Most urban dwellers like myself have numerous options for how to get around. Many have their own cars, motorcycles, or scooters. And a lot of people take public transportation such as the bus, the subway, or tramlines. All of these are viable modes of transportation, but cycling has a number of special benefits that make it the best form of transportation.
One benefit of cycling is that you can get exercise. Exercising several times a week is essential for good long term health, but most people make excuses and ways to avoid exercising. Many people will buy a gym membership and stop going. Others will play sports but fail to schedule times with the other players. Many people go jogging but take a day off. Then the next day they take another day off. And the next day they take another off.
The problem here is that these people intend to exercise, but they need to incorporate exercise into their routine so it is unavoidable and impossible to resist. Commuting to work by bicycle is the perfect way to incorporate exercise into your daily routine. Because there are no excuses. If you are tired after work, you still have to ride home. You can’t escape the exercise you have committed to.
Another reason to cycle around town is that it’s affordable. You don’t have to pay for gas, and in this day and age of high oil prices that is a huge benefit. You generally don’t have to pay for parking either. This depends on the city, but in many cities you can just lock up your bike on the strike or a bike rack for free. The key to affordability is to avoid having your bike stolen, so I recommend you invest in a good bike lock.
Another benefit of bike riding is flexibility. If you want to ride along the beach to work, you can. If you want to take a shortcut through a park or narrow lane, you can. You can walk your bicycle on the sidewalk. You can’t do those things with a car, and of course not on public transportation. Sometimes that variety and flexibility of taking whatever route you want can take some of the stress out of your daily commute.
I own a car because I like to take road trips and head up into the mountains. But when getting around the city, my bike is so much more convenient and enjoyable than all of the other transportation methods. So if you don’t have a bike, make sure to get one and start enjoying your commute.