Riding A Bike…A Sustainable Activity For Sacramentans

I am new to bike riding. I just moved to Sacramento and I spent my hard earned money on a nice beach cruiser, opposed to $160 on a parking pass. It ended up costing me the same amount. However, unlike the parking pass, I am able to ride right up to my class. Now I don’t have to “shark” people to find a spot to park, I am maintaining a healthy condition, I get to rock out to tunes playing from my speaker in my basket, I am saving oodles in gas money, I am “green” which, as everybody knows, is totally in, and, more often than not, I beat my friends home because they are stuck in Sac State traffic. If this sounds appealing to you, then you might want to consider purchasing a bicycle.
I was a little hesitant at first, questioning my own “skills” as a bike rider. The last thing I wanted to do was to buy a bike and either be in poor shape for riding it everyday or crash it doing something simple like turning. But I pushed my fears aside and decided that I would make bike riding my only transportation for anything within 5-10 miles. I would ride it to school and work, both at Sac State, but I would also ride to my brother’s house in midtown, or to the grocery store, or any other errand that was within reach for my newly acquired bike riding skills.
What I have learned in my 3 months as a “biker” is a lot about myself and about my new community; things I would not have seen or realized had I not been riding my bike. I learned that riding a bike makes me feel like a kid again; the freedom of taking it on trails, the wind blowing in my face, riding with no hands. I love pushing myself physically and by taking different routes daily, I have the ability to do just that, all while having a great time.
I also noticed the amount of people who, on a daily basis, are walking, jogging, running, biking, and exercising along the American River. It is truly an amazing thing to take a ride, early in the morning, when the light of day is just approaching or in the evening, when the sun is waning; the trail comes alive with the flora, fauna, and animals that reside there, not to mention a multitude of people from Sacramento. It is during these times that you get to see how beautiful Northern California really is and how people recreate; I am renewed in my motivation daily. I see an older man taking a jog at 7 am, starting his day off right. I see friends, after a long hard day at school, take a run together to blow off some steam. I see parents and their children, riding their bikes, with big smiles on their faces.
All these reasons and more are what make my daily ride to and from school/work all that more enjoyable. The benefits of nature mixed with physical exercise are unparalleled. There is nothing like getting a work out while doing something that is fun. I love riding my bike and I hope everyone has an activity that is this much fun, which also contributes to your physical and mental well being…and, if you don’t, buy a bike!


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