10 Reasons to Commute to Work on Bike
Biking to work is more popular than ever before in North America, but in case you need a little extra motivation, here are 10 reasons to reach for your bike lock instead of the car keys as you leave for work in the morning.
Better substitute for coffee
There is nothing quite like a morning ride to blow out the cobwebs and get your mind and body going in the morning. It also gives you some precious time to let your mind wander between the hectic morning routine at your house, and the inevitable pile of messages waiting to be answered when you arrive at work.
Multitasking your daily exercise
Everyone knows that a little exercise every day has huge health benefits, but many of us struggle to find the time to get to the gym, or just lack the motivation to go after a long day at work. Commuting is what I like to call efficient exercise – sure it might take you a little longer than it would to drive (or maybe not, depending on how bad traffic is), but it provides an easy way to get some exercise in, without needing to work up the motivation and block out the time for a gym visit.
Boost your mood
I can’t count the number of times that I have woken up grouchy and grumpy, only to be all smiles at work after twenty minutes on the bike. Exercise releases endorphins, the natural ‘feel-good’ chemicals that our body produces, and morning is the best time to start them flowing.
Save on gas and parking
On the practical side of things, biking to work can save you a decent chunk of change, especially if you work downtown in a big city. If your work doesn’t offer free parking (and many companies are moving towards this as a means of encouraging other methods of transportation) parking fees can be hundreds of dollars a month, on top of $$$ for gas. That will buy you a new bike each year if you want, or give you a nice stash of beer money if that is more your preference.
Do your part to reduce congestion
Traffic in cities seems to get worse and worse every year, as growth rates outpace our ability to build new roads. We are also running out of space to put these roads in the densely populated urban cores. Alternative means of transportation are the best way of reducing congestion and improving air quality, and there is no better option than commuting to work on a bike.
Get back in touch with your surroundings
In a car, you get whisked along in an isolated, air conditioned bubble, largely cut off from the sights, sounds and smells around you. Biking puts you smack in the middle of all of it, and gives you a chance to connect with your environment – something experts say contributes to overall well-being and happiness.
Show off your new bod
You’ve been riding seriously for a few months now. The pounds falling off, and your body no longer fills the round hole in the sofa it once occupied every night. Maybe you want to show off a little bit – it’s only natural. There’s no better way to display the fruits of your labour than a long walk through the office in your bike gear. Sure you will get a few stares, but really – they are just jealous!
An excuse to buy another bicycle
Following the rule that the correct number of bicycles to own is one more than the number you already have, commuting to work gives you the perfect opportunity to add to your stable of rides. Perhaps a nice custom made steel frame, properly equipped with matching metal fenders, racks and and old-school leather saddle…
Prius owners can no longer brag about their MPG
55 miles per gallon is pretty good, but nothing compares to a bicycle in terms of energy-efficient transportation. It is a little tricky to compare since humans don’t run on premium unleaded, but studies that have compared the energy use per person per mile for bikes and other means of transport have always put bikes at the very top – anywhere from 10 to 100 times more efficient than even a fuel-efficient hybrid.
The opposite sex likes it
There is no denying it – green is in right now, and I’m not talking about the dark leafy shade of that new shirt you just bought. Environmentalism has taken off, particularly amongst the hip, young, educated people that dominate the social scene in most major cities in North America, and bike riding has goes hand in hand with it. Taking your bike straight from work to happy hour might not just help save the planet, but your love life too!