I met up with another guy who commutes by bicycle for the ride home. He lives in my neighborhood and works at our offices down the street. We took it slowly, but took a more direct route than I had previously considered. Maybe it was the more direct route, less stops signs, or maybe it was the friendly chatting that made the afternoon commute seem to go by quickly. I was looking forward to the ride home and I'm especially glad I decided to make the journey.
There is a thread about why people choose to commute on bicycle (or not) on bikeforums.net where the poster asks the following:
1) Why do you bike commute?
2) What do you think are the common barriers that keep people who might do so from commuting via bike?
My personal answers:
For question 1 "Why do you bike commute?":
a) exercise - I spend 8 hours a day at a desk. The human body isn't designed for this. I definitely have the "Keys family gene" which predisposes me to becoming a pretty large fellow (horizontally-speaking). I got home maybe 20 mins later than I normally would have this evening, and I've already got my work-out in for the day.
b) stress relief - Again, 8 hours behind a desk will do it to you, and I've found that my first real day of bike commuting was great fun. It was like adding a little injection of adventure where I'm normally just another sheep being herded around by traffic lights.
c) environment - I'm by no means what I would call a tree-hugger but it feels good to park the V8 and get somewhere on my own power.
d) politics - during World War II the everyday citizen sacrificed many things for the "war effort." We don't see much of that today. I feel parking one vehicle every once-in-a-while and using the bike is a small token of effort towards the modern day war effort.
e) challenge - it was definitely getting out of my comfort zone to even try this, and I enjoy that sense of accomplishment.
As for question 2 "What do you think are the common barriers that keep people who might do so from commuting via bike?"
a) fear - It's outside the normal everyday comfort zone and it appears unsafe
b) ignorance - I mean this literally not as an insult; I too was ignorant before I researched and saw that it is possible and safe.
c) laziness - It's easy to get in the car and burn some petrol. And bike commuting does force a bit of planning.
I was mentioning to someone this morning that I rode my bike in when someone else asked "why'd you do that?" I didn't have a good answer at the time (it's actually a funny question the more I think about it). I think I muttered something about wanting to just give it a try for the exercise. But after thinking about it some I know I've got quite a few reasons. :)
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