Yes, I’m a bicycle commuter, yes I’ve written more than one article about the joys and dangers of commuting by bike to work and just because you might not perceive me as insufferable enough yet, I get paid to do this. Before you “pfft” at your screen and return to work though, hear me out, cycling to work carries many benefits both financial and physical.
Here are some of the reasons you should be cycling to work.
1. Saving Money
I feel like the best way to convince someone to try something new is to tout its financial benefits. I could go into boring statistics but because I’m like a lazy substitute teacher: here’s a video. If you’re at work and can watch it (you time stealing deviant) let me give you a synopsis, Phil Riggio is a trader which commutes 40 miles a day saving him hours of waiting and a 300 dollar monthly ticket for the train. Okay, but his example is extreme; if you work and live within the city then you are looking at an average 25 min. commute (if you are part of the 76% percent that commutes via car alone). Running a “micro” car like an extremely economical Smart car costs $116.11 a week or about 0.39 cents per average commute. A bicycle on the other hand when cycling at a moderate pace will cost you 227 calories, and judging from that beer belly, you have a lot of those to burn, even if you rode at a leisurely pace you’d still burn about 136 calories on your commute.
2. Better Health
If you didn’t figure it out that last sentence was my transition into health benefits of cycling to work. First off, anything physical is much better than sitting on your butt, honking at the stationary car in front of you. Secondly, people, it can make you immortal! Well, actually no but according to Purdue University research just an extremely conservative 20 miles a week can cut your risk of a heart attack by half and a King’s College London research found that just three 45 minute rides could make you biologically younger by 9 years! So you can finally say “I’m biologically in my twenties” and it wouldn’t be a lie. And just to reinforce that, and because I couldn’t find anything but references to the King’s College study, a study done by the University of Valencia found that Tour de France participants lived an average of 8 years longer than the general population. Exercise has also been proven to boost focus, mood and make you lose weight.
3. Environmentally Friendly
Not only does a bicycle not produce harmful hydrocarbons, it actually takes 6.2 tons less carbon to make than a car. Also you need no harmful and toxic chemicals to run a bicycle unlike a car which has an acid and lead battery, antifreeze brakes and transmission fluid. Then you have the effects it has on the economy environment. In Copenhagen (the most bicycle friendly city in the world) the city found that each mile cycled saved the city 0.42 cents in transportation costs, security, infrastructure and public health.
Are you a bicycle commuter? Let us know in the comment section below.