As winter approaches, it’s time to remember all the amazing benefits one gets from commuting by bicycle – so many that I laugh in the face of winter! Commuting by bike is one of the best gifts you can give yourself.
Ten Best Reasons to Commute by Bike
- To lose weight and build lean muscle. Ok, so we all know that regular exercise will help us to build lean muscle and lose fat. But how hard is it to get to the gym every day? How about twice a day, every day? Pretty much impossible … but if you commute by bike, you automatically get two workouts per day. If you weigh 150 pounds, and you spend 1.5 hours a day cycling, you should burn an extra 600 calories per day … which is 156,000 calories per year, which should equal losing 45 pounds – without eating less! (Figure out how many calories you could burn here.) And here’s a post on my wife’s very successful weight loss with cycling.
- To get healthier. Exercise is really, really good for both physical and mental health. It protects against the major causes of death, including cardiovascular disease, obesity, and high blood pressure. Exercise also may be more effective than drugs for fighting depression.
- To save the planet for our kids and grandkids. Say you commute five miles a day, and you switch from a car to a bike for just one month: you will have saved the earth from an astonishing pound of hydrocarbons, six pounds of carbon monoxide, and half a pound of nitrogen oxides. And if you commute even further – well, you do the math.
- To be a good role model for kids. In 1969, 48% of kids in North America cycled or walked to school; by last year, that was down to an all-time low of 13%. At the same time, obesity and diabetes among kids has soared … there’s just got to be a connection. So get on a bike, and save the children.
- To put yourself in a good mood in the morning. No matter how bad I feel when I drag myself out of bed on Monday morning, by the time I’ve been on my bike for 20 minutes I’m singing from the sheer joy of living. It’s the endorphin rush that does it every time – so by the time I get to work I’m in an upbeat mood that usually lasts for a good few hours.
“[Commuting by bicycle is] an absolutely essential part of my day. It’s mind-clearing, invigorating.” James L. Jones, former US Supreme Allied Commander Europe, now Barack Obama’s national security advisor.
No.6 – To get a chance to think. I have some of my best thoughts while I’m biking; I suspect it has to do with all the blood circulation.
No. 7 – To not sit in traffic jams. There are few better feelings than cycling rapidly home on my bike in the bike lane, zipping past gridlocked cars. I look at all those unhappy people, and I can’t help thinking, “Losers!” Why spend hundreds of dollars a month on a car that enables you to travel at 5 kph, while getting frustrated and fat – and while watching this Average Joe Cyclist just zipping past you like you’re standing still?
No. 8 – Because you don’t have to look for parking – or pay for it.
No. 9 – To save the planet by not adding your own bit of pollution every day.
No. 10 – To get compliments and admiration. I admit it; I love it when women at work tell me that they think I’m very brave to bike to work. It’s not true, but I love it anyway. And I love it when my wife tells me I look great – and I know it’s due to the weight I’ve lost by cycling.
Albert Einstein, speaking about the theory of relativity, said: “I thought of that while riding my bike.”
To conclude, I just have to quote the bicycle salesman in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969):
“Meet the future; the future mode of transportation for this weary Western world. Now I’m not gonna make a lot of extravagant claims for this little machine. Sure, it’ll change your whole life for the better, but that’s all.”
I’m sure there are more good reasons for commuting by bike – let me know what yours are!
My appreciation to carlton reid of quickrelease.tv for these quotes. Lots of other good bike quotes there.
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