The Practical Benefits of Biking to Work

The Practical Benefits of Biking to WorkFor years I’ve biked to work. Rain or shine, I pedaled all the way to work on my cheap bicycle. I’ve lived in a lot of different places while doing this routine. I’ve biked daily anywhere from 6 miles to 19 miles. Needless to say, I’ve had plenty of time to think about all the benefits of what I’m doing. Here’s my list of practical benefits of biking to work.

 

1. Time to Relax

As odd as it sounds, most people find biking relaxing. Sure, some hills may be difficult to ascend but for the most part it’s a relaxing activity. It shares a lot of the same benefits as meditation.

2. Exercise

This is obvious. When I began biking to work, I hadn’t sat on a bike for nearly 10 years. Needless to say, the Greek Gods would have been disappointed in me. After 6 months of biking I had a physical. The 40-something nurse said the oxygen content in my blood was the 2nd best of anyone she had ever seen. First place went to a baby. Apparently babies have great oxygen levels.

3. Social Aspects

When you drive a car down the street, no one says hello. Unless you get to a stop light and the guy next to you says it. You’d probably find that creepy. But saying ‘hi’ on a bike is commonplace – at least on the bike paths I frequent. Biking is a social activity. You begin to recognize your fellow bike commuters. When waiting at an intersection, you may even get to know each other. What I especially like is seeing the older ladies out walking in the early morning. They seem so happy to see a 20-something exercising. It seems like they’re thinking, “Hey, maybe his generation isn’t a total waste of space.”

4. Money Saved

Thousands, and thousands of dollars are saved by biking. I began biking because I was conscious of the fuel cost and wear and tear on my car while driving to work. Spending my money to go work for someone else didn’t quite sit right with me. I knew that, for instance, the first hour of my day would be spent recouping the costs to drive to work and back! Outrageous! I’ve been biking to work for 2 years and I’ve only spent $8 on maintenance/repairs to my bike. One flat tire.

Also, a lot of people believe the startup costs of biking are large. No. That’s simply not true. I bought a Schwinn bike at Walmart on sale for $150. It carries a lifetime warranty on all parts. In winter I layer on the clothes I already own. In summer, I wear shorts. Who doesn’t already have a few pairs of shorts? As far as bike accessories go, you need a helmet, a headlamp and a tail lamp. All of the above are cheap. I also use a backpack and a balaclava in the winter. You may not have either of those two things but they are easy to acquire as well.

5. At Work

I’m the only person at my work (600+ employees) who bikes each day. That garners some attention. I’ve met countless people who I never would have if I was just a normal person who drove to work. People randomly stop me and ask, “Hey, are you the guy who bikes every day?” Or, “Hey, man, that’s really awesome you bike. I should do that…” This is great for your career, especially if you’re looking to move up within the company.

 

There are so many positive reasons for biking to work. I began doing it mostly because of the financial aspect. However, I would continue biking to work, even if I had a company car. The other benefits are more than enough.

 

Do you bike to work? What are the benefits you enjoy?

 

Will

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