Few people enjoy commuting to work every day. For almost all of us there are traffic jams, red lights, and road rage to get through, and then we have to find a parking space- and sometimes pay for it. Even those who are lucky enough to enjoy free parking at work still have to cover the costs of gas and maintaining a car.
Some consider public transport as an alternative, but that may not be practical if you live out of town and it can be equally expense and subject to delays. It’s more environmentally friendly than taking your own car or even car-pooling, but there is an even better way to get to work- by bike.
Cycling is free once you’ve paid for the bike and there is almost never a charge for ‘parking’ one. Some businesses even provide bike storage for the employees. You won’t have to worry about rising gas prices or third party insurance. Waiting at the bus stop for an overdue bus can be a thing of the past, never to happen again.
There is another saving cycle commuters can make. If you bike to work every day (or even a couple of times a week) you can throw away your gym membership. Cycling is great exercise. It can lift aerobic fitness and tone muscles, and let you use the morning and evening commute to get fit. There will be no more time wasted sitting in the car, bored and frustrated.
Of course, nothing is perfect. One thing that worries many people thinking about cycling to work is traffic. Help is at hand- Cincinnati Cycle Club runs traffic skills courses that can really get cyclists comfortable with riding in traffic. It deals with all kinds of safety issues, Ohio bike laws, and route selection. Some roads are friendlier than others, and the Cincinnati area is criss-crossed by cycle routes that can get commuters to and from work quickly and safely.
Cincinnati is soon to have another great facility for cycle commuters. The new Bike, Mobility, and Visitor Center at Cincinnati Riverfront Park aims to provide secure bike storage, showers, lockers, and a cycle repair space close to city businesses. Commuters will be able to aim for the Center, leave their bikes, and arrive at work freshly showered and ready to go.
If you’re a little nervous on a bike or it’s been a while since you’ve cycled any distance, take a Saturday or Sunday afternoon and try a gentle ride. There are some beautiful car-free routes along the Ohio River. If cycle advocates get their way, it will one day be possible to cycle all the way to Lake Erie on off-road trails.
You don’t have to rush out and make the commitment to commute by bike straight away. Start off with just one or two days per week and go from there. It could be good for your health, great for the environment, and even better for your wallet.
About the Author: Jess Spate is a travel writer and keen cyclist. She works for websites like Timeshare Secrets- a resource for those looking to sell a Marriott timeshare.