Thursday, October 13, 2011
Bike Commuting Makes You Happier, And Faster
everything relates to kevin bacon. everything.
Here’s a great little blog post on the pros of bike commuting by local superstar Alex Grant. It almost makes me miss the days of commuting in LA, when I used to race cars down Wilshire Blvd en route to the Beachbody office. Almost, of course, since I prefer living in Utah and the efficiency of working from home, but it’s definitely inspired me to use a bike for more of my errands.
Grant is a great racer but that’s got nothing to do with this article, which is about the different vibe you get when riding a bike vs driving a car.
I’ve always thought that bicycles can do great things for society and the planet. Switching to bicycles for transportation will lessen our carbon footprints and improve the overall physical and mental health of our society. I’d like to see a study done on the happiness of those who commute to and from work by bike versus those who drive in traffic each way. I don’t care how bad the weather is, I bet the bike commuters have less stress than those who drive.
I could not agree with Grant more. In LA, not exactly heaven for bike commuting, never once did I have a bad ride to or from office, in spite of many instances where someone would do their best to ruin my day. People in LA aren’t used to seeing bikes. The looks I’d get were mainly shock, as though I was some kind of alien--"Hey, dude, where's your car?" LA’s so bad that I once had an irritated guy yell “don’t ride on the bike path!” without a touch of irony. That said I drove defensively and never had a dangerous close call. And, in fact, even the worst day of bike commuting left me feeling great, which was pretty much the opposite of how I felt whenever I had to drive anywhere.
how to dress--fashionably--for winter commuting
Grant has a short commute in a bike friendly city with little traffic (though we’ve got plenty of nasty weather) and it still improves his mood. So much so that he credits his best-ever racing season in part to his commute. Not for training reasons but due to reduced stress.
It’s amazingly liberating to be out of the car. I was driving a lot as an outside sales rep – it’s the nature of the job. I have been working just as much and just as hard at the new business; but without all the windshield time, my stress level has gone way down.
How does this translate to racing? I feel like I have been riding faster than ever for the past two months: I pulled off my best finish at Nationals in July with 8th and managed 3rd at the Leadville 100 a couple weeks ago.
So get on your bike, or consider investing in one. You’ll be amazed at how much it will change your outlook on life.