How To Bike Commute


Feel free to copy and share this infographic that I made.  Just make sure that you link it back to my site!

Sit.  We learn that command better than most dogs.  Sit down to eat breakfast.  Sit in the car on the way to school.  Sit in class.  Sit at your desk after class to study.  Sit in the car on the way home.  It’s a shame sitting isn’t exercise, because we would be so freaking fit!  The craziest thing of all is that a long day of sitting is EXHAUSTING!  I’ve come home from a day of sitting and been so tired that I just wanted to sit in front of a tv.

How can we change this?  Well, we can’t really stand up in lecture, and walking around while studying can be difficult.  If you have a desk job you could stand for a while, but that’s still not changing a ton.  So what’s the solution?  BIKE COMMUTING!!!

Tired when you get to class?  Not if you just biked 5 miles!  Bored and sleepy when you get home?  Not if you just biked another 5 miles!

Bike commuting is such a life changing experience, that I’m shocked that I don’t have to fight my way through a crowd of bikers every morning.

What are the benefits?

Physical Health: Bike commuting is great cardio.  Built in exercise!

Mental Health: No need to buy legal stimulants (coffee) in the morning!  Biking to school/work means you arrive bright and awake!  I am a more cheerful person at school, and I get another healthy dose of cheerfulness on my way home.  This means I arrive home in the evening happy and ready to hang out with the wife.

Money: Look at the above infograph.  It can save you a boat load of cash!

It’s Fun! It really is.  Challenge yourself on the phone app Strava to beat other bike commuters, or enjoy the sunset, or chat with your classmate-bike-commute-partner if you’re lucky like me.  Needless to say, I don’t miss the car.  Even rainy days can be fun in a sadistic sort of way.

It’s Hip: Had to throw that in there.

Some common excuses of non-bike commuters:

But what if it rains?  Well, you get wet.  Just pack a change of clothes.

But I live so far away! If you live within 10 miles it is very doable.

But it takes so much time! You’d be surprised how fast it is, especially since you can usually cut out the walk from the parking lot to your destination.  It also provides you built in exercise time, which can save time in the long run.

But I’m out of shape! Yes, that’s the point.

But the route is really bad! This can usually be solved with a ten minute glance at google maps and a few exploratory rides.  If you would like help charting a route, please contact me.

But isn’t biking really dangerous? It can be, but there are a lot of things you can do to make it much safer.  The best thing is to pick a safe route.  I add on half a mile to my route just to avoid busier streets.  Wear bright clothing and lights.  It is also very important to learn bike/road etiquette.

There’s nowhere to lock my bike! Take it inside.  Poke around your building and ask permission to store it in a safe place.  I lock mine up next to my desk.  I’ve even carried my bike into the hospital and stored it in a physician’s office!

I’ll get too sweaty! Bring a change of clothes.

I don’t have a bike! You are somehow paying for tuition, so I imagine you can spare $150 for a commuter bike.  This is a purchase that even I will always approve of.

Winters are cold and snowy!  I sympathize with this one.  There are a few months out of the year when I hitch a ride with my wife or my fellow classmate-biking-partner.

Those who know me well will not be surprised that I’m writing a post dedicated to biking.  Biking has been a part of my life since as long as I can remember.  My first clear memory is of my older brother riding away on his bike to preschool, and I was crying because I wanted to go with him.  I remember thinking that if I could learn how to ride a bike then I could go with him.  My first bike was named “the robin” because it was blue with speckles.  My friends and I formed a bike gang of sorts in elementary school.  We biked to and from school in a giant pack, jumping off curbs and riding down stairs.  The first time I rode my bike on a dirt trail I knew I had found something special.  Mountain biking became my passion, and I explored the mountains with my trusty dog chasing behind me.

Then I moved across the country to attend medical school, where mountain biking was a flat trail through a forest.  I picked up road biking to pass the time, and started bike commuting to school because my wife and I only had one car.  I’ve now been in school for 18 months, and I’ve bike commuted for 15 of those months.  That got me thinking about how much money I have saved by bike commuting, which is what inspired this post and the infographic.

So how can you start bike commuting?  It’s simple.  Buy or borrow a bike, grab some gym clothes, check out a route on google maps, and try it out!

What do you love about bike commuting?  Or if you don’t bike commute, what is keeping you from joining the club?  Comment below!


1 comment on “How To Bike Commute”

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