How do you get to work? Do you drive through frustrating traffic, or wait impatiently for public transit? Skip the anxiety and stress and bike to work!
Whether biking to work is feasible for you will depend on your fitness level, distance to work, and experience with biking. If you are new to biking, a distance of 5-8 km (each way) is likely manageable. You can also bring your bike on public transit if you live too far from work, or just bike one way. Once you get more used to biking you may find biking the whole way manageable.
In our office here at BC Dairy, some staff bike 8-15km each way to work – all year – and love it! It is so nice to hop on a bike and get some fresh air after spending all day sitting inside. It really boosts your mood!
Make sure you get some good rain gear if you live in the Lower Mainland so you aren’t dissuaded from biking throughout the winter. If you live in a snowier climate, studded bike tires are an option. But don’t go out if it is too icy.
5 reasons to bike to work:
- Save time. If you don’t have a personal vehicle, transit isn’t usually a very fast way to get anywhere, especially if there is a delay or detour. Your bike ride may actually make your commute shorter depending on the distance. Plus, you’ll never get stuck in traffic or have to wait for an accident to get cleared if you’re on a bike path!
- Reduce your impact on the environment. Even if you have a personal vehicle, biking is a great way to reduce your environmental impact. Compared to an average vehicle, you save 0.22 kilograms of greenhouse gases per kilometre.
- Save money. The cost of a used bike and some basic gear is quickly recovered from savings in gas, reduced vehicle depreciation, parking, and transit fees.
- Improve your health. Biking may help reduce stress built up during the workday, improve your heart health, and help you build or maintain muscles in your legs. Maintaining muscle mass is especially important for older adults.
- Have fun and join a vibrant community! Biking is enjoyable and provides a great avenue to meet others. Get a team together for the next bike to work week in your community and encourage your colleagues to join you!
Now that you know some benefits of biking, make sure you do it safely. Learn more about BC's rules of the road, bike handling and traffic skills from BikeSense or the resources provided by HUB. Lastly, if you’d like to read a humorous story about biking to work, click here: Why I still love biking to work after dealing with poo and floods.
Now get out there and start enjoying your commute!
By Melissa Baker, MHSc, RD