Two months ago, I switched from driving my car to bicycling almost everywhere I go. My experience has been entirely positive. Now, I’m trying to get everyone I know who lives in the city to give commuting by bike a try.
On that note, here are 5 interesting things you start to notice when you commute by bike!
1. Other Cyclists
I never realized how many other cyclists there are in my town until I started biking everywhere myself. I’m keenly aware of it now.
I’ve also started paying more attention to other cyclists’ gear, which is something I never paid a single second of attention to before. I always check to see if they’re riding a road bike, mountain bike, or cargo bike. You’d be surprised how many people buy cargo bikes in Canada!
2. How Much Stuff You Buy
Most of us are guilty of taking our ‘stuff’ for granted. We haul home shopping bags full of junk like it’s nothing.
But when you commute by bike, the things you buy start to weigh on you. Literally.
Since I started biking to the store, I no longer go on big grocery shopping sprees or buy useless stuff from the dollar store. My trips are shorter, since I don’t want to have to carry 40 pounds of things on my back while riding home.
Don’t get me wrong, I still eat well (in fact, now that I’m biking, I get hungrier and eat more.) But I only buy what I need and spend less on junk food.
3. Sounds of Your Neighbourhood
When I drive, I have the car radio on. When I walk, I have headphones on. But when I bike, my ears are open to all the sounds around me.
I know exactly what time the birds start chirping in my neighbourhood (5:15AM), how the church bells sound in different parts of the city, and my next-door neighbour’s favourite genre of music.
That’s kind of cool.
4. Your Resilience
I am an extremely lazy person. But that laziness doesn’t stop me from getting around.
You can’t just stop in the middle of a steep hill on the road; you must keep pedalling, even if it makes you feel like crap. If it’s raining, you get wet. When it’s hot, you sweat, and your makeup runs.
It feels good to know I have at least a shred of resilience in me, even if I am shiftless and lazy. It just took biking to bring it out!
5. How Much Money You Save
Sure, it’s nice to hear the birds sing and feel the wind in your hair. But the single biggest benefit of commuting by bike is not having to pay a cent on gasoline. It saves me at least $60 a month. Eventually, I might take those savings and cargo bike, so I have even less of a need to drive. I’ve already been looking into options to buy a cargo bike in Canada.