With the ever continuing increase in gas prices, many individuals resort to nonconventional ways of commuting. Coupled by the goal of keeping a physically-fit body, more and more people are commuting by bicycle. This might be unthinkable especially when one is living in a crowded city but the truth is; it is easier to get around on a bicycle. It could be fun, cheap and a great way to exercise the body. While many people would go biking on their spare time or do it solely for exercise, still a large majority go to work by car and hesitant to commute via bicycles in belief of the following myths.
1. Bike commuting is dangerous.
One of the main concerns people have when it comes to bike commuting is the danger they are putting themselves into. Sure it could be dangerous. But the same applies with driving your car to work. The number one cause of death in the US is vehicular accident; who wouldn’t be afraid with such statistics? If you have a backbone, you better stay on the safe side and just drive your car carefully. However, even progressive cities in the US provide bike lanes for an increasing number of bike commuters to promote their safety. Aside from the fact that they could lessen car traffic, they could also contribute to cleaner and chemical-free air.
For own safety, a biker should also wear colorful outfits to easily be seen by other commuting vehicles. He should also wear a helmet and other protective gears like knee and elbow pads to protect his body in case a collision happens. Obey traffic rules and maintain a safe speed especially in busy streets.
2. Commuting bicycles are an eyesore.
Unlike cars which look uniform even while on queue on the streets, commuting bicycles would look disorganized while on the road. Bikers even wear brightly colored apparels; they could be an eyesore. They should have their own lane and never use the same lane with cars to prevent accidents and other dangers.
3. Biking to work is uncomfortable.
It could be uncomfortable for some people and a fun exercise to others. This factor varies from one person to another. It would be more uncomfortable to travel via trains and buses with different kinds of people on a busy day. If you are used to biking, this should not be a problem.
There might be factors that will cause discomfort like a bad weather. For instance, it might rain even when the weather was perfect when you left home. You can remedy this by always bringing an extra pair of clothing to the office where you could change. Needless to say, you need to arrive in your office ahead of time. Bring rain protection gear like a rain coat. When it is sunny, protect your skin from the heat of the sun and wear sun glasses to protect your eyes. You just have to be extra prepared when you commute to work via bike.
4. I’ll get to work late on a bicycle.
You surely will if you do not make necessary adjustments. Time yourself going to work via car and do the same on your bike. If it takes you longer to get to work via bike, make necessary adjustments. For instance, if it takes you 15 minutes longer to reach your destination commuting by bicycle, you can leave your home 15 minutes early to make up for the discrepancy. This will solve your problem. Add an extra 10 minutes to clean yourself and change to your office clothes. You’ll even get to work ahead of your officemates. While they are doing their 30 minute exercise at home, you are already on your way to the office while getting your own bike exercise at the same time. These are just a couple of benefits of bicycling that you will get when you are willing to make the needed adjustments.
5. There’s no space for bike parking at work.
This might be true for many offices but you should be more creative. Get a chain with lock to secure your bike on a post, railing or even a tree near your office. You can keep your bike in a locker or a big closet at work. If there is an available garage or parking space with attendant near your office, you can also opt for such; just be ready to pay extra. You can also formally ask your boss to provide safe and secured bike parking for employees like you who commute by bicycle to work.
6. I can use just any bike.
This sounds dangerous and is not true. You need a dependable bike, not necessarily an expensive one used by biking enthusiasts who ride statewide just for the fun of it. If you already have a bike and think that it’s not fit for riding, you can have it checked by bike shops near you. Let them know what kind of terrain you will be using your bike on and how long the travel time is. Will you be using it every day? This means that your bike should be durable and could withstand regular wear and tear. If you do not own a bike, you can check out local shops and buy a brand new or used bicycle. You won’t be able to spend more than $500 dollars to get a good bike for your purpose.
7. I can’t avoid getting sweaty and smelly after a ride to work.
This is a common dilemma to bike commuters. It’s difficult to find a place to shower. If you can help it, travel on a slow pace to keep yourself fresh. If it’s unavoidable to get sweaty, you can just bring baby powder or baby wipes to keep yourself shower fresh before changing into your office attire. You can also bring a face towel and soap and clean yourself in your office bathroom. You don’t have to spend anything. If you really need a shower, you can look around for gyms near your office and avail of their shower-only membership. You are in luck if your office has its own shower. This will save you more time. Instead of showering at home, you can just do it in your office.
There’s always advantages and disadvantages in everything you do, same with riding a bike to work. But if you have the best commuting bicycle, a long term goal when riding a bike, then there is always a good way of looking at things at the end of the day.