11 Excuse Busters For Riding Your Bike To Work

In only one week I am going to have a job that is less than 5 miles from my home. This means I am going to try to start biking to work and with that will most certainly come the excuses. This list comes from the book Bicycling Magazine’s 900 All-Time Best Tips and I am hoping it will inspire me to skip the excuses and bike to work.

From biking for pleasure to biking to work.

1. Excuse: It’s not safe to ride in rush hour traffic. Solution: Try back streets or secondary roads. You may have to ride a few extra minutes, but this may be enjoyable.

2. Excuse: I can’t afford a special commuter bike. Solution: Use your present bike or a used “beater”. It doesn’t need to cost much as long as it is reliable. A basic mountain with its tough wheels and upright riding position is ideal for riding in city streets.

3. Excuse: I have to dress nicely for work and can’t stuff my good clothes in panniers. Solution: Drive to work one time per week and drop off all your nice clothes, then bring home the dirty clothes.

4. Excuse: I don’t have a place to shower after arriving. Solution: To clean up, use a deodorant soap and washcloth at the sink. Or, douse a washcloth with rubbing alcohol and wipe yourself down. This cools your body while killing odor-causing germs.

5. Excuse: There’s no secure place to store my bike. Solution: It may not seem so, but check for a storage closet or out of the way corner somewhere. Or stash it with an acquaintance who lives nearby,at a bike shop, or at another business nearby that accommodates cyclists.

6. Excuse: I like to sleep, and I’d have to get up earlier if I rode my bike. Solution: An extra few minutes of sleep aren’t nearly as refreshing as a brisk morning ride. And your evening ride home will leave you relaxed, so you’ll sleep more soundly. Quality over quantity.

7. Excuse: Due to my work schedule, I’d have to ride home in the dark. Solution: Wear light-colored, reflective clothing, attach lights and reflectors, and use a route that is lit by streetlights.

8. Excuse: I don’t like riding int he cold/rain/snow. Solution: Don’t commute by bike on nasty days. But you may start looking forward to your daily rids so much that you invest in a wind jacket, rainwear, tights, mittens, balaclava, booties, thermal socks and the like.

9. Excuse: My commute is too far to ride. Solution: Consider cycling only partway. Drive to within a reasonable distance, park and ride the rest. Maybe you can even take a bus or train to where your bike is stashed.

10. Excuse: I live too close to work to make the riding worthwhile. Solution: Take a longer, more scenic route either going in or returning home.

11. Excuse: People will think I’m weird if  I ride a bike to work. Solution: These days, your coworkers will probably admire you because of your healthy and environmentally friendly choices. Who knows, maybe you will you inspire your coworkers to bike with you.

I hope that this list helps you think of ways to make biking to work a possibility for you. All of my previous excuses were listed here so now I really have to suck it up and just do it.

For more biking tips, check out this book:

Pavelka, Ed.. Bicycling magazine’s 900 all-time best tips: top riders share their secrets to maximize fun, safety, and performance. Emmaus, PA: Rodale :, 2000. Print.


8 thoughts on “11 Excuse Busters For Riding Your Bike To Work

  1. I’ve found the trick is to just ride everyday. Here in the Rockies, that means even when it dumps a ton of snow. If I stop, I have a hard time picking back up. One excuse = 10 more excuse.

    Good luck and be safe.

  2. You’re going to love biking to work! I would add a few thoughts to numbers 4 and 5.

    4. With your 5-mile commute, you can just pedal at a moderate speed and not get very sweaty. I’m not very good at this because I tend to get caught up in the joy of going really fast, but how you ride makes a huge impact on whether or not you need a shower. If you’re looking for an intense workout, you can always sprint the commute home at the end of the day.

    5. Some cities have bigger problems with bike theft than others, but unless you live in NYC, a solid U-lock and a study stop-sign coupled with a well-maintained but not valuable used bike are all you need.

    Also, whenever you encounter an excuse, talk to other commuters. I’ve been lucky to have a circle of women who love bikes and have come up with all kinds of tricks for everything from fixing helmet hair to securing a purse to a bike. They motivate me to look for creative solutions to perceived obstacles!

  3. I think riding to work would be amazing! I truly cannot. I typically carry heavy ladders, scaffolding, roughnecks of drop clothes and supplies to my job. I love working out at 5:30 am outside. It is the best feeling and you are done for the day!

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