Options For Riding a Bike to Work

I bike to work everyday–rain, snow, heat, whatever; I have my reasons: I’m hard core, I enjoy it, it’s what I do.

But you don’t have to be like me…or anyone else!

Picture of a bicycle on a camel
Biking to work doesn’t mean giving up your…camel.

Riding a bike to work is about doing something useful, something you enjoy, and something you find rewarding. That may mean riding everyday at top speed with your heart rate firmly in the training zone, or it may mean a leisurely ride to the office once or twice a week on beautiful summer days. Not everyone can ride everyday, not everyone should; but the benefits of riding to work are not limited to the hard core.

For convenience, let’s divide the world of bicycle commuters into two categories: those who decide to replace their car and those who decide to supplement their car. Read on to see the benefits of each choice as well as questions that you should consider when choosing how to bike to work.

Supplement Your Car

picture of a turn arrowThe vast majority of bike commuters choose to ride to work on some days and drive on others. Keeping their car as an option provides flexibility–if you need to pick up kids at daycare on certain days, if you occasionally make sales calls or need to run errands, or if you have a lot of material to take back and forth to work, this option may be for you. Some commuters will drive to work on Mondays and Fridays, bringing their computer, clothes, and lunches in their car, then bike to work Tuesday through Thursday.

Here are some of the benefits of replacing some of you car commuting by using a bicycle:

  • Supplementing your car saves 51.5 cents for each mile you don’t drive (if you replace only two 10 mile commutes per week, that adds up to over $1,000 per year)
  • Each ride is as healthy as spending a similar amount of time in the gym
  • You connect with your environment, community, and body in a way that just isn’t possible otherwise
  • You get a sense of empowerment from knowing that you are able to get yourself to work without relying on anything else

Before you begin, you should ask yourself these questions:

picture of a turn arrow

Replace Your Car


Giving up your car for a bike is a big step, but it comes with big rewards:

  • Put an extra $8,776 (US) in your pocket each year
  • Be sick one less day each year
  • Replace all your aerobic workouts with useful “destination-based exercise”
  • You connect with your environment, community, and body in a way that just isn’t possible otherwise
  • You get a sense of empowerment from knowing that you are able to get yourself to work without relying on anything else

Before you take this step, here are some questions you should ask yourself:

Once you realize that riding a bike to work is not an all or nothing choice, the pressure is off and you can begin to see the benefits of the beautiful commute.