I am not always motivated to do the right thing. For example, I don’t wear my seatbelt consistently. I guess the underwhelming feeling of freedom of movement trumps the extra assurance of protection of life and limb in a car accident? It makes no sense. I’m ethically opposed to factory farming of animals and find processed meat abhorrent in terms of health, but I also really like and occasionally eat hot dogs. Fundamentalism is not one of my strong suits.
Riding my bicycle is one of the most enjoyable parts of my day, and to make it even more rewarding, its also the “right thing” to do. In addition to giving the rider a tighter a$$ and improved cardiovascular function, biking is healthy for our society. Most of American driving destinations are less than 3 miles in length, a commute easily managed even by the less-than-perfectly-fit. The environment benefits when we are not burning fossil fuels for transport, making the air cleaner for our community. Bicycles require far fewer resources for road development and maintenance than automobiles; the space and money can be used elsewhere. Plus, if you are sticking to relatively short- distance bicycling, the kind usually done when running errand versus training for the century ride, you utilize what is in your immediate community and patronize local business. Americans sit way too much, and the diabetes and obesity epidemic that touches every corner of the US would be significantly mitigated if people moved more.
For all the benefits of bicycling, I probably wouldn’t do it nearly as often if it weren’t so pleasurable. When I’m on my bike, and not closed up in a car, I interact more with my surroundings. I made eye contact with and greet my neighbors, notice details about the streets, trees and homes that make my part of the world unique. Plus, it feels wonderful– the fresh air, the sun on my arms. Life is good on a bike.