Country Lore: Biking is Best

Jim Lovestar of Minneapolis, Minnesota discusses the benefits of biking and riding a bicycle.


Biking is an excellent way to stay active.

Photo courtesy Николай Григорьев/Fotolia

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I have been a bicyclist for 30 years and offer this suggestion: We all have read about the benefits of riding a bicycle instead of driving a car. Indeed, bicycling has many advantages — you don’t need gas, don’t pollute, get exercise and provide your own cooling breeze.

Many people have a bicycle and use it only for recreation. But more cities are building bike trails. With the simple addition of a rack over the rear wheel, you can use the bike for grocery shopping and errands; such racks usually cost $25 to $50. Add bungee cords and you can strap your briefcase to the rack. For $40 to $150, you can add saddlebags, usually called panniers, to carry two grocery bags and even a change of clothes.

When you bicycle, seek out the streets least used by cars. Bike trails often are faster and more convenient because there are no traffic lights — or the cars they control — to slow you down. And always wear your helmet. It is the cheapest health insurance you can buy.