Biking to work. Despite perils it’s still the way to go!

June 17, 2009

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urban biking: wear a helmet!

I took a fall on my bike riding into work this morning, which might be the one and only bad thing I can say about biking to work. There was a goddam gash in the sidewalk and now there’s a goddam gash in my knee! Oh well, given I hit the pavement, it could have been a lot worse.

Still, riding’s pluses are manifest. Especially in Chicago. Our lakefront path is among the country’s longest and finest urban bike routes, spanning from the leafy suburb of Evanston in the north to I’m not even sure how far south. With a great lake on one side and the world-class skyline of Chicago on the other, one rides through Lincoln Park, Grant Park, various museum campuses; the path even skirts Chicago’s newest jewel, Millennium Park.

Say what you will about Mayor Daley but he loves his parks and recreation and it shows. There is no better way to take advantage of them than on a bicycle. Da Mayor is also a huge promoter of urban biking, and our city gets more bike friendly every day.

Yet scenery is only one of the many bonuses that come with riding to work and by no means the most desirable.

Public transportation is a couple bucks a trip. Parking downtown can cost over 20 dollars a day. And let’s not even get into the cost of petroleum. Biking is free. Even the bike itself is a bargain. After all, the most expensive bicycle in the world costs far less than the cheapest car.

Next to running and swimming biking is one of the best forms of aerobic exercise and it won’t damage your legs -unless you fall like I did! I’m told Alex moved hot shop Crispin Porter & Bogusky to Boulder Colorado precisely because of its awesome biking opportunities. Riding in to work likely has something to do with all the big ideas coming out of Crispin. Physical exercise in the morning sets you up for optimal creative thinking. I know I hit the keyboard with gusto after my ride.

Biking is quintessentially green. When I ride I don’t drive. Multiply that by 1,000 drivers…or 100,000. Compared to the lowly Schwinn, the Toyota Prius is a gas-guzzler. I predict the numbers of bikers will continue to increase as fears of global warming escalate.

But one doesn’t need fear or a good conscience to get on a bike; there are plenty of selfish reasons: your body, your health, your pocket book, your creativity. And then there’s the best reason of all: it’s fun.

Me so Twitter: Steffan\'s Twitter address

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