My own primary reasons:
- prevent headaches that otherwise result from my childhood neck injury
- I have a lot less trouble with spring alergies if I keep riding through the winter and keep my resperatory system in better shape
- keep blood sugar under control better (my body produces too much insulin, and extremely quickly, making low blood sugar a much more common problem if I don't keep riding)
- keep better attitudes
- sleep great
- Age is no excuse to let my weight get above what it was in high school. A regular workout is not optional. It is for everyone, not just young people.
So why not a gym membership? Expensive! And you can't work out at the gym while doing necessary transportation at the same time. How about other sports? If it's a team sport, you can't do it without the team, and may have to schedule the field, court, etc.. Jogging? Hard on the joints. Treadmill? Have you ever seen anyone keep it up? The novelty on all
home exercise equipment quickly wears off and then it sits unused. That also goes for my trainer. It's so boring I can only stand to use it when the weather is too bad to ride and I'm going crazy.
People have all kinds of arguments against riding, and, for the most part, there are good answers to them. For example, cycling can be plenty safe for the skilled, experienced cyclist. You can get far more control than the inexperienced realize, and the statistics are good. As for transportation time, if I can get somewhere in 15 minutes in a car, chances are it'll take me 18 on my bike.
I grew up in another country, and when I and my family came back in 1974, I could not believe how absolutely spoiled rotten
Americans are. Not only were their cars huge, but I was appalled to see all these cars with only one person in them. Where I grew up, people considered it too expensive to take the car unless at least two or three people were going. A person by himself took the bus.