Bicycling is big—and getting bigger. People aren’t just opting to ride their bikes for fitness or leisure. They’re using them to commute, too, as illustrated by stats from League of American Bicyclists that show a 95 percent average increase in bicycle commuting since 2005.
If you’ve thought about biking to work but haven’t yet taken the plunge—err, seat—these reasons might just change your mind. Of course, it all depends on where you live and if your route to work is bike-friendly. If it is, you might just want to give bicycling a try.
Why You Should Bike to Work
Less expensive. Commuting on a bicycle is infinitely less expensive than driving. Not only do you not have to worry about gas—bicycle maintenance is also exponentially cheaper than auto upkeep. Consider this fascinating stat from the Sierra Club as reported by Business Insider: “If American drivers were to make just one four-mile round trip each week with a bicycle instead of a car, they would save nearly 2 billion gallons of gas. At $4 per gallon, total savings would be $7.3 billion a year.”
Health benefits. Not only is bicycling much cheaper than driving, it will keep you healthier and more active. Cycling is an effective way to lose weight and improve your physical conditioning, which means not only will you be in better shape—you’ll have more energy to tackle the day, too.
Safety in numbers. There’s no denying that Americans live in a car-centric culture. Yet more and more cities are creating features like bike-friendly lanes and bike paths to encourage cyclists. Plus, research shows that the more bicycles on the road, the safer cyclists are because drivers are more likely to pay attention and learn to more effectively (and more safely) share the road with bicyclists.
Breathe easy. Here’s a surprising fact: You actually inhale more exhaust when you’re in a car than when you’re on a bike. When you’re seated in a car, you’re perfectly positioned to inhale emissions from the cars in front of you. When you’re on a bike, however, you’re perched slightly above these pollution sources, which helps protect your lungs.
You’re ready to get on a bike, aren’t you? If you’re interested in commuting by bike but don’t have one, consider borrowing one from a friend or family member to decide if it’s something you enjoy. Or check to see if your city has a bike-sharing program available so that you can take a bike for a low-cost test drive.
Do you bike to work? If so, what convinced you to swap four wheels for two?
Image by owenfinn16 via Creative Commons