Do you waste valuable time stuck in traffic on your daily commute? If so, you might be dreaming of a better way to travel to and from work. For a bicycle owner, cycling to work is a viable option, at least it is if you live within a reasonable traveling distance.
In this article, we have some great reasons why you should consider cycling to work at least one day a week. We’ll also offer some useful advice in case you do decide to give it a go.
Good for Your Health
Cycling has lots of important health benefits. Because cycling is classed as a cardio workout, it works your heart and lungs. Regular cycling will reduce your risk of serious health issues such as cardiovascular disease, lung disease, and cancer. Fitter people have healthier immune systems and are less susceptible to respiratory illnesses such as colds and the flu. Cycling is also good for your mental health, as exercise helps to boost the level of endorphins in your brain. It could even help to counteract a stressful job!
Good for the Environment
It goes without saying that cycling as opposed to driving is much better for the environment. If you are concerned about your carbon emissions, take your bike to work rather than the car. Even if you drive part of the way and cycle the rest, it will make a difference.
Great for Fitness
Cycling is an excellent way to get fit. Unlike running, cycling is not a high impact sport and won’t wreck your joints long-term. Even heavier people can cycle and if you are unfit, cycling is a good way to work on your fitness levels. You could even start a fitness challenge with your work colleagues and compare your induvial progress using an app like Strava or with fitness trackers.
Pedal Power is Cheaper
It costs a significant amount to commute to work in a car each day. Fuel, insurance costs, maintenance, and taxes all add up over the course of a year, not to mention the expense of buying a vehicle in the first place. Using public transport can be just as costly, especially for longer journeys, whereas cycling costs you nothing beyond the initial expense of purchasing a bike and some suitable cycling apparel.
Cycling is Faster in Rush Hour
How often do you end up sitting in stationery traffic during rush hour, only to enviously watch a cyclist weave through the traffic and zip ahead?
You could be that lucky person if you swap your car for a bicycle!
Cycling in heavy traffic is much faster than sitting in a car or cab. It can also be quicker than catching the bus or a packed train. Naturally, this only applies in an urban environment, unless your morning commute is often inconvenienced with slow-moving farm vehicles or herds of sheep in the road.
You Can Enjoy the Scenery and Fresh Air
Driving can be stressful and concentrating on the road usually takes precedence over admiring the scenery. When you cycle to work, you can pick a more scenic route, such as through a local park, and take a beat to admire the scenery along the way. You can also enjoy a dose of fresh air and some much-needed vitamin D at the same time. Doesn’t that sound more appealing?
A Morning Bike Ride Leaves You Energized for the Day Ahead
Early morning gym-goers probably already know this, but the great thing about exercising before work is that it gives you a nice energy boost for the day ahead. Your heart rate will typically stay elevated for several hours after a workout, which helps prevent the mid-afternoon energy slump so prevalent in an office environment.
Cycling to Work is Great for Weight Loss
The last point worth mentioning is that cycling to work will help with weight loss. An elevated heart rate following exercise means you’ll burn extra calories. If you are trying to slim down, this is a good thing. Cycling also helps promote muscle building, being more muscular also burns extra calories. You could take advantage by scoffing an extra donut, or you could just enjoy a slimmer waistline.
Invest in the Right Gear
If you plan to cycle to work, you will need the right accessories. First comes the bike. A decent hybrid or road bike is recommended, but if you plan to do any off-road cycling, stick with a bike that has a more robust frame and high-grip tires.
For longer commutes or hilly terrain, an electric bicycle is a good choice but check local eBike laws and regulations first. This article from Velosurance has a good article on eBike laws and regulations, as well as other useful information on e-bikes.
As well as a bike, you’ll need protective clothing, a helmet, and a suitable bag or panniers for your laptop, files, etc.
Finally, don’t forget to check whether your workplace has a shower you can use, as well as a lock-up area to store your bike.