Bike to Work
Over the past two decades, Bike commuting has increased 61% nationwide from the year 2000-2019 making it the third most popular U.S. mode of transportation, according to a report by the Bike Advisor. Biking to work is not only a great way to stay active, but it also comes with a wide range of benefits that can improve your physical and mental health, reduce your carbon footprint, and save you money. In this blog post, we’ll be diving into all the benefits of biking to work and how to actually start riding your bike to work, in more detail.
1. It’s a great way to stay active and improve physical health.
Biking is a fantastic low-impact exercise that can help you stay active and healthy. Much easier on your body than running and the distances you can travel far exceed walking/running. When you incorporate biking to work you’ve added physical activity to your daily routine without necessarily carving out extra time to go to the gym. Over time, cycling can improve your cardiovascular health, grow and tone muscles, and increase your overall endurance for physical activities.
2. It’s good for the environment and the community.
Biking to work is an eco-friendly alternative to driving and even taking public transportation. By biking, you can fully reduce your carbon footprint in regard to transportation and help simultaneously improve the air quality in your community. When you consistently bike in the community, and with others, you draw attention to the needs of the cycling community which can later lead to better biking infrastructure.
3. It can save you money.
Biking to work can save you money on gas, parking, and transportation fares. Additionally, you won’t have to worry about the general wear and tear on your car, its depreciating value, and the regular maintenance or repairs required. By choosing to bike, you can greatly reduce your overall transportation costs and save money in the long run.
4. It can improve your mental health.
Biking to work can also have a positive impact on your mental health. Studies have shown that cycling can help reduce stress, lower anxiety, help with sleep, improves memory, and can improve your overall mood. By getting outside and enjoying fresh air, sunlight, and exercise on the bike you may find that you feel more energized and focused throughout the day.
5. Biking can save you time on your commute.
We know this sounds like a stretch but trust us on this, in some situations, biking can be a lot faster than commuting by car or public transportation. Take for instance you are going to an event in a crowded part of town, during a busy weekend, at a busy time of day. The ability to pedal down to where you need to be and not have to worry about parking and traffic has saved us so much time on more than one occasion.
Whether you bike every day or just a few times a week, incorporating cycling into your commute can have a positive impact on your overall health and well-being. But how do you even begin to start biking to work if you’ve never done it before? We’ve got some tips here for you too!
1. Choose the right bike, every time.
Choosing the right bike is absolutely essential to having a successful and enjoyable bike commute. Consider factors like your commuting distance, terrain, and weather conditions. If you have a short commute and mostly flat terrain, a single-speed or hybrid bike may be a good option. If you have a longer commute or live in a hilly area, a road bike or a hybrid with multiple gears may be the better choice. Regardless of your bike, you’ll also need to right safety gear for your commute.
2. Bring the right gear.
Bringing the right gear on your commute can make your bike ride more comfortable, stress-free, and enjoyable. Bringing the wrong gear can make your ride the worst and possibly most dangerous commute of your life. Always wear a helmet, always wear weather-appropriate clothing, and always ride with lights to be as visible as possible to local traffic. On longer rides, we suggest a bag or a bike bag for your work clothes, extra clothes, snacks, or even extra supplies.
3. Plan your route.
Planning your bike route ahead of time can help you avoid busy roads, construction, and other obstacles. While Oklahoma City has many great cycling routes, not all roads are bike-friendly. When planning your route, be sure to check for bike lanes and designated bike routes. Consider factors like traffic volume, construction, and dangerous intersections. If you’re not sure which roads to take, the city has a bike map that outlines recommended routes and bike-friendly roads. Also, consider looking at the weather the night before and right before you leave for your ride to make sure you are picking the best route and best clothes for your ride.
4. Follow the rules of the road
When cycling on city streets, it’s important to follow the same rules as motorists. This means obeying traffic signals, riding with the flow of traffic, and using hand signals to indicate turns or stops. Additionally, it’s important to wear a helmet and other safety gear, such as reflective clothing and lights, to increase your visibility to motorists.
5. Make it a habit, your new routine.
Making biking to work a sustainable habit takes time and commitment. It won’t be an easy transition especially if your city is primarily dominated by car culture. But every story starts with a beginning. Start yours by trying it out once or twice a week and gradually increase the frequency as you become more and more comfortable. Set achievable goals for yourself and celebrate your progress along the way. Consider finding a biking buddy or joining a local biking community to stay motivated, connected to community, and to better learn what streets are the most viable for commuting in your area.
In conclusion, biking to work is a healthy, eco-friendly, and cost-effective way to commute in any city. By choosing the right bike, planning your route, following the rules of the road, bringing the right gear, and making it a habit, you can successfully incorporate biking into your daily routine and enjoy the many benefits of a more sustainable life.