If you’re not a regular cyclist, then even the thought of riding your bike to work can seem daunting. However, it’s something that will improve your day – and general life – no end! Here’s why you should cycle to work:
It’s always a good idea to first tempt people with money. Transport isn’t cheap – be it public or by private car. Travel cards and fuel always sound cheap until you calculate how long you have to work at the start of the week to pay for them. You might think that your car is fuel efficient, but that all goes up in smoke once you’ve sat in the daily traffic queues. Likewise, just like your age, the cost of travel cards goes up every year.
Bikes, on the other hand, don’t go up in cost. The majority of their cost is at the outset when you buy them. Buy a good second-hand bike, and the savings are even greater. Then, all you need is a simple service twice a year, and your ride to work is sorted!
SAVE THE PLANET!
SAVE THE PLANET! Do we need to explain why riding a bike is environmentally friendly? No, not really. It just is. Bicycles don’t burn fossil fuels; they take up very little space on the road which means more people can travel more efficiently; a bike’s carbon footprint is tiny compared to a car; road surfaces last longer with only bikes using them.
We might not always associate bicycles with speed, but in towns and cities, they have some distinct advantages over cars sitting in the queues. Bicycles don’t get caught up in long lines of traffic and so can easily keep moving along at an average of 12mph. Given that cars only average 5mph in cities like New York and London, you can see where this is going.
Before we go any further, you need to know that riding a bike is likely to be much safer than the newspapers would have you believe. However, if you’re going to commute on a bike for the first time, make sure you’re competent and confident enough to tackle urban traffic – take one of the courses designed to make you more confident, or simply practice before you start.
When you do start, the first few days will be a little tiring; that’s perfectly natural when you start any new physical activity. However, after the first week, you will start to feel great! You will lose weight without even trying, and you’ll feel more awake and vibrant –the endorphins from your morning ride will give you a natural high all day. If nothing more, the exposure to the sun will give you a bit more colour and increase your levels of vitamin D. There is nothing better than feeling good about yourself.
SO, WHY COMMUTE?
There are of course some complexities to commuting by bike…you’ll need to shower at work rather than at home, and you’ll need to be sure you’re happy fixing punctures and performing basic bike maintenance. But the upsides are so numerous and so positive that they outweigh the negatives by miles.
Go on, try it, surprise yourself by feeling better, saving money and the environment, and getting around a little bit more quickly than expected.