Benefits of Cycling to Work

So you’re thinking about commuting to work. Good for you! To encourage you onward or to help those sitting on the fence to dive in, here are some great reasons why cycling to work is beneficial.

Save money

Commuting will keep some of your hard earn money in your pocket. For example, if public transportation is your means of getting to work, some estimate that you can save about £579 ($750) a year by biking. If you drive then the savings go up significantly. Or course, if you don’t have a bike or you need to upgrade to something better suited for commuting, you’ll be shelling out some cash; more on this in a bit.

Additionally, commuting by bike can save money in these areas:

  • No parking fees
  • Tickets (unless you’re a speed demon on 2 wheels)
  • Car maintenance (costs will decrease with less use)
  • You’ll spend less on gas

Stay fit

Okay, so this is a bit Captain Obvious, but cycling to work, even at an easy pace, will get you in shape. If you’re wanting to get serious about cycling or you’re already an avid cyclist, commuting is a great way to get base miles. From there you can springboard into working on speed or climbing or sprinting. This, in turn, will improve your fitness.

Commuting will also help you lower your weight. On average, you’ll burn 300-600 calories an hour cycling at a moderate pace. This, of course, will vary from person-to-person based upon:

  • One’s weight
  • Distance
  • Effort

An additional benefit of commuting is that it will make you feel great! Exercise releases endorphins that lower your perception of pain and make you feel good! Studies have shown that regular exercise – like commuting to work – can help:

  • Improve self-esteem
  • Counter depression and anxiety
  • Reduce stress
  • Improve sleep

Fight pollution

On average, a car produces 1.3 billion cubic yards of pollution in its lifespan. Aside from emissions, this includes:

  • Petrol/diesel consumption
  • Oil disposal
  • Tire disposal

A bike doesn’t need any fossil fuels or oil, and aside from changing tires from time-to-time, there is no pollution emitted from a bike. In addition, it takes less energy to manufacture a bike than it does a car.

Beat traffic

If you’re like me, I detest traffic jams, especially when I need to get to work on time. Commuting by bike not only eliminates such delays but helps lessen the congestion since you’re not contributing to the madness. And since cycling is good for you physically and psychologically, you will avoid driver stress (like road rage) as you take in the floral and fauna on your ride. Additionally, you can daydream on that work project better while biking than if you were fighting traffic. You’ll arrive to work recharged, invigorated, and ready to take on the world.

Anyone can do it!

Even if you’re new to cycling or haven’t ridden in some time, anyone can become adept with the skills and endurance needed to bike to work. Many cities around the globe offer bike paths and trails making the commute safer and more enjoyable.

Although any type of bike will work for commuting, many prefer the hybrid for its upright riding position, gearing options, and a flat handlebar. And you don’t have to spend a fortune, either. There are good hybrids around £400 that will do the job. For inclement weather, you’ll want a bike that has (or allows you to add) fenders. A rear rack is handy for strapping down briefcases or adding panniers so consider one with a rack or that has eyelets for adding one. Many commuters bypass the rack and opt for a backpack. Check out our backpack reviews for help in selecting the one that’s perfect for your commute.

Get rolling

I hope this inspires you to take the plunge into commuting to work on your bike. You’ll not only make the world a cleaner, better place but you’ll be smiling more yourself.

References:
The League of American Bicyclists 
Bike Commuter Hero
WebMD: Exercise & Depression
Bicycle Use Helps Reduce Air Pollution

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