Why I Bike to Work
Chris Westendorf

               Mr. Westendorf along with Ms. Heike who also bikes to work.

It's Bike to Work Week (May 30-June 5), and I was asked to share some reflections on why I choose to bike to work all year-round. Riding my bike to work comes with upsides as well as downsides. The downsides are pretty well-known. Why would anyone get wet in rainy weather, get sweaty, or deal with that guy who curses and honks at you from his pick-up truck?

Well, in a nutshell, the reason to do it is simple; the benefits massively outweigh the downsides. In fact, this could be the smartest decision you’ve ever made. Here’s why:

  • Money - Who doesn’t need more money? That stuff can buy anything! Even with a short commute, I’m going to go ahead and estimate the average annual costs of insuring, fueling, and maintaining a vehicle or second vehicle is at least $5,000. The average annual cost of maintaining a commuter bike and reflective, waterproof clothing? Maybe $400.
  • Health - Having trouble working up the motivation to go to the gym or for a run? Why not integrate exercise into your daily routine? Since you must get to work, if you commute by bike every day, you’re guaranteed to get that exercise. Sweet!
  • Reduce Stress/Have Fun - If you ride your bike to work, I guarantee you will almost always have your (bike) lane to yourself, be the first in line at every light, and never have to fight for a parking spot. People ride their bikes for pleasure all the time – why can’t cycle commuting be part of this? It’s about getting outside, getting some exercise, and experiencing the world in a new way.
  • The Planet - Cycling produces no emissions. The total greenhouse gases (GHG) emitted over the manufacturing, use, and eventual disposal of a bicycle is negligible and dwarfed by the GHGs of even the cleanest electric vehicles.

Cycle commuting really is the only way to go. If you can make it work, I truly hope that you will consider the many, many benefits and get out there and give it a try! As a bonus, the more of us that are on the road, the more awareness will be raised of the critical need for more cycling infrastructure such as a separated, 2-way bike lane on 24th Street.😉

Happy Bike to Work Week! 

Contributed by Mr. Westendorf, Senior School Media Arts Teacher