Why Bike?

 

Just some of the benefits.
Bicycling is clean, quiet and produces no air pollution. Bicycles don’t require expensive fuels for operation. They are low maintenance, and inexpensive to maintain. A cinch to parallel park! In fact, twelve bicycles can be parked in the space required for one automobile!

Bicycling provides many health benefits, including burning 10 calories a minute! Plus, the exercise delivers oxygen to the blood, the blood delivers oxygen to the brain and the brain delivers an alert response. Bicycle commuters get to work alert and ready to face the day!

Go 5 miles in 20 minutes.
In many parts of the Valley bicyclists can be almost anywhere in town in less than a half an hour, depending on how fast they ride and the time of day they travel. Because bicyclists often don’t have to wait in traffic, they may get to their destination in relatively the same amount of time it would take to drive! Plus, electric-powered bicycles are now available through specialized dealers. These special bicycles enable bicyclists to pedal on their own or ride by turning on and off the electric power pack attached to the bike.

Bike ‘n’ Bus.
Most transit providers now have bike racks on their buses. This enables commuters to combine bicycle commuting and public transit for longer commutes. Call your local transit provider to double check.

Employees: 
Explore your work site or school. See if bike racks or lockers are provided. If your company doesn’t have any bicycle facilities, ask what it would take to add them. Valleyrides.com can help! Also ask about your company’s Guaranteed Ride Home Program.

After reading about all of the benefits of bicycle commuting, if you are still not sure if it is for you, flip this sheet over to read the “commonly used excuses” for not bicycling to work.

Employers: 
If bicycle commuting is a viable commute option for any of your employees, consider putting in bike racks or bike lockers, and showers for your employees. Compare the cost of adding bicycle facilities against the money you will save in decreased absenteeism, higher productivity from employees who are more alert, less stressed and generally healthier, and the need for fewer parking spaces.

We have listed four of the most commonly used excuses employees use to avoid bicycle commuting. Read through our responses to those excuses and the next time you hear one of your employees use one of them you’ll be prepared with an answer.

Commonly given excuses for not trying bicycle commuting:

“I live too far away!” 
If you live less than five miles away from your workplace, bike commuting will be easy for you. If you live between five and ten miles away, it will be harder but still within your reach, especially if you are able to combine bicycle commuting with public transit. If you live over 15 miles away from your workplace, you’re excused. (Unless you are a serious biker. But you probably wouldn’t be reading this if you were.) Try riding to work once on the weekend. You may learn that it takes less time and effort than you anticipated. Keep in mind that every minute you spend riding to work in the fresh air and sunshine is a minute that you don’t have to spend doing aerobic exercise at a gym.

“I’m out of shape!” 
You’ll get in shape really fast! Set reasonable goals. Don’t plunge in over your head. Start out riding to work one or two days a week. When you start feeling more fit, add another day until you riding as often as you’d like to. Also, start out riding slowly. Stop a few times to catch your breath, or walk up that tough hill. You’ll eventually be riding up. REALLY! Cycling is easier on out-of-shape people than many aerobic sports. It’s not a load bearing exercise, because you are not standing the whole time, and it is low-impact which doesn’t put undue stress on your lower body.

“I’ll get sweaty!” 
Yep. You probably will. So wear a t-shirt, and either carry a change of clothes with you or take a couple of changes of clothes into work during the weekend or on another day that you cannot commute by bike. Check to see if your workplace has showers–many do. To avoid getting hot, take some extra time and bike slowly, or ride earlier in the morning before the weather has time to heat up. Take a full water bottle with you and drink whenever you need to.

“I don’t have a commuter bike!”
You don’t need a special commuter bike. That dusty bike that’s sitting in your garage is probably just fine. You can ride to work on it as soon as you pump up the tires. But for a safe, quality commuting experience you might want to take it to a bike shop for a low cost tune-up. You can even tune it up yourself with the help of a bike repair book from your local bookstore or bike shop. Check out all of the new bicycle gear out on the market. Investing in a comfortable seat, a flat fix kit, an extra inner tube, and lights are recommended. A helmet is a must!!

“I don’t have enough time!” 
Keep in mind that every minute you spend riding to work in the fresh air and sunshine is a minute that you don’t have to spend doing aerobic exercise at a gym. As we listed on the flip side, because bicyclists often don’t have to wait in traffic, they may get to their destination in relatively the same amount of time it would take to drive! You may also want to check out those electric bicycles and coordinating transit schedules!

Phone numbers for your local bike shops and cycling clubs can be found in the yellow pages of your phone book. Valleyrides can also provide you with information on statewide bicycling organizations and events established to promote bicycling as a commute option! Learn From Experts