One of my passions is cycling, so I thought I would let you guys know about National Bike to Work day this coming Friday. It is promoted by the League of American Bicyclists as a way for people to try commuting by bicycle. Most people work less than 3-5 miles from work, so commuting could be a no-brainer. Some have a much longer commute, so the decision to commute by bicycle might be out of the question.
So, I present to you the top ten ways to overcome your bicycle commuting excuses:
Overcoming Bike Commuting Excuses:
1. I'm out of shape.
• Ride at an easy pace; in a few months you will be in great shape.
• Ride your route on a weekend to find the easiest way to work.
• You will improve your fitness level when you become a regular bike commuter.
2. It takes too long.
• The average commuter travels at 10 mph; the more you ride, the faster you will become.
• Trips of less than three miles will be quicker by bike.
• Trips of five to seven miles in urban areas may take the same time or less as by car.
3. It's too far.
• Try riding to work and taking mass transit home, then alternating the next day.
• Combine riding and mass transit to shorten your commute.
• Ride to a coworker's house and carpool to work.
4. No bike parking.
• Look around for a storage area in your building or office.
• Stash your bike in a covered, secure place such as a closet or even your office.
• Formally request that your employer provide bike parking or lock it up outside.
5. My bike is beat up.
• Tell a reputable bike shop that you are commuting and have them tune up your bike.
• If you can't maintain your bike yourself, identify bike shops near your route.
• Make sure that your bike is reliable and in good working order before you ride.
6. No showers.
• Most commuters don't shower at work; ride at an easy pace to stay cool and dry.
• Ride home at a fast pace if you want a workout; shower when you get there.
• Health clubs offer showers; get a discounted membership for showers only.
7. I have to dress up.
• Keep multiple sets of clothing at work; rotate them on days you drive.
• Have work clothes cleaned at nearby laundromats or dry cleaners.
• Pack clothes with you and change at work; try rolling clothes instead of folding.
8. It's raining.
• Fenders for your bike and raingear for your body will keep you dry.
• If you are at work, take transit or carpool to get home; ride home the next day.
• Take transit or drive if you don't have the gear to ride comfortably in the rain.
9. The roads aren't safe.
• Obey traffic signs, ride on the right, signal turns, and stop at lights.
• Wear bright clothing.
• You are at no greater risk than driving a car.
• Wear a helmet every time you ride.
10. I have to run errands.
• Bolt a rack to the back of your bike to add carrying capacity.
• Make sure that you have a lock to secure your bike while you are in a building.
• Allow extra time to get to scheduled appointments and find parking.
• Encourage your employer to provide a bicycle fleet for office use.
Provided by the League of American Bicyclists.
If you would like more information about Bike to Work events in your area, please visit the League's website: http://www.bikeleague.org/programs/bikemonth/events.php.
I am commuting by bicycle for the first time on Friday. How about you?