Do you ever wonder what drives people to bike in the late fall, winter and early spring when the conditions for biking are less than favorable? I know I have looked at people from the comfort of our warm van and wondered, “what are they thinking?!?” Well, this year our family joined the ranks with the “crazy” people.
Here are a few reasons:
- Our kids are outdoor kids.
- They also LOVE to go on bike rides.
- We were able to pick up an awesome tot seat through an online garage sale. Therefore we can bike as a family unit.
I highly recommend this seat, it is awesome!
- Image from www.weerides.com
- It is a wonderful way to fit in some low-impact exercise.
- Biking improves core balance, hand-eye coordination, depth perception, logical thinking, cardiovascular fitness, and tones the lower back, thighs, slims the waist and builds calf muscles. I’m sure there are many more benefits, but I think my point stands.
- Our family also benefits financially each time we choose bike over van. On average we save $3/day if we bike (and or walk) instead of drive. $3/day x 5-6 days/week x 52 weeks = a savings of $780-$936 per year. Not forgetting we live in Iowa and there is most likely four months out of the year when weather conditions are not complacent with biking (and or walking) our savings will most likely teeter on the $540 mark. I think anyone would agree that in todays economic status, each penny counts, therefore hundreds of dollars in savings is nothing to smirk at.
If you are considering biking but have concerns about your little ones on their own bike, you might want to consider a Dutch bike. I would love to own one of these babies!
Having said that, there are some negative points to biking (and or walking). Safety being #1. I cannot attest for other cities, but in our town, pedestrian and cyclist safety does not appear to be among the top concerns for drivers. I have lost count on how many times people have turned in front of us while we are crossing the street, cut us off, driven too close to our bikes or failed to yield to pedestrians. Our house is located two blocks away from the main “hub” of school traffic. I have watched in horror as young drivers barrel down the one-ways at speeds that easily top 60+mph. Drivers fail to yield at crosswalks and are constantly speeding in school zones. Each day I see parents enter school parking lots through the clearly posted EXIT ONLY driveways, circle the one-way parking lot the WRONG way, and park in illegal manners (such as blocking parking spaces, including handicap parking).
Not only are these drivers endangering lives, but they are also teaching their children that driving in such a manner is acceptable behavior. Children are clever little beings, they are fully aware of driving rules. They know what a EXIT ONLY sign means, they are aware of what directional arrows mean and they can clearly read and understand speed limits and other safety postings. Each time a parent, as a driver, drives in such a manner you are teaching your child these ‘skills’ for lack of better term. Next time you get behind the wheel, ask yourself something, do I want my children driving like this? The answer should be pretty clear.
“Children are unpredictable. You never know what inconsistency
they’re going to catch you in next.”
~Franklin P. Jones