Bike Commuting: Getting Started
So you’re going to start biking to work. Good choice. Since you’ve already decided to start bike commuting, you probably know about at least some of the benefits. For those who are still thinking about biking to work here are some of the big advantages.
1. Spend less (or nothing) on gas.
2. Less traffic.
Though cyclists are required to follow the same traffic laws as motorists, bikes are also far more maneuverable and have access to bike lanes, sidewalks or both. (Just remember to ride safely, which is something I’ll say more about later.)
3. No more diets or expensive gym memberships.
Nearly all of my coworkers are on some sort of diet but I spend the day eating as much as I want because I know that the energy from the extra food will just go to my ride. If I need to clear my head during lunch break, get outside or just move about, having my bike handy is also great for a fifteen minute ride.
My route also sends me past a gym and somehow that smug feeling of getting fit without monthly membership fees just never goes away.
4. Being outside.
My ride is 35 minutes each way, so I’m getting over an hour of cardio a day. Riding outside makes the cardio more interesting and being in the sun leads to better days. Even in lousy weather, just being outside in the open air is something of a pick-me-up.
5. No worrying about parking.
Last week my co-workers were planning on going out for soft pretzels but they ultimately had to abandon the idea because they couldn’t find any parking near the pretzel place. Unlike cars, bikes take up little space and you can lock up and walk away without searching for a spot.
6. Tax Break
This is a pretty new perk that has been in legislation for years. As a result of The Bicycle Commuter Act, you can now get a tax break for biking to work. Basically, your company can reimburse you $20 a month for riding rather than driving. (The League of American Bicyclists has also translated translated the act from legalese into normal people speech and you can read details on it here.)
There are some pretty awesome perks to bike commuting, which is obviously why you chose to make the switch. To help you follow through, in the next couple weeks I’ll be posting on how to go about bike commuting and getting the most out of your ride, so stay tuned.
Any other benefits I missed? Feel free to post below.
Photo Credit: CBK