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By now, we all know the obvious benefits of cycling.
Improved physical health, mental clarity, and efficiency are some of the better-known advantages of cycling to work, but did you know that there are many more?
Let’s take a look at some of the more surprising and sometimes sillier benefits of biking to work every day.
1. It’s an Instant Office Icebreaker
Don’t you hate those awkward silences at work while waiting for the coffee to finish brewing?
Cycling to work allows you to experience something that might actually be worth talking about.
At the very least, the morning commute permits you to have something interesting happen in your life. Morning wildlife encounters with a rogue pigeon? Suddenly, you have a way to break the ice and have a conversation.
You might finally bring something out of the ordinary to the water cooler chit-chat that won’t just make your colleagues wish you hadn’t seen them.
2. Advanced Weather Forecasting Skills
Instead of being cosied up in the car, or crammed into the underground, cycling to work allows you to experience Mother Nature in all her glory.
One of the great upsides of this is that due to the constant change in weather, especially noticeable if you live in the UK, you’ve developed advanced meteorological skills.
Now, you’re able to sense impending raindrops before a forecaster does. You have a sixth sense for when there might be a cloudburst, a quick shower, or even a dry spell between an otherwise miserable day.
And as a bonus, even if your weather-forecasting skills aren’t quite up to scratch, it doesn’t matter, because there’s nothing that you can do about it anyway. Since cycling makes you so exposed to the elements, you basically have to roll with the punches.
Whilst you can argue that it’s thickening your skin, it’s really just leaving you damp and miserable. On the upside, you’re more grateful for the hot shower when you get home.
3. Increased Vitamin D Exposure
Speaking of the weather, it’s worth celebrating those rare, intermittent moments when the sun is out, but the heat isn’t scolding.
Since most of the daylight hours are spent at your desk, with a window if you’re lucky, the ride to and from work is the only chance to get some of that precious Vitamin D you desperately need.
Adequate Vitamin D levels are great for bone health, immune function, and overall well-being. But that’s not all the sun does for us cyclists’. It also gives us a fantastic, uneven tan on our arms and legs, ridiculing us. But what’s life without some humor?
On the plus side, our distinctive tan is a sign of our dedication, a secret handshake to let other cyclists know that we’re one of them. Wear that badge of honor with pride.
4. Becoming a Bike Zen Master
There’s nothing quite like the ride to work when it comes to mindfulness. The sensation of the pedals under your feet, the gentle grip of the bars under your hands, the tarmac below your wheels. It really makes you feel grateful and present.
That is until the first of the many obstacles of the day comes suddenly into view. A pothole on a poorly maintained road suddenly jerks you into focus. But rather than seeing these as hurdles, you’ve begun to appreciate them for what they are, challenges and opportunities to hone your agility and awareness.
And the rest of the chaos is something you’ve begun to embrace. The pedestrians aimlessly drifting through the bike lanes, the honking, the bustling traffic, it’s all part of your journey to becoming a zen master.
Finding serenity amongst the commotion and enjoying the vibrant tapestry of urban life are the things you can claim to enjoy, even if, in reality, they’re driving you around the bend.
5. Great Financial Savings
With the cost of running a car these days, and even the price of public transport, cycling to work can be a great way to save your precious, hard-earned cash.
The humble bicycle, a two-wheeled marvel of engineering. You can usually pick one up second-hand for a decent price, especially if you’re looking for one without the modern thrills.
But why settle for the frugality? After all, with all that money you’re saving on parking and fuel, you might as well invest in something at the premium end. Sure, why not a high-end carbon frame, it’ll be easier to carry into the office, you tell yourself.
And, of course, we can’t forget the gear. Spandex shorts, a nice jersey, heck, why not get a GPS tracker in case your bike gets stolen?
After the dust settles, you’ve probably spent as much on your bike as you would on a car. But no one else needs to know that.
6. Bragging Rights
Of course, the best benefit of cycling to work is that you get to tell everyone about it.
Not only will everyone be impressed with your new, leaner physique, but all your colleagues will really love how compassionate you are.
After all, you didn’t take the easy way out by driving, you chose to soldier on like the courageous person you are. It’s your dedication to becoming a greener, more responsible individual that’s given you these bragging rights.
But why stop there? In fact, for all the work you’re doing outside of the office, you should be getting a promotion. You’re a role model employee, after all.
If only others were as selfless as you, the noble cycling commuter, the world would surely be a better place.
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