After a few short years of bicycle commuting, I find that I'm stressed out when I have to drive to work ["50 Ways to Improve Your Life: Ride Your Bike to Work," usnews.com]. Riding the bike, on the other hand, is a stress-buster. It's not hard. You don't need a bunch of stuff (most of us don't live where we need to use four pairs of gloves!). Try it—you might like it. Most of us who bicycle commute would never go back to an all-car lifestyle.
Comment by Bill of Tallahassee , FL
It can actually be quite easy to hop on a bike. In the United States, we've become used to seeing cycling as a sport, and our bikes and equipment reflect that: special shoes, fluorescent clothing, water bottles, and the whole nine yards. Bike commuting was something you did because you loved it and were willing to plan and sacrifice in order to do it. However, more and more people these days are remembering that biking can be much more convenient. Bike shops are now stocking "Dutch bikes" (heavy, slow bikes so-called for their popularity in the Netherlands). They're comfortable, durable, nearly zero maintenance. They have generator lights that require no batteries, chain cases that keep pants clean, fenders for rainy days, and racks in the front and rear to carry stuff. Cycling really can be as easy as driving.
Comment by Bob of NY
The people that are the most adverse to biking, walking, or even public transit are those who had to rely on other forms of transportation. They have a mindset that it is not practical. If they did try it, they would soon learn that it is much easier than driving. I have ridden my bike for the better part of the past 10 years. I love it and could not imagine being stuck behind a wheel. For the short time I did drive, I felt like it was a burden. In fact, I am more nervous driving than biking in traffic. Also, [driving] is way too expensive. It costs anywhere from $300 to over $1,000 a month to operate a car. That is money I would rather use elsewhere.
Comment by D. Bailey of CA
I started bike commuting in 2003 mainly to save money by going to just one car for my family. Also, getting my fitness in the morning and evening commute was part of the plan! I got addicted and I am still riding. I lay off the bike when it is really cold, wet, icy, etc. But once it is decent I hit the pavement. I totally agree for those longer than five-mile rides to include the bus or train. I find it a total necessity to have transit for my 10-plus-mile ride to work. Especially if one is to ride year-round! I have one bike for my winter riding and one for fall, spring, and summer. My best suggestion is to find your local bike advocacy group so you can find a bike commuter or L.A.B. (League of American Bicyclists) Road I Safety Course. I took mine in 2005 and found it to be the best way to learn and ride. I have had thousands of safe miles. Keep cycling in 2009 and beyond!
Comment by Jeff of MO
God designed our bodies with over 600 muscles (the largest in the legs, hips, and glutes). It is foolish to ignore his design and relegate his design purpose (using the muscles) to sit all day at the office, car, and the couch at home. The health effects linked to this inaction are evident everywhere and are very costly and unpleasant. Seventy percent of all healthcare costs are lifestyle related. Cycling builds muscle, burns fat, fights heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, poor circulation, depression, and boredom.
Comment by Tim Guthrie of OH