For some countries, biking as a means of transportation isn’t standard. Sure, maybe you biked around your college back in the day. Maybe taking your cruiser bike along the road was your favorite part of the day. Maybe you were one of the few people who took their folding bikes up to the office.
There are exceptions, of course, but by and large, there are places where cars are the norm. Unless your city has an efficient subway or bus system, you basically rely on vehicles to get around.
But with the pandemic having turned nations upside down, and introducing people to new ways of doing things, is it time to embrace bikes?
Taking it out for a spin
The pandemic was a period of change. Certainly, on a macro level, everyone had to adjust to new ways of doing things. On a personal level, many took on new hobbies, explored new activities, and tried out things that they never considered doing before. For some, it was buying and learning how to ride a bike. With people staying home and traffic being lighter during lockdowns, it was a good time to try biking around your city.
Biking in relatively calmer conditions might have been an easier, less stressful way of learning how to get around your neighborhood. Perhaps, you discovered new things and places in your city that you had never noticed before. Biking can open you up to new experiences, and you might have gained a newfound appreciation for your neighborhood.
Not just a pit stop
If you’re one of these people, you’ve probably discovered a new love or passion for biking. There’s a reason riding a bike is considered by many as one of mankind’s greatest inventions. It has so many benefits to offer.
For one, it’s a healthier way to get around. It can take you further than walking, and it can give you the little exercise you would never get from just driving a car. If you’ve been sitting on your desk all day, you might find that taking your bike out for a spin can help, besides getting relief treatment for back pain and other cramps. Apart from physical benefits, it’s just a fun, freeing way to clear your mind.
It’s also healthier for the environment—no CO2 emissions, just 100% pure human power. It takes up less space than any other vehicle, save for a kick scooter, maybe, making it the perfect solution for a congested world.
With all these benefits, you’ve likely decided that biking isn’t just going to be a one-time, pandemic-era fling. It’s here for good.
The road back
As the world slowly opens again, everyone needs to ask themselves how they want to approach this transition. They may be eager to get back to the way things were, but perhaps, they should instead focus on making things better.
Maybe they have come to realize, through this past year, that there are certain pandemic things that they should keep. Some pre-COVID things they should do away with.
The modes of transportation are one thing that a society can change. What it has now is an opportunity to create more sustainable means of transportation. Rather than go back to the days of traffic congestion and pollution, wouldn’t it be great to return to the offices on bikes? As tragic as the pandemic was, people also need to see the good things that appeared during this learning experience.
Pedaling into the future
One of the key barriers against adopting bikes is the safety issue. The reality is, there aren’t enough bike infrastructures because the culture hasn’t embraced it as it has been in other countries.
This is a matter for local governments, ultimately. They make the decisions on the policies and facilities to protect and serve bikers. What citizens can do is publicly express their support for bike adoption and regulation.
The good news is that even key cities today known for their adoption of bikes went through the same transition period. Amsterdam, for example, wasn’t always the bikers’ paradise that it is now. They also went through a difficult period, but they made the important decision to pedal into the future.
As with any major change, it will only work if people do it as a community. They can’t reap the benefits of the activity if only a few adopt it. Hopefully, more and more people discover the merits and joys of biking. This way, societies can pave the way for a cycling revolution.