As spring approaches rapidly, it is important to remember one of the best things about nice weather is that the outdoors is no longer a cold, windy burden. Rather, as we enter the new season, we should look at the outdoors as our destination. Particularly those who want to lose a bit of weight, the outdoors may actually be a saving grace. Particularly with an environment in crisis, who wouldn’t want to spend as much time in it as possible?
Imagine, however, that you could at the same time enjoy the environment and help to save it, all while exercising and helping to stay in shape. No, you don’t need to be superman. Such a feat can be accomplished by changing your daily commuter routine from a car to a bicycle. Granted, you may have to leave a bit sooner than you would with your car, but at the end of the day (or week), you will save yourself loads of cash on gas and gain that much back in exercise. There are plenty of kinds of bikes out there, however, and prices will vary. As such, it is important to know which bike is best for us when we go shopping for one. The types of bikes for mainstream consumers include mountain bikes, touring bikes, and cruiser bikes. The differences between them are barely recognizable to the untrained eye, but many times it can mean the difference between a $150 and $500 bike. Brand recognition also plays a large part in the price of bikes, so if you are a bargain shopper it is important to not only seek out the right type, but also the right brand, of bike. Mountain bikes are best for those who aren’t traveling a very far distance or those who have to traverse harder terrain, such as hills or unpaved roads. The tires are generally more treaded on these bikes to give more traction, and depending if you want all of the optional parts of these bikes they can get pretty pricey.Touring bikes are perfect for the longer distance commuter, or those with more bags. Unlike the mountain bike, it has racks mounted on it, which allow for easy carrying of cargo such as a briefcase. The frame geometry of these bikes is specifically designed for an easy, comfortable ride wherever you are traveling. For those commuters who will primarily be on the paved roads and taking it easy, this should be your choice. Cruiser bicycles, similar to touring bikes, have an upright seating alignment and are meant for steady riding. These bikes actually served as an inspiration for mountain bikes and, since their decline after the 1950’s, have grown more popular – and more affordable – since the 1990’s. The next time you are sitting in traffic while you commute, thinking to yourself that you should be exercising, imagine that you could be solving both problems in one easy step. Riding a bicycle may not have been the first idea to cross your mind, but once you try it out, it will likely be your last. Saving the environment as well as exercising is a deal in itself that nobody else could bargain for.