Top 10 reasons everyone should bike to work

Top 10 reasons everyone should bike to work

Ready to switch up your daily commute? If you’re considering biking to work, I’ve got some great news for you. Cycling To Work on two wheels can be an incredible way to improve your health, save money, and even do your part for the environment. So why not hop on your bike and join the ranks of savvy cyclists today?

First and foremost, cycling to work is a fantastic form of exercise. It’s a great way to get your heart rate up, strengthen your muscles, and improve your overall fitness. Plus, it can be a lot more fun than slogging away on a treadmill at the gym.

Although cycling infrastructure has improved in many North American cities, most people still don’t bike to work. Despite the numerous benefits of cycling to work, we’ve narrowed them down to ten top reasons. As compiled by the Momentum Mag team, here are the top 10 reasons to consider biking to work.

1. Fun

Cycling to work is a fun and enjoyable experience. For many, it evokes fond childhood memories of carefree bike rides around the neighborhood. Biking to work offers an opportunity to incorporate that feeling of exhilaration into your daily routine. Take in your surroundings, enjoy the sounds of nature, and acknowledge fellow cyclists as you ride. Before long, you may find yourself wishing your commute were even longer.

2. Fitness

Cycling to work is a healthy choice. While the number of calories burned during a ride varies based on factors like terrain and speed, cycling burns an average number of calories comparable to jogging, but with fewer negative impacts on joints. Cycling also has numerous health benefits, including improving cardiovascular and aerobic fitness, reducing blood pressure, boosting energy, building muscle, and enhancing coordination. Incorporating cycling into your daily commute is a simple way to sneak in exercise and enjoy its health benefits.

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3. Happiness

Cycling to work has a positive impact on mental health and happiness. While sitting in traffic or taking crowded public transit can be stressful and unpleasant, cycling to work can actually turn your daily commute into a form of therapy. Studies have demonstrated that daily exercise can reduce stress, alleviate symptoms of depression, improve sleep patterns for those with insomnia, and lower anxiety. Additionally, exercising outdoors, whether in urban or rural settings, has been shown to boost self-confidence and enhance overall mood.

4. Brain-power

Cycling to work has cognitive benefits that can enhance intelligence. While it may not make you an astrophysicist overnight, research has demonstrated that moderate daily exercise can prevent cognitive decline, enhance memory and learning, and improve overall brain function. So even if cycling to work doesn’t transform you into a Rhodes Scholar, it can improve your job performance.

5. Money

Cycling to work is a cost-effective option that can save you a significant amount of money. In 2021, the average American household spent over $5,000 on car payments and insurance alone. With rising gas prices, the cost of operating a car and driving to work has become increasingly expensive.

On the other hand, a new commuter bike costs anywhere from $250-$1,500 USD, with an average yearly maintenance cost of $50 USD. If you maintain the bike yourself, then the cost is virtually free. Additional expenses include a lock and lights, which cost around $60-$200 USD depending on quality. Even if you opt for the most expensive options, you can still save up to $7,050 USD in the first year and up to $9,000 USD each year after that.

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This makes cycling to work an excellent investment. E-bikes are also gaining popularity, offering a faster alternative with a slightly higher cost of energy input and a premium for the bike itself.

6. Money Again

Cycling to work has wider economic benefits that save everyone money. In Portland, Oregon, a cost-benefit analysis of bike infrastructure investments determined that residents could save between $388 and $594 million in individual healthcare costs by 2040. This is just one example of the potential savings generated by investing in biking. Employers who promote a company bike culture can also enjoy significant cost savings, while the wider bike industry generates billions of dollars annually. Strong bike communities also bring economic benefits to local businesses. Overall, cycling to work presents a strong financial case that even the most avid car enthusiasts would find hard to refute.

7. Fresh air

Cycling to work is also an eco-friendly option that benefits both you and the environment. The transportation sector is responsible for almost 30% of all US greenhouse gas emissions, with cars and trucks contributing to nearly 20% of those emissions. By contrast, the average cyclist releases only 0.7 grams of C02 through respiration, compared to the 1.2 pounds released by a solo driver in an average North American vehicle per mile.

Moreover, a bicycle’s life-cycle energy use over a 15-year period, including manufacturing and maintenance, is 60 kilojoules per Passenger Mile Traveled, while a standard sedan’s life-cycle energy use is 4027 kilojoules per PMT. By making the simple change of biking to work, you can achieve significant energy savings while also reducing your carbon footprint.

8. Convenience

Biking to work is often perceived as inconvenient, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, it’s far more convenient than driving or taking public transportation. Finding a parking spot is no longer a hassle, as cyclists can simply lock up their bikes to the nearest pole and walk away. Unlike drivers and public transit riders, cyclists don’t get stuck in traffic or experience unexpected delays, making their commute faster and more predictable. Carrying work materials is also made easy with panniers and cycling bags. Many workplaces are now offering secure bike parking, showers, and other amenities to make the cycling commute even more convenient for their employees.

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9. Safety

The more cyclists there are on the roads, the safer they will be. A study from the University of New South Wales determined that biking safety is a virtuous cycle. As more people ride in a given city, the number of collisions between drivers and people riding bikes decreases in absolute terms in that city. And this is not simply because there are fewer cars. Driver behavior actually changes to include safer driving practices when the number of cyclists and pedestrians increases. Because the perception of the relative safety of cycling improves with a decrease in collisions, more people then begin riding bikes. Virtuous cycle!

10.  Freedom

Biking can bring back the freedom that cars have taken away. Cycling can allow you to explore the city at your own pace, discover new routes, and even try a new coffee shop on your way to work. It opens up a whole new way to experience your community and helps you rediscover the joys of childhood. Say goodbye to traffic and parking headaches and hello to a sense of liberation that only cycling can provide!

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