I know, I’m extremely late to the table with this one. It’s probably made its way to Mars and back by now, but maybe, just maybe, one of you hasn’t seen this video from the good folks at People for Bikes yet.
In any case, even if you have, it’s brilliant, and highlights one of the most underestimated reasons why normal, non-cyclists (and recreational cyclists) should be commuting by bike rather than using the car. Yes, it’s cheaper. It’s better for the environment. It’s healthier. Cycle trips literally put money back into society. It builds community. It’s often faster. Aside from all that…
It’s relaxing. The stress peels off as the kilometers pile on.
This is something that doesn’t make much sense to non-cyclists. I suppose that really shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone – if you aren’t into something then aren’t into it. I also can’t deny the fact that some people genuinely detest cycling or have given it a chance and have found it to be too difficult due to lack of end-of-journey facilities, poor weather, poor health (which should be part of the appeal…), or poor road conditions, including infrastructure design that caters to cars at the expense of everyone else.
Nevertheless, if you prepare yourself for the journey by way of a bike that is in good working order, leave enough time to reach your destination without having to rush, having the correct combination of clothing to suit the weather conditions, and a mindset that is open to just maybe enjoying yourself, then you may just find that you will want to leave the car at home more often and start commuting by bike whenever you can.
Because, even though you’ll have to deal with people who can’t be bothered to take notice of you, you’ll still be happier.
I can’t tell you how many times in the past that I have finish work, tired, sometimes stressed, or in a negative mood, and within minutes of riding home I am feeling rejuvenated. Commuting by bike is like hitting the reset button. Your mind is brought back to a more basic state, your body is focused on working its muscles and pumping blood and oxygen around, releasing endorphins, dopamine, serotonin, lowering blood pressure… the benefits are innumerable.
Contrast that with having a rough day and then getting into your car. Ugh. Traffic. Congestion. Stop and go. Merging. Waiting. Just sitting there, shallow breathing, stress building, still tired, no happier. No better off.
If you live within, let’s say, 10km from your workplace, consider leaving the car at home and commuting by bike. You’ll be happier you did.
Share this with someone who could come home in a better mood…
Header image: source