Researchers recommend cyclists never take clear straightaways for granted.
A new study by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute has found that students who bike to their classes have roughly half the free time to wallow in self-hatred as compared to their peers who walk.
“Transition periods are when students are most vulnerable to coming to terms with how inadequate they really are,” said head researcher Dr. Zhen Ni. “No matter what, you’re captive to your own thoughts, stuck with nothing better to do—and we’ve found biking helps you cut down on all of that.”
“By decreasing the time spent commuting, biking—while not affecting the frequency or intensity of feelings of great despair—can reduce exposure to them,” said study co-author Sebastian Mikkelsen. “It’s because of this we recommend all students bike to classes.”
The study found that in practice, biking to class also provides some distractions from thinking about one’s utter worthlessness by having to be more attentive and responsive to crowds and riding conditions.
“Really, any moment I can get away from thinking about the burden of existence is worth having to figure out how I’m going to get around this really slow person or how I’m going to dart through a small opening in a crowd,” said cyclist Ryan Linquist. “Plus, when I actually get through, there’s always an additional high. It never lasts long, though.”
Additional research has found that riding mopeds or motorized scooters similarly reduces time wallowing in self-hatred, though these methods may add to its depth.