Fall is one of the best times of the year to ride a bicycle in California as temperatures are more comfortable, and people want to take advantage of spending time outdoors while getting a good workout that has physical and mental health benefits.

Many people who dread heading to the gym are often energized to do other exercises after an exhilarating ride in the neighborhood or the countryside. Others still go to the gym but use their bike instead of a car to get there and back.

Why do people enjoy cycling?

While there are many reasons why cycling becomes a life-long interest for many, here are some of the most common:

  • Cycling is easier on your body: Bicycling is easier on a person’s feet, knees, legs and ankles than running. Riding a bike is a low-impact activity that gets your legs and heart rate going without pounding your joints.
  • Bike projects are growing: Thousands of bike paths and lanes are being built around the country, many of them supported with federal, state and local dollars.
  • Legitimate transportation mode: Many people avoid stop-and-go traffic while adding a significant form of exercise to their routine, especially if they live within a few miles of where they work.
  • Reducing stress: Medical studies support the notion that exercise eases stress, which can help people stay healthier. One study found bike commuters have lower stress levels than those using mass transit and cars.
  • It’s a life-long activity: Other forms of exercise, such as running, weightlifting and certain aerobic activities can take a toll on your body. However, bicyclists can keep peddling until later in life, long after others have to say goodbye to more strenuous workouts.

Watch out for distracted and dangerous drivers

Bike riding is a way of life for many people here in Southern California. However, it’s important to ride defensively when sharing the road with motor vehicles, especially those operated by distracted or impaired drivers. Taking proper safety measures can help keep you safe while riding your way to a healthier life and a newfound sense of freedom that cycling offers.