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If there was ever a time to think about trading in some gas miles for some pedal-powered miles on your ZiZZO, I think that time is now. We all have seen the crazy prices at the pump, especially here in California. One gas station on the coast of HWY 1 is selling gas for over $7 per gallon! I guess when the nearest gas station is over 40 miles away you can get away with it... but not without some irate travelers giving you dirty looks.
So how do we combat these economic hardships? With possibly one of the most fuel-efficient inventions ever: your bike. Of course, we realize there is not always a way to go where you need to on a bike, but let's start considering what you can do, and save some money, stress, and maybe even some time.
According to “League of American Bicyclist,” the average annual operating cost of a bicycle is $308, compared to $8,220 for the average car. If drivers replaced just one, four-mile car trip with a bike each week for the entire year, it would save more than two billion gallons of gas! That’s a total savings of $7.3 billion a year (based on $4 a gallon for gas). Now that’s what I’m talking about!
If you need further convincing why we should start turning over them bike pedals instead of pushing down on the gas pedal- I give you my top 10 reasons to ride more and drive less. Can I get a countdown please?
#10. See more interesting things.
I’ve seen everything from the birth of farm animals to finding money on the side of the road. One time I saw the Oscar Mayer Weiner mobile go by! Don’t forget those garage sale signs that you weren't aware of. Can’t miss out on some deals!
#9. Running into old friends. Years had gone by and I’m standing on top of a hill out of breath only to be greeted a minute or two later by someone I hadn't seen since grade school. We barely recognized each other, but figured it out after a semi-awkward minute.
#8. Making café stops.
This is possibly one of the oldest cycling traditions. You don’t need to be “kitted up” in $300 lycra to enjoy a favorite cup of joe/cappuccino at your local coffee shop. Support the small shops if you can.
#7. Grocery shopping. Unless you only do grocery shopping once a month at a big box store, I'm sure you can get it done on your ZiZZO. Add a rack or a folding basket and get creative figuring out ways to haul the goods home.
#6. Youth sporting events. The kids would love to have a family ride to the little league or soccer field. Don’t forget to bring the orange slices and juice boxes when it's your turn!
#5. Save time.
Ever wonder why being a “messenger” in a big city is still a thing? Biking is still the fastest way to get around. No waiting around, just get to the front of the line in a bike path and roll while everyone else is in stop-and-go traffic! I have personally ridden my ZiZZO to get a pizza for the family two miles away because they said 1 hour for delivery or 15 minutes to pick up. The pizza made it home still hot, but with one less slice. Hey, I earned it!
#4. Save on gym fees.
Ditch that spin class! Maybe even get rid of your gym all together. You are riding and burning calories when you get on your ZiZZO. According to Harvard Health Publications, a recreational 12 mph bike ride will burn 298 calories every half-hour for someone who weighs 155 lbs. Ride faster, or up some hills and you’ll burn even more!
#3. Mood elevation. Whenever you are feeling down and things are tough, a bike ride Is always a healthy idea. In his book, Einstein and the Art of Mindful Cycling, Ben Irvine writes, “On my bike, there’s a different depth to the buzz. I regularly have times when I’m with a friend cycling through fields, and the feeling of wellbeing is almost overpowering. It’s as if I’m not sure I deserve the euphoria.” Most doctors agree when you ride, you get a spike in neurochemicals such as serotonin and dopamine that improve mood.
#2. Personal and environmental health.
This is a no brainer, right? Getting that blood flowing in a low impact way is achievable no matter your age. Staying fit gives you a better chance to stay away from the doctors and allows you to have a more active lifestyle in your golden years. More energy to have more fun! As far as our environment goes: no gas, no pollution. Enough said.
#1. Fun Factor. We could do a whole blog about all the fun riding is. Whether on a solo ride or with some friends, it really doesn’t matter. It can also bring you back to your childhood - rolling care-free through neighborhoods, or some out-of-the-way trail. It’s a connection with yourself, others, and the world around you. It gets you back to basics while taking you away from that little 3 ½ by 5-inch screen for a bit. Too many fun time examples to list here.
Well, I hope this gives you a little food for thought and hope it inspires you to seek out more ways to pedal away instead of “drive away”. Happy Pedaling!