A story in the New York Times is highlighting what most of us already know: you think better when you’re on a bike.
Though the “test subjects” were put on stationary bikes and the general conclusion is that *any* exercise will do I’m inclined to believe that it’s more than blood & oxygen circulating around more efficiently, there’s something to the specific experience of cycling that calms, focuses and makes creative the thoughts you think while riding.
Leigh McAdam has a post dedicated to her thoughts on it.
And there is ample evidence that people dealing with chronic fatigue, Asperger’s Syndrome and a host of other challenges feel much better after starting to ride a bicycle. Perhaps because a bike is only what you want it to be – people can approach riding at a very slow and gentle pace that other activities don’t support as well. The ability to sprint up a hill and intensely work the body’s systems is equally important as the relaxation and simple movement that happens cruising slowly around the neighborhood.
Perhaps some of the most exciting ideas coming out of bicycling as a form of staying smart, healthy and strong or rehab happened while talking to Steve Carre, co-owner of Bike Effect in Santa Monica, California. Many of the old ideas about injuries and bike fit have rapidly evolved in just the last few years and now an elite group of trained bike fitters can help you get set up on the right bike and riding the right way to not only avoid injuries that were once thought to be inevitable or random, but to help you come back stronger from an injury by riding a bicycle. A Seattle physical therapy shop is so specific they advertise as “Real Rehab” and offer similar services.