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.




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5 Responses to This is your Brain (& body) on Cycling

  1. Jasper says:

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  3. Reading, watching movies or plays, or similar activities that may well bring inspiration.

    • George says:

      It was my 8th birthday when my prtenas took me to the backyard where my first bicycle stood propped up by its kickstand (I remember thinking this was the coolest thing.) It had a deep red tint and silver lettering ran up the frame with the word Schwinn written in a tilted direction as if it was being blown back by the wind. Being a late bloomer, my bike also came with a mean set of training wheels. My most memorable moment on my first bike was the day the training wheels came off. What I had depended on for balance and support was gone! It was completely up to me to ride on my own. I remember riding down my street for the very first time, nothing but two wheels, a bike frame, and freedom. It was the very first time I began to understand the feeling of liberation. I remember imagining I was going 50 mph, flying by walking pedestrians and blowing leaves. I could not wait to show my friends what I could do, what was now possible for me. That bike was my first memorable breakthrough experience. I was able to do something that really scared me. I felt the wind in my face and speed my circling feet. It was wild. I did not know it then, but that experience began to teach me that the things that scare us the most are usually the most worthwhile.

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