Over the past decade, the number of people biking to work has increased by 60%. More cities across America are embracing bike-friendly policies and programs, making it safer for people to integrate cycling into their modes of transportation. Biking to work can be tremendously beneficial, not only for your health, but also for the environment. Here are seven reasons why you might want to consider biking to work.
Ever since I learned how to ride my red, white and blue bike (complete with a banana seat and handlebar streamers) at the age of five, I’ve loved riding. In my teens I competed in BMX racing and spent all of my lawn mowing money on bike parts and race entry fees. During college I rode my bike all over campus and was a bike courier in Washington, DC, for a summer. And in my early professional life I worked for the bicycle industry on a congressional campaign to have transportation funding dedicated to building bike trails and bike lanes. One of my favorite things about that job was that we had a bike storage room and a locker room with a shower in the building, so all employees could ride to work.
Riding to work is a great way to start the day and an even better way to wind down after a day of e-mails, phone calls and meetings. If you’ve ever felt frustrated sitting in traffic, tired of the mundane commute or had a hard time fitting exercise into your schedule, then commuting by bike might be a great idea for you. Here are seven reasons why biking to work is something to consider:
1. You have free access to commute planning.
The League of American Bicyclists, founded in the late 1800’s before cars were ubiquitous, and the S. Department of Transportation provide an extensive amount of information about bicycling and commute planning.
2. Save money.
Instead of sitting in a car, spending your money on gas, you can put that cash in the bank because you won’t be using it when you ride your bike to work.
3. Maximize your time.
You want to exercise, but find it difficult to squeeze a trip to the gym into your regular schedule. If you ride your bike to work you will be feeding two birds with one seed because you just turned your commute time into a workout.
4. Protect the environment.
It has been suggested that air pollution from car exhaust is one of the possible causes of climate change. If you ride your bike to work you will feel better knowing that you are doing your part to tread lightly on Mother Earth.
5. Improve your mental health.
Sitting in traffic can be one of the most stressful parts of the day. Accumulated stress can be harmful to your health and may be a cause of weight gain. You’re not going to be stuck in traffic on your bicycle, and exercise can also relieve stress, so your commute should be much more peaceful.
6. See the sights.
For most of us, the only time we visit local landmarks is when family members are in town. Biking to work gives you a whole different perspective on the city in which you live, work and play.