Thursday, May 16, 2013

Commuter Biking in Boulder

For the past year, I've been riding my bicycle to work, to run errands and to visit friends. There have only been 2 or 3 days where I drove my car to work because of icy road conditions. I've managed to do grocery shopping on my bike. I've visited friends in nearby towns riding my bike. I use my car only once or twice a month. In fact, I used my car so little that the battery drained. I now purposely run the car just to charge the battery when I don't use the car for two weeks.

I live in Boulder, CO which is rated the 3rd best place for biking by Bicycling Magazine. There are plenty of bike lanes and bike paths that make commuting by bike very easy.

I've found the experience very enjoyable and found many benefits to biking instead of driving a car. It is a great stress reliever after work to ride my bike. My route is on a bike path which runs alongside a creek. It is pleasant to hear the rushing water of the creek. I have a nice view of the Flatirons along the route. I have very little stops since most of the route is on a bike path. Driving a car home in slow moving traffic would add to the stress of the day. It is much more enjoyable to ride a bike.

I've not been sick in two years or more. I've not even had a cold. I'm sure biking every day contributes to my health. There are other factors of course. I run 4 or 5 times a week. I eat healthy. I regularly see an acupuncturist and chiropractor.

A study the Oil Price Information Service did for CNNMoney found that the average American household spent $368.09 on gas.  I'm not only saving on gas, but also maintenance cost on my car. In 2011 the average American spent 1.6% of their income on auto maintenance according the US Bureau of Labor Statistics .

There are downfalls to riding practically every day in all kinds of weather. I have had some falls on ice which has damaged my bike and given me a few bruises. It can be miserable riding in falling snow and on icy roads. The bike itself does need to be maintained and repaired, but the expense is much less than a car repair.

The downsides are minor compared to the benefits. My overall mood and health is much better riding a bike than when I commuted by car. There is great joy in riding every day. Even in the winter, it is very invigorating to ride a bike. In the spring on warm sunny days, it is a real pleasure to be on a bike in nature.

I would recommend commuting by bike to anyone.  May is national month, so it would be a good time to start.

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