Why should you commute on your bike?
Have you given some thought to riding your bike more or even bike commuting to work or school?
Well, if you have already started taking steps towards getting on the bike more bravo to you!
If you haven’t started yet but are thinking about it here’s a list of reasons why you may want to get started go by bike.
#1- Did you know that 40% of trips from your house are under two miles?
- Two miles! Think about how many times you could have jumped on your bike for a quick ride instead of the car.
- Imagine how much gas money you would have saved over the course of a year!
#2 – In 2003 cars stalled in traffic wasted 5 billion gallons of fuel.
- 5 billion gallons of fuel! Stalled in traffic…that’s just crazy.
- If we all rode our bikes to work one day a week, imagine what a difference that would make.
#3 – Despite the fact that cyclists breathe two to three times more air than motorists, motorists breathe about 60% more carbon monoxide and significantly more pollutants than cyclists.
- While we’re sitting in traffic wasting gas in our cars we’re actually breathing in tons of pollutants and carbon monoxide.
- What is that doing to our bodies?
#4 – Did you know that you can park 14 bikes in the space you can park one car?
- Yep, that’s right 14 bikes for 1 car.
- Imagine what that would do for congestion in downtown city areas.
#5 – When you ride your bike to work or school you don’t have to pay for parking!
- How much money do you spend on parking in the city or at school campuses etc. each year?
- Take the bike and save some money!
#6 – Take your bike on the train?
- If you feel your commute by bike is too long to pedal you can always take your bike on the commuter rail to a point closer to work or school and ride from there.
- Be sure to check with your local train transportation service to see what their policies on bringing bikes on their trains are.
If you’re in Massachusetts look here for bike/train policies.
#7 – In general biking to school and works saves you money!
- By now we know that commuting by bike saves money but do you know how to figure out how much you can save?
- Are you ready to find out how much you can save by going by bike?
- We’ve got a basic money saving calculator here….
#8 – Commuting by bike is much more healthy and better for your body!
- Did you know that a 140 pound cyclist can burn 500 calories an hour pedaling at 14 MPH?
- Cycling has been shown to reduce overall stress and anxiety.
- Folks who ride have been shown to get more quality sleep and are better lovers!
#9 – Just 3 hours of cycling a week can reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke by as much as 50%.
- Now you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to realize there is nothing bad about this figure…
#10 – It’s more healthy for our kids too!
- Kids who participate in sports do better in school.
- Children who walk or ride their bikes to school have less chance to be overweight and have a much lower chance of getting Type 2 diabetes.
Kids who get more activity fall asleep faster at night…
- For every hour a child sits during the day, they need three minutes longer to fall asleep at night. Short sleep duration is associated with obesity and lower cognitive performance.
More sleep equals more downtime for parents too!
- So in a nutshell we should all consider commuting by bike more often, even if it’s a day or two a week.
We can all benefit from more saddle time and our wallets can too!
Bike Commuting Pointers And Excuse Busters
- If you’re still not sure if commuting by bike is for you or you’re coming up with excuses not to ride in here’s a list of good excuse busters.
- If you’ve made the decision to get on the bike and give it a shot but aren’t really sure where to start here’s a good list of bike commuting tips and tricks to get you rolling.
- So your feet get cold in the chilly weather? Check out these excuse busting winter biking boots.
- Keep your bike in good running order with a periodic tune up.
- Carry some cash on you for the occasional coffee stop or bite to eat or in worse cases..a cab ride home.
- Ride with a bag packed with a change of clothes, rain gear and essential tools.
- Buy a good bike lock and use it! You want to protect your bicycle from thieves.
- A comfortable and well fitting bike seat will make your ride more enjoyable!
Bike Commuting Safety Suggestions
- High visibility clothing should be a must
- Daytime running lights should be used to increase daytime & night time visibility
- Be sure to have an i.d. and an in case of emergency (ICE) contact info on you. This is in the event of a medical emergency, first responders etc. would be able to contact someone for you and alert them of the situation.
- If you’re riding on the road’s edge, wearing headphones while riding is not suggested. You cannot hear oncoming cars and overtaking riders. Good bike lights help here too to alert folks of your presence!
- While riding on heavily trafficked bike paths or city streets a quality bike bell is a good idea to let pedestrians and other riders you are in their vicinity.
- Always obey the rules of the road while riding. Yes, you are on a bike but many of the same rules that apply to motor vehicles apply to cyclists as well.
- To find your state’s rules of the road look here…http://bikeleague.org/StateBikeLaws
For more great info and to get involved join People For Bikes
Have fun and be safe!
I am the third generation manager of Dedham Bike located in Dedham, Ma.
For over 25 years I have been a master mechanic, marketing manager and general manager at Dedham.
I am an avid cyclist and skier and occasionally you will find me running or in the weight room.
My love for bicycles started in the the 1970’s with my first BMX race at a track my dad ran.
Since that time I have raced mountain bikes, road, BMX and cyclocross to many podium finishes including NORBA national victories and multiple series and state championship victories.
If it has two wheels or is a challenge, I’m into it.