I am interested in the reasons people choose to use the bicycle as a form of transportation. There are many reasons people give for why they don’t bike, and it’s worth getting into those also. But for now, why do you choose the bike?
The reason I started, about 11 years ago, using the bike instead of the car for much of my transportation was that I wanted a simpler lifestyle. The simplicity of a bike compared to the complexity of a car prompted me to pursue it. Little did I realize, there is a laundry list of reasons to adopt the bike and ditch the car. Here are a couple:
It is extremely inexpensive to bike. The set-up cost for cycling is anywhere from free (I have found countless bikes in the garbage that were rideable) to more than your first car. If your not into either of those extremes some other options are a used bike off Kijiji, your dad’s old 10 speed, or even a bike from your local community bike shop.
You may need to put a little money into a used bike, and I mean a little. New brake and gear cables ($10), brake pads ($12), tubes ($10), grips ($5), chain ($12). That’s about $50, if you had to replace all those items, which is rarely the case. If the tires are in bad shape, another $40 or $50 will get you a new set. Basically the worst case scenario is you spend less than $100 on getting your bike outfitted with all new ‘consumables’. When is the last time you could spend $100 on your car and feel like you had a new machine?
Free exercise. The idea of paying money to work-out at a gym is unpalatable to me. This is especially true if most of what you are doing in a gym is running on a treadmill or riding a stationary bike. Why!? Save yourself the $40 a month and do it outside for free. Time is also a factor worth considering. Ride your bike to work, pick up groceries, take your kids to a play-date; whatever you might normally do in a car, do it on a bike. It won’t take too much longer (might even be quicker), plus you get the benefit of a small free workout. This is in contrast to driving everywhere for your day to day stuff, and then driving to the gym where you spend an hour and a half by yourself instead of hanging out with your family.
Okay, there are just two good, albeit practical reasons. What are some reasons you choose to bike? Share in the comments.