I recently found a marketing campaign for a cycling company talking about Choose Life, Choose Bike. Their whole purpose was first off accepting that we are not perfect as humans but encouraging more people to ride bikes if only a few days per week to save time and money from commuting and getting fitter.
I found this on the same day I had also chosen to bike into work in the rain, and they are right. I am more productive at work, I spend less time in Seattle traffic, and I feel fitter even if I only end up bike commuting 2 days per week. The nice thing is it’s not all or northing, for many people like myself, the full time switch to only bike commuting is not an option, life gets in the way. But that can’t let you avoid making the effort. I make my goal 2 days per week. Tuesdays and Thursdays, and I begin by doing a short drive, then biking (avoiding a toll road), and getting to work, showering and at the end of the day biking, hopping in my car and heading home. In the summer and longer daylight months I tend to bike longer, but right now I am doing 8 miles each way equaling 16 miles per day, and that 2x per week is better than sitting in the car. There are lots of ways to was into bike commuting, and make it easy and fun.
The night before I plan to bike commute, I lay out and pre-pack all of my paniers with fresh clothes, my work supplies and have a lunch all planned out in the fridge making everything pretty quick in the morning and I check my tire pressure. I always double check to make sure I have my pump, spare tube, my lights are charged, and other bike maintenance supplies in addition to always having a rain jacket and a wind jacket handy. Depending on the morning weather I pick and wear one of the jackets and if it’s rainy and cold I wear my rain (Endura MT500 Splash Pants) to stay dry and warm. I am fortunate that when I get to work I have a place to store my bike inside, a shower, and a locker that keeps extra (just incase) spare clothing, and shower supplies.
For me the first 3 times were the hardest, and then it’s easy to convince yourself to get up and get moving. Even when given the option of “you don’t have to bike because it’s raining” I still jumped at the chance to bike, because I was all packed and ready to go after the night before, I was ready and motivated. And like the marketing campaign said Choose Life, Choose Bike. And I like to choose Bike, therefore creating a healthy life.