Every year traffic and associated parking woes seem to get worse here in Sag Harbor. One way around the inconveniences of driving in the village is to travel by bicycle. This year traffic seems particularly intense, and we here at John Jermain have noticed a marked increase in the number of people opting to ride bikes around town whether it be for errands, exercise or enjoyment.
Fortunately, the renovated and expanded version of John Jermain has six sturdy bike racks for patrons and employees lined up along a brick walkway on the south side of the building, adjacent to the lower-level entrance on Jefferson Street. Biking to the library has become so popular in recent months that you will almost always find a few bikes parked there during library hours and two JJML staffers ride their bikes to work almost every day, weather permitting.
Apart from eliminating traffic and parking issues, biking is also good for your health. According to the Better Health Channel of the Victoria State Government in Australia:
It only takes two to four hours a week [of cycling] to achieve a general improvement to your health. Cycling is:
- Low impact – it causes less strain and injuries than most other forms of exercise.
- A good muscle workout – cycling uses all of the major muscle groups as you pedal.
- Easy – unlike some other sports, cycling does not require high levels of physical skill. Most people know how to ride a bike and, once you learn, you don’t forget.
- Good for strength and stamina – cycling increases stamina, strength and aerobic fitness.
- As intense as you want – cycling can be done at very low intensity to begin with, if recovering from injury or illness, but can be built up to a demanding physical workout.
- A fun way to get fit – the adventure and buzz you get from coasting down hills and being outdoors means you are more likely to continue to cycle regularly, compared to other physical activities that keep you indoors or require special times or places.
- Time-efficient – as a mode of transport, cycling replaces sedentary (sitting) time spent driving motor vehicles or using [autos], trains or buses with healthy exercise.
The health benefits of regular cycling include:
- increased cardiovascular fitness
- increased muscle strength and flexibility
- improved joint mobility
- decreased stress levels
- improved posture and coordination
- strengthened bones
- decreased body fat levels
- prevention or management of disease
- reduced anxiety and depression.
So, the next time you’re heading down to the library, think twice before you hop in the car; chances are you’ll get here just as quickly on your bike and with much less stress.