I am an avid cyclist and have been since I first learned to ride bike at the age of five. I happen to think that the bicycle is one of the greatest inventions ever. So there it is, I’m definitely biased. But that doesn’t mean that commuting to work isn’t a good idea.
Save money, reduce your carbon footprint and stay fit. How can you beat that?
Reason 1: Bike Commuting Saves Money
I started commuting by bike during college when I was faced with a difficult choice. I had enough money to do 2 out of 3 of the following: pay rent, pay for my car, or pay for school. I just didn’t make enough money at the time to do all three. I had a dump of an apartment a block from the beach which allowed me to surf every day. I worked real hard to get into college, so I figured I should keep going. And I loved my 1969 Volkswagen Bug. But something had to go and I owned a bike, so the Bug it was. I saved thousands of dollars, kept surfing and dropped out of college anyhow. But with all the money I saved a I traveled in Europe for three months.
If you consider the cost of your car, maintenance, gas, insurance and the amount spent on parking, you could save thousands if you got rid of your car and rode your bike. But even if you aren’t prepared to go car-less, imagine how much you could save simply not driving your car every day to work. Think of your car as a bad habit like smoking. Put all that extra cash towards some big reward for yourself.
Reason 2: Bike for Health
Your health. Pure and simple, bike riding is one of the healthiest activities you could do. Cycling increases your cardiovascular capacity and increases strength and flexibility. And like any physical activity, it increase oxygen to the brain and helps reduce stress. It also gets you outside and involved in your environment in a way that sitting in a car does not. It’s also easy on the joints making it possible for just about everyone to do.
Reason 3: Commute by Bike for the Environment
It’s good for the environment. If you’re riding your bike you’re not using gasoline, you’re not producing greenhouse gasses. Simple. But also add to that the landfill waste of tires and toxic chemicals such as radiator fluid and motor oil. Even a hybrid vehicle will emit, over the course of a year, on average, nearly 18 tons of CO2. Even if you only commuted to the store and work during the warm months of the year, you could cut your car’s carbon footprint by half.