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The Benefits of a Bicycling Lifestyle

The Benefits of a Bicycling Lifestyle

I got a call from my financial advisor’s office this afternoon.  He’s setting up a life insurance policy for me and his assistant wanted to tell me some good news.  I had originally been quoted a monthly rate of $169 for a PREFERRED policy holder based on my healthy lifestyle answers on the application (no smoking, regular exercise, no health issues, etc.).  Last month they sent a nurse out to my house to weigh me (don’t look!), take my blood pressure, get a urine sample (fun!), poke my arm and fill up a bunch of vials with the red stuff (yay!!).

Wellllll…. after all the prodding poking of my body and then the analyzing all of my bodily fluids that she carried home with her in little cups and vials, they discovered what I already knew.  I AM VERY VERY HEALTHY.  In fact the good news was that I’m not just a PREFERRED member, I am a SUPER PREFERRED policy holder and my new monthly rate dropped down a whopping $54 to $114.

And that, my friends, is one of the benefits of my bicycling lifestyle.  So that got me to thinking about ALL the many many benefits of bicycling everywhere instead of driving a car.  And then I got to thinking that it would make a fine article for my bike blog.  So here we go…


Not only do you get lower rates on your life insurance policy, there are a ton of other ways that a bicycling lifestyle will save you lots of dough.  We can probably all agree that being wise with our money is more important now than ever.

The first and obvious savings is that you won’t be needing to buy any gas.  I bought my little Mini Cooper in April and I’ve only filled up my gas tank TWO TIMES in the six months since then.  WOW that’s a LOT of savings.  In fact, I’ve used my car so little that I’ve recently decided I’m going to sell it and go back to sharing one car with Craig like I had been doing before.  BINGO!  Even more savings.  That will cut our car insurance payment in half and we won’t have to pay property tax on a second vehicle.  No more inspections or license renewal fees.  And no more car maintenance.

Another way I save money is by just being healthy and feeling good.  I don’t take any medications and I usually only go to the doctor once a year for preventive stuff.  I hardly ever get sick these days, even during flu season when everyone around me is sniffing and sneezing.  If I feel a sore throat coming on, I just take a few vitamin C tablets and usually can fight it off without getting sick.  This isn’t just good genes.  I didn’t used to have such healthy defenses.  But my lifestyle of healthy eating and exercise these past years has thrust my immune system into overdrive and I love it.  Hey I’m in my late 40s.  I should be slowly shriveling into a doddering little old lady at this point but I feel better now than I have in my entire life.


Let’s talk more about feeling good.  My financial advisor’s assistant commented today that she never gets to tell people they are SUPER PREFERRED policy holders.  She was as excited about it as I was.  Sad but true I’m sure.  Most people around here just aren’t very healthy.  This is one area where I am NOT competitive.  This is one race I don’t want to win alone.  I wish EVERYONE was healthy!  It makes me sad that so many folks have no idea how GREAT it is possible to feel as an older adult.  They’ve just never felt good and they have no idea what they’re missing.

Do you suffer from seasonal affective disorder (otherwise known as “cabin fever”)?  I used to get it BAD every winter.  Then one year I decided to just keep riding my bike and running outside all winter long instead of retreating indoors when the mercury dropped.  I thought I was going to hate it.  I didn’t like the cold.  But I was tired of piling on the winter blubber every year and so I just made myself go out there and get ‘er done.  And do you know what?  I found that I LOVED running and biking in the winter.  Sure, the first frigid minute or so isn’t delightful but you warm up fast when you’re running or biking.  So it’s only the first few minutes that are uncomfortable.  After that the cold isn’t even an issue as long as you’re dressed correctly (layers, people, layers).

Then I discovered another amazing thing that I was totally not expecting… NO MORE CABIN FEVER.  I guess it just makes sense that if you want to avoid cabin fever, you gotta get out of the cabin.  Most people who hate cold (like I did) think they are doing their body and psyche a favor by retreating indoors and avoiding the winter temps.  But I found that by making myself go outside, I stopped hating the cold.  I actually started to enjoy it.  The sky is a crisper blue in the winter.  The neighborhood roads, bike trails and parks are quieter because everyone else is inside.  Hot chocolate after a cold ride is uber times better!  And that old seasonal affective disorder I used to deal with every year… well it’s just a distant memory now.


Hey you environmentally conscious peeps, there’s pretty much nothing greener than riding your bicycle everywhere.  NO wear and tear on the road systems.  NO gas. NO toxic fumes.  NO exhaust emissions.  NO greenhouse gases.  NO contribution to global warming or climate change. NO ozone layer depletion.  In fact, NO pollution of any kind including no noise pollution. So hey my cyclist lifestyle friend, YOU can feel proud of the tiny size of your carbon footprint.  And you know what, I think I’ll take a few of those brownies now (made with organic whole grain ingredients of course).


One of the reasons riding my bicycle makes me so happy is that it slows down my crazy busy life.  That hour that I’m cycling back and forth to the bank or the post office is quiet and peaceful and stress free (as long as I’m following my  ON THE STREETS policy of cycling on quiet traffic free streets).  I welcome this little daily mini-vacation from my deadlines and over-busy-ness.  When I’m cycling every day I’m happier, less tense.  The rewards are oh so worth it.

I know what you’re thinking, “Ain’t nobody got time for that!”  If your commute is under a few miles it is sometimes FASTER to bike there and commutes of 3-6 miles don’t take that much longer on a bicycle than in a car.  You will be surprised once you start cycling how close things actually are.  I’ve witnessed time and time again that car commutes SEEM farther than they really are.  People in my neighborhood are surprised to find that it’s only about 12 miles to downtown St. Louis.  It seems so much further than that in the car.  But I can bike down there in a little over an hour.

Biking slows you down and lets you really EXPERIENCE your surroundings.  Smell the smells.  Hear the sounds.  Sometimes that might not be so nice in some areas.  But by creatively planning routes I often enjoy cycling in pretty little neighborhoods, through lovely parks, and along peaceful bike trails.  When I’m biking I feel more alive and in tune with the world.  Namaste.  Rocks and sand.


And don’t forget about all the fun bicycle helmets and cycling outfits that you’ll get to wear!!!  LOL

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