City Lifestyle

Want to start a publication?

Learn More

Featured Article

Fly High or Just Pedal Around

Cycling is Surprisingly Health Beneficial

Article by Kari Tumminia

Photography by Jayne Toohey and DVBC

Originally published in Media City Lifestyle

What if you knew there was a community within your community– one that could help you live longer, boost your mental health, expand your social circle, and help you explore Media and the beautiful surrounding areas in a whole new way?

Media is home to an amazing bicycling community, and whether you’re an experienced cyclist or want to try a new hobby, it would be the perfect way to adventure close to home!

Depending on your interests and your skill level, there are three ways to start or expand your biking hobby: Mountain biking, gravel riding, and road riding.

Mountain biking is off-road, more technical and an exciting way to connect with nature. Road riding, on the other hand, is done on paved roads, allowing you to ride for miles and miles. Gravel riding falls in the center, usually done on paved trails or woods trails that aren’t too challenging (minus the logs, rocks, streams, and other obstacles of mountain biking).

The good news? Living in Media means that you live in the perfect place to take your choice, or try all three.

Try these great, local locations:

Mountain biking– Valley Forge Park, Harmony Hill Trails, Brandywine Trails, or Indian Orchards, (a former Girl Scout Camp in Media)

Gravel Riding: Chester Creek Rail Trail, a 3 mile, 10ft wide, ADA-compliant paved bike trail, Chester Valley Trail, Valley Forge Park, or Linvill Trail, which connects to the Chester Creek Trails

If you’re interested in road riding, Ellen Evans, President of the Delaware Valley Bicycle Club (, recommends joining one of the many local bike clubs– a great way to explore road biking and benefit from safety in numbers.

Bike clubs, like the DVBC, are the perfect way for novice and experienced riders to benefit from the socialization, support, and connection offered by a club, while also benefiting from the physical, mental, and emotional impact of biking.

If you’re an experienced biker, you can enjoy one of the many meetups and bike tours offered by local clubs or become a leader for a growing community of less experienced riders.

New riders can participate in led rides, in which experienced riders lead groups of bikers on pre-mapped rides focused on secondary roads with less traffic. 

No matter your experience level, the biking community is warm, supportive, and welcoming of new members.

When talking about the family-like atmosphere of her local bike clubs, Evans describes supporting new members. “It’s so fulfilling to me to see someone else fall in love with cycling… to see someone get so much joy from something that you love. The socialization, exercise, and connection are like the best antidepressant out there!”

10 Surprising Benefits of Cycling 

Not sure about exploring the local cycling scene? Consider these ten surprising benefits of biking to motivate you to try a new adventure this spring.

  1. Prevents Illness: It’s no surprise that an activity like cycling boosts physical fitness, but did you know it’s been shown to increase immune function? It’s true! In fact, cycling regularly for only 30 minutes at a time has been shown to cut sick time in half. 

  2. Get Smarter: Not only does exercise increase grey matter, boost oxygen and blood flow to the brain, and make it easier for your brain to build connections to new neural connections, cycling specifically has been shown to improve executive function and focus. 

  3. Makes You Younger: A study of more than 2400 biological twins showed that those who cycled for 45 minutes just three times a week were, on average, 9 “biological years” younger than their counterparts.

  4. Improve Mental Health: Ellen Evans may not have been wrong when she referred to cycling as “the best antidepressant ever” – studies show that cycling is one of the most effective treatments for chronic stress and works as well as medication in many cases!

  5. Improve Heart Health: Studies from Purdue University in the US have shown regular cycling can cut your risk of heart disease by 50 percent. 

  6. Prevent Cancer: Regular exercise like cycling has been shown to decrease the risk of cancer by nearly 50% 

  7. Boost Creativity: Just 25 minutes of aerobic exercise like cycling increases creative thinking and breaks through creative blocks!

  8. Makes You Happier: Cycling has been shown to increase levels of  the “happy hormone” in post-workout brain scans

  9. Make More Friends: The amazing biking community and the growth of local bike clubs make cycling an amazing way to expand your social circle and make new friends. Studies have shown that good friends decrease the risk of early death by nearly 60%!

  10. Explore the Places Around You: Whether new or experienced, cycling is an amazing way to explore your local and not-so-local community!    

Whether you decide to join a local bike club or explore one of the many wooded or paved trails in the Delaware Valley, cycling can drastically improve your life and well-being… and the biking community is ready to welcome you with open arms!

Ellen Evans, President  is the president of Delaware Valley Bicycle Club Find out  more at

Designer turned writer, Kari Tumminia considers herself an all-around creative with a knack for making the complex clear. She is a full-time content specialist and writer for the Brave Thinking Institute and an author, most recently of No Bad Dates. Kari is proud to have built a 6-figure social media following and has been featured in Bustle, UpJourney, and received multiple editor's pick awards for her online content.

Cycling Prevents Illness: It’s no surprise that an activity like cycling boosts physical fitness, but did you know it’s been shown to increase immune function? It’s true! In fact, cycling regularly for only 30 minutes at a time has been shown to cut sick time in half.

  • Author: Kari Tumminia