cycling

Two arguments for biking. Also, Sam finds one obstacle removed at her new university

Argument 1: It’s faster to bike. 

According to all of the data on our smartphones–here’s looking at you Google Fit!–in urban environments biking time beats car travel time hands down

Argument 2: It can also help you get enough movement in your day. This week there were many headlines proclaiming that fewer than 20 percent of Americans meet the recommended advice for amount of physical activity.

From the NPR version of this story: “With a few exceptions, the advice in the new guidelines is not so different from what we were told in the 2008 guidelines. But, here’s the trouble: Only about 20 percent of Americans meet them. This lack of physical activity is linked to $117 billion in annual health care costs, according to a report published Monday in the Journal of the American Medical Association that lays out the new guidelines. The new guidelines marshal a growing body of evidence that documents immediate benefits of exercise such as reduced anxiety, improved sleep and improved blood sugar control, and long-term benefits (of regular physical activity), including cognitive benefits, and significantly lower risks of heart disease and certain cancers.So, how much physical activity do we need? On this point, the new guidelines haven’t changed: Adults need a minimum of 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity physical activity.”

For me, even if I do nothing else I meet these goals through bike commuting. 

What are your barriers to biking? One of mine has always been that I don’t like coming out at the end of the day to a wet, snowy bike. Once things get slushy I’m less likely to bring my bike into my office. Besides my workday often starts at other buildings and I’m arriving just in time for meetings.

I love that Guelph has abundant (like the one pictured here, centrally located, isn’t the only one) covered bike storage.

Covered outdoor bike storage at Guelph. Thanks Google for the black and white image.

3 thoughts on “Two arguments for biking. Also, Sam finds one obstacle removed at her new university

  1. My commute is short (5K, flat route, 20 minutes). 4/5ths of that is on a bike path or bike lane (though I still have to be mindful of the spots where the bike path crosses main roads). I also have secure, indoor bike parking, which is great. My biggest barrier is weather, and not having shower facilities at work, so I won’t ride if it’s raining or snowing. And I definitely won’t ride if there is ice or snow on the ground (I don’t feel confident in my ability to ride in slippery conditions). I’m challenging myself to ride in cold weather this winter (at least once/week) as I tend to wimp out.

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  2. My commute is short (5K, entirely flat) and 4/5ths of that is on bike path or bike lane, so it’s relatively safe (do still have to be mindful of the parts where the path crosses live traffic). I also have secure, indoor bike parking at work. My biggest barrier is weather: I don’t have shower facilities at work, so I don’t ride when it’s raining or snowing. And I definitely won’t ride if there’s ice or snow on the ground as I’m not confident in my abilities to ride in slippery conditions. I’m trying to challenge myself to ride in the cold this winter, at least once/week, as I’m a bit of a fair-weather cyclist.

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