Biking to Work: No More Excuses

Biking to Work: No More Excuses

We all know that biking to work is good for us, and good for the world. But there’s usually an excuse or two that stands in our way. Below are some of the most common excuses we hear for not biking to work. We’re going to break them down and help you eliminate them.

MY CLOTHES WILL GET WRINKLED
If you have a short commute, ride in your work clothes at a relaxed pace. Your clothes will be no worse for the wear. If your commute is on the long side, wear cycling clothes and change at the office. It’s easy enough to bring along your work clothes and keep them wrinkle free; just hang them in a dry-cleaning bag, roll it up, and place it in a basket, pannier, or cycling bag. Or, if you’ve got space at work, consider driving in on Monday, stashing a week’s worth of clothes at the office, and then biking in for the rest of the week.

I’LL GET SWEATY
Many people find that if they bike in leisurely, they don’t sweat much. If that’s not you, don’t worry… a lot of workplaces have showers in the building and some health clubs offer low-cost shower-only memberships. And if you can’t find a shower, baby wipes, deodorant, and other toiletries—like disinfectant hand gel—can do the trick.

MY COMMUTE IS TOO LONG
With bike lanes and multi-use paths, commuting by bike can often take less time than driving or public transportation, especially when you account for traffic jams, delays in public transportation, and time spent looking for parking. If the distance really is too far, you can fold your bike and go multi-modal by combining biking with a train, bus, or car share. Keep in mind that any extra time spent commuting by bike may be worth it in order to feel healthier, more energetic, and less stressed.

I HAVE TOO MANY HILLS ON MY COMMUTE
Choose an alternate, more bike-friendly route with flatter roads. Or conquer those hills with an electric bike.

I’M OUT OF SHAPE
You control how fast you go, how hard you pedal, and how often you commute by bike. Start slow, and work up from there. The more you bike, the more fit you’ll get. The average person loses about 6 kg (13 lb) in their first year of biking to work.

I DON’T WANT TO GET SOAKED IN THE RAIN
On rainy days, traffic typically slows down and gets jammed up but the bike lanes are nearly empty. Who wouldn’t want to circumvent those rain-induced delays? Fenders, bike-specific rain clothing (e.g. rain poncho, rain pants, waterproof gloves, shoe covers,) and waterproof bike bags will make facing the rain a lot less intimidating. You can stash your work clothes in a waterproof bag, and change into them when you get to work. Not up for the adventure? Then, take a day off from your bike! Being a fair-weather bike commuter is still better than never commuting by bike.

MY BIKE COULD GET STOLEN
That’s the beauty of a folding bike. Arrive at the office, fold it up, and stash it under your desk or in the corner of your office. If you don’t have a folding bike, you could hang your bike on the wall or store in on top of a credenza or bookcase. Or get a really good lock and lock your bike outside to an immovable object in a highly visible area.

I NEED MY CAR TO RUN ERRANDS BEFORE/AFTER WORK
Check out a cargo bike. Cargo bikes, or utility bikes, have larger rear racks and larger panniers designed to carry loads of groceries and goods. If that’s not for you, try adding both front and rear racks to your bike, and purchasing a few bike bags and/or baskets. For more details, read our guide to Boost Your Cargo Capacity.

I’M AFRAID OF INHALING ALL THOSE CAR FUMES
Surprisingly, you inhale more harmful exhaust in your car than on a bike. The Imperial College London determined that cyclists breathe in just 8% of the fine pollution particles breathed in by car drivers and bus passengers. Cars may seem like they are hermetically sealed but they are not… when you’re driving, you’re breathing in all the fumes from the tailpipe of the car just ahead of you. Bikers and pedestrians commute off to the side of the road, further away from the bad air.

Getting Starting
If you’re starting to think more seriously about biking to work, read our Bike Commuting Tips.