Monday, February 02, 2009


Why do you ride a bike to work?

I get asked that question quite a bit. There are lots of reasons commute to work on my bike.

All the way through high school and college, I didn't own a car. My only independent means of transportation was my bicycle. After college I bought a car, but since I was newly married and we shared one car, I bought a bike and was bicycle commuting way back in 1984. At the time, the reason was, "Because I can't afford a second car."

The reason I started riding to work again last year was simple: "Because I can." I switched divisions of the company I work for and suddenly the distance from my home to the office was only about half what it had been. I always liked cycling but never found the time for it. So I got the old bike off the hooks in the garage and started riding to work again in February 2008. This was the same bike I was riding in 1984, a Nishiki Olympic 12.

But... why?

"To make me healthy." I hate to exercise. I like to ride, though. But I never seemed to find the time. By riding my bike to work I ensure that I get two decent workouts of about 35 minutes each. If you think about it, a full hour of vigorous exercise a day is pretty good! And if I drove, I'd be spending about half that time driving to and from work anyway, so to get that hour of exercise, I only have to spend about a half hour extra out of my day.

Other reasons I ride my bike to work:

"To save money on gas." When gas prices go up, it's a bonus to me. If I'm saving more money by cycling, it's easier to justify spending extra money on cycling gear.

"Because cycling has become my hobby." Let me make it clear, though- I'm not a hot-shot cyclist who decided to commute on my bike to work; I'm a commuter who decided to try cycling as an option. I'm not very fast; I think my average pace is only about 13 mph.

"To get out and smell the roses." This might be the best reason. When I drive to work every commute is the same. I can almost do it in my sleep. But when I ride, I take note of the weather, I feel the breeze, I see the changing of the colors in the fall (not that Texas has much, but there's some) and the emergence of new growth in the spring. I see wildlife. On afternoons when I have a little extra time, I explore neighborhoods or ride along the river. I get a sense for the natural world even in the middle of the city when I ride. This isn't why I started riding, but it's one of the reasons I continue to do so.

Why do you ride your bike to work?


HeidiTri's said...

And, it's a great segway to the world of triathlons :). Once you get the biking down, you're 2/3 of the way there.

Seriously, I commute in the spring/summer/fall for most of the same reasons you do. Plus,It wakes me up in the morning, and motivates me to go to work.

Ian Watkins said...

Because I love riding. It is quicker than driving in my situation. I feel more self sufficient. I am doing the world some good, be it a very little bit, it is still doing the ozone layer some kinda good. I save money on gas. I get to be healthy and get exercise when I otherwise would not. I get to experience the world in a new light, I feel like I am apart of the road, like the ebb and flow of traffic are apart of my soul. I love the looks that people give me when it is 10 degrees, snowing like a mother, and I am still riding.

I love the feeling of accomplishment that it provides. I love the adrenaline of riding in tight traffic. I ride to help maintain my weight loss of 85 pounds.

Finally I ride because I can.

Dottie said...

'Cause it's fun!

Doohickie said...

Dottie wins!