When we see Mormon missionaries out and about, it is very common to see them riding bikes, but why do they choose to get around like this?
The LDS church was founded in the United States and it is particularly common in Utah. However, unlike most other missionaries that we see spreading their faith, Mormons tend to do so via bicycle.
Mormons ride bikes because they are more approachable when using this kind of transportation. In addition, Mormons ride bikes because it is more economical, as there is no need to pay for gas or maintenance - and they do not need to deal with insurance. Lastly, Mormons ride bikes because it is healthy.
Whether it is on a mountain bike or a road bike, Mormom missionaries are more commonly seen getting around this way than any other mode of transport. At the end of the day, bike riding is an awesome way to get from point A to point B and it is very common for everyday people to commute this way as it is. However, LDS Chruch missionaries are particularly known for going on their divine missions on their bikes, which is something that many people tend to find peculiar - given that there are so many other ways of doing this such as by driving a car. If you are like most people, you have probably seen Mormons bike through neighborhoods and you may have been too shy to ask why they ride around on bikes. To help you understand this further, we are going to take a closer look at why Mormons ride bikes.
After extensively researching Mormonism, I have been able to gather enough information to determine why their missionaries ride bikes. My research has taught me that Mormons primarily ride bikes because it is a more practical way to spread their faith.
What Do Mormons Do on Bikes?
When Mormons get on their bikes to go ride around, they are doing a bit more than just getting exercise - they are aiming to meet people to convert them to their religion. Mormon missionary bike rides have become synonymous with the religion and it is pretty much an obligation that each member in their early years spreads the message of the Church of the Ladder Day Saints.
As Mormons ride around, they try to find normal people to converse with because anyone that they can interact with is are a potential convert. This is part of the daily lives of missionaries and if you are able to have a chat with one of them, you will find that they are generally nice people - even if you don’t want to become a member of Mormonism.
Do All Mormons Ride Bikes?
Although we most often see Mormons ride bikes, Church leaders do not bind them to this mode of transport exclusively. Mormon missionaries get around using various transport options but they generally aim to do so in a way that they can be best seen. Here are some other ways that Mormon missionaries travel:
- Public Transport
Next to bike riding, Mormons also like to walk quite often. They enjoy doing this, as it is very easy for them to make contact with people on the street. In addition, sometimes Mormon missionaries need to travel long distances to get to where they are going, which can be quite a burden to always do so by bike. That is why Mormons also utilize public transport whenever necessary, as this saves them time and energy.
With that being said, although the public image of Mormons is generally people in suits riding around on bikes, these are just the missionaries that are doing their service for the LDS Church. There are a lot of members in Mormonism that simply live their everyday lives and need to go to school and work like everyone else. These are the Mormons that do not ride bikes unless they prefer to.
The majority of the Mormons that are not on a divine mission to find new members are likely getting around with a car. Many Mormons have families and need to rely on the same mode of transport as normal people.
Why Mormons Ride Bikes
Given that the Mormons that we generally see riding bikes are missionaries, it is easy to assume that most of them are out riding to find new members for the LDS Church. The Church encourages this type of transport method for a variety of different reasons and in most cases they even require it.
Missionaries are obligated to go through the process of converting people to their religion, as this is how the LDS Church is able to thrive and survive. Bike riding is often credited to being one of the key strategies that The Ladder Day Saints Church relies upon to spread its faith to so many people.
Since the Ladder Day Saints Church has been founded, it has gained so much momentum across the entire globe - with bike riding being a key reason for this. Let’s dive into exactly why Mormons ride bikes.
The bottom line is that a Mormon on a bike is much more approachable than a Mormon in a car. Bike riding offers missionaries the ability to take things at a much more gradual pace as they go around and try to find new members for their Church.
As you see them ride by, they will likely smile and greet you. More often than not, they will even stop to talk to you to have a nice conversational exchange. Naturally, they will try to tell you about their religion and suggest that you should join it. If you are interested in joining, they will give you all of the information that you need and they will do their best to welcome you into their Mormon community.
This level of approachability is a lot harder to follow through with when you are in a car. When you drive a car, you tend to go past so many things either without noticing them or without the ability to stop wherever you please. If Mormon missionaries were to take this approach, they would miss out on a lot of potential people to convert. They will also have less access to reaching more people - especially in crowds. When Mormons ride past a herd of people, they are given the ability to speak to many passersby all at once.
In addition, bike riding gives missionaries the opportunity to hop off of their bike and change their mode of transport to walking very easily. Most public transport services such as buses and trains also allow bikes to be stored onboard, which means that they can utilize multiple modes of transport to get around.
If you primarily get around via bicycle, then you will find that your personal transport costs are far lower than if you chose to drive a car. The costs alone with buying a car are going to be in the thousands, which means that you need to have a considerable amount of money to get a car as a missionary - which they probably don’t have.
Once you have a car, you still need to fill it up with gas on a regular basis. So, your costs are going to be constant as a missionary - especially with gas prices constantly rising. Lastly, cars can be quite expensive to maintain. There are so many mechanical parts that you need to keep in good working order for a car to function long-term. Ultimately, all of these costs add up, which can make spreading the faith of the LDS Church rather pricey.
By choosing to ride a bike, Mormon missionaries can dramatically cut their costs. Bikes are affordable and you can buy a decent one for just several hundred dollars. They do not need gas to operate. And maintaining them is very cheap compared to a car - with most common repairs being easy enough to do without a professional.
Another huge perk of riding a bike is that you do not need to have insurance. Mormon missionaries have a much simpler way of getting around on a bike as it is so much less complicated. At the end of the day, to ride a bike all you need is a helmet, a bike, and you are good to go.
If you want to do the same kind of work with a car, having insurance is not only advisable - it is legally required. This means that missionaries do not have the option to skip this hurdle if they were to drive around with a car.
We also need to keep in mind that when most missionaries go out to convert people, they are generally of a younger age. Insurance costs are considerably higher if you are under the age of 25 and even more so if you are male. This means that insurance also ties into economic benefits, as the costs to operate a vehicle with insurance are going to be steep.
In addition, even though you have insurance - it does not mean that you are always 100% covered if you were to get into an accident. If missionaries were to go out to convert members using a car and they got into an accident in the process that resulted in serious damages, they could potentially be facing very expensive legal fees and perhaps even punishment.
Aside from the logistical reasons why Mormon missionaries ride bikes, we also need to take into account that this is a very healthy way of getting around.
When we see Mormon missionaries riding bikes, they are pretty much always in decent shape. Lifestyle choices have got something to with that but bike riding also ensures that missionaries stay healthy.
About THE AUTHOR
Mountain biking is more than just a hobby for me - it's a way of life. I love the challenge and excitement that comes with it, and I'm always pushing myself to go faster and ride harder. Some people might think that mountain biking is dangerous, but I see it as the only way to live.Read More About Danny Lawson