I cycle to work because it’s easy

By | 5 February, 2015

Here in Dublin, when you tell someone that you commute to work by bike, they make an assumption that you are a speed daemon dressed head-to-toe in Lycra. They associate cycling with sport or recreation, and imagine that people on bikes need to be athletic and brave/foolish.

The thing is, I’m not athletic, and I’m not sporty.  I don’t cycle to work because I want to get fit.  I cycle to work because it’s… easy!

I’m naturally quite a lazy person, and I’m often drawn to the path of least resistance.  Life is difficult enough without over-complicating things. I don’t want to get into the whole thing of having a shower at work and bringing a change of clothes. It’s much easier to just cycle more slowly, and in normal clothes.

It’s also easier to cycle than use other forms of transport.

I could drive to work, but the congested roads in Dublin leave me frustrated and annoyed. I’d have to leave home ridiculously early (or dangerously late) in the morning to avoid the queues and get to work in a reasonable time.  It’s just easier to cycle at the time I want to set off.

I could catch public transport to work, and use that time to listen to music or read books. However the transport links between home and work aren’t fantastic. I’d have to catch a bus into the city centre and then out again, and that would take anything from 90 to 120 minutes each way, whereas the journey by bike is consistently 22 minutes. As such, it’s much quicker and easier to cycle – and there’s none of that standing around in the cold at bus stops!

Lastly, I could walk to work instead. My commute is about 6.5km, which at my plodding pace would probably take about 75 minutes. Admittedly that’s better than taking the bus, but it’s still quite of chunk of time out of the day. And because walking 6.5km takes a lot more physical effort than cycling 6.5km, by walking I’d probably arrive all hot and sweaty.

And so, having appraised all my commute options, I’ve ended up doing the easiest one – cycling.

It’s easy because the journey times are consistent throughout the year. It’s easy because I can just go out the door, jump on my bike, and go. It’s easy because I don’t need to worry about finding a parking spot, or explaining to the boss why I’m late. It’s easy because I don’t have to remember to fill the car with petrol, or charge up my Leap Card with money. It’s easy because I don’t need any special clothing or equipment. It’s easy because when the bike goes wrong I can fix it quickly and cheaply myself.

Commuting by bike is clearly the easiest option, and that’s why I do it.

The fact that it also keeps me fit, saves me money, and helps wake me up on a morning – well, they are all just a bonus.

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