Are you confused with all the tittle-tattles about bike commuting that you hear from strangers, workmates, or friends? If these idle talks are stopping you from joining the biking lifestyle, don’t worry you are not alone.
Myths exist to be proven true or otherwise. And when talking about myths, the whatnots of biking to work is clearly no exemption. It is about time that we tackle the most common misconceptions about bike commuting and contribute awareness to those who are planning to join the next wave of urban bikers.
Well, for naysayers, it’s not. That’s why today, we are going to debunk 5 of the most common bike commuting myths.
Bike commuting is dangerous
Bike commuting is not scary — braving the downtown traffic is! So if you’re quite hesitant because you fear for your own safety, I don’t blame you. Most of us do, right? Just imagine a bike banging into a car!
But how many urban bikers have been involved in deadly road accidents? Let’s look at the numbers.
In 2015, 818 bicyclists were killed in motor vehicle-related incidents. However, this is only 15% of the 5,376 pedestrian fatalities in the same year as reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Point is, accidents can happen in so many ways. I don’t mean to scare you but it can still happen even if you lock yourself inside your house. We can actually only do so much to prevent it.
A lot is being done to better accommodate bikers going to work. There is an uphill progress in setting up infrastructures such as bike lanes and bike paths as the fad of biking becoming a means of urban and suburban transport increases.
What’s the secret to avoiding road accidents? The rule of thumb here are the rules themselves and your safety depends on how you religiously follow them. It wouldn’t hurt to wear a helmet and various safety equipment as you brave the downtown traffic from morning to night.
I live far from work
You live far from work? Fair enough. But have you ever heard of electric bikes? And there are even folding ones! New technologies, better materials, and advanced manufacturing processes have made life a lot easier compared to those times when one of the first bike concepts don’t even have a pedal! Ingenuity is everywhere and the types of bikes I have mentioned are just some of its fruits.
Most Americans live between 10-20 miles from work. In one full charge, e-bikes can surely cover that. If you feel like you don’t want to ride all the way, use a folding bike. You don’t only save time and money — you also get to have that daily dose of exercise your body needs.
Driving is faster
“It’s faster to drive.“
Well yeah, on the freeway.
But in downtown, no it’s not. YOU KNOW IT IS NOT! Have you ever had that itch to slice your car into pieces just to fit in that oh-so-little gap so you could move forward? Or have you had that envy for motorcycle riders who swiftly pass by you in the midst of a heavy traffic?
I don’t think there is a need for me to tell you what to do next. But if you really want me to, please get on your bike ASAP and get rid of the rush hour dilemma you face every single day.
You know what’s better? In some places, you get to have a lane only dedicated to you. We all crave to feel special (*wink).
I need to dress up like a pro biker
The culprit behind most misconceptions is always the media — be it the TV, magazines, Facebook, or Instagram. When it comes to biking clothing, we imagine a certain dress code that must be followed so you can be labeled as a biker. Can you guess?
A full-on spandex.
Let us right the wrong here. You won’t get imprisoned if you use normal clothing or working clothes or shoes for bike commuting. And to be honest, you actually have a lot of options. If you are afraid to ruin the clothes you use for work, you can just opt to bring them in a bag or leave a fresh change of work clothes at work.
If you worry about sweat and smelling like a hog in the office, improvise. Use the shower in your office. Wear deodorant. If your office doesn’t have a shower, check if there’s a gym nearby where you can freshen up for a small fee. If you’re really out of options, you can always keep a change of fresh working clothes at work and clean yourself up with a towel.
I need to have all that latest gears
Well, there is actually no need to extravagantly gear up when bike commuting. If you are still trying to find out whether or not biking to work fits you, using an old bike or borrowing one from a friend is a practical solution. Test the waters first and see if you can live through it without spending hundreds of dollars.
The key is research. If you are reading this article, that means you’re doing your homework right. You are just a few clicks away to finding the perfect bike without spending a lot of money.
Don’t believe the myths. Prove to yourself.
Now is time to take the first step or should I say, the first pedal. Don’t let myths stop you from trying the things you want. Stop sour graping and start enjoying all the perks and benefits of bike commuting. Don’t wait for the right day to start a habit that can lead to good health and an economically-friendly lifestyle.
Enjoy biking your way around!