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Take a Break… on a Bike!

Downtime is important. Joey touches on why biking is a relaxing way to take a break from day-to-day stresses.

Downtime is important. Joey touches on why biking is a relaxing way to take a break from day-to-day stresses.

Wherever you are, you should take a break!

What kind of break? You could read this blog post, play a game with a friend or a family member, or go ride a bike.

Biking is one of my favorite ways to relax. Zooming across campus (the analog kind of Zoom) is thrilling and calming at the same time. Even though I haven’t been able to ride my bike at Carleton since winter term ended in March, I have done my best to find places to ride wherever I am.

Although I miss Carleton’s beautiful campus, there are plenty of trails and bike lanes in the bike-friendly city of Northfield.

Provides impression of life as a cyclist in Northfield.
A freshly-painted bike lane in Northfield, MN, near campus.

As Andriana described in her self-care post, staying mentally and emotionally healthy is important. Many of us have big, stressful projects we are working on; taking a break from these projects makes them more enjoyable.

Carleton recognizes that the lives of college students are well-rounded. A quick glance at our campus life page reveals there are many ways students express themselves outside of the classroom. Self-care, however, usually involves something more than a combination of extracurricular activities and academics because we all need some amount of downtime.

For me, riding a bike is a phenomenal use of downtime. Let me tell you why!

Biking is good exercise.

While I love running at Carleton, riding a bike brings me farther (with zero shin pain!) And, riding with the Carleton Cycling Club is a blast! During the fall and the spring, the cycling club meets a few times each week for rides ranging anywhere from 10-30 miles. I appreciate the opportunity it gives me to push myself on my bicycle while socializing with other Carls.

Cycling gets me outside.

It’s easy to stay indoors for long periods of time due to work and online commitments. I sometimes want to go outside but then I feel like I need to have a reason to leave the house. A bike ride can be that reason! Going outside breaks up my work and makes me more enthusiastic to return.

I can explore with a bike.

When I have the chance, I love to ride my bike on trails that are not as familiar to me. Our commutes to physical places of work and school tend to be routine; it is a privilege to have the opportunity to explore in a direction that is unfamiliar.

And it’s okay also to not have access to a bike!

Carleton’s Office of Health Promotion says taking an awe walk — literally a walk during which you experience awe — is a great way to maintain mental and emotional health. In fact, an experience similar to an awe walk doesn’t even have to be a bike ride or a walk; experiencing your surroundings in a meaningful way can be done in any way that best suits you.

Joey balances his work for the American Studies major with his interests in Educational Studies, club soccer, ultimate frisbee, and club cross-country skiing at Carleton. He learned to juggle while growing up in Papillion, Nebraska, and has taught Carleton and middle school students how to juggle through his involvement with the Carleton Juggling F.I.S.H. and a CCCE/TORCH after-school program that teaches juggling and magic at the Northfield Middle School. When not writing satire for the Carleton Salt or dancing with the social dance club, you’ll find Joey playing foosball in Sayles, burrowing into the Libe, or watching Avatar: the Last Airbender in a dorm lounge. Meet the other bloggers!