Since spring is here, I do most of my commute by bike and train.
I was reflecting, what are my own benefits of commuting by bike.
WHY COMMUTE BY BIKE:
1. It is often faster.
I found that going by bike vs. going by car and looking for a place to park in a crowded city, or waiting for public transport, by bike it just faster.
My ground rule is that up to 30-45 minutes by bike is often faster. If the ride is longer then 45 minutes, this advantage erodes.
2. Saves time during the day.
If I go by bike, and pedal in a sporty way, I have double use of the same time spent:
Exercise + Commute.
I used to do this with running, but running is less comfortable to commute.
Walking is good, but sometimes it's just too slow.
3. Keeps me moving even on those days when otherwise I wouldn't exercise at all.
4. Feeling of freedom.
I just feel free on the bike!
This alone totally worth it!
Last week I was in Greece, and during one of my bike rides, I discovered this lovely orthodox chapel on the coastline. Had I not bike, I wouldn't have seen it.
WHY NOT COMMUTE BY BIKE:
1. If it rains, it is still not perfect.
I have good gears against rain, glasses, gloves, without this I wouldn't even bother trying it. But still, there is this factor of putting the gear on, and store the wet gear in a plastic bag upon arrival.
2. Poor bike is theft-safe, but it is a poor bike.
This is the usual dilemma of me: my poor bikes never got stolen.
But they offer a lesser experience vs. my better bike.
The better bike is better to ride, but can get stolen.
3. Some roads, areas, just don't cut it for bikers.
Usually it takes some time for me to discover the best routes for bike commute. These are low traffic, less marked streets, or dedicated bike roads, and most of the time only known by bike riders. However, when I go to a new place in town, I often don't have the time to experiment to find the best-bike-friendly-way. So I go with the traffic, which is as it sounds, going with the traffic.
All in all, I think the benefits of commuting by bike outweigh the disadvantages with an incomparable amount.
Just alone the feel of being free worth it.
Do you commute by bike?
What do you like about?
What is bad about it?