I’m two days into my “Corey rides his bike for a week” challenge now and, I’m not going to lie, I’m tired. But I also start each work day with more energy than normal.
That’s just one of the benefits I’ve noticed about riding my bike to work this week. Let’s dive into them:
(1) I show up to work wide awake, with my blood pumping.
Some mornings when I drive to work, I feel like I’m just going through the motions in my morning commute. I zone out, the drive becomes automatic, and my brain shuts down.
If for no other reason than safety, I have to be alert while riding. That means that my brain is always working, I’m aware of my surroundings and, by the time I reach the office, my I feel wide awake and ready for the work day.
That’s much better than my zombie-like state some mornings when I drive in.
(2) Calories, burnt.
Not gonna lie: Burning calories was a big motivator for biking to work this week. I could stand to lose a few pounds. I also like efficiency. With my bike commute, I’m working out while commuting, accomplishing two goals with one trip.
A one-way ride burns about 500 calories, according to my Strava app. I’m getting two hours of exercise a day, something I wasn’t doing before. Love it.
(3) Not sitting in traffic.
I hate sitting in traffic, which makes my car commute down Independence unbearable same days. I’m the kind of person who will go out of the way — even drive farther — if it means I’m actually moving, not just sitting.
Except for waiting at a couple of intersections, I’m always moving on my bike commute. This makes me happy.
(4) Feeling like I’m doing something good for the world (or at least the city).
The obvious element of this is what I’m doing is good for the environment. But I think there’s more to it than that.
What I’m doing could inspire others to do the same. Not just because I’m writing these stories, but because, like Jordan Moore told me a few weeks ago, there might be people sitting in their cars, seeing me pass and thinking, “Hey, I could do that. I should do that.”
(5) The support of other bike commuters.
I mentioned this yesterday, but the support of the bike community has been incredible. I’ve received so many emails, tweets, Facebook messages/comments, a combination of support and tips, and offers to meet me along my route.
It may not be obvious, but there’s a strong bike community in Charlotte and it wants to see more people pedaling to work. That community has been nothing but helpful and positive since I announced this series.
@CoreyInscoe Good on your for trying out bike commuting. We need more bikes on the rack at the Observer!
— Stephen Gilbert (@linuxelph) October 19, 2015
— QueenCity Bicycles &Toughman Terry (@QCBicycles) October 20, 2015
— Will MacDonald (@WillyMacD) October 19, 2015
That should encourage anyone who has considered biking to work but didn’t know it was possible. It is, and others are already doing it.
Photo: Corey Inscoe; Gifs: giphy.com
Corey Inscoe is editor of CharlotteFive and is a little worried that he might be getting sick from these cold morning rides. Time to load up on vitamin C. Follow him on Twitter @CoreyInscoe.