Written by: Anna Sibal and Julian Fenn
02/06/2013 12:45 PM
Do you take your bike with you on your camping road trips? No? Maybe you should. Being able to travel in comfort onboard an RV or even a car can spoil us. Why strain your legs and your back pedaling a bike when you can drive instead? I tell you why - it can save you time, you can explore lots of new places, it's good for your health, can help in an emergency and it's lots of fun.
Biking Saves You Time and Hassle
Lots of times we stay at a campground or RV park for several days so we can visit nearby attractions or explore a park. Instead of having the hassle of having to pack everything up every day and unhook your RV to drive to the attraction, ride a bike instead.
Explore Trails You Otherwise Couldn't Reach
It's actually great to have a bike with you when you visit protected areas like the national parks and the state parks. There are a lot of paths and trails in these places that are closed to motor vehicles to protect their delicate ecosystem. More often than not, though, these same paths and trails are open to cyclists. If time is against you and you want to cover as much ground as you can in the limited time you have, or if you just don't feel like hiking on foot when you travel to these places, ride a bike instead.
Biking Is Convenient
Sometimes, it's simply not practical to drive from one point to another on a camping road trip. Let's say you're staying at a vast campground where you have to drive or rent a golf cart to get from point A to point B. You need to use the campground's shower room or buy supplies from the convenience store. It can be a pain to move your vehicle elsewhere and renting a golf cart can be an unnecessary expense. But if you have a bike with you, you won't have to deal with the hassle of maneuvering your car in and out of your campsite and you can save the money you would have used on that golf cart.
Biking Helps Reduce Stress
No matter how comfortable your RV or car is, it doesn't change the fact that traveling can be stressful. Did you know that biking is a great way to dissolve stress? When you exercise, your body releases endorphins. Endorphins are chemicals in the brain that counteract effects of stress on the body. Endorphins also alleviate pain and uplift your mood. These are precisely the reasons why endorphins are called the "happy hormones." Additionally, riding a bike can relieve the stiffness you may feel from sitting inside your car or RV for hours.
Biking Is Good for You
Encouraging the body to produce more endorphins is not the only health advantage you can get from a biking workout. Biking is a form of cardio workout. Cardio workouts are meant to boost your body's metabolism and help you burn more calories - the two keys to successful weight loss. Moreover, biking increases your heart rate, improves your blood circulation and makes your body build more lean muscle. So when you bike, you induce your body to shed unwanted weight, make your heart stronger and less resistant to disease, and get back into shape.
Bikes Can Help in an Emergency
Sometimes we break down in remote locations with no cell phone reception. Having a bike can be a handy thing as you can ride to the nearest town, ranger station or to where you can get cell phone coverage so you can get roadside assistance.
On a Bike You See the World Differently
Let's face it. When you're driving, whether it's a car or an RV, you're not really outdoors. You're still taking the sights in from the windows of your vehicle. Sure, you can stop your vehicle for a while so you can enjoy the views around you and maybe take pictures. When you're on a bike, though, you can't help but feel that you're one with the great outdoors even when you're still moving on wheels. You can feel the wind on your face as you pedal your bike down the path. You can smell the air around you. Most of all, you have an almost 360-degree view of your surroundings, unimpeded by the walls of your RV. You can see the sights change dramatically on your bike and it's easier to stop and savor the views around you.
There are so many advantages you can enjoy from taking your bike with you on your camping road trip. Besides, taking a bike shouldn't be a problem for you. You can stash it on a bike rack on the roof of your car, on the back of your RV or you can get a folding bike that you can stow, so it never gets in the way.
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