Bicycling is one of the best workouts there is. It is easy on your body, and a road bike works your legs, arms, abs, shoulders and back, all at once. You'll notice a big difference in you health and fitness in a matter of weeks. Exercise extends life dramatically, tones your body, and lets you lose weight without dieting. A bike with the proper dropped handlebar riding position is almost a cure-all for back pain.
There are lots of great psychological advantages to bike commuting. Exercise being an excellent treatment for depression aside, arriving at work with a brain full of oxygen and a heady endorphin rush is the best way to start a productive day. A city bike ride, done right, puts the rider in a hyper-alert state of mind making him the ideal worker, especially compared to a long bus ride.
Bike commuting is the least expensive mode of transportation short of walking. Buying a bike is cheaper than using mass transit, and far cheaper than using a car, which the AAA calculates to cost about 37 cents a mile, driven alone. You save money on auto insurance, gasoline, tires, maintainence, parking, tickets, licensing, and on and on. I don't know about you, but I'd rather buy artwork and space reference books and a PowerBook G3 than flush another donation to General Motors.
Just think of all the cool toys you could pick up for the price of a second car. Order pizza every night instead of paying for gas. Get an Armani suit instead of another car insurance bill. Switch jobs to one you actually enjoy.
Cut trips to the gym to use the treadmill right out of your life. Avoid the wasted time soaking in benzene fumes at the local filling station. Stop wasting your life cruising around for a parking spot. Save time on your commute.
Yes, you heard that right. In cities all over the world, races are held to get from Point A to Point B in a city, with using cars, public transit, or bikes. In every case that I'm aware of, the bike has won by no small margin. If your commute is long, you can combine these, parking your car or getting off the bus to finish your trip the fastest way.
Even if at the moment you can barely run to the bus stop, you'll improve very quickly on a bike. Your lung capacity will increase, your muscles will become firmer and more efficient, your blood cells will carry more oxygen, and within a few weeks to a couple months just about anyone will be able to pass cars in city traffic without a problem.
A Pollution Solution
The largest source of air pollution in the US is automobiles. Short trips are up to three times more polluting per mile than long ones, preventing some 3.6 pounds of contiminants from entering the air you breathe, on each mile. Less car use means less benzene, cyanide, lead, carbon monoxide, CFCs, sulfates, and ozone in the air we breathe.
Help Your Community
If the real taxpayer subsidy of cars were reflected in fuel taxes, a gallon of gasoline would cost $9.00. A community's taxes pay for road building and expansion, maintenance, parking space, police services and losses from accidents, pollution and congestion (not including the value of wasted time). If commuters like you cycled to work, the US government would be a long way towards affording a socialised medicare program.
By reducing traffic congestion, you are not only saving the time of everyone (including your own), but reducing the land area that must be devoted to roads and parking in a city (generally about 30% of all land area in a city).
Save the World, Save Yourself
Instead of consuming the world's dwindling fossil fuel reserves with one of the most inefficient modes of transportation around, you can become part of the solution, not part of the problem. Breathe fresh air on your commute, instead of needlessly creating the choking smog that is poisoning our children.
Instead of handing your money to some of the largest and most irresponsible corporations on Earth, use it to advance your self, and spend it on artists, producers of fine cheese, innovators who produce great laptop computers, on literature, or on educating yourself. Invest the thousands you save to buy a house, to send your kids to university, or to fund socialist guerilla movements in Latin America. But don't hand your income over to General Motors, not if you don't have to -- and you don't.
Bicycle Commuting is Easy
At first, it may seem as if there's a lot to figure out. Where do I park my bike? What if it rains? What kind of bike should I use? There are simple solutions to all of these challenges, and you'll find the answers to every question you need answered to begin riding to work right here.