It was until last week that I always ended up rushing towards the key stand to grab the keys of my two-wheeler, even when I had to travel the distance of about 5-10 minutes from my place.
Most of us are conditioned in such a way that we always end up using our two-wheelers or four-wheelers for commuting. Until they have gone for maintenance, stopped working or it’s raining too heavily, we are blind towards the existence of any other options.
I was stuck in the cave of boredom following my daily routine. So, I decided to take up a valorous task of using a bicycle for commuting within the distance of 3-5 km from my house. I had heard a lot about sustainability, environment, and stuff when it came to using bicycles for commuting, but honestly, this was purely for fun and to challenge myself.
I was tremendously surprised to see the effect of this single change on my whole lifestyle. Over and above the health benefits that you get (which are mentioned on various other sites, so I won’t repeat it here) there are many psychological hits that I experienced during this paradigm shift.
So, let’s start the ride. 😀
*Boredom & Stress Killer: –
Being close to nature while riding will create an immediate impact on your state of mind and you will feel light and joyful. A research from Concordia’s John Molson School of Business (JMSB) has found that cycling can help reduce stress and improve your work performance too. Over and above this, numerous researches support the view that people who commute by bicycle are unlikely to get depressed compared to those who use other means of transport.
When you cycle your way through the roads, first of all, you will be at a comparatively slower pace than other vehicles. This gives you an opportunity to observe the happenings around you from a different perspective.
When I ride, I play the ‘Say what you see’ game that pooh plays in the Christopher Robbins. Haven’t seen it? (Watch it here.) I just say the objects in my mind as I see them. It not only helps me to get rid of unnecessary thoughts about past and future but also keeps me in the present moment.
Do not try playing this game on your vehicle. You might regret it! 😀
*Energizes you to the core: –
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, author of Sherlock Holmes rightly said,
“When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road, without thought on anything but the ride you are taking.”
Remember the hustling flow of water when the gates of a dam are opened during floods? Exactly! That is how the energy starts flowing through your body when you opt for cycling. This is the best option for getting rid of the lethargy stored in the body. Not only does it pump you with tremendous energy, but it breaks all the blockages.
Whenever I seem to run out of ideas to write or feel stuck somewhere, I go for a 5-10 minute ride. When I return, the ideas blossom! They don’t even wait until then; sometimes they make their way to my mind, while I’m riding! I wouldn’t agree less with this sentence I read somewhere in the past, “When in doubt, pedal it out”.
*Broadens perspective: –
When cycling, as a mode of transport is not your daily style, you will have to step out of your comfort zone to opt for this option. This stepping out of the zone not only broadens the perspective towards commuting or cycling but also will develop an overall broader perspective towards life in whole. You will start feeling confident about your self, which also aids you in re-establishing your outlook towards everything, others as well as yourself.
This one change alone has the power to motivate you to go for many other big changes that you have not been able to implement until now.
*You can make your way out: –
This is my favorite one! I love making my way out of the narrow streets and small pathways without any hassles even when the traffic jam is at its peak. I can even lift my cycle and put it on the other side if proper space is not available. I can literally feel the envy that fellow riders on different vehicles throw at me when I pave my way swiftly and they have to wait until the jam clears up. Saves you from the mess and is fun 😉
*Yeah! It’s the new cool: –
Mercedes and BMW are still in fashion, but the one on cycle gets more attention. 😀 That is what I have noticed. When I hit the road on the first day, I felt like an alien riding in a spacecraft through normal roads around normal people. I don’t know what happens around the world, but in Ahmedabad, people give you an undivided attention when you are a well-dressed grown-up, riding a cycle for commuting.
Problems you might face and it’s solutions: –
There always remains the risk of increased exposure to air pollution or being crashed while riding in motorized traffic. As we do not have a separate lane for cycling on every road, it becomes a bit challenging. This can be handled by riding on the side of the roads with utmost care. Exposure to air pollution can be eliminated by putting on masks while riding.
Getting sweaty will be an issue- but hey it is not a real problem. Body odor is not caused by the sweat, it is caused by the bacteria buildup. Make sure to shower before your ride and clean up yourself once you reach the destination with a wet towel or wipes. You can also carry an extra pair of clothes in your bag.
My destination is way too far and I am not fit enough is what some of you may feel. Start with nearby places, just like I did. Get your body habituated to travel on cycle, soon you will be traveling long distances. In the beginning, don’t do it on daily basis, make it 2 days a week, then proceed gradually.
I don’t have that much time to travel on cycle, using my vehicle saves me a lot of time. Opting for a cycle to commute is the best way of leveraging time by combining commuting with a healthy exercise. The gym or the workouts in which you invest your time will not be needed anymore.
Many of us chose cycling as a part of a recreational activity or inside the gym, but it’s time you experience how it feels when you hit the road. Having gained a lot of benefit from it, I really wish you to opt for it too. (With due respect to your circumstances).
But, do not hesitate to push your limits and come out of your comfort zone.
Our mind is very skilled in making excuses, it is a trick it always plays with us. Beware!
To all my lovely readers, whose old cycle has been on a date with the sands & dust particles of your garage or parking lot since many days, let’s interfere and separate them before they go for a serious relationship. 🙂
For the rest, think about investing in a cycle so that its presence starts motivating you. I know you’re a very smart investor, you won’t deny a deal like this after reading about the returns you gain from it.
MAY GOD BLESS YOU 🙂
Photo by Victor Xok on Unsplash