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Biking vs. Driving

I don't want to hear it!

Smog in California
Table of Main Air Pollutants
I don't want to hear it!
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Your Opinion

No More Excuses!

Everyone's got a "reason" for why they can't ride their bike to work. But we've got a solution to nearly every excuse. Read on . . .

* It's too far to ride.

If you live too far from work, consider driving part of the way and riding the rest. Or you can ride the bus part way. Bike racks have been installed on all full-sized Capital Metro buses.

* It takes too long.

You'd be surprised. Because of traffic in urban areas, cycling generally takes less time than driving for trips of 3 miles or less, and about the same time for 3 to 5 mile trips. For longer trips, consider that you're saving time by combining your daily exercise with your commute.

* I'd have to get up much earlier if I rode my bicycle.

If your commute is less than 10 miles round trip, the difference in commute time will be insignificant. Even if your commute is longer, 30 minutes of extra sleep isn't as invigorating as a morning ride.

* I can't afford a special commuting bicycle.

You don't need one. Your old beater bike gathering dust in the garage will suffice if properly adjusted and maintained, and it's less attractive to thieves.With the fixed cost of operating an automobile at around 30 cents per mile, the money you would save commuting by bicycle on an average 10-mile round trip would buy you a $400 bicycle in six months time.

* I have to dress nice for work.

Some bicycle commuters simply ride in their business attire -- they seem to command more respect from motorists. Consider carrying your change of clothes in a pack or in panniers on the bike, or transport them back and forth on days when you don't ride.

* I can't shower at work.

Depending on the weather, you may not need a shower if you ride at a leisurely pace. If you do, take a washcloth, soap, towel and deodorant and clean up at the restroom sink, or look for a public facility or health club within walking distance of your workplace where you can shower.

* I'd have to ride in the dark.

There are a variety of bike-mounted lights that can help you see and be seen.

* I need my car for work.

Some transportation tasks could be handled equally well on a bike. Meet with your employer and see if your company might not benefit from a more environmentally friendly image if you conducted your business by bike. If you absolutely cannot use a bike at work, then use your bike for personal errands at work and at home.

Source: Compiled by Tim Cookingham for Austin City Connection, the official Web site of the City of Austin.


Don't be afraid of the dark.