I’m freshly returned from attending an ICAA conference (International Council on Active Aging). The topics (as probably can be discerned by the name of the conference) focused on the benefits of exercise and activity on the aging process. “Sitting Is the New Smoking” was a quote I heard cited from a Huffington Post article. Activity promotes wellness and brain health and contributes to quality of life and longevity. Considering the conference was held at the Orange County Convention Center, a virtual city unto itself requiring considerable exertion just to get from parking my car to parking my self, I felt positively virtuous about the amount of exercise I had undergone just to get to my chair. As an aging Baby Boomer, this information has great salience to me. We are expecting our second grandchild and I want to be around for a while to enjoy them.
So, with active aging on my brain, I thought about one of my very favorite pastimes- bicycling. Biking is the ultimate multi-task enabler (and as a crazed Lady Boomer that’s important!) (1) it provides a mode of transportation enabling you to get to a desired destination; (2) it is great exercise, (3) you are outside, (4) you help protect our planet from noxious carbon emissions, and (5) IT’S FUN! So, with improved health and protecting the environment in mind, why not park that car and ride your bike? Driving is boring and fraught with hassles. Put saddlebags on your bike for shopping- only buy as much as your bags will hold (a surprising amount by the way). My husband and I have managed to fit as much as $180 worth of groceries in our saddle bags at one time. People have laughed and waved as we careen around the corner with a 12 pack of Miller Lite in tow. Biking makes everyday chores more fun and helps preserve the earth for future generations (even more important to me now with an impending birth around the corner). So, park it, plant it, pedal it, preserve it!