Cycling to Work – Idea Good or Bad?

Certainly not bad – it is the cheapest morphology of a moving vehicle that also happens to be the most efficient way of moving around. It doesn’t puff smoke; it’s peaceful; it’s healthy; it’s enjoyable and biggest of all – it has no fuel tank! But even then most of us grow out of the habit of cycling our bmx cycles in neighborhood even before we hit adolescence. That is sad, for a bicycle is so cheap for the benefits it offers that even if you blow dust of it once in a blue moon, you are definitely pulling a great worth out of it.

So is it a worthwhile prospect to think that the executive class will step off their SUVs to take seats on their bikes? Ah, yes. For it is slightly counterproductive to swoosh around at 50 mph on the road only to hit the gym for an hour, while you could burn as much calories on your way simply by biking your way. That is overly simplistic, and yes bikes do have their faults. That brings us here, to analyze the two sides of the picture –is it really a good or bad idea to pick a bike to go to your workplace?

Good Idea!

  1. ‘I work one and a half miles from my home and with all the stressful traffic and new intersections in between, I am getting there quicker on my bike.’ That sort of a statement is perfectly logical and possible –you can get to work quicker on your bike. Bikes can climb footpaths, go up and down stairs on pedestrian bridges, squeeze through standstill traffic and sail through nooks and crannies of the urban city map that we dwell. Cycles are ideal at improvising and creating shortcuts that would leave cars in long trail of traffic behind.
  2. Bicycling can be five times even more energy efficient than walking; you can see that from the chart. It is the MOST efficient way of moving your butt. Think about all the figures on energy crisis and foreign reserves spent on oil and our overwhelmed economy, and cycling might lift your spirits for a while. Make it simpler –you give 100 calories to your bike and it can take you as far as 3 miles; give the same amount of energy to your car and it will only take you 280 feet.
  3. You have to pick a school kid’s cycle to find out yourself –cycling is an amazingly relaxing and serene sport. No hum, no fuss –it’s like hovering above the surface and gliding down it. It is very flexible and adjustable –you can take breaks, stop at shops or café or simply throw it away to go hug a friend (not with the kid’s bike but!).
  4. You aren’t just enjoying, you are burning calories; making your heart stronger; bringing down cholesterol; helping your knees and thighs; and improving your body’s metabolism. But all of that is not making you overthink, because it is fun.

Too Bad!

  • ‘I am suited-booted. I can’t even peddle in the shoes I have to wear.’ That’s right. It doesn’t have a simple clutch and gas pedal. You need to at least wear comfortable clothes if not a proper cycling jersey and special shoes. But hey, grab a bag pack and change at your office. Possible?
  • ‘You want me to be drenched in sweat by the time I get there?’ Err no. I think more workplaces should have showers for incoming employees. Don’t cycle too fast, and come out when it’s still not so hot, may be a bit early.
  • ‘Wow I made it! I am at the office. But heck! I have to cycle back to home!’ Not necessarily. You can fit your bike on a rickshaw or on top of a taxi if you are too tired to go further. Crazy idea you said? May be. But it works.
  • ‘You know what, I have a 10 mile stretch of signal free corridor to cross to reach there.’ I’d say you drop the whole idea then. I don’t want you to endanger your life and limb. Cycle after work, near your place where the traffic is safe.
  • ‘I am a lazy bum.’ So am I! That’s why I started cycling at five times less energy consumption over walking to the store. It clicked, and now I cycle more.