Confessions of a Former Driver

In a previous life of mine (at my last job), I was a slave to my car. Five days a week, I would make the lifeless 30 mile drive to the office, always stopping for a healthy McDonalds breakfast of flapjacks and rubber eggs. I was spending truckloads of money – not only on my morning Mickey D indulgences, but also on other necessities like gas and basic car maintenance. A new job in a new city allowed me the opportunity to bike to work. If you are fortunate enough to live within biking distance from your office, you should seriously consider biking in.

Here are some reasons to convince you:

1. Wake yourself up

This is probably the biggest benefit for me on a personal level. In my past life, as with the majority of 7am risers, I needed my caffeine fix the moment I walked in the office door.

While biking might not taste as good as your morning cup o’ joe (avoiding those errant gnat swarms are tough), it is a great alternative. Plus, biking will limber your body up enough to prepare it for an arduous day of slouching at your desk.

2. Get slim and trim:

If you weigh in at 190lbs, you will burn over 500 calories an hour biking at a light pace. If your ride takes you 20 minutes one-way, you’ll be burning over 300 calories round trip.

By biking to work 4 times a week, you’ll be burning over 1200 calories a week. Do this 45 weeks a year, and you’ll be burning 54 THOUSAND calories – or shedding 15 pounds. I know – losing weight isn’t this linear, but you get the picture.

3. Save some money:

This is an obvious one. By biking to work instead of driving, you’ll be saving hundreds of dollars otherwise spent on gas money. You’ll also be slowing the wear and tear on your car.

4. You can save the world:

Ok… so you probably won’t be single handedly saving the world, but you can contribute by doing your part in lowering our society’s rampant CO2 emissions. Every bit helps!

5. It’s a great time.

Possibly the best part of biking to work is that it’s simple fun. It’s just you and the open road. There is great enjoyment in the freedom and sense of control that being on a bike gives you. And your ride home, at the end of your day of drudgery in the office, is nothing but invigorating – a refreshing reminder of your independence.

So avoid those congested roads and cramped subway cars – next time, try biking in.