Tips & resources

Four secrets of happiness that only bike riders know

The simple bicycle is a powerful tool for happiness, just ask a someone who rides a bike…

Feel the freedom

From the thrill of your first ride, the bicycle promises freedom.

Children find can go faster and further than ever before with a bicycle. It’s just the same for grown-ups – with your own legs you can power yourself along so smoothly and quickly that it’s almost like flying.

For commuters, the bicycle offers freedom from crowded public transport, and bike paths can take you away from the bustle of motor vehicle traffic. On a bike, your journey is your own to control.

For roadies, the bike is an escape to the open road. For mountain bikers, it’s transport into the wild.


Go hard when you need to work out frustrations. Go easy when the sunset is beautiful to behold. Take the road when you want to get there ASAP. Take the path when you’ve got time to take in some nature and rebalance. Happiness is there for you to take when you hop on your bike.

Enjoy the buzz

The physical activity of riding a bike produces endorphins, the feel-good chemicals of the body.

But more than just feeling good, bike riding does you good.

Regular physical activity from bike riding is proven to provide defence against cancers, against heart disease and type-2 diabetes, and against depression and anxiety.

The acceleration of the body’s respiratory system is a boost to all the body’s systems, including the blood circulation to the brain. 

This wake-up call for the grey matter is why riding to school is so good for children and riding to work makes the mornings more productive for adults.

We sleep better when we are well exercised, providing superior restoration and enhanced happiness.

If you’re not sure you have what it takes to ride a bike, you might like to take the ebike advantage.

Love the moment

‘Flow’ is most associated with mountain biking, but it is a state that all bike riders will recognise from their most pleasureable rides. It’s the feeling of almost effortless progression: intuitive cornering, second-nature gear changes and an absolute absorption in the task at hand.

‘Flow’ confers many of the benefits you would have heard of coming from ‘mindfulness’ and it confirms your competence as well, which is a powerful affirmation for your self-esteem.

Even without ‘flow’ bike riders are naturally highly ‘present’, which is a well-known key to happiness.

Bike riders are naturally mindful of the weather, the seasons, the terrain of their journeys and their environment.

Unlike other travel modes, such as motor vehicles, trains and buses, where you are shut away from the world and are an observer, the bicycle places you in the world with no shell around you.

The result is ready connection to your immediate environment, your peers and your community. No shell encasing you means easy communication between bike riders, with pedestrians and also with motor vehicle drivers.


Go lightly

Finally, bike riding is easy, low-cost and healthy. It’s pretty much as squeaky clean and feel-good as a yoga retreat or a vegan lunch buffet, but without the incense or dreadlocks.

First of all it’s easy on you. The cost to buy in is low, because bikes aren’t expensive and there aren’t annual fees (though we recommend you join Bicycle Network for personal insurance and support). Maintenance costs for bikes are very low as well.

Secondly, bike riding has a low cost to the environment and the economy. Bikes don’t create pollution and, because they are space-efficient, they don’t require big, costly roads to travel on.

Thirdly, riding a bike is healthy. You’re taking care of yourself when you’re exercising your body to transport yourself around. Riding delivers you health and happiness through physical activity. In fact you’re contributing to a healthier society, which saves on health costs for the economy.

It’s probably best not to trumpet all this too often – your friends and family might start avoiding you – but let it give you a warm glow on a chilly morning as you set out for a pedal.