Do you remember how you felt riding a bike for the very first time? The feeling of the wind rushing past your face and body– your legs pumping you as fast as you can go. Didn’t you feel FREE– just completely free of all of the cares in the world? At least that’s what I remember feeling as a small kid riding my bike. And you know something? It feels the same way for me today. Biking is freeing. I have been teaching M to ride his bike and I see the same expression on his face when he rides. He is free. There is no reason why kids should be having all the fun. Here are 8 reasons why you should bike to work.
One of the most obvious reasons that you should bike to work is that it will save you money on gas and possibly on parking. With gas prices around $3 per gallon as the national average, we could all benefit from biking to work. Since we have been working hard to pay off $650k of student loan debt, we’ll do anything to save a few bucks. This calculator tells me I’m saving about $6 a day biking to work. That’s about $1500 per year, which for us, is enough money for a beach vacation!
If you work in a bigger city, simply parking your car down town can cost an arm and a leg if its not paid for or subsidized by your employer. But even if it is, still, you should bike to work. Some employers offer benefits (like cash) when you give up your parking space.
One thing that holds people back from biking to work is the cost of purchasing a bike. But what if I told you that you don’t actually have to own a bike to bike to work? Many bigger cities actually offer FREE or inexpensive bike share programs where you can take a bike for the day and return in the evening.
In addition to saving money, you should bike to work because it saves you calories! Biking burns a surprising amount of calories. For example, today, on my way to work I burned 200 calories. On my way home, I’ll burn 200 more. That’s 400 calories a day that I wouldn’t have burned otherwise!
BIKING MAKES YOU HAPPY.
The most important reason you should bike to work is because biking is fun. Biking makes you happy. It puts you in a good mood (from those exercise endorphins) that sets you up to be unstoppable during the day. You’ll also reap the happy benefit of avoiding traffic aka having road rage and you won’t have to stress about parking.
BIKING GETS YOU TO WORK EARLY
If you live in a bigger city (or anywhere with lots of traffic) you will likely want to leave your house earlier than normal so that you can beat rush hour traffic. This means that you will arrive earlier to work. And that means that you will probably get more done during the day and or that you will be able to leave earlier (and get home earlier) to beat traffic on your way back.
BIKING MAKES YOU MORE PRODUCTIVE AT WORK
In addition, you should bike to work so that you’ll be more productive. According to HR Magazine, employees who bike to work are more likely to perform more efficiently at work than their non biking counterparts. Being more productive at work can only mean good things for you– pay increases, increased responsibilities, and general job satisfaction. Being productive feels good.
YOU WILL BE LESS LIKELY TO GO SPEND MONEY AT LUNCH TIME
When you bike to work, you are much less likely to go spend money at lunch time or on other breaks. This is true for the simple fact that you’d have to bike there. Its much less feasible to go to a store and come out with several bags that you’ll have to lug around on your bicycle. So bike to work– you’ll spend less money. You are probably also less likely to go out to eat for lunch and eat a big heavy meal, knowing full well that you’ll have to bike home with a full belly.
YOU’LL BE HEALTHIER AND LIVE LONGER.
I’m sure you’ve NEVER heard this before, 😉 but exercise is good for you. In one recent study bike commuters had a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, or death from any cause during the five-year study period compared to those who took a car or public transportation to work. One Harvard researcher found this study to be important since it negates a common push back regarding biking to work– that it might be more dangerous than driving a car or taking public transit.
BIKING IS BETTER FOR THE ENVIRONMENT
In addition to reaping all of the personal benefits as to why you should bike to work, biking is better for the environment.
Biking to work will make you happier, healthier, and wealthier. While it is certainly not feasible for everyone, if you live close enough to bike to work, you should definitely give it a try.
Do you bike to work? What are the biggest pros and cons for you?