Today’s post comes from Millennial contributor Aviva who explains why biking is a popular pastime for her and many of her peers. It’s an easy and affordable way to get around, which Gen Y appreciates since in today’s tough economy, the cost of owning a car, as well as paying for gas and insurance, is especially difficult. Moreover, Aviva explains how biking enables people to be eco-friendly and it has a cool factor that her generation is eagerly embracing; biking is much more than just a mode of transportation as she explains below.
Millennials Are Riding The Bike Trend
In our current economy, owning a car has become an expense many young people cannot take on. Even for Millennials who can afford a car, have access to a car, or are given one, the price of insurance and gas may still be too much for them. Countless studies show how my generation isn’t as interested in purchasing cars as older generations since it’s a big commitment, often a financial burden, and we want to be constantly connected to technology. Car manufacturers are striving to “Millennialize” automobiles as much as they can, but I really think young people’s hesitation comes down to the cost. I myself do not own a car and have chosen to buy a bike from a garage sale for the whopping price of $25. After I purchased my bike lock for $10, I had completed the cost of transporting myself to work, class, and the train for the bargain price of $35. This is an unbeatable deal for getting around and I see a lot of my classmates and friends have done the same.
Moreover, many young people feel strongly about going green and would like to minimize their carbon footprint. Many college campuses have even adopted bike programs to provide bikes that students can share. It’s a way to reduce energy and also helps the campus feel more like a community. Additionally, I’ve noticed that more and more cities are becoming bike friendly and I imagine this activity will continue to catch on just as it has in Europe. Some places like Brooklyn have gone as far to create bike valets at events, reflecting both the trendiness and practicality of biking.
Speaking of which, there’s the cool factor associated with biking. Not only have they become a symbol of hipsters, but they’re also an item that people can personalize and equip with accessories including baskets, bells, and colorful helmets. Brands have embraced this for a while now, and are doing so even more. Retailers aimed at this age group like Urban Outfitters and C. Wonder sell stylish bikes and items to complement them. Further, numerous designers including Target for Missoni offer limited edition bikes. Having a stylish bike and customizing it has become another way to express yourself.
Further, my generation feels that the journey is as important as the destination. Many Gen Yers are choosing to bike so that they can experience the outdoors, get a tan, and pick up exciting things left behind that would go unnoticed in a car. According to recent Ypulse research, 58% of Millennials say biking is fun. Much like a car, a bike symbolizes freedom and independence, but doesn’t pose as many financial restraints.
Probably the most appealing part of biking is that it’s an amazing form of exercise. I’ve noticed that my generation is putting more emphasis on exercising and eating right lately and biking is another way to adopt a healthy lifestyle. Moreover, spinning has become a craze in recent years, just as biking has gained popularity, and the two seem to be propelling interest in one another.
Not every trend will last, but my hope is that even after the economy settles, Millennials will continue to bike and see all of the benefits that come along with it.
Aviva, a rising senior at Rutgers University, is completing a dual major in Psychology and Communication and hopes to use the skill set she builds in these subjects to continue on with a career as a clinical psychologist. Aviva is passionate about making change and has fostered this ambition by interning at AMARD&V, an art camp for at risk youth last summer and joining the Hillel board as Community Service Chair this past year. In this position, Aviva started an initiative called Krafts with Kids where college students do art projects with children living in a battered women’s shelter. Finally, Aviva is the youngest of four children and states adamantly that before you can take on the world, you must focus on your family. Her three favorite people in the whole world are her two nephews, Asaf and Ben, and her beautiful new niece Talya.