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12 Benefits to Using your Bike as a Mode of Transport

When I started to cycle as an actual means of transport, I experienced more benefits than I had anticipated. Some I knew would happen, but there were other benefits that I just didn’t see coming.

Using a bicycle as a means of transportation is better for the environment, your body, and your well being. It also allows greater freedom to travel where a car can’t, and can reduce overall transportation costs.

Committing to a bike for your mode of transport is something that more and more folks have been looking into, especially as traffic has continued to get worse. But do the positives make the switch worth it?

To help you decide, I’ve listed out 12 benefits to using cycling as a mode of transport, as well as some disadvantages you may want to consider:

#1: You’ll Save Money on Gas When Using a Bike as Transport

This first one is obvious. You really want to save money on gas? Forget a hybrid or electric vehicle. Get yourself a bike. Depending on where you live, the price of a gallon of gas can become inflated and even excessive. 

Switching to a bike as your primary mode of transportation will allow you to completely eliminate gas from your budget moving forward.

Bicycles get almost infinite miles to the gallon, and the only fuel required to power a bike comes from making sure you are eating enough food and drinking enough water!

#2: Using a Bike Instead means No Car Payment

While we’re on the topic of saving money, we should mention that bicycles are obviously much cheaper than cars. Cars will run you, on average, about $40,000 or $550/month. Bikes are…much cheaper than that!

The average road bicycle for standard road travel and commuting will cost anywhere from $350-$700. Which breaks down to about a month or month and a half of a car! Overall….? A much cheaper option.

#3: Using a Bike means Lower Maintenance Costs

The savings don’t just stop there. Let’s not forget that cars carry all kinds of additional maintenance costs that will cause the overall price to skyrocket.

Anything from a blown headlight to regular oil changes, these are all additional costs that a bike wouldn’t carry. That is not to say that your bike will not carry maintenance costs as well. The danger of a flat tire or dislodged chain can still carry a charge.

Overall though, the maintenance cost for a bike will be far lower than for a car. 

#4: Cycling as a mode of Transport Increases Cardiovascular Fitness

In addition to the cost-saving benefits, you can also get your workout in during your commute. Pelotons have been all the rage recently, offering different cycling classes to break a sweat and get some cardio in. 

Another easy way to save money on your fitness costs is to just invest in a bike, the original peloton 😉

Riding a bike is an awesome way to strengthen that heart and further increase your cardiovascular fitness each day during your commute.

#5: Riding a Bike for Transport Decreases Stress Levels

One of the biggest causes of stress can be a traffic-filled commute. What if there was a way to not only rid yourself of commute-induced stress, but also decrease your stress while commuting? Good news, there is! 

Cycling and other forms of exercise have been proven to decrease overall stress levels. So you can turn your commute into a stress-reducer. This can have some really serious benefits after a long day as you can just bike home and relieve the stress that you have built up during the day. 

#6: It’s Fairly Easy to Start Using a Bike for Transport

You know what they say: riding a bike is like riding a bike. The majority of people learned how to ride a bike at a young age, and it’s a skill that you never really lose.

In fact, I got on a bike as an adult 30 years after learning as a kid! And it was amazing how quickly I picked it back up.

For those who haven’t yet learned though, it really isn’t rocket science. You really could teach yourself how to do it in a weekend. And after that, all it will take is practice to increase your confidence.

I’d recommend giving it a little bit of time though before you bike on any busy highways. Wait until you’ve had plenty of practice and it becomes second nature to you (which is a surprisingly shorter amount of time than you could imagine). 

Once you’ve learned, you will soon see the benefits of increased balance in other parts of your life!

As well as actual riding, there’s no tests to pass or hoops to jump through when it comes to cycling. As long as you can ride a bike, you can use it as transport.

#7: Using a Bike gives you a Low Impact Workout

Long-distance, cardiovascular workouts have big-time health benefits. One of the biggest benefits that biking has over other activities such as running is the low impact nature of the workout. 

Using a bike allows for a lower impact workout, which will allow you to go for longer distances without putting the same wear and tear on the body as you would by going on a run.

Arthritis, tendinitis, and various other aches and pains can come about from running and other workouts, but biking can help to lower the risk of those injuries.

BONUS TIP: Make sure your bike is the right fit for you. This will not only prevent injury, but it will mean you can ride for longer and more easily without stressing your joints.

#8: Using a Bike can Help to Lose Weight

Another benefit of using a bike is the opportunity to lose weight if needed. We’ve talked about the benefits of a cardiovascular and low impact workout, but that all points towards a tool for weight loss. 

Cardio and the burning of calories is one of the best ways to lose weight and burn fat. Biking literally offers the opportunity to turn your commute into a workout and guarantees at least two workouts per day on days when you will be commuting to and from work. Win win!

QUICK TIP: Turn your bike commute into an extra motivation to eat better and you’ll be well on your way to an ideal weight!

#9: Using a Bike Regularly can give you Better Sleep

A guaranteed workout and lower stress levels go hand-in-hand in providing a better night’s sleep. There are countless studies that point to the benefits of a hard cardiovascular workout when it comes to falling asleep and staying asleep. 

Additionally, stress can be a huge hindrance when it comes to trying to fall asleep at night. Biking, as the main form of transportation, serves as a great stress reliever and can help with falling asleep. 

I have definitely seen an improvement in my sleep since I started to cycle on a regular basis, without making ANY other changes!

#11: Using a Bike is Good for the Environment

There is a lot in the news about the dangers of climate change and the harmful emissions that come from gas-powered cars. There are multiple different options for more climate and energy-efficient options, but they can sometimes be expensive. 

It is not in every person’s budget to be able to afford a car, let alone one that is energy efficient. Bikes offer a more cost-friendly option that literally does not produce any harmful emissions.

You can traverse through your city or town with more money in your pocket and absolutely zero guilt about the impact you are having on the environment.

You get to Enjoy Fresh Air When Using a Bike

This one was surprisingly not obvious to me. I only realized it when I actually started to cycle regularly again as an adult.

One of the biggest benefits of riding a bike is getting to enjoy the fresh air on every trip. One of the most blissful times for every car owner is when they roll the windows down while riding through town. 

Riding a bike is like a constant state of cruising with the windows down and the wind in your hair. Even on hot days, riding on a bike can be an awesome experience and downright enjoyable.

There may not be the same opportunity for music, but the music in your head can be enough ;-). And that fresh air in your face while riding a bike totally makes you feel like a kid again.

#12: Using a Bike can give you More Freedom

This one may vary based on the road rules of different localities. But most of the time, there is much more freedom associated with biking.

When driving a car, there are, of course, a great deal of rules associated with where you can drive the car. This results in a lot of time stuck in traffic or sitting stuck at traffic lights during the commute.

Riding a bike, however, allows for a lot more freedom when riding to work or other destinations. There may be bike paths or other back roads that are not as accessible when driving a car but could be easily accessible by bike. 

And after a while, you get to know all the short cuts or more scenic routes so you can even skip the traffic altogether on some journeys!

Potential Downsides to Using a Bike for Transport

As with all things in life, there are always pros and cons. And if you are deciding if you want to use a bike or not, I thought I should mention a few things that you may need to be aware of before make that hard change and getting rid of your car altogether.

#1: There may be limits to the Distance you can Travel

You have to take a look at the distance you need to travel and make sure it is in line with how far you can go. This is of course something that can come with more practice and training, but it’s an important point to consider when transitioning from car to bike as a mode of transport.

#2: Will you have to Carry much with you?

There are a lot of solutions to carrying things on bikes, (check out my article here for some potential solutions). But if you have a large amount to carry, there are limits to how much can fit onto a bike.

#3: Who Else will be Travelling with you?

One other thing to consider is who else will be travelling with you. e.g. your children or a member who maybe can’t ride a bike for other reasons. There are again solutions for this such as electric bikes with trailers but it is another thing to think about.

Even though riding a bike has been a popular form of transport for many years, most people have learned to ride a bike at some point in their lives, but never viewed it as a viable form of transport.

Thankfully nowadays, there are more options becoming available when it comes to the practical side using a bike, such as storage and passengers. And there’s also been an improvement on cycling infrastructure.

It’s becoming easier every day to enjoy the benefits of cycling as a mode of transportation.