There are so many different ways to explore a city, and depending on what method you choose, each one will provide you with a very different experience. Choosing to drive is often the most efficient way to get from one place to another, but the downside is that you tend to miss out on seeing or visiting the little charms along the way. Walking is wonderful, as you can see things at your own pace and really experience things up close and personal, but by the end of the day, it may leave you feeling exhausted or force you to miss out on seeing things that were too far away to get to on foot. In big cities, there is often an option to take transit, but the prices can add up and doing this option can lead to bypassing unique parts of the city.
Today, I want to bring to your attention a mode of transportation that you may have overlooked, but could turn out to be the perfect way for you to get around during your next trip. I want to talk about bike riding. Many cities have bike rentals, where you can pay at a machine to take a bike and return it to another bike rental location, later on. Here are some great reasons to consider getting around by bike during your next vacation:
1. It's Quick
In a large city, there are so many things to be seen. In order to get around more quickly, consider taking a bike, to reach more destinations than possible on foot. This also cuts down on the wasted time, if you were to wait for transit to arrive or make stops at numerous locations. During rush hour, bikes often get through traffic much more quickly than the buses or cars on the road. If you know where you're going, choosing to take a bike can really help you to get from place to place quite quickly.
2. It Allows You to See the City in a Unique Way
As someone who bikes to work regularly, I can testify that there is something really special about taking in your surroundings while riding a bike. Not only are you in charge of what streets to take and where to stop, but there is something particularly different about seeing things closely rather than through the window of a bus. On a bike you can smell food cooking, hear the people laughing through the windows of their homes, and even feel the moisture from the leaves as you pass by. Riding a bike allows to you soak in the sun rays and feel the breeze as you experience the atmosphere around you.
3. It Puts You Literally Right into the Heart of the City
When you ride a bike, you are placing yourself directly into the city and its streets or sidewalks. You are no longer just an onlooker, but have suddenly become a part of the action - having to think and react to the things going on around you. You become part of the city and your current surroundings.
4. It's Good for Your Health
This one is pretty self-explanatory, but the short of it is that when you choose to ride a bike to get around, you are achieving multiple things at once. At the end of the day, you will have burned off quite a few calories and be able to feel good about the exercise you happened to get, while achieving your travel goals.
5. It is Affordable
Bus tickets, transit passes and especially car rentals can be very expensive and can certainly add up. Choosing to rent a bike from a stand is a unique alternative that may allow you to save yourself some money. In my city, to rent for a day, the base cost is €1.60 or €7 for a week membership. This gives you free use for half an hour. After that, the cost is €1 for every additional 30 minutes. In theory, if you rode from location to location within 30 minutes, then returned the bike while exploring the new area on foot, I believe you would only have to pay that daily membership fee with no extra costs. Every town's bike rental system is different, but most often, the fee information can be easily accessed online.
6. It Can Be Relaxing
Whether you decided to rent a bike to travel on the main streets, or to explore a park, experiencing this atmosphere on two wheels can be quite exhilarating yet also calming. I recommend that if you choose to spent some time biking, take the chance to explore a park via bicycle. Most cities or towns have numerous parks scattered throughout, and depending on the time of year, the atmosphere can make the time spend there incredibly relaxing.
7. It Creates Very Unique Memories
Honestly, choosing to bike through a city isn't the most popular method of travel. From personality to personality, it is not something that everyone is going to enjoy. It may not be the easiest way to get around, but I can say, that it does make for a very cool experience. Exploring by bike, however, will leave you with incredibly special memories to take back home with you, once your trip is over.
Have you ever rented a bike during your vacation? If so, I would love to hear about your experience! Please share with me in the comments below!