You don't have to be a super-hero to commute to work (or school) by bike; it's easier than you think! To prove it, here are comebacks for the top six 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 car 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, parking, 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 big bucks 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. Or try an adjacent parking area where an attendant can watch out for your bike. Wherever you leave your rig, be sure to lock it (remove anything easily stolen, too, such as your pump, cyclo-computer, light, etc.).
- I don't feel comfortable biking alone. Look for other people that live and/or work near you to ride with. If you live in the 5-county area served by the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA), you can register for their free service to find riding partners at gohiocommute.com. Look for similar services in your area!