In my ongoing series of profiles of other bicycle commuters, I always ask people to give me their top 3-5 reasons why they commute by bike. Here’s mine:
1. Financial. Owning a bike is far cheaper than owning a car. AAA estimates that it costs more than $8,000 a year to own and drive a mid-size sedan. I could buy 4 nice bikes every year for that much money!
2. Convenience. I live 2.5 miles from my office. It would be ridiculous to drive that distance to work every day and pay an exorbitant fee to park my car. I have “raced” co-workers from various points around the city back to the office, and I always win – without breaking any laws.
3. Fun. I enjoy riding my bike. Not sure how to explain that in more detail. Some people say things like, “I enjoy using the power of my own muscles to get me around,” or “I like the feel of the wind in my face,” or “biking makes me feel like a kid again.” I don’t know about any of that, but for me riding a bike is just fun.
4. Physical health. I have to go up and over a hill, so I get a little bit of a workout every day during my commute.
5. Environmental. Getting around by bike allows me to reduce my carbon footprint. But I’m not really sure that it’s worth crowing about seeing as how everything else in our economy relies on burning carbon. I travel by airplane 4 or 5 times a year and that sure isn’t efficient. Then there’s all the groceries and other stuff I buy that takes some carbon burning to get to my house. Not to mention the coal-fired plant that brings electricity to my computer in order for me to write this blog. But cycling is one small thing I can do to reduce my impact. Does that make me more “green” than the person who drives a car to work? Maybe, maybe not.