Benefits of Biking To Work Vs. Driving
Thinking about commuting by bike? You’re not the only one. Bike commuting increased by about 61% between 2000 and 2019, according to Bike Advisor. The U.S. Census Bureau also reveals that more than 870,000 commuted via bike in 2019. Now is a great time to get started. And whether you choose a unisex, men’s, or women’s commuter bike, you can gain quite a few benefits from cycling to work or school.
Environmental Benefits of Biking:
Reducing our carbon footprint is a hot topic—literally. Statistics from NOAA reveal that global surface temperatures have risen more than 2 degrees Fahrenheit since 1880. Increased emissions of greenhouse gasses, including carbon dioxide, have trapped more heat into our atmosphere.
Automobiles contribute significantly to these emissions. The EPA estimates that the average passenger vehicle emits around 4.6 tons of CO2 per year. A single-vehicle can release about 28 pounds of carbon dioxide per day.
Whether you choose a traditional commuter bike or an e-bike, cycling to work can drastically reduce your carbon dioxide output from transportation. The average cyclist releases only 0.7 grams of CO2 per mile versus passenger vehicles’ 1.2 pounds of CO2 per mile. That’s a huge difference.
Lockdowns from COVID-19 led to a 6.4% drop in CO2 emissions in 2020, thanks to people off the road. The United Nations Environmental Programme projects that global emissions must drop by 7.6% each year to slow down current warming trends. Imagine what would happen if more commuters switched to cycling. While the goal seems lofty, you and other commuters can help make it happen.
Why You Should Bike to Work Over Driving?
Besides making a positive impact on the environment, commuting by bike offers other substantial benefits. Typical ownership costs are lower with bikes than with vehicles—and it doesn’t matter whether you select a ladies comfort bike, an e-bike, a tricycle, or another type of model. It costs about $300 a year to own a bike, whereas annual expenses with a motor vehicle average $8,600. And those estimates don’t count the cost of parking your vehicle, which can range between $100 and $700 per year according to City Observatory.
People who ride bikes also experience better physical and mental health. The World Health Organization recommends at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity each day for a total of 150 minutes per week. Cycling is an aerobic activity that develops cardiovascular health. And since it’s low-impact, it’s also an excellent choice for people with joint or back problems. Cyclists also report less anxiety, depression, and stress. When riding outside, your body releases both serotonin and endorphins. Both of these vital substances help manage stress levels and improve your overall mood.
Making the Switch
By biking to work, you can achieve multiple goals at once—benefiting the environment, getting in your daily exercise, saving money, and improving your physical and mental health. Ready to get started? Choosing a high-quality bike is your first step. When you shop, look at key factors such as rider fit, recommended distance, and specs. If provided, use the manufacturer’s online fitting tool to match you with a bike that’s just right for you.