riders. These riders' physiques are typically very muscular and look healthy which one can hopefully conclude is due to the nature of the sport. As exciting as this race is, you don't have to qualify for Tour de France to benefit from bicycle riding.
There are many benefits to bicycle riding as a sport or for pure fitness. For starters, you burn approximately 725 calories in an hour traveling 12 mph. While 12 mph on a bike is actually a fairly intense workout that many need to build up to, even half the time or half the speed burns a hefty amount of calories making it worth the effort.
In addition to burning calories, bicycle riding provides a time to think and take in some beautiful scenery. There are bicycle tours in virtually every state. Some of the most scenic may be just a few hours drive from where you live. There are state trails that lead through old railroad trails. There are rides that take you into state parks of hills and views of the Great Lakes. There are trips to Nova Scotia or similar terrain that include breathtaking views. The benefit to these tours are that you are not on your own. There is typically a sag wagon to help should you or your bicycle need assistance. Another benefit to being a part of an organized trip is the comradery and friendships that are formed on and off of the ride. One of the most beautiful seasons to ride on a bike tour is during the fall when leaves are changing and there's a crispness in the air which makes it more comfortable to ride and not get too heated while viewing unbelievably gorgeous scenes as you pedal past.
If riding with a group of strangers is not your idea of fun, you can still enjoy so much of what bicycling has to offer by going on short cycling jaunts with your own family. Once a child learns how to ride a bike, a lot of relationship building can occur on a bike path within a family. It's great exercise that is non-competitive and creates memories your family can cherish for a lifetime.
Of course, not every bike ride will include beautiful rolling mountains or hills or a scenic lake or ocean. But, even a ride around the block can give plenty of time to stop the chaos of the world for a few minutes and get a chance to collect your thoughts. Sometimes, it's good to take a short ride with just one other person or even alone provided you know the area and bring along a cell phone or other safety precautions just in case you run into trouble.
The exercise and calories burned, the comradery, the beautiful views or just time to gather your thoughts are all among the benefits to cycling. Whichever you choose as your favorite reason, please remember to take safety precautions before heading out which include always wearing a helmet and any other protective gear you desire such as knee/elbow pads or gloves, a good pair of shoes and socks, at least one water bottle filled, a repair kit for a tire blow out and reflectors especially if riding at night. Most of all, prepare yourself to have a good time while getting some great exercise.