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There are plenty of reasons to ride a bicycle in the city. Among the most common are that it’s great way to get some exercise and it’s good for the environment. While these are noble and worthy reasons, they’re also boring.

The truth is that a lot of people don’t like to exercise. The thought of having to work to get to where you’re going won’t appeal to someone who is considering riding a bike. Nor will causing less pollution persuade somebody to give up the perceived convenience of driving a car or taking public transportation.

I recently read an article how health and lifestyle choices can change your genetic make-up. While this mainly pertains to exercise and eating right, I will argue that environmental factors can influence our well-being. What happens to the mind and body when our stress levels our reduced? When we engage with others while contributing to a sense of personal achievement? Wilfully choosing to ride a bike in the city is a lifestyle choice. To marginalize it to an exercise tool or a form of transportation simply doesn’t do it justice. 

These are my thirty reasons to ride a bicycle in the city. While I realize that the city you live may be different, mine relate to Amsterdam as I consider it the epitome of the bicycling lifestyle which every city should strive for. Not just because of infrastructure, but because of habit and attitude. If you have a unique reason to ride where you live, feel free to share in the comments below.

1. Versatility

The bicycle is multifunctional. Use it for sport or transport.

2. Conquer obstructions

If something is in your way, you can ride around, over or under it.

3. Bike the dog

Minimal effort on your part, maximum effort from your canine friend.

Dog Walker on bike

4. Puddles are fun

Stepping into a puddle sucks. Rolling over them is fun.

Puddles are fun

5. Families are engaged

Engage with those that matter most.

6. Maintenance is cheap

An oil change for a car costs the price of dinner for two and lasts 3 months . A bottle of lube for a bike is the cost of a beer and will last a year.

7. View is better

The view of the um,…well is just better!

8. Alone in your thoughts

Riding a bike is a great way to free yourself from distractions and enjoy some alone time.

9. Personalize your ride

Why spend a ton on mag wheels and tints on car? All you need is a couple of cans of spray paint and some creativity for a bike.

10. Use your phone

If you can walk and text, you can bike and text.

Bike and Text

Bike and Text

11. Double up with friends.

Tandems are a great way to explore the city with friends.

Friends on a tandem

12. Save money when moving

You can move practically anything with a bicycle.

13. Ride through the Rijksmuseum

Convenient and awesome. Where else can you ride through a museum?

14. Riding in fog

Nothing beats the serenity of biking through one of Mother Nature’s greatest phenomenons.

15. Get some vitamin D

You won’t get much sun when encapsulated in glass and steel. Ride a bike and enjoy the sunshine.

16. Park Life

There are over a dozen parks in Amsterdam, many with bike paths and all are free of motorized vehicles. Bicycles, leisure and park life is simply synonymous.

17. The human touch

How often do you embrace the one you love while in a car or riding the tube?

18. Parking is free

Parking a car anywhere in Amsterdam is a minimal of € 4 per hour. A bicycle costs nothing.

19. Riding is fun

Whether engaged in conversations or blitzing down streets, riding is just fun.

20. Tweed Rides

Thanks to this global bicycle event, when else can you dress up in tweed and enjoy good times?

21. Why wait

Waiting 5 minutes at a tram stop in compact city like Amsterdam means you would likely be halfway to your destination if riding a bike. With the exception of an opening drawbridge, the time is takes to get somewhere on a bicycle is always consistent.

22. The city smells better

What would you rather smell? An overdue oil change or Chanel N°5?

24. Take a leak

With public urinals conveniently peppered throughout the city, it takes no time to stop and relieve yourself.

25. You look better

The fact is the human form simply looks better on a bike.

26. Traffic jams are irrelevant

Traffic jams are for cars and trams. The bicycle is a like a queen in chess. The versatility allows it to go anywhere.

28. The music experience

A quality pair of headphones can enhance your riding experience.

29. Snack time

Drink, smoke or chew. Living with bikes means combining your daily habits while riding.

29. Shopping is easy

Thanks to the wheel lock, all you need to do is pull a key and park your bike anywhere. In no time, you’re back on the go.

29. Get lost

A wrong turn is never an inconvenience on a bike. Rather, it leads to adventure.

30. Riding makes you happy

There is an undeniable truth. Riding a bike in the city will enhance your happiness.

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