In today’s world of massive traffic jams, there’s an alternative that you might find quite appealing, biking to work. If you have ever been stuck in morning or afternoon traffic, you’ve probably thought, I could walk faster than this. That’s probably true. What is definitely true is that often you can bike faster than you can drive when the traffic gets congested. It does take a little more planning and effort, but it could be just what you need to ward off road rage and get great exercise in the process.
It takes planning to ride to work.
If you’re out of shape, it’s time to get into shape before you try to ride to work. Start a month or two ahead of time and ride every night, building it up until you can ride for an hour without the need to stop and rest. In the meantime, start plotting your course toward work. If you have a short ride, it makes it easier but for those with a longer ride it may take some planning and making certain adjustments in the riding arrangements.
Time to use the regional transit and your bike.
No matter how long the ride, you can still get some time in pedaling to work, you just have to be a bit smarter about it. All RT buses have bike racks and if your home and work are reasonably close to a bus line, you can mix riding the bus with pedaling, getting on at a later stop or off the bus earlier each time. You can combine biking with the light rail. They allow bikers to bring their bike on the train. You can even rent a bike locker and just ride to and from the train if you’re at quite a distance.
You don’t have to ride every day.
Whether you ride your bike to work just one day a week or do it every day, you’ll be improving your overall health and helping the environment in the process. If everyone rode their bikes to work just one day a week, those horrible traffic jams that take hours to get from one exit to another would be considerably reduced. For those brave enough to do it, switching out your bike for your car completely can reduce your annual cost. The average cost of owning an automobile is about $9,000 a year and increasing. Owning a bike averages a little over $300 a year. That’s a considerable savings, too.
- Biking can help build stronger bones, which is particularly important for pre and post menopausal women.
- Biking on a regular basis can reduce the number of sick days and keep you healthier. If you’re taking the bus on a regular basis, be aware the air’s not so fresh in there. Not only are bus riders more prone to respiratory infections, those who drive are exposed to a number of illness causing viruses in their car.
- The government actually allows up to $20 a month tax free reimbursement when you ride your bike to work. Of course the expenses have to be bike related.
- You’ll save time and burn off the stress hormones accumulated at work. You’ll also boost your cognitive thinking, so even mental functions will be easier.