Even if you’re not planning on scaling any mountains, a mountain bike is still a great investment. Mountain bikes are tough. They have a suspension system that makes for a comfortable ride, and the thick, wide tires are less likely to slip than the slimmer tires of a cruiser bike, particularly on wet roads. Mountain bikes have alloy frames that are strong and lightweight. They’re definitely not just for climbing mountains. Three great reasons for buying a mountain bike are for the great exercise you get, the fuel you save by traveling by bike instead of car, and the lack of environmental impact that a bike makes compared to a car.
Benefits of Riding a Bicycle
Riding a bike is great exercise. Not only do you strengthen the legs, but you also develop better cardiovascular health. A mountain bicycle with several speeds will allow you to adapt to your particular fitness level. Bicycling is also kinder to joints than higher impact exercises like aerobics or running. Place the seat of your mountain bike high enough so that your legs almost fully extend with each pedaling cycle. And of course, bicycling gets leg muscles into shape. You can start out on flat terrain, then add speed and varied terrain as your legs become stronger. It is a good idea to stretch both before and after riding your mountain bike.
Many people are in the habit of taking their car even on the shortest errands. There may be errands that are too far to walk to complete, but that are well within cycling distance. There are many types of baskets and nylon carriers that easily attach to the front or rear of your mountain bike that can easily hold a few groceries. Because urban areas are often fairly flat, getting around by bicycle can often be faster than getting around by car. You do have to be careful of traffic, so it is vital to buy a helmet that fits and that is easy to put on and take off.
In an age when energy is expensive and people want to cut back on use of natural resources, biking makes even more sense. You can burn a lot of fuel just from short trips around town. All that carbon dioxide emitted by automobiles really adds up, and many scientific experts believe that carbon dioxide emitted from cars is a major contributor to global climate change. When you ride your mountain bike rather than drive your car, you don’t contribute to environmental damage. Bicycling is one of the most efficient carbon-neutral forms of transportation.
Mountain vs. Road
If you are considering getting a bicycle, whether for exercise, to save on energy costs, or to lower your environmental impact, you should consider getting a mountain bike. Mountain bikes are made to be tough, and they have wider tires that grip the road better and are less likely to slip on wet surfaces. With the right sized mountain bike, a helmet, and perhaps a basket or nylon carrying bag attached to the handlebars or frame, you’ll not only get in shape, you’ll be conserving resources and you’ll have more money in your pocket from buying less gas for your car.