On a warming planet with a growing population it’s now more important than ever to consider other means of transportation besides driving. In my opinion, Cycling is the best way to travel to work. Besides the reduction in carbon footprint cycling to work can make you live longer.
Cycling to Work
It’s the first clear morning in March. The air outside is frigid but the roads are clear. It’s so cold that even the dog doesn’t procrastinate doing his business. I put on my thermals, mismatch blue muscle shirt and camouflage shorts. I dawn my shoes and pack my bag with work clothes.
I head out on my 21 speed into the frost. The air is cold in my face. Despite the initial shock my body begins to adapt. I pick up speed. Pretty soon I stop feeling cold all together. I even start to sweat. I love it.
I’ve been cycling to work for over five years. Through sunshine, rain, brutal cold and scorching heat. I find it’s the best way to travel. I just can’t get enough of it. I miss it when I can’t ride during the snowy months.
Why I Cycle?
I do it for many reasons. I started cycling to save on gas and to get exercise. On the days that I cycle I get over an hour of cardio. It also gives me time to think, listen to an audio book and clear my mind before work. It starts the day on a good foot so to speak.
Despite my affinity for this activity I do acknowledge that there are some negative attributes of this mode of transportation, The inconveniences and risks can deter many people from commuting via bike. This is probably why so many bikes spend most of their time in the garage.
Unfortunately like many cities in the US, mine has very limited infrastructure for cyclists. This means it can be dangerous. I have my routes which I’ve found to be safest.
I always feel a little anxious when cars zoom by. The excitement is another reason why I ride. I’ve had my fair share of spills and scars. You learn from your mistakes though. You also learn that despite risk there’s reward.
Why You Should Cycle?
In a study from the EHP which compared the risks of cycling, specifically air pollution inhalation and accidents, verses the risks of driving it found that cycling increased a person’s life-span by 3-14 months over driving. The study showed how the overall health benefits of routine cycling were worth the possible risks.
Cycling to work regularly means meeting your weekly cardio goals. It might mean less time at the gym. It definitely means a stronger healthier you. Oh yeah and maybe some killer calves if that’s your thing.
A World of Cyclists.
I’m a huge advocate for commuting via cycling. If a larger percentage of people picked up a bike each day we could improve traffic, air quality and the overall health of many people. Cities would be forced to improve their infrastructure making the roads safer for all.
So here is my challenge to you. Go out to your garage, dust off that bike and take it for a spin. You might need to take it to the bike shop for a tune up first. Build up your leg muscles and confidence. Maybe then on a Monday morning you’ll pocket your keys and take a new way to work,
“Do the Health Benefits of Cycling Outweigh the Risks?” National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/doi/full/10.1289/ehp.0901747 .