Guest Author - Sharry Miller
Riding my bike is one activity that never ceases to put a smile on my face, but sometimes it is impossibly hard to get it out of the garage and pedal out the driveway. Itís even harder early in the morning when I know I should be riding to work, but am feeling remarkably lazy. Itís sometime helpful to remind myself of all the reasons I want to (and should) commute to work on my bicycle instead of driving.
1. Bike riding wakes you up. Whether youíre still sleepy from your nice warm bed or sluggardly from a day in your cubicle, riding gets your blood pumping and invigorates you. Youíll then have the energy to get on with your day and take care of what needs to be done.
2. Cycling is good exercise. It doesnít matter if your commute is 15 minutes or an hour, every little bit of exercise is good for you. If you have time in the evening, you can even add a few extra miles to your ride to increase the benefits.
3. Bike commuting could save you time. Depending on your commute, it may be faster to cycle the side roads than sit in rush hour traffic. Consider your route options to determine the most time-saving.
4. Cycling instead of driving will save you money. Consider my case: I only commute 6.5 miles each way, 13 miles total. In my Alaska town, diesel fuel for my pickup costs $4.83 per gallon. I average about 20 miles per gallon during the riding season. Over one work week (five days), I would save $15.70. Assuming a riding season of May 1 Ė September 30 (and assuming that Iíd ride rain or shine), Iíd save $314 in a season, not counting wear and tear on my truck. Thatís plenty for some snazzy new cycling duds or must-have gear.
5. Bike commuting is Earth-friendly. Iím not even going to try to calculate the carbon footprint of my vehicle for the 1300+ miles I commute during a cycling season. Suffice it to say that the footprint of my bike is much, much smaller.
6. Commuting on your bike will allow you to get to know your home much better. As I rode to work recently on the bike path that borders our intertidal mud flats, I enjoyed noting on which mounds of grass the gulls and ducks were nesting, as well as that the shooting stars, chocolate lilies and wild iris are all in bloom now. It's amazing what you can see when you're not flying by at 55 mph!
7. Cycling is fun! Enough said.