by Charlotte Thistle
1. You’ll save money.
Monthly car payments? Gone. Insurance? No more. Parking? Forget it. Maintenance, repairs, tickets? All ancient history. A solid commuter bicycle costs $200 or less. To combine cycling with public transit, get yourself a monthly transit pass for $100. For those times when you need to transport a heavy load, run errands or do something special, join a car share program such as Car2go, Reach Now or Zip Car.
2. You’ll be happier.
Spending hours a day trapped in a stuffy metal box on the freeway doesn’t make anyone happy. In fact, researchers have shown that car commuters are more likely to be depressed than people who walk, cycle or take public transit to work, even when their commutes take longer.1
3. Your health will improve.
According to the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (as well just as plain old common sense) cycling is the urban transport mode associated with the greatest health benefits. Lowered blood pressure, improved circulation, stronger bones and better cardiovascular fitness, strength, flexibility and joint mobility are just a few of the health benefits you may experience with a switch to bicycle commuting.2
4. You’ll be sexier.
You’ll develop a healthy, radiant glow, lose weight, and build muscle – without spending a dime at the gym! In fact, if you think of the extra time added to your commute as replacing a daily gym workout, you’ll realize you’re saving time and money.
5. Everything you eat will be delicious.
You might be amazed how much better everything you eat will taste. Now that you’re working up an appetite with regular exercise, that stuff in the cafeteria that tasted like cardboard last week will suddenly become juicy and amazing! (For real.)
6. You’ll get to know your neighbors.
Being out and about, walking or biking or waiting for the train or bus, you’ll notice people and things in your neighborhood you never knew were there. You’ll discover a world of wonders right on your very own block!
7. You’ll use your time more wisely.
When it’s no longer easy to just ‘dash to the store’ for one or two items, you’ll plan ahead so those extra trips become unnecessary. You’ll do all the errands you need to do in one part of town on the same day, and you’ll feel confident about saying no to time-wasting activities you never wanted to do in the first place. You’ll spend less time running around, and more time doing the things that really matter.
8. You’ll gain confidence in yourself.
When you know that you, yourself, can provide the energy to get up those hills and cover those miles, you’ll have a new sense of your own personal power. You’ll realize that you are much stronger and more capable than you previously imagined.
9. You’ll re-arrange your life the way you always wanted it.
You’ll find a way to make your life work – and it will be better. Maybe you’ll move closer to work, work closer to home or even work from home. Or perhaps you’ll join a carpool a couple of days a week, and make some new friends – or utilise public transit, and find you have extra time to read. There are many ways to commute successfully without owning a car.
10. You’ll feel good about your impact on the world.
The single most destructive thing you do every day is drive a car. Exhaust from your tailpipe poisons oceans, rivers, trees and the air we breathe, and contributes to global climate change. In the United States alone, over 37,000 people die in road crashes each year and 2 million more are injured or disabled.3 An estimated 1 million animals are run over by cars every day.4 If you care at all about water, air, trees, people or animals, the first, most important step you can take towards positive change is to give up your car – for good.
11. You’ll be setting a good example for others.
Do you have children? Employees? Students? Co-workers? Show them it’s possible to live well without a car. When they see you succeed, they may follow your lead.