Bicycle Commuting Excuse Busters
It's easier than you think to commute. To prove it, here are comebacks for the top 5 excuses given for not biking. First, though, take it from us: cycling to work is fun and rewarding. It's a great way to start the day, a fine calorie burner and much less stressful than driving. Plus, it gets you energized for a productive day at the office. In fact, you may find that you come up with your best ideas while pedaling to work!
- It's too far to bicycle commute. I don't have the time.
This may seem true, but often, if you analyze your situation, you'll find that pedaling is possible -- even practical. For example, we know a commuter who bikes ten miles each way to work who says that it takes her only fifteen minutes longer each way. Plus, she says, "By combining my workout and commute, I get to exercise 1¼ hours per day and only spend an extra ½ hour to do it! Moreover, my auto insurance gives me a rate discount of $160 per year to ride!" Keep in mind that by avoiding stop-and-go traffic you can make excellent time on a bicycle. You might also consider driving part-way to work, or taking the bus part-way (MetroTransit buses are equipped with bike racks), and biking the rest of the way. This saves money, gas, and the environment. And, while everyone else is idling in traffic developing road rage, you're spinning along reducing your stress level.
- I need to wear dress clothes at work.
We know several attorneys who regularly commute by bicycle. They've solved this problem by leaving their suits at the office. Says one, "I just keep a couple of clean, pressed shirts at the office with a couple of suits." Other bicycle commuters bring their nice clothes and lunches to the office on weekends, so that during the week they can simply dress up once at work. This requires planning, but works great. And, if you drive in on the weekend to drop off your stuff, you at least won't be dealing with rush-hour traffic.
- I don't have a place to shower.
Consider a quick cleanup in the restroom, instead. Or maybe you can use the showers at a nearby health club (sometimes at a discounted shower-only fee). Be creative and check out the facilities near your office. Chances are pretty good that you can find an arrangement that will work. Also, remember that sweat doesn't stink. If you're clean when you leave home and you're wearing clean clothes, no one will know you biked to work. In fact, if you wear the right clothes and don't have to climb steep hills on your commute, you may not even sweat at all!
- The weather is too rotten to ride my bike.
Regular cyclists know that there's no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing. If you dress in layers and fabrics that block wind and repel rain and breathe, you'll be fine. There are even special gloves and booties to keep your fingers and toes toasty. We can help you select the proper equipment for year-round riding. And, even if you decide to bike only during warm weather, that's still months of not using your car, which will save you dollars and make you feel great!
- There's no place to park my bike at work.
There should be, and if there isn't, maybe it's time you asked management why they're not encouraging something as healthy and responsible as bicycling to work? After all, they provide parking spots for cars! Bikes take up hardly any space. Look for other areas in the building - a basement, utility room, closet, garage, etc. Wherever you leave your rig, be sure to lock it (remove anything easily stolen, too, such as your pump, cyclo-computer, light, etc.)
Cycling Safety - Rules For The Road
- Ride on the right
Always ride in the same direction as traffic. Use the lane furthest to the right that heads in the direction that you are traveling. Slower moving cyclists and motorists stay to the right.
- On the road
The same laws that apply to motorists apply to cyclists. Obey all traffic control devices, such as stop signs, lights, and lane markings. Always use hand signals to indicate your intention to stop or turn.
- Always wear a properly fitting helmet
Ensure that the helmet fits snugly and sits squarely on top of the head, not tipped back. Always wear a helmet while riding a bike, no matter how short the trip. After a crash or any impact that affects your helmet, whether damage is visible or not, replace it immediately.
- Ride predictably
Ride in a straight line and don't swerve in the road or between parked cars. Check for oncoming traffic before entering any street or intersection. Anticipate hazards and adjust your position in traffic accordingly.
- Be visible
Wear brightly colored clothing At night, use a white front light, red rear light and reflector and reflective tape or clothing. Make eye contact with motorists to let them know you are there.
Tips courtesy of the League of American Bicyclists.