The List: 9 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Ride to Work

I have biked everywhere within 4 miles of my apartment in the past 5 years, including every job I’ve had — I’ve never had to drive to work in Denver. I find riding a bicycle exhilarating, but that’s no reason for you to think you should. In fact, here are 9 reasons you shouldn’t bike to work. I’m sure you can think of others.

1. It’s too dangerous.
Can you imagine being out there on a bicycle with all these crazy drivers flying past you, nothing to protect you except a plastic and styrofoam shell on your head? You could get killed. The absolute best thing is to stay in the protective cage of your car, because no one’s ever been killed when they’re inside an automobile. Driving is safe.

2. You have to wear a tie to work. Or a suit. Or a skirt.
Not only that, it’s important to wear your tie/suit/business casual attire from the moment you leave your house in the morning until the moment you get home. There is no conceivable way you could leave some clothes at your office, and change into them after you ride your bike to work, two or three days a week. Plus, your suit/tie combination is so dialed, you can’t just spread your tie collection out over two locations. Where the hell is my cornflower blue tie? I need to see if it looks good with these shoes. And like there’s some way to ride a bike in skirt or a dress?

3. You have to go to the gym after/before work.
What, are you supposed to carry all your work materials and your gym clothes in a tiny little backpack on a bike? Please. I mean, what, bike to work, then bike to the gym, then get on the stationary bike for 45 minutes, and bike home? Ridiculous. What are you, Lance Armstrong?  I guess you could just ride your real bike, and stop going to the gym, but we’re Americans. We work out indoors.

4. You can’t show up all sweaty and smelly for your job.
It is a proven fact that once you have sweated from exercise, you can never recover until you get into a shower or  bath and rinse it off. Also a fact: Human sweat is comprised of more than 90% fecal particles, which is why you smell like a hog confinement instantly after you start exercising, and afterward, when the people next to you on the stairmaster are passing out like they’ve just been chloroformed. It’s not like you could take a shower at the office, after all, or use Action Wipes to wipe off when you get to work to mitigate that smell. Your co-workers will be all, “Bob, what the hell did you do, bike to work today? It smells like somebody’s gutting a week-old deer carcass in your cubicle.”

5. You don’t have the right bike for it.
The only bike you own are your Trek Madone, and your single-speed 29er, neither of which will work. You’d have to go out and buy a dedicated commuting bike, which start at, what, $1,200? Ask those day laborer guys who bike to work every day on secondhand Huffys and Magnas — they’re not cheap.

6. You can’t be wearing a bike helmet and messing up your hair before work.
Fact: Hair products are not portable, and are not designed for use outside of your home bathroom or a hair salon. And let’s face it: Your hairstyle is a work of carefully crafted art, not something that can be rushed in 5, 10 or even 30 minutes in some modern office restroom. You spend a long time on your hair, just like Tony Manero. You can’t just throw it all away on a bike ride.

7. The route from your home to your office would be suicide on a bike.
There are no bike lanes, no shoulders, no wide sidewalks, no nothing on the roads from your home to your office. What, are you supposed to find other roads to ride on, like lesser-traveled, lower-speed-limit roads through residential areas? Or detour way out of your way to get on a bike path? No thank you. You don’t have time for that shit.

8. What if it rains?
Yeah, Mr. Hardcore Bike Commuter, what if it rains? You’re supposed to just ride a bicycle home from the office through a downpour? What are you supposed to do when you get home, looking like a sewer rat?  This is a civilized society. Thanks to umbrellas, sprinting from your car to your office, and sometimes holding a newspaper above your head, you haven’t gotten wet outside of your shower since 2007. Next thing, someone’s going to tell you that you have to carry a rain jacket in your bike commuting bag — maybe pants too. What the hell is this, a backpacking trip? You’re just trying to get to work on time.

9. You would have to change your routine.
Please. Give up your 45-minute drive into work, the drive that energizes you for the day ahead? Give up interacting with all those other fun, friendly, courteous drivers on the freeway? Sitting in traffic? Road construction? Merging? Not a chance.

Photo by Shutterstock

{ 102 comments…read them below or write one }

    • Will Rabb

      If you don’t want to arrive at work in a sweat, wear a wet T-shirt. Keep icewater in your bottle and douse your back and head with it. Works like a charm. Bring a clean shirt with you or keep some at work. If you need to carry stuff with you, such as workout clothes, get some panniers! I bike commute every day in hot, humid Florida.

  • Brian

    There is something so exhilarating about biking in Denver after an overnight one foot dumper–February 3rd comes to mind. Most fun I’ve had commuting to work on a bike this year.
    Thanks for the laugh!

  • Corey Keizer

    I didn’t think this applied to me at all until I got to number 5. I turned around and looked at the two bikes stacked up behind my desk. My Trek Madone, and my Cannondale 29′er Single Speed. Seriously… That was weird.

  • Tim

    Reason number 10 – What if…. what if you like it? Then you’re going to want to keep doing it and that’s some serious commitment.

  • Aaron

    My truck wouldn’t start one morning this winter and I can count the times I have driven since on one hand. Snow, rain, wind(here in Iowa it’s the worst) it doesn’t matter, I can’t get enough.

  • Gasper Johnson

    Well played, Brendan!

    Also consider that you would have to put air in your tire, and possibly oil on your chain. That could take like… 5 min or alternatively someone at a bike shop might do it for you just because that way they can work out those wussy t-rex arms bikers develop.

  • ohjennymae

    my husband just started biking to work at his law office & he loves the relaxation if offers him where it could be aggravating dealing with other drivers. granted, he rides on the phoenix canals, but it’s nice to chill before work and decompress after.

  • Robert

    there are reasons to not ride a bicycle to work (e.g. live close and walk) and i suspected that this article would provide some fresh content, perhaps something about bicycling on calories obtained from red meat being somehow worse for everything ever than taking public transportation because maybe thats true, but you start talking about ties and i am rereading and rereading whatever incoherent arbitrary thing you wrote about a piece of fabric and i am too disappointed to care about grammar

  • Smith

    Reason 10. You become the cliche of condescending smugness that people typically associate with bike culture.

  • Antranik

    “Ask those day laborer guys who bike to work every day on secondhand Huffys and Magnas — they’re not cheap.” HAHAHAHAHA THAT’S AWESOME.

  • Greg

    @Brian Dunning “You ride your bike to work year round in Denver? I’ve never been in a Denver winter, but that strikes me as a Man’s accomplishment.”

    Denver is flat and warm. I was in shorts and a T-shirt Christmas 2010 while in Denver and we were grilling. I’ve done the same in Pittsburgh which actually has more hills and a fair amount of snow and cold, icy bridges to ride over. :p Could be a fluke but, everyone I know in Denver has told me they barely get any snow.

  • Jonathan Bean

    With regard to number 4: carry a small hip flask of vodka. Dabbing the alcohol under your arms kills the bacteria that make you smell. And, you have vodka for when you want to congratulate yourself for getting home again without getting killed.

  • Alan

    You know, as a non-bike commuter I had not thought of several of these easy solutions to my reservations about biking to work. This article helped me look at those concerns from a new angle, which is great . . . too bad you decided to do it in a snotty, bitchy tone that once again reminded me why I loathe bike culture. Which is really too bad, because you actually have an awesome case here that many Americans just haven’t thought about this way. You could open their eyes by talking in a warm, non-judgemental way about those common fears/concerns and tips for how to get past them. Or you could just snark for the laughs of the converted. There’s nothing wrong with that really, but I think it was a waste of good opportunity. Mocking people’s doubts and concerns generally turns them off, from my experience.

      • H

        It fell flat, I’m with Alan on this one. I think more people should consider getting a bike and riding trails or around the parks, recreationally, before being big-dealed into attacking the average commute.

        I commuted by bike for a hundred miles per week for a month just to try it out (I’m in decent shape). It took an extra hour out of my day that I could have spent on my normal exercise regimen or whatever else. I’ll probably return to it when I have the time again, as supplemental cardio, for a day or two a week, but twenty miles in a day on a bike isn’t for everyone to just jump into and an extra hour a day of tennis (etc.) can make you a lot better at your chosen sport if you’re inclined to get more exercise.

        I think sustainable commuting is important, and I think getting more Americans more exercise is important. I think the cycling community has a poor image as snobby exercise freaks when it should have the image of healthy pragmatism. This article doesn’t help.

  • JanH

    :-D Love it. Except you made me want to swap my Trek 7.9fx for a Trek Madone…or maybe not swap..just acquire!!

  • Jess D

    My commute finishes with 9% grade for 4 miles… not doable every day, but I try at least twice a week in the summer… Thankfully I have a shower in my office!
    It’s unfortunate all the people that missed the sarcasm in the post and assuming you’re stuck-up – so far from the truth!! Heck, the author lives in a minivan… give him a break! :)

  • Chris M

    Love this! I live in a suburb of Chicago (clearly an enviornment of harsh conditions) and I ride my bike to my job every day (5.69 miles to be exact). I just passed 4000 miles on my bike which is simply riding to and from my house to work and back again. My best argument for doing so….=parking. I haven’t paid for parking in years, I’ve saved hundreds of dollars on gas and I have totally become a snarky bicycle guy (i.e., yelling at cars is extremely enjoyable.) Thanks for this wonderful argument to keep up my bicycling commute.

  • Jerry

    The Dutch have long been the world’s most enthusiastic cyclists. They view cycling as an everyday activity not requiring special clothing or protective headgear. Women commonly wear skirts and dresses and men wear business attire while cycling to work; no problem. Also, the Dutch see no need to shower after arriving at the office following a bicycle commute. There are two distinct types of perspiration. The type of sweat caused by physical exertion does not produce a foul body odor.

  • Daniel S.

    Actually, 8 reasons as #1 and #7 are baically the same; so, for #7 lets say “you don’t want to burn any calories, or exercise any muscles – especially the heart!

  • Willie Hunt

    Should this not have been posted on April 1st, like April fools! :)

    But seriously, from someone that commutes year over 4000 miles a year on a bike (recently an enclosed trike Velomobile), it’s amazing to me all the lame excuses. They really are plain worthless!

  • Little Mope

    Actually my office doesn’t have showers (well, they do, but they taped off the drains to ensure that nobody uses them – joy) and I work in a cube with no chance of locking anything (all old desks, don’t even have locks). Several things came up missing before so I don’t leave anything there, but I could just bring the clothes along each day, that doesn’t bother me. The straw that broke the commuters back was when my employer told me that I can’t bring my bike into the building, I should “lock it to a tree somewhere in the parking lot” the same parking lot in which my car window got shot in.

    I tried to get other employees to join me to get the building owner to at least put in bicycle racks, that was turned down by my employer as well.

    I finally gave up trying to ride to work. It sucks because my city has some awesome bike paths and I can ride along the river almost the entire way with no cars bothering me (and me not bothering any car drivers).



  • Fred Schminke

    The writer of this article typifies the arrogance that causes even reasonable person to write them off as bike fags. In honor of such arrogance i pledge to run over the next moron on a bicycle who decides they do not have to follow all traffic laws instead of pitying them as morons incapbale of rational behavior.

    • Anthony Catalanotto

      And I pledge to smash the side view mirror of the next driver moron who blocks the bike lane with my mighty Thor hammer (haha). I follow the rules of the road (I wait even when waived on by drivers if I don’t have the right of way), but I still have been hit twice, once by an ignoramus lady who cut me off making a right turn, (she didn’t have any insurance, of course!). It’s drivers like you who rant online, all brave and shit in their 4000 lb vehicles, and drive off like a little pussy when confronted by a cyclist like me they’ve pissed off. Don’t be a bitch.

  • Gia Kitty

    The bike ride home after work is the best because after sitting in a cube all day I get to take out all my aggression from staring at a computer by screaming YET MEANS QUIET! all the way home through Minneapolis and have a bunch of strangers awkwardly stare at me. Being cooped up all day also makes you bike really fast, and thanks to pedestrian bridges, way more faster than driving.

  • Soos

    Congrats to the author as a commuter I read this in the tongue and cheek manner it was written, to Fred your last name should be schmuck not Schminke, big tough guy in your car ……..someone you love someday will ride a bike you better hope they don’t meet people like you.

  • RichardKuhlman

    How about the nine or nineteen healthy, ecological reasons why we should bike to work? Having traveled the Orient for 30 years on business, I can attest first hand that there is a way to overcome almost all obstacles to commuting on a bicycle. Ride-On

  • Colin

    Ya I used to winter-bike in Madison, Wisconsin — all the bike paths are plowed well in advance of the roads, simply because there are fewer miles of path to clear. Plus, if you get a hybrid it does ok in the snow. Studded tires help (but it’s a pain to change them). It can be done!

  • wpstoll

    Dear “Fred” (an appropriate appellation),
    Is there a particular minority against which you are not bigoted? Blond, blue-eyed, heterosexual Aryans, perhaps? Brave talk for someone who hides behind a computer monitor or inside a metal cage!

    • steve casimiro

      No personal attacks, please. Keep your criticism to the content, not the person. Same for you, Fred.

  • Cj

    Wow, this has got to be one of the dumbest things I have read in a long time. This is just another excuse to be lazy.

  • Mike B.

    HAHAHAHA. Biking Denver has been the best thing since I got out of the service. I haven’t drove my truck since February and that was just to get out to Summit county. This past winter was pretty easy. I didn’t mind the 80 degree weather the past weekend to snow the other morning to now just nice out a day later.
    Fred, I hope you realize that gun laws here are pretty laid back. Using your vehicle as weapon gives me the right to defend myself. note as not a threat but a word of advice or reminder there are crazier, bigger, stronger, etc other than yourself. Cheers bud. Merica!

  • Gordie

    This is incredibly off-putting and totally disingenuous. Get over yourself!

    #2: Sorry, I am not going to alter my life to the point that I have to get dressed for work in a conference room at my office every morning. Some people actually do have to look presentable at work every day.
    #3: I don’t have to go to the gym, but I do have lots of other more important things to do, like board meetings, other jobs, and work-related events.
    #4: are you serious? Like I said before, some of us have to be presentable for work. I have never heard someone sound so condescending about others’ concerns about body odor and sweat-stained clothes. Also, what if you have to go all over town for meetings and appointments?
    #7: Unless you live in Portland or Santa Cruz or some other wonderful progressive city, there is a good chance that there is literally no bike route from your house to your job, even if the distance is only a few miles. Not to mention from your house/job to the other places you might have to go during the day. I live in a bike-friendly place and there are still areas of the city that are inaccessible by bike unless you add 30-45 minutes to the trip by taking the bike paths.
    #9: Believe it or not, some people don’t want to change their routine from a 10-minute car ride to a 45-minute bike ride, or add an additional half hour each way to the various places they have to go during the day. Especially overworked and underpaid people like me who have to be in the office at 7:30am, run around town all day, and sometimes don’t go home until 6pm or later. Apparently this is unacceptable to you?

    Some people are much better able to ride their bike every day than others. You snidely imply that those “others” are full of shit and just haven’t been enlightened like you. I ride my bike to work about 1/3 of the time, mostly during one time of year when I don’t have as many meetings during the day or after-work commitments. This essay makes it sound like you have never even met someone who doesn’t ride their bike to work. Get your head out of your butt and don’t give non-bike-riders more reason to hate self-righteous bikers like you.

  • Leo

    Jeez, some of the hater posters I just have to wonder, why you would go to such lengths to read and comment about an article you so snidely state you can’t be bothered with in the first place?

    Gordie, especially, this wasn’t a personal attack as you seem to express. I wear nice slacks and a tie and if it were necessary, I could wear a sport or suit coat with minimal trouble. I work in a hospital and have interactions with patients, families, administrators and doctors daily and I have to be careful because my appearance causes people to refer to me as Doctor regularly, which I have to explain otherwise. I enjoy being able to look like a mundane even though I’m a 3000+ mile a year cycle commuter. I live in a not tremendously cycle friendly city and, though I appreciate having a bike lane on most of my commute, the majority of my other riding in town is never dependent on a bike lane, I’ve learned how to ride in traffic regardless. It is more than possible, but it is 90% psychological vs. the physical effort in doing so. And the difference between riding surface streets and driving a car on the freeway to my work is more like 5-10 minutes, not 35 as you exaggerated. When the freeway backs up, it’s definitely the same time or quicker for me to bike commute, on my route.

    So you don’t care for the effort this person made to ‘tip’ you over to a frequent commuter, but there isn’t one way to make that happen, so shake it off. This wasn’t a personal reflection on your ‘failings’. Honest. The idea being is that many, many people CAN ride, if they thought about it. Some people can’t and apparently that fact upsets you. I’m sorry.
    Keep on riding though. Hopefully, you smile when you ride at least.

  • Gordie

    Leo, you are simply not correct that everybody can figure out a bike route if they just try hard enough. A 5 minute jaunt down the freeway does not translate to a 15 minute bike ride if only you look for a good route. It is not an exaggeration at all to suggest a 10 minute car ride becomes an hour or more by bike. In fact, most of my 8 coworkers are in exactly that situation; I think me and one other guy are the only ones who can practically ride our bikes to the office. It is not psychological. I’m lucky to live in a neighborhood close enough to my job where biking is feasible. Even on the weekends, when I go to volunteer for an organization I’m part of, there is a running joke that I have to leave an hour before everyone else because I ride my bike – and it’s true.

    And even if it were psychological, so what? I don’t think there’s anything wrong with not wanting to ride your bike down a 4 lane commercial highway that doesn’t have bike lanes, if that’s the only practical way to get where you’re going. You are politely saying “get over it,” and that is condescending.

    And not everyone can dress for work with “a couple of ties” and “a sport coat.” I wish I didn’t have to wear suits all the time, but I do, and I can’t wear the same outfit every day or just “toss on a coat” for a meeting.

    Finally, it’s rather rich to call the critical comments “snide” when the original essay is snide in the extreme. The implication of essays like this, and like most things written by self-righteous bike riders, is that non-bikers DO have some kind of personal failing. You yourself are saying that I am exaggerating, that I could do it if I tried hard enough, etc. Well, unfortunately not everyone is in the exact same circumstances as you or Brendan.

    I don’t see this as a personal attack on me per se, but I do see a clear implication that most people should be able to live the lifestyle of a bike commuter if only we would just put in the effort. I think that is false unless your life circumstances meet a certain set of criteria.

  • Bob

    Brendan, you make excellent points about how easy it is to bike to work.
    I bet that as a Master’s in Literature holder, all of your co-workers at Starbucks are endlessly impressed with how you are always sticking your middle finger to the Man and biking to work.

  • The Dude

    It’s been my experience Bob, that people who are generally happy with their lives and secure in their world aren’t compelled to try and take others down. Is everything okay with you? Things will get better man, keep your chin up.

  • dr2chase

    @Robert – if you look up the energy costs of producing meat, if you ate only beef protein (after carefully removing ALL the fat), you get the equivalent of about 15mpg. That’s not great, but it’s not “worse than anything else”. The associated GHG emissions (burps, farts, and manure lagoons) do make it worse.

    However, that’s an absurd strawman for several reasons. First, beef comes with fat. All the costs of producing that beef protein also paid for the fat, as part of the beef package. Fat is loaded with calories. 85% lean beef (15% fat beef) has TWICE the calories per pound as pure beef protein, or the equivalent of 30mpg (not 15) and only half the GHG impact, if that is what you eat to fuel your bicycle.

    Second, for short trips, you don’t get especially hungry, and you may not eat any more anyhow. Most of us carry ample reserves.

    Third, why on earth would anyone eat beef protein for fuel? It’s expensive. It’s not what you crave, when you do ride enough to get hungry (carbs, fats, mmmmmmmm). It’s not even healthy — to ride a bike 50 miles per week (what I do), fueled by protein (not fat, not carbs) would require 90 additional grams of protein a day. The recommended daily allowance is only 56g per day, but USAians already consume 112 grams per day. Adding protein-for-bike-fuel to that gets you to 200, which is (when I went looking online) the maximum recommended intake for a 220lb man engaged in body-building. At those levels, it apparently (random sampling from the web) you risk both ketosis and damage to your kidneys. (Note that 200g of protein is 800 kCal, a good fraction of your daily total.)

    This is probably why the author didn’t write what you wanted him to, because (I hope) nobody use beef protein for bicycle fuel. It would be very stupid.

  • Sue

    I would love to ride to work. I would get there faster on a bike than in my car. Two reasons keep me from doing so. First, I work in one of the most dangerous cities in the US (we’ve even made it for the world!). I work in eight different schools which I must travel between each day, some in the most dangerous parts of the most dangerous city. Even if I made it safely there I would not have a bicycle when I left. (Most likely even if I can bring it inside the school. Second reason is that I must haul a suitcase full of therapy equipment from school to school. I keep various supplies in my car to switch out depending on the student I’m working with. I do not have an office….well, except for my car that is my office. Hopefully I’ll be able to retire in a few years and will move to a rural area where I can ride my bike to the stores, post office, etc. I can put good use to my panniers then! In the meantime I’ll stick to riding for pleasure and stay local!

  • Liz

    Lets face it some days riding to work is the best part of the day, and it is much easier to put the snow tires on the bike!

  • Martin

    I loved the fact that, as a European/visitor, I only had to remember two street names to get to downtown Denver on my bike. How’s biking on sidewalks? Still not banned?

  • Tony

    I would love to commute by bike to work with my two kids in tow but the crazy drivers here in the DC suburbs of MD makes me very hesitant. I can ride the streets comfortably by myself but it’s another thing with the kids.

  • Karen

    I’m a pretty dedicated transportation cyclist but when I first got started I didn’t have that many barriers to overcome beyond mastering a few skills and learning how to pack my bike for work. I live in low humidity, sunny, and never especially hot Flagstaff, Arizona so I never arrive at work a sweaty mess or with hair that is beyond repair. If I was still living in high humidity Louisville, Kentucky, it might be a completely different story. No amount of wet wipes or hair product is sufficient for me in 80% humidity during spring through fall. If one doesn’t have a shower facility at or near work biking to work might reasonably be too difficult since, for a lot of us, a neat, sharp, professional appearance is a job requirement. Rain gear isn’t always sufficient to keep dry – it’s no match for a summer monsoon in Flagstaff so if the prediction in high I car pool in with my husband. Likewise, I don’t bike to work on the days when 8 inches of snow cover the the residential streets and bike paths because I’m much more likely to survive an out of control SUV hitting my car than hitting me on my bike.

    I do most of my getting from here to there on a bike because I can but I don’t sweat it when the conditions or situation doesn’t allow it. For those who can’t conveniently bike to work maybe it’s good enough to use their bike as transportation when they go grocery shopping or out to dinner or for a trip the gym. Those are great places to begin and figure out the solutions to more regular transportation cycling, in my opinion. If more people only tip-towed into bicycling then that would be a huge improvement and possibly motivate public-private partnerships to invest in bike facilities and infrastructure to biking to work a more workable option.

  • KCW

    Dearest Brendan,
    I also wonder if it burns more calories to be so self- righteously sarcastic and condescending to all of those folks that may not be able to follow your prescription of what is right for getting from point A to point B. Add a kid into the mix and things change. But you probably have a kid to put into the safety seat of your bicycle – your assumptive, damning of all different from your world view EGO.

  • jthibaut

    use your car, waste your time in traffic jam, continue to pay fuel taxes for the State and for Arabic people and contribue to global warming

  • Emily

    I lived in Boulder for awhile. Biked to work several times, because the weather was pleasant and the air is dry. Now I live in Houston and biking to work is not an option 6 months out of the year. It’s one thing to show up to work a little bit sweaty. It’s another to show up with all your clothes and hair completely soaked through because of the 100 degree temperatures and 98 % humidity. Even a wipe down with some cloths won’t help that one. I tried biking to work one summer – never felt clean at work even once.

  • Lowell

    10. You complained about the cost of gas 1 too many times and your family torched your 82 suburban. You find your size 56 jeans are way too big. You start having to shop for fashionable clothes that people with waist size 34 wear. Your love life improves considerably, because, suddenly, you have cash to spend on girlfriends and become an international playboy.

  • Tony

    This is a stupid way to promote biking to work. I can tell you’re the type of guy who’s self righteous about riding his bike to work. Cool…but not really!!! Come back to reality Mr. I bike to work in the rain, eat clif bars for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and am way more hardcore then you. Ya, I bike to work when it’s appropriate. Sometimes, when I’m feeling really hardcore…I speed walk. OMG, biking to work is so lame. You want a real purist approach to getting to work…you have to try walking!!! HAHAHAHA…pointless.

  • Tam

    ahaha nicely written! I don’t actually ride to work, but I am considering it. Some days will be impractical as I need to drive my son to football training right after work, but on the days that I can I will actually consider it more than I do now. I just wish people wouldn’t take things in life so seriously, it was tongue in cheek and very clever… or maybe that is just my sense of humour, whatever it is, i enjoyed it. Thanks for the entertaining read. We were actually discussing at work the other day how amusing it is that someone would drive down to the gym, walk on the treadmill for a bit and then drive back home when they could have saved the car fuel by either walking around the park or block near their home or going for a ride on their bike. Amusing. …. and before people get upset and give me all the reasons why they can’t do that in their community and how I am being presumptuous and arrogant, I’m not referring to your situation, I am referring to the people that are able to do that who just don’t.

  • Adam

    This is really funny. I haven’t owned a car for the last four years and I don’t intend on buying one anytime soon. Cars are dinosaurs and need to go away along with their obese owners.

  • Michelle Rose

    I thought this was very clever writing but I live in Chicago where the bicyclist are evil!!! I tried riding a bike a few years ago but the rage of the other cyclists because I wasn’t going fast enough for them finally got to me and I gave my bike away. Bicyclists in Chicago think that they are above the law. They run red lights, the run stop signs, they terrorize pedestrians and they all deserve to be hit by a car. I have witnessed several accidents and all were the fault of the cyclist. If you beleive you don’t have to stop or slow down, then you deserve to be hit. If you don’t want to follow the rules of the road, then you deserve to be hit. I will never ride a bike in Chicago again.

  • Veronikka

    I live in Chicago and for me, bike riding here sucks. I used to bike around town for errands but found that aggressive drivers gave me bike rage so bad it just wasn’t worth with. It’s not fun or exhilarating for me to be in a hyper alert defcon three state of mind just trying to get from point A to point B. Plus, I’ve also had three bikes stolen since I’ve lived here. Locks mean nothing when some jerk wants your $100 10-year-old bike. I should point out that I haven’t owned a car in five years. I take public trans or walk.

  • Devin G

    Some other barriers to bike commuting.
    No familiarity with safe routes or any routes for that matter.
    Bikes get stolen all the time.
    Is there anywhere to store this thing at work?
    Security if you have one of those shitty jobs with unpredictable late nights.
    Bikes lacking good maintenance will leave you stranded.

    I agree the article could have set a better tone and tried to be more helpful. There are legitimate hurdles to beat for some people.

  • Annelies

    This was really funny. Too bad I live and hour away from work and the ONLY way to commute there is on I-395. I should probably just man up! ;-)

  • Adam

    Great article – very funny.
    Many thanks to Pete Macleod, sirenia, Jason, Cj, RichardKuhlman & Robert for making it even funnier by taking it seriously. It’s not serious – it’s ironic!

    And for all of you who got upset and thought it was snarky, lighten up. It’s funny.

    Some people have genuine reasons for not cycling to work, and some people (probably most actually) just don’t want to. That’s OK – it’s their choice, and no-one has to do this. But for those people who can, but think they can’t for one of the reasons above, this is a light-hearted way of helping them see that their concerns can be overcome.

  • Natosha

    I didn’t find it snarky, and if I did it wouldn’t turn me off from wanting to ride a bike. I’m about 10 lbs overweight with a 3.5 mile commute that costs me approximately $5.90 a day. I could recoup my bike investment in 1-3 months depending on the quality of bike I choose, as well as get rid of those last 10 stubborn pounds. Everyone who said that snarky bike culture turns them off, just want an excuse to continue doing what they are doing. Man up and stop whining. Also, thank you for the post it helped me get over those reservations I had left.

  • joe

    This article made me laugh out loud.. i just started commuting to work 3.1 miles each way on a $250 bike from walmart (schwinn hybrid something or other,its actually really nice). It has changed my life and I’m even down a few pounds. I loved this article.

  • Bill_T

    Biking to and from work has saved me from the tyranny of the gym. I get my cardio, etc… in my 30 min each way ride. win, win. Though sometimes I miss staring at the cute girls on the stairmasters

  • Gias

    oh my, This article makes me laugh.
    Back here in the Netherlands it is very common to bike to work. except for argument 1 and 7 (which are the same) it looks like you should just get yourself together.

    You can easily drive a bike with a suit or skirt, you also can change cloths at work.
    Excersising indoors only? really, no wonder this article seems to be from a cry baby, outdoors all these extern influences, far to scary. Rather use my hometrainer in front of the TV.

    You can commute 4 miles on any bike.Not the right bike, nonsense.

    Who needs a helmet, when you have developed a good sense of Balance you can stay on without dropping, right? Over here you only where a helmet when you go seriousy fast or go off the road on a MTB.

    If it rains you get wet, you can use rainoveralls to keep dryer, but in 2 years biking a only got seriously wet like 5 times, and it will dry anyway.

    no time to spend in a traffic jam? yeah that would be a real pitty.

  • Jermaine

    I think bicycling is a great way to get to work–if your work has showers! Or if you take it easy. If there is a facility where you can shower before work, you might be fine. Also if you live far away from work, bicycling might not be your best option. Stick with driving or public transportation.

  • brian

    I like how this articles takes these things not so seriously. I just started biking to work again and it is likely everything else in life, sometimes great, sometimes not. I did have some thoughts though;

    1. It’s too dangerous.
    It really is dangerous. We’ve had multiple cyclist fatalities this year alone, many of which were commuters. Like many cities, mine lacks the proper infrastructure or driver education to support more cyclists.

    2. You have to wear a tie to work. Or a suit. Or a skirt.
    I don’t have to wear any of these, but I am required to be wearing my scrubs when I arrive and they can not be soiled.

    3. You have to go to the gym after/before work.
    Doesn’t apply The bike is my workout

    4. You can’t show up all sweaty and smelly for your job.
    This is a problem, as mentioned, I am expected to walk in the door presentable and ready for work, this rules out riding on rainy days, or most summer days when morning temps are above 90 degrees

    5. You don’t have the right bike for it.
    All of my bikes have pulled commuter duty. Of course carrying around 20lbs of locking apparatus doesn’t help with the sweating or wardrobe issues either

    6. You can’t be wearing a bike helmet and messing up your hair before work.
    Unfortunately also true. We can’t all wear baseball caps or be skinheads.

    7. The route from your home to your office would be suicide on a bike.
    Some days it really is, we can’t always ride the extra 10 miles around the body of water to a less dangerous bridge.

    8. What if it rains?
    don’t ride that day

    9. You would have to change your routine.
    Completely true. Bike commuting involves extra time, unless your employer has flexible hours, you will likely have to plan to arrive early in case of a malfunction.

  • lily

    this is fantastic – I’ve been trying to get my friends to commute for over a year now, and a few of them have taken the plunge! the only one I’m truly guilty of is #6 – hit right at my heart, and I think I’ll go buy a helmet now. Thanks for that ;)

  • Tarek

    This post just became a Favorite, I was searching for resources to help me take the decision to bike to work, and I found the reasons you should NOT ride to work, so thought of starting with it, so if I found any disadvantages for riding, I cover it with the other 6 tabs listing advantages of biking :D
    I was surprised :) Thank you for sarcastically making it seems so easy to ride to work :)
    Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt

  • Bryan

    I am a fairly avid cyclist (been riding for 36 years), I commute to work regularly, I sometimes bend the rules of the road, but only when it is safe to do so.

    I am sick of people in cars shouting taunts at me for getting my exercise on my bicycle. They yell things like “get a car, you f***er!”

    I defy the next to stop and discuss this face to face. There is a strong chance it will end badly for said individual, as I am likely to break bones kicking them.

    I harbor no ill will toward drivers, but this nonsense needs to follow the dodo. I get my exercise by riding and it’s fun. Some of these pricks should try it sometime.

    No one is better or worse than anyone else for riding or not riding… it’s a personal choice. Who the f*** are any of us to judge another for something so basic as that?

    Some comments I have read on here defy description. You bike-haters are welcome to come to my town (Amarillo, TX) and make your attempts to force this issue with me. God help you.

    Peace, all.

    P.S. I carry all manner of weapons just in case i need them, but spark plugs work wonders on disrespectful motorists.

  • Kevin

    American roads are not bike friendly. That’s too bad because all of us could be living a much higher lifestyle without being slaves to the automobile.

    Our cities and communities need a radical makeover in order for biking to be safe and practical.

    • Christin

      You are absolutely right. Unfortunately, our culture has prioritized automobiles over bikes due to a combination of cheap carbon fuel, lack of foresight in infrastructure development, and general laziness.

      However, as Portland, OR has demonstrated, if people are not demanding and already using the non-existent or inefficient bike paths, it’s a very tough sell to get representatives to allocate money to improve the facilities.

  • alcohol rehab Toledo

    Today, I went to the beach front with my children.
    I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter
    and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She placed the shell to her ear and screamed.
    There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear.
    She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is entirely off topic but
    I had to tell someone!

  • Philip

    Wow I am really disgusted at this article.
    Cycling is a really great way to stay healthy and get some air in the morning before a long day in the office.
    Your points are repetitive. With mention of your fine suit and tie collection surely a $1200 bike is not beyond your means…
    Most office complex’s offer warm showers so that covers your point on hair too, (which was definitely one of your weaker points)
    I think you need to man up a bit and get on a bike you soft case.

  • Lottie

    I work for a large mutual fund manager on the east coast and have had a few people give me the stink eye as I sprint up the stairs with my bike on my shoulder. For a minute I was beginning to think I was damaging my career… which is why I googled “ride a bike to a professional job” looking for someone to tell me I was doing just that, putting the nail in the coffin. This was the first search result that came up. Thanks for helping a sister out!

  • James

    Yea there are many dangers to cyclists on the road ..vehicles being the #1 danger but using common sense and remaining viligant will help you get to work safely on your bike.Also Yea people can and have been killed in car accidents so why would the author of this article say different ? …… happy riding!!!!!!

  • bob w

    You forgot the top 10 reason — Dying being hit by a 4000 pound object going 30 mph.

    Sure, since you wrote this, I’m guessing it hasn’t happened yet. But if you do this for 40 years you would be a statistical outlier if you have been killed or seriously injured by then.

    In my car, at least it is only a 1 in 200 chance of death over the long haul.

    You also omitted that the cost of calories to fuel a bike exceeds the cost of a fuel efficient car.

  • Gina W

    You will also look better than your co-workers! They will be in a fit of jealousy when you are leaner, happier, and fitter! (Yes I used fitter)

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