Why Not Ride Your Bike? Get Ready for Bike to Work Day (No Excuses!)

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Reason #1 not to ride your bike: It’s too far to ride
If you live too far from work, consider driving part of the way and riding the rest. Or you can ride the bus part way. Bike racks have been installed on many full sized city buses. Taking your bike along for the ride saves fuel and money.

Reason #2 not to ride your bike: It takes too long
You’d be surprised! Because of traffic in areas, cycling generally takes less time than driving for trips of three miles or less, and about the same time for three to five mile trips. For longer trips, consider that you’re saving time by combining your daily exercise with your commute. Also, don’t forget your savings of time and money when you eliminate visits to the gas pump.

Reason #3 not to ride your bike: I’d have to get up much earlier if I rode my bicycle
If your commute is less than 10 miles round trip, the difference in commute time will be insignificant. But even if your commute is longer, 30 minutes of extra sleep won’t be nearly as invigorating as an early morning ride. You’ll arrive at work alert and refreshed. And you won’t have to rush off to an evening workout to unwind. You’ll have already accomplished that!

Reason #4 not to ride your bike: I’m out of shape
If you leave yourself plenty of time and go at an easy pace, you’ll find cycling no more difficult than walking. As you ride more, you’ll ease your way into better shape, building fitness that will be a regular part of your schedule. If you have health problems, consult your family doctor for suggestions on getting started.

Reason #5 not to ride your bike: I can’t afford a special commuting bicycle
You don’t need one. Your old beater bike gathering dust in the garage will suffice if properly adjusted and maintained, and it’s less attractive to thieves. If you have a recreational bicycle you can outfit it with a lightweight rack and bag or use a fanny pack to carry necessary commute items. With the fixed cost of operating an automobile at around $.30/mile, the money you would save commuting by bicycle on an average 10 mile round trip would buy you a $400 bicycle in six months time.

Reason #6 not to ride your bike: I have to dress nice for work
Some bicycle commuters simply ride in their business attire. Most ride in casual or cycling clothes and change when they arrive. You can carry your change of clothes in a pack (rolled up so they don’t get wrinkled).

Reason #7 not to ride your bike: I can’t shower at work
Depending on the weather, you may not need a shower if you ride at a leisurely pace. If you do, take a washcloth, soap, towel and deodorant and clean up at the restroom sink. 

Reason #8 not to ride your bike: What if it’s rainy or cold?
Start as a fair weather bicycle commuter (this should be fairly easy, we are in Colorado) – when the forecast is bad, don’t bike. Some people may conquer the elements and commute every day, but it doesn’t mean you have to. If you only ride when the weather report is favorable, it will still make a dramatic improvement. The more you enjoy bicycle commuting, the more you’ll look forward to your daily ride. 

Reason #9 not to ride your bike: It’s not safe to ride in traffic
You can share the road successfully with cars by riding lawfully and assertively. The fear of riding in traffic is often much greater than the actual danger. Minimize risk by riding properly – visibly, predictably and following all traffic laws. To help prevent injury always wear a helmet. You can also reduce the risk of riding in traffic by using less congested secondary roads. You may travel a few extra miles, but you’ll be able to enjoy the ride, a worthwhile trade-off.

Reason # 10 not to ride your bike: I’d have to ride in the dark
Wear light colored reflective clothing, use a good lighting system and choose a route that avoids major darkness. There are a variety of bike-mounted lights that can help you see and be seen.

Source: “The Top Ten Excuses for not Commuting By Bike.” MassBike Pioneer Valley. www.massbikepv.org

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