Recently I have been posting on the socials about my bike commuting back and forth to work and highlighting the snarl of traffic I pass over on Route 80 each day. It seems like I have struck a nerve with a lot of folks.
I’m not car shaming you
So let me get this out of the way right up front. Above all, I am not trying to “car shame” you for being stuck in this knot of misery every day. Many people commented that their commute is long. The roads are dangerous. They carry tools. There are a lot of reasons why using a bike for transport is not practical for many people. Particularly in light of the spectacularly bad infrastructure we have in New Jersey.
On my instagram post people expressed legitimate reasons for being stuck in a car. But how many people are caught up in this daily mess to make a trip of five to fifteen miles? Certainly, if you make a trip of shorter distance and you are only going to one place for the day, a bicycle is a powerful tool. You may save you time. More importantly you will save money and you will be healthier. Another benefit will be an improved mood for the day ahead. That’s just science folks! And if the gas powered velvet cell is your only option imagine how much better your commute in a car would be if there was 20 to 30% fewer cars on the highway?
The current state of affairs
It is important for me to say that I am not some wild eyed fanatic demanding all existing infrastructure be torn down. Everyone does not need to give up their cars. Utopian fantasies are not my thing. Based on where we are right now in terms of how we have organized our work centers (or not), and the state of mass transit, cars are necessary for the majority of people in New Jersey.
Who should NOT consider using a bike as transport?
If your commute is more than fifteen miles one way you should probably stick with your car. Do you carry a large quantity of tools or other equipment? A motor vehicle is probably the way to go. When there is no practical route that allows safe passage a car may be your choice. Is making multiple trips during the work day the day part of your job? A car is the tool you need.
Who should consider a bike or an E-bike?
If you are within ten miles of work a bike can get you there pretty efficiently. Mapping out a route that avoids major roads a bike can actually be a really fun way to get there. Are you tired of spending $6000 or more a year on getting to your job? A bike is a gigantic money saver.
I know, I know-there are lots of “yeah buts”. It may seem impractical for you to give up driving even part time. In future posts I will knock down a lot of the obstacles to making a bike the practical choice because you can easily overcome many of the challenges.
If you think you want to explore the bike option reach out to me. I’m here to help! Brendan@cyclecraft.coma