Overcoming Bike Commuting Excuses

I ’m out of shape

  • Ride at an easy pace; in a few months you will be in great shape.
  • Ride your route on a weekend to find the easiest way to work.
  • You will improve your fitness level when you become a regular bike commuter.

It takes too long

  • The average commuter travels at 10 mph; the more you ride, the faster you will become.
  • Trips of less than three miles will be quicker by bike.
  • Trips of five to seven miles in urban areas may take the same time or less as by car.

It’s too far

  • Try riding to work and taking mass transit home, then alternating the next day.
  • Combine riding and mass transit to shorten your commute.
  • Ride to a coworker’s house and carpool to work.

No bike parking

  • Look around for a storage area in your building or office.
  • Stash your bike in a covered, secure place such as a closet or even your office.
  • Formally request that your employer provide bike parking or lock it up outside.

My bike is beat up

  • Tell a reputable bike shop that you are commuting and have them tune up your bike.
  • If you can’t maintain your bike yourself, identify bike shops near your route.
  • Make sure that your bike is reliable and in good working order before you ride.

No showers

  • Most commuters don’t shower at work; ride at an easy pace to stay cool and dry.
  • Ride home at a fast pace if you want a workout; shower when you get there.
  • Health clubs offer showers; get a discounted membership for showers only.

I have to dress up

  • Keep multiple sets of clothing at work; rotate them on days you drive.
  • Have work clothes cleaned at nearby laundromats or dry cleaners.
  • Pack clothes with you and change at work; try rolling clothes instead of folding.

It’s raining

  • Fenders for your bike and raingear for your body will keep you dry.
  • If you are at work, take transit or carpool to get home; ride home the next day.
  • Take transit or drive if you don’t have the gear to ride comfortably in the rain.

The roads aren’t safe

  • Obey traffic signs, ride on the right, signal turns, and stop at lights.
  • Wear bright clothing.
  • You are at no greater risk than driving a car.
  • Wear a helmet every time you ride.

I have to run errands

  • Bolt a rack to the back of your bike to add carrying capacity.
  • Make sure that you have a lock to secure your bike while you are in a building.
  • Allow extra time to get to scheduled appointments and find parking.
  • Encourage your employer to provide a bicycle fleet for office use.