COVID-19 ushered in an age of disruption that altered how people socialize, shop, eat, and even exercise. Among these disrupted categories, the exercise industry experienced significant change during the pandemic because exercising varies so much from person to person. With the pandemic in full force, going to the gym was no longer an option, and seeing the people who kept you accountable at the gym was certainly no longer an option. Exercising during the pandemic was usually a solo experience, thus opening the door for the biking industry to come back to life. I, along with millions of others, rediscovered biking during the pandemic and have successfully incorporated it into my daily routine. 

Although my interest in biking rose significantly during lockdown, biking truly didn’t become part of my daily life until I moved to Indianapolis in the spring of 2021. Once in the city, I discovered the extensive biking and walking trails Indy has to offer. The Monon trail quickly became my favorite trail, with over 25 miles of roadway from Indianapolis all the way up to Sheridan. I’ve never gone the full twenty-five miles since it would be over 50 miles round trip! 

I’ve incorporated cycling into my daily routine by planning a ride each day after work and setting mileage goals for each time I ride. Mondays are typically more leisurely days where I’ll ride about five to eight miles in the evening to decompress from the first day of the work week. Tuesday through Thursday are days with longer rides which average around ten miles. Friday through Sunday are usually my rest days where I won’t ride at all, or I’ll choose an alternative form of exercise. 

For me, cycling is a physical and mental activity. The physical challenge of cycling is rather apparent, but the mental component is the act of pushing myself to go as fast as I can toward the end of my ride. Sometimes, the best bike rides are the ones that aren’t planned at all. When the days are full of meetings—and the workload piles up—taking a few minutes from my lunchtime and allocating it to a bike ride is a great way to get in the right headspace to finish out the day. Ultimately, cycling has become a time of great reflection and a constant reminder of what I have to look forward to at the end of each workday. I highly recommend it to anyone looking to mix up their wellness routine!