Scientists Prove Cyclists Are More Awesome Than Those Who Don’t Bike

Okay. Perhaps that headline is a bit hyperbolic.

Okay. Perhaps that headline is a bit hyperbolic.

However, it does turn out that according to 100% factual news from NPR that Ponce de Leon was looking in the wrong place for the fountain of youth. He should have checked out a bike shop. That way, he would have lived about 400 more years for bicycles to be invented.

Listen to this if you don’t believe me. (Except the article doesn’t mention Ponce de Leon.)


“What we found in the cyclists was that they had as many of these new T cells just coming out of their thymus as a 20-year-old, which means they should be better protected from all sorts of infections.”

Janet Lord, director of the Institute of Inflammation and Ageing
The University of Birmingham (England)

While it’s a great article, there’s one thing wrong with it:

Reporter Allison Aubrey makes it sound like the word “exercise” and the word “bicycling” are synonyms.

I ride a bike around 2,500 miles a year. (Unless it’s a good year and I ride more.)

Of those 2,500 miles, I ride exactly 0 miles for exercise.

Not even one.

In fact, I only have one rule for bicycling: Never do it for exercise.

For exercise, go to the Y and take a spin class. Maybe throw in a hot yoga session while you’re at it. I once did those two things back-to-back and immediately threw up.

For exercise, maybe you should buy one of those $2,000 Peolotons and then pay $40 a month to have some guy whose muscles have muscles make you ride so hard, you immediately throw up. I did that once, also.

That’s exercise.

There are only two reasons to ride a bike.

1. Transportation.
2. Fun.

When you say you are riding for transportation, it makes you sound like you are doing something productive.

You can say things like, “I can get four bags of groceries in my Ortlieb panniers.”

Or, “I can commute to and from Jeni’s ice cream and eat a large cone with two scoops of milk chocolate and salted caramel ice cream.”

Once I tried riding a bike for exercise, but I soon quit because I’m not a fan of exercising…or spandex.

I have not yet found a reason to quit something as fun as riding a bike.

And since I’m not aging, I’ll probably not quit for a long time.


Photo: Some bike-share bicycles in Milan. Note the cobblestones. They aren’t fun to ride on.

Warning: Earworm ahead: