Thanks to the Bike League for publishing this information! We hope it helps people grow a love for biking that gives them daily enjoyment. Here are the top excuses for not commuting on a bicycle, and some simple tips and answers for each.
I’m out of shape – Ride at an easy pace; in a few months, you’ll be in great shape! Ride your route on a weekend to find the easiest way to work. You will also improve your fitness level when you become a regular bike commuter.
It takes too long – The average commuter travels at 10 mph; the more you ride, the faster you will become. Trips of less than three miles will be quicker by bike. Trips of five to seven miles in urban areas may take the same or less as by car.
It’s too far – Try riding to work and taking mass transit home, then alternating the next day. Combine riding and mass transit to shorten your commute. Ride to a coworker’s house and carpool to work.
No bike parking – Look around for a storage area in your building or office. Stash your bike in a covered, secure place such as a closet or even your office. Formally request that your employer provide bike parking or lock it up outside.
My bike is beat up – Tell a reputable bike shop that you are commuting and have them tune up your bike. If you can’t maintain your bike yourself, identify bike shops near your route. Make sure that your bike is reliable and in good working order before you ride.
No showers – Most commuters don’t shower at work; ride at an easy pace to stay cool and dry. Ride home at a faster pace if you want a workout; shower when you get there. Health clubs offer showers; get a discounted membership for showers only.
I have to dress up – Keep multiple sets of clothing at work; rotate them on days you drive. Have work clothes cleaned at nearby Laundromats or dry cleaners. Pack clothes with you and change at work; try rolling clothes instead of folding.
It’s raining – Fenders for your bike and raingear for your body will keep you dry. If you are at work, take transit or carpool to get home; ride home the next day. Take transit or drive if you don’t have the gear to ride comfortably in the rain.
The roads aren’t safe – Obey traffic signs, ride on the right, signal turns, and stop at lights. Wear bright clothing, and wear a helmet every time you ride. You are at no greater risk than driving a car.
I have to run errands – Bolt a rack to the back of your bike to add carrying capacity. Make sure that you have a lock to secure your bike while you are in a building. Allow extra time to get to scheduled appointments and find parking. Encourage your employer to provide a bicycle fleet for office use.
For more information on how to make your workplace more bicycle friendly, visit www.bikeleague.org