Feeling behind on your fitness or financial New Year’s resolutions? Biking to work might just be the solution. We’re breaking down the 4 significant benefits of turning to the saddle for your daily commute – plus tips to get started like a pro. By the end of this post, you’ll know how cycling can pave the way to your 2022 breakthrough.
Growing Number Of Bikers And Walkers Vs. Public Transit
If you’re on the fence about biking to work, these numbers might encourage you to be part of the cycling movement.
According to Statistics Canada, before the pandemic:
- 75% of workers used private vehicles to get to work
- 13% used public modes of transit
- 7% cycled or walked to work, and
- 1% used other modes of transportation.
From these numbers, 4% of Canadians worked remotely.
However, since June 2020, during the pandemic:
- The number of private vehicle users dropped from 75% to 67%
- Those who used public transit fell from 13% to 3%
- 6% cycled or walked to work, and
- 2% used other modes of transportation.
From these numbers, 22% of Canadians worked remotely.
Since the pandemic, more than half of Canadian workers took to walking or biking (6%), exceeding those that took public modes of transportation (3%).
What could have caused the bike to work spike?
Anxiety over public transit options and the desire to exercise have contributed to Canada’s “Bicycle Boom,” where an influx of riders has caused cities to redesign streets and demand e-bikes.
So what does this mean for you and your future as a cycling commuter? We’ve rounded up 4 things you can benefit from.
4 Benefits of Cycling to Work
1- Kilometers in, calories out
If you tend to keep a more sedentary lifestyle, this is an efficient way to hit two birds with one stone. You get to burn some calories on the way to work and improve your cardiovascular health.
Just make sure to get into it gradually, especially if you’re new to cycling or exercising. If you have health concerns, it’s always best to consult your doctor before you hit the road.
2- Significant savings
According to moneyGenius, the average vehicle owner spends over $10k a year. Imagine saving that kind of money annually and merely spending an average of $400 instead. You won’t just end the year with a healthier body but a healthier bank account, too.
3- Earth-friendly option
Biking to work is good for the planet. By doing this every day for a week, you can cut your carbon footprint by 3.2kg. Due to the lower emissions for the transport sector and various industries, 65% of global cities reported better air quality in 2020.
4- Memory and mental health perks
What better way to start the workday than by getting your endorphins up and your blood pumping? Cycleplan’s survey showed that 75% of cyclists observed better mental health since getting on a saddle. What’s more, 8% said it helped with their anxiety or depression.
Additionally, 30 minutes of moderate exercise has been found to boost cognition, reasoning, and memory. Sounds good enough to score that next promotion.
Bike to Work Like Pro
Now you know the appeal and long-term benefits cycling commuters get. We’ve listed some helpful tips to get you safely and smoothly on the road.
- Study your routes and parking options: Aim for streets with dedicated bike lanes. Choose the safest route (which may not always be the shortest) and practice it on a Saturday or Sunday when the roads aren’t packed.
- Know your limits (physically and distance-wise): Make sure your route is around 10-15 kilometers, especially if you’re new to exercising or cycling. Start with shorter trips before embarking on the whole journey.
- Choose a bike you’re comfortable with: It’s always best to consult an expert at a bike shop or a seasoned cycling commuter. A longer commute might require a road bike or e-bike, and a shorter, flatter commute may be better with a single-speed bike.
- Invest in a u-lock: We recommend a high-quality U-lock instead of a flimsy cable lock that’s easy to break. A U-lock may not guarantee that your bike won’t get stolen, but it definitely decreases the possibility.
- Stay under your sweat threshold: The great thing about our weather is that you can bike without breaking much of a sweat. The more you get the hang of the commute, the more you’ll get a feel of the sweet-spot speed that’ll keep you fresh and dry all the way to work.
- Keep your bike’s maintenance in check: The Cycling House shares a simple guide to remind you how often you should get your bike checked and what maintenance should be done.
- Block enough time to enjoy the commute: Most accidents happen when people are distracted or rushing. Aim to set 10-15 minutes of buffer time (aside from the time it takes to get to work early). This will not only keep your ride safe but more enjoyable.
- Find a biking buddy: It makes things more fun and safe, plus – you can hold each other accountable on days when you just don’t feel like biking.
- Keep an emergency outfit at work: Remember to keep a sharp set of clothes at work just In case you get wet, mudded up, or go over your sweat threshold.
- Prioritize safety at all times: Practicing proper road etiquette, knowing your hand signals, and wearing proper gear are among the few life-saving things you should master. Check out our 14 Bike Safety and Theft Prevention Tips for more info.