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People are becoming fed up with being stuck in their cars on the daily grind to work.
And now some people are avoiding public transport too.
Here’s our list of bike commuting benefits to help coax you onto two wheels for the daily trip to work…
1. Cycling To Work Saves You Money
A bike will pay for itself in saved commuting expenses very quickly and then all you need to do is look after it like any other investment and keep riding!
If you normally drive to work, you have the costs of maintaining a car. The main expense is fuel, but you also need to think about repairs, parking, road tax, and insurance.
Trains and buses can be expensive too. Some train companies charge higher fares during peak times.
Either option adds up to a significant amount of money each year that bike commuters don’t have to worry about. After the upfront costs, you only need to pay for a little servicing (you may be able to do this yourself), and occasional tire and component replacements.
If riding to work every day scares you, there’s always the option to mix and match bike commuting with other means of transport.
Read more: Bike tax credits explained
2. You’ll Feel Fresher At Work And Be More Productive
Riding to work really gets the heart pumping, it’s all that extra exercise you’re not getting when you’re driving. It also makes you feel more alert and attentive at work. You’ll feel better because those bike-riding endorphins are keeping your mind sharp.
Car commuters complain about feeling tired and lethargic when they get to the office, bike commuting will do the opposite. It’ll help keep you charged up for the whole day.
3. Bike Riding Is Good For Weight Management
I’m sure you know this, but bike commuting can be an excellent way to keep your weight under control. You burn more calories when bike riding than most other forms of transport.
Studies show that bike riding to work can burn 298 calories in 30 minutes. Not bad when you consider that an average single chocolate bar contains around 500 calories. One hour of riding to/from work will burn that off!
As we mentioned above, people often assume that bike riding will make them feel tired and weak. The opposite is true. People who exercise regularly tend to have more energy as well as increased mental clarity.
4. Bike Riding Improves Your Mental Health
Improve your mental health by bike riding to work. Study after study has shown that bike riding is a great way to improve your mental state.
Using a bike regularly will help you get into shape, which will make you feel better about yourself. Bike riding also helps with anxiety and depression because endorphins and other hormones are released in the brain.
Commute to work by bike, and you’ll be able to start your day in a much better mood than if you were stuck in traffic or train delays!
5. A Better Night’s Sleep
Having trouble getting to sleep and keeping the eyelids shut all night? After riding the bike you’ll be more tired and will therefore fall asleep faster. Generally speaking, bike commuters sleep better than those who drive their car to work.
6. A Better Outlook On Life
There is a reason bike commuters always seem so happy. It’s not just the bike – although riding to work does undoubtedly lift your spirits (those endorphins again!) – Bike commuting can be extremely rewarding in many ways.
Not only will you be happier for it, but your outlook on life will become much more positive as well.
One thing leads to another, as they say, riding the bike is a stepping stone to a better life overall.
7. Strengthen Your Muscles And Tone Your Body
Commuting by bike is great for toning your abdomen, pecs, and legs. And the more you bike from home to work and back again, the stronger and fitter you will become.
More leg muscle groups are used when pedaling than with other forms of aerobic exercise such as running or swimming; this makes bike riding particularly good at developing lower body strength.
Your bike commute will see you building much-needed lean muscle tissue which has multiple added benefits: it raises your basal metabolic rate, in turn helping you to burn off excess fat pretty quickly.
8. Commute And Get Fit At The Same Time (No Gym!)
Like the idea of multi-tasking?
Why not get some good cycling exercise in while doing the unavoidable commute at the same time?
No need for the gym, just hop on your bike and get pedaling. It’s the perfect way to get exercise without sacrificing time.
9. Bike Commuting Might Get You To Work Faster Than Driving Or Taking Public Transport
Depending on where you live relative to work, bike commuting might get you to work faster than driving or taking public transport.
Even if peak hour traffic is like a parking lot, bike commute times are usually better than cars and buses because bike riders aren’t bogged down by congestion and having to continuously stop/start for passengers.
Also, if you live near bike paths or trails, you don’t have the stops and starts of drivers who follow road rules.
10. Bike Riding Improves Air Quality
More of us riding bikes means less congestion on roads and less pollution from cars.
When bike commuting, you can help improve the air quality of your city. Riding bikes does not produce any emissions such as carbon dioxide, and they are one of the cleanest forms of transportation. In fact, bike riding has been shown to reduce pollution in cities.
11. Reduce Stress Levels
Feeling stressed out?
Cycling can be a great way to reduce stress levels.
Exercise has been proven to reduce stress levels. The bike can be a great way to relieve tension and feel calm. Cycling also increases your attention span, which is another factor in reducing stress. With increased blood flow to the brain, you will have greater awareness and the ability to concentrate on tasks at hand without feeling overwhelmed or tired.
12. Helps To Prevent Heart Disease
Riding bikes can help your heart by reducing the amount of cholesterol in your blood and decreasing your chances of developing coronary artery disease.
Some risk factors for this condition include high amounts of fat, cholesterol, and triglycerides in the body which are all reduced through riding a commuter bike.
The American Heart Association even recommends bike riding for patients with heart problems including angina, congestive heart failure or chest pain due to poor circulation.
13. Bike Riding Will Improve Your Cardiovascular Fitness
Indeed it will.
Bike riding on the regular can make you fitter than ever. You’ll improve heart rate control, lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Almost any bike riding is good for you but long bike rides can provide the greatest benefit. Riding your bike thirty minutes a day, five days per week will bring increased cardiovascular fitness.
14. No More Sitting In Boring Traffic Jams
Sick of sitting in boring traffic jams?
Bikes can slither through traffic jams saving you precious time and avoiding the frustration of sitting still.
And then there are the dedicated bike lanes that cars can’t use.
A big win for cyclists!
15. No Need To Look For Car Parking Spaces
If you’re lucky, you’ll have a dedicated parking space at work. But what if you don’t?
In a large office or retail environment, it can be difficult to find somewhere to leave your car. The stress adds up trying to find one, and if you’re unlucky you might even have to pay for it.
If you’re going to bike commute, you don’t need one, so time saved, stress avoided, and money saved!
16. Cycling Helps You Feel Free!
William Wallace famously shouted “FR—EEEE—DDDD—OOOOOOMMMMM!!!!”. If you haven’t watched Braveheart, you really should.
Ride your bike to work, and you will feel just a little bit like him.
Ok, so maybe bike commuting won’t give you the same freedom as escaping from English oppression to create a nation in which all are free and equal. But riding your bike to work is still pretty awesome!
17. Riding To Work Can Help You Live Longer
Many bike commuters feel that bike riding to work is simply the most pleasurable way to get from A to B.
But did you know that bike commuting can actually help you live longer (according to a study done by researchers at Glasgow University).
They studied 263,450 participants of which 52% were female. The participants chose from a variety of different ways to commute – walking, cycling, and driving or taking public transport. By the end of the study 2430 died and cyclists were shown to be more likely not to have died than other commuters
18. Save On The Cost Of Health Care
Save even more money.
You can reduce your health care costs because bike riding is a low-impact activity that helps maintain your body’s circulation.
Because bike riding keeps you thin, it also reduces the need for medical intervention to treat health problems caused by obesity.
19. Riding A Bike Can Make You Happier And More Satisfied With Life
Everybody wants to be happy and healthy.
As we said before, riding a bike can improve your mood. On top of that, you can build up new friendships. Either with people who live near you who also commute into a workplace near yours or with other cyclists you meet should you decide to ride your bike socially in your own time.
20. Less Likely To Contract Illnesses Than You Would On Public Transport
This is particularly more important now that we’ve witnessed Covid.
If you bike to work, you can avoid buses and trains packed with people who could be carrying all sorts of nasty viruses.
21. Last, But Not Least = It’s Fun!
Cycling is FUN!
Riding a bike adds an extra element of fun to your commute. It’s great exercise, and you’ll be outdoors (in most cases). You’ll often get some excellent scenery along the way.