Most days, I bike to work. By bike, I mean the motorless kind. In addition to saving money on gas, reducing wear and tear on my car, and having a greener footprint (I now drive about 5,000 miles less per year), I’ve discovered my bike is also my personal time machine.
First, my bike saves me time.
Riding to work blends my commuting and workout time. By blending exercise and commuting, I actually get about an hour back in my day! How’s that for quantifiable impact!
Second, my bike gives me time.
Being on a bike twice a day gives me more time outside, feeling the sun (or rain) on my skin, smelling the grass, the trees, or farmers’ fields. I also hear birds and frogs that I can’t hear when I’m in a car. This outside time is precious to me.
If you practice mindfulness or other kinds of meditation, you know being attuned to your senses is important. Riding a bike like I do is a gold mine for the senses.
I also get more time to connect to others. On a bike, it’s easy to pull over and chat with anyone including neighbors, fellow bikers and even the crossing guard I see every day on my way to work.
Third, my bike itself is from another time.
Heavy, solid and with a smooth ride, my Reagan-era mountain bike is “more Harley-Davidson than Trek,” according to the guy who sold it to me.
Finally, my bike takes me back in time.
Bike riding is making me younger. Maybe not literally, but riding has changed my appetite to be more in line with a person half my age. On really challenging days, when the wind is strong or snow is on the ground, I get an awesome workout and lots of fresh air. On those days I feel like I’m 20 again.
And on those nights, I’m asleep in no time.
Dale Gavney is a Business Performance and Planning Administrator for American Family.