Commuting by bike does require me to sacrifice some things. Like wallet-crushing stops at the gas station. Or the chance to get up close and personal with unwashed strangers on rush hour transit.
But I gain simplicities. Take finding a parking spot – please. In a car, that’s a real pain. On a bike, it’s just stop it and lock it. That’s changed my whole approach to after-work errands. Now when I’m driving, I find parking is too much of a nuisance. I just wait until I’m on my bike, when it’s so much easier.
Getting my exercise is also simpler. There’s the base-level workout that comes with my rides to and from work. But I also need more structured cardio sessions two or three times a week. I just slap on the HRM chest strap as I’m changing in to my bike clothes, then detour on the way home to a park with a dedicated bike path. Some fast laps and I’m good. The ride there is the warm-up; the ride home is the warm-down. No separate suit-ups for fitness-specific rides. Or trying to carve out time for trips to the gym. Just exercise spliced seamlessly into the flow of my day.
Want to get simple like this? Ease into it. Start cycle commuting in spring or summer when the weather is kind. Then you can adapt your wardrobe gradually as the cool of fall comes.
Hop on your bike on a weekend to scout the home-to-work route when you don’t have a deadline. That’ll let you figure out how to get there and how long to allow for the ride.
At first, ride just a couple times a week. You can even promise yourself that’s all you’ll ever do. But I’m betting as you get fitter and happier, you’ll want to ride every day. It won’t be long until you think like I do, “Crap, do I really have to take the car today?”