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Why I Choose Biking Over Driving

Written by Clare Gallagher -professional trail runner and climate advocate.

With breathtaking views, world class trails and blue skies, it’s no surprise that Boulder, Colorado is home to so many smiling faces. After resettling here, I quickly picked up the town's preferred mode of transportation, biking! They say the best way to learn a city is to walk it, but the gorgeous terrain and smooth flats suggest a bike is the best way to get from point A to point B. Health-based fun, streamlined convenience and sustainability are a few reasons why I chose to ride over drive.


Being stuck in traffic is frustrating, but there is nothing worse than being late because I couldn’t find a parking spot. Instead of stressing, I choose to grab my Blix and take the scenic route. I get front row parking at the grocery store and spend my time choosing between dark chocolate and fruit gummies, rather than waiting at a stop light. Errands should be an excuse to get outside rather than a transactional chore. Updating my routine to include a bike has opened my eyes to what a car takes away. Sure, the AC and acoustics are great, but does that really compare to sunshine, fresh air and a boosted mood?


I am a professional runner so I am always looking for a new challenge. I appreciate the convenience of an ebike, but what really inspires me to get out and ride are the added health benefits. After a morning run or a big weekend of training, spinning my legs is the perfect active recovery. Settling into a car can make me feel sluggish and stiff. My muscles need to move so I've learned to take the hint and hop on my bike! 


Climate change affects all of us so shouldn’t we all be a part of the solution? When I jump on my Vika+ rather than grabbing my keys, I take pride in the fact that this action will make a difference. I alone cannot negate Colorado’s worsening air pollution, however a motivated community can make progress together. When riding my bike, I am both exercising my lungs and preventing air pollution for all lungs to follow. 


Feeling a true sense of place can take months, years or even decades, but with my Blix I’m constantly discovering new nooks and crannies in Boulder. When I choose to bike over drive, I break down why I’m leaving the house in the first place. Do I need a lot of groceries and can they fit onto my Blix? Will biking to the group run allow my muscles to warm up versus staying stiff in a car? I believe that if an activity is fun, we don’t have to convince ourselves to do it. By swapping my car for a bike, I remembered that daily tasks don’t simply need to be done, they represent an opportunity to infuse some excitement, exploration and discovery into my days.