Have you ever thought about riding your bike to work instead of driving? While this probably won’t be practical if you live in the suburbs and work downtown in the city, but if the distance is 10 miles or less and there are dedicated bike lanes or wide sidewalks it might be something that you should consider. There are also several advantages that come with biking instead of driving to work that will benefit you and the environment. Here are some of the reasons I decided to park my car and drag my bike out of the back of my garage.
Good source of exercise
Biking is a great way to get in your daily exercise, even if your route is completely flat. It will tone and firm thigh and calf muscles, and burn excess calories. Biking will also provide you with a full cardio workout, and this is always beneficial for your health. Riding a bike is also easy on your joints, unlike running or even speed walking.
Beneficial to the environment
If you’ve ever visited Mackinac Island in Michigan then you’ve seen how pristine the environment is, and noticed how fresh and clean the air is. Cars are not allowed on the island, instead everyone rides a bike to get around. Studies have conclusively shown that smog and other types of air pollution are mainly caused by vehicle emissions, and this is detrimental to the environment and your overall health. If you simply park your vehicle and start biking to work you can feel good that you are doing your part to leave a small carbon footprint on the environment.
One of the main reasons I started biking to work, weather permitting, was that it is definitely easier on my wallet. Between gas and regular maintenance, driving was becoming an expensive luxury. That isn’t even taking into account toll and parking fees. Biking is basically free, even when you need to put air in your tires. Bike paths don’t come with toll booths, and there isn’t a fee to chain your bike to a rack. Even with gas prices dropping a gallon of gas is still well over a dollar in the States, and this quickly adds up. Maintenance on a bicycle is also significantly less expensive.
Fun and less stressful
Riding a bike to work is fun, at least for me. I love feeling the wind in my face and I never have to worry about getting stuck in a traffic jam. This alone has significantly lowered my stress level, and I’m surprisingly more productive at work now that I always feel relaxed. Even though it is relatively flat where I live I still get to “fly” down some of the streets, and this makes me feel like a kid all over again. Trust me when I say once you’ve tried biking to work, you won’t ever want to be stuck in an enclosed vehicle again.