If you had the choice would you drive or cycle to work? Clearly, the easy option is driving and having to do battle with the daily commuting traffic however it is not necessarily always the best option. Cycling to work provides many benefits for you, your family and friends, your wallet and the environment.
In these tough economic times many people are finding it difficult to make ends meet and saving money wherever possible has become a prime objective for many people. Combine this with the ever increasing cost of fuel and gas, and it is soon easy to see that cycling can save you a lot of money. The exact savings will vary from person to person, however there is a way to see how much cycling could save you. Look at your car manual and search for the amount of miles per gallon your vehicle will do. Using the cost per gallon, the current price of fuel and the amount of miles you travel to work and back during a week calculate your cost of getting to work. It is worth remembering the true cost of running a vehicle doesn’t just include the cost of fuel, but also insurance, maintenance, road tax, tyres and other consumables etc. etc. Other than insurance and road tax both of which are fixed costs that you pay whether you drive to work or not, allocate a cost of these expenses in your cost per mile.
Cycling to work will keep you fit and active. The ride to and from work will increase your heart rate as it pumps blood around the body, increase your lung capacity as you will be breathing more and will get your body burning the fat cells for more energy. Cycling is a good source of cardio vascular exercise that will not have a severe impact on your joints like other forms of exercise, such as running, would have. Exercise releases endorphins in to the body that will make you feel motivated, alive and happy, which can only be a good thing.
If you regularly visit the gym, or like to keep fit you can replace some of your training sessions with your cycle to work. The time you previously spent at the gym or having a training session can now be spent with your friends or family, or pursuing another one of your hobbies or interests.
Driving a car to work can be very stressful. Traffic jams, queues, other drivers getting irate and hitting the horn or shouting and swearing will make anyone’s stress levels go through the ceiling. These problems escalate during the summer months and when the temperature rises as drivers become even more irritable. Cycling to work will remove the stress of the daily commute. When cycling to work you are likely to get some abuse from drivers, but since you are still moving and won’t get caught up you should not let any comments bother you. Besides, the happy feeling you will be having when cycling to work, through the release of endorphins, you are unlikely to even notice.
Cycling to work provides the opportunity for you to think. Whether it is about what tasks you have to complete during the day, what you are going to do at the weekend, where you are going on vacation in the summer or whatever else, cycling allows your mind to wander. When cycling to work you can lose concentration without putting other road users in danger.
Cycling provides the opportunity to get out in the fresh air. It gives you the chance to feel the breeze, inhale the smells and see the sights as you cycle, which is a pleasant experience.
Reducing your vehicle usage will reduce your carbon foot print and make you more “green”, all of which will be good for the environment. The world’s supply of fossil fuels is decreasing at an alarming rate and cycling to work allows you to do your bit to help.
It is clear there are many advantages in cycling to work. Not only will you save money but you will also enjoy the health benefits, and feel much better for it. Some jobs, for a whole variety of different reasons, do not provide the opportunity to cycle to work, which is a shame for those people affected. If, however, you have the opportunity to cycle to work then make sure you grab it with both hands and take full advantage of it.