“Enjoy Life. This is not a dress rehearsal.” – Author Unknown
53 Traffic Lights.
40 Stop Signs.
33 Speed Bumps.
8 School Zones.
4 Railroad Crossings.
Hills. Lots of Hills.
Traffic. Lots of Traffic.
These are some mildly annoying statistics I deal with on my daily bicycle commute to my downtown office in Austin, Texas.
Also, I should probably mention that I work in a highly professional environment that requires that I wear professional attire, I sometimes work long hours, I have a very fast-paced daily routine, I’m over-50, and in the town I call home, a rather tepid day in the middle of summer reaches 100 degrees Fahrenheit with a 90% humidity reading. If this all sounds like I may be a little pessimistic, then you should consider that, in spite of these obstacles, I choose to live a little better by commuting to work via bicycle as often as I am able. And, frankly speaking, if I can do it, anyone can do it.
I have been commuting to work on my bicycle for a few years, and quite honestly, I would have probably begun sooner had it not been for the myriad excuses that I always seemed to drum up as I got close to making the commitment. Many of you know the drill: I’m too busy, the distance is too great. I have kids, I don’t have enough time, I am a professional (and professionals don’t ride their bikes to work), there are no changing facilities at my workplace, I’m not fit, traffic makes me nervous, my bike is not commuter-ready, I don’t have a planned route, I don’t know how to commute by bike, colleagues will think I’m goofy… and the list goes on. Believe me when I tell you that I internalized all of these excuses, and many, many more before I took the commuting plunge.
For those of you who might be considering commuting to work, or if you’re on the fence as to whether or not you should try it, I thought I might dedicate my first commuting-related post to ranking my top ten reasons for commuting by bike. In subsequent posts, I’ll detail these reasons out in more detail to hopefully line out the rationale as to why many of you should consider commuting, or if you already commute, considering doing it more frequently.
Top Ten Reasons Why I Endure Foothills, Fools, and Fahrenheit to Commute By Bike
#10 Cycling is a great conversation starter
#9 It increases my productivity at the office
#8 Commuting by bike gives me a feeling of self-sufficiency
#7 Bicycle commuting connects me with my community
#6 Cycling leaves behind virtually no carbon footprint
#5 Bicycling is the most energy efficient form of transportation ever invented
#4 Increases my fitness and improves my overall health
#3 Prepares me for other cycling adventures, specifically long-distance touring
#2 My commute is the best part of my day instead of the worst part of my day
#1 Bicycle commuting is Fun — it’s therapeutic for the spirit and makes me happy!!
I must admit that I am completely addicted to commuting by bike. Over time, I have stopped looking for excuses not to commute in, and instead now look for an excuse to commute as often as I possibly can. The excuses have evaporated, and have been replaced with excitement and anticipation!
What’s your excuse? Give commuting a try, and I’ll wager that soon you’ll be one of the many that endure foothills, fools, and fahrenheit to commute by bike!