Cycling is best way for students to get around


by Matthew Smith

For the last three years I have ridden my bicycle and used public transportation to get to school, work and home. It has proven to be one of the best decisions I’ve made during this time span. While driving is more immediately convenient for getting around in a short time and takes less physical energy, biking has made me a happier person.

It’s an easy way to get exercise when I otherwise wouldn’t have the time to go to the gym. It has helped me keep weight off. Before I began riding my bike to school, I weighed a whopping 184 pounds and had 24 percent body fat, which meant I was overweight for my 5-foot-9-inch structure. Now, I’m down to 160 pounds and my body fat is at 11 percent. Similar to many college students, being in shape has given me more self-esteem and has increased my energy levels.

Of course, time management can be a problem when riding a bike and using public transportation. Climbing hills such as the one by Qualcomm Stadium, which is close to my apartment, makes cycling difficult, especially at the end of a long day. However, proper time management has helped me solve this problem. While using public transit, I do my homework so I have more free time later. The work out is worth it because it has made me healthier. Bike riding is also cost-efficient. I would rather walk or ride my bike up hills than spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on gas, car insurance and car loan payments. As a college student, saving money in any way possible has helped make school affordable, allowing me to pay for books and stay out of debt from student loans.

The advantages of walking or riding a bike to school far outweigh the disadvantages. It has numerous health benefits and saves a lot of money. I know there are many people who don’t feel like walking or biking to school every day. I used to have similar feelings. However, once you start, it isn’t so bad and it’s easy to get used to. I can’t honestly see myself ever going back to driving regularly. It simply isn’t as self-rewarding.

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