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If, however, you do have to head in to the office (or wherever it is that you work), commuting on a bicycle could be MUCH more beneficial — and FUN — than you possibly realize.
Think it’s not practical for you?
Bike commuting may actually save you time!
Here at The Fun Times Guide to Living Green, I like to try and keep things “real life” and truly helpful (and hopefully I do a halfway decent job of it).
For this reason, I often survey people — friends, family, and even strangers — to see what areas of life they’d like to learn to “go green” in and what their favorite green tricks they already use are.
While having one of these conversations with Rick, a good friend, earlier this week, he brought up the topic of commuting to work on his bicycle.
Rick commutes 3 days a week to his office, a 20+ mile round trip, and began doing so to actually save time!
“I began bike commuting because it allowed me to get my exercise in at the same amount of time I usually spent in my car, commuting to work. It just made sense.”
Reasons Bike Commuting Is A Great Idea
#1 – Has great health benefits.
Cycling is very low-impact on the joints, so virtually anyone can do it. This article from TreeHugger.com cites research showing a 40% drop in diabetes for regular cyclists and a 28% reduction in death rates for those that cycle who commuted for 30 minutes per day.
#2 – Saves you time.
Bike commuting lets you feel the satisfaction of biking past a traffic jam in the bike lane, makes parking easier, allows for easily predictable commute time, and — as with Rick’s experience — lets you get in your workout while commuting!
#3 – Reduces and relieves stress.
Cycling, as with any form of exercise, is therapeutic for the mind, spirit, and body. But bike commuting, specifically, can reduce stress by helping you avoid all those road rage generating traffic jams. Feeling a little white-knuckled? Take your commute off road and work out some of the frustration!
#4 – Saves you money.
This free calculator reveals that a 24 mile round trip on a bike — when gas is $2.79/gallon — will save me $2.20 per trip based on average mpg, tire wear, and extra vehicle costs. Other monetary savings could be found in the form of parking, tolls, vehicle maintenance, and more!
#5 – Has huge environmental benefits.
A different calculator from The Bike Geek reveals that the above mentioned 24 mile round trip, 3 days a week, would reduce my carbon footprint by 3,223.10 lbs of CO2 per year! Basically, a four mile bicycle trip keeps about 15 pounds of pollutants out of the air we breathe. Wow!
More About Bike Commuting
Even though my example was using the roughly 24 mile roundtrip that I make to the gym (because I’m a personal trainer) every day, any length bike ride or commute will generate massive health, time, and monetary benefits!
Now that we know how great of an idea bike commuting is, how do you get started?
In the next post we’ll talk about how get started bike commuting — and maybe more importantly — how to NOT DIE commuting on your bike!
Let’s face it, a fast-moving, gas guzzler could make a pretty mean mess of a cyclist, so we need to know how to stay safe. Don’t you agree?
If you or someone you know has any experience cycling or bike commuting, please share in the comments.
Oh, and P.S., the picture at the top of the post is actually Rick’s shadow on one of his morning commutes. As he put it, he just couldn’t shake that guy riding beside him, so he got a picture instead. Ha.
I think every little step toward living green is an awesome one… but eco-snobbery sucks! My goal is to help newbies learn the most important steps toward living green — individually and collectively. Personally, I strive to have as little impact as possible on Planet Earth while I'm here.