If your city’s traffic jam makes it unbearable to drive a car to work or if the mass transportation system is not very convenient to commute, you may want to consider riding your bike to work. The campaign of ‘bike to work’ is not new; it has been circulating for years and many people are already doing it. Other than this provides convenience to commute every day, biking to work is a great way to increase your physical health while helping to reduce emission for the environment.
In conjunction with World Bike Day of 2022, here are ways to optimize bikes to work.
Bicycles contribute to cleaner air, less congestion, and increased overall health for bikers. Regular physical activity of moderate intensity – such as cycling has significant benefits for health, like lowering the risk of heart disease, stroke, some cancers, diabetes, and even death. Cycling can provide a mode of transportation for the poorest urban residents, who frequently cannot afford private cars. As a result, better active transportation is not only healthier, but also more equitable and cost-effective.
Having realized the utmost importance of health, especially that the world has witnessed how COVID-19 affects it, makes biking a worth-considering activity that can be done daily. According to the UN research, public transportation use has decreased dramatically as an increasing number of individuals chose to walk or ride bicycles to avoid overcrowded mass transit and to follow health officials’ recommendations for physical distance. So, if you do not want to commute with cars, since traffic jams can be very inconvenient, and still feel uneasy to use crowded public transportations, biking to work is the answer to your concern.
While it is true that biking to work may not be suitable for everyone, it is actually quite viable for workers in the majority of areas. If you are just about to begin, here are some things to prepare:
1 . Set an Achievable Distance
The most important part in biking to work is that you have a careful plan all laid out before you start. If you find it difficult to cycle within a long distance from home to the office, you can always start small by setting an achievable distance according to your ability. You can also incorporate public transportation with a bike, if you have a foldable bike that is allowed to be carried in the MRT. Cycle from home to the nearest station, carry your foldable bike and hop on a train, then continue cycling from the stop point station to your office. Make the distance manageable for yourself; don’t be bothered about what others are doing.
2. Schedule Your Routine
Biking to work may require you to start your day earlier, since it is not exactly the fastest mode of commuting available. This is why you need to schedule your routine by checking in the distance from your home to the office and estimate the time you need to commute. Moreover, you do not have to rush into biking to work every day, as it can be very tiring for those who are just starting. Begin by committing to commuting one to three times each week. If you have found your pace, you can gradually add more days to bike to work.
3 . Get Your Basic Essentials Ready
If you want to bike to work, having a bike is mandatory. If you have not had one yet, remember that you do not have to buy a pricey bike or one you cannot afford. For example, the cheapest foldable bike costs around $349 in Singapore and MYR799 in Malaysia. You can always get a cheaper price for a bike if you opt for used bikes or come across a flash sale! The next things you need to have are basic essentials, such as a helmet, spare clothes like padded shorts and/or cycling jersey (so you can change to your office attire after biking), and bike locks. Once you think bike to work is a way to go, you can have more stuff ready, such as a flat tire kit (pump and spare tube), gloves, GPS, and others.
It is not uncommon to see Singaporean workers commuting to work by bicycle. A blogger named The Creative Athlete shared his experience of biking to work and he admitted that it is an even better idea to avoid public transport and hop on a bicycle instead. He described riding to work as liberating—no crowding onto a bus or train at rush hour, then dozing off, failing to read, and feeling fuzzy and drowsy by the time he arrived at work. Cycling to work, on the other hand, reduced travel time by at least 50%. His everyday journey has provided him with an additional 2 hours of exercise per day. Yet, there are drawbacks involved; Singapore’s roads are not the worst for cycling, but they are far from ideal. The concept of park connections (PCNs) is not new to Singapore and is still in its early stages. PCNs allow individuals to go about without needing to use main roadways or municipal arteries. However, Singapore’s PCNs are not yet linked, and bicycles will have to share the road with vehicles until they are.
Doing bike to work may seem daunting and tiring at first, especially if you are not used to biking on a daily basis or do it as a regular exercise habit. Yet, biking to work means that you can fulfill two important needs as an adult at the same time; commuting to work at your own pace while using it as a means to exercise! After a long day at work, you do not have to worry about making time for exercise anymore if you have been commuting by bicycle to work. While you are at it, you are also contributing to a greener, reduced-emission planet. Sounds like a good deal, right? Happy world bike day!