Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Why Bicycle?

I started bicycling as a means of transportation when I was in high school. I used this as a way to get from my home to school in New York City. A distance of just over a mile. I most certainly was influenced by my father who started riding a bicycle to his office during a NYC public transportation strike and never went back. On a future post perhaps I will talk about the joys of trying to secure a bicycle in the Big Apple.

When I went to college, I purchased a used bicycle that worked well, but did not attract theft (remember I was conditioned in the Big Apple). I used it to get all around the campus and loved that I could get quickly from one end of campus to the other. I think I particularly liked that I could sleep for an extra 15 or 20 minutes and still get to class on time.

Other than a four year period when I lived in Back Bay and worked in Natick, my bicycle has always been my favored means of commuting. In my 20s, exercise was not a factor in my transportation choice, now in my 50s, it is certainly a welcome bonus. Another recent benefit to my long standing mode of transportation is that without making any changes, I am doing more for the environment with each passing year.

Despite the health benefits (my own and the environment's), bicycling just makes sense in Brookline. Parking is often difficult for cars, but difficulty parking a bicycle means the sign or meter in front of your destination is occupied. I love going to Fenway Park, a 10 minute ride by bike and parking is free (savings - $30). I can always park across the street - closer than the most expensive parking lot.

Traffic is often an issue when driving in Brookline, particularly in Coolidge Corner or Brookline Village. Not so with a bicycle. I never have to add time to a trip to account for traffic.

The final benefit of bicycling? Cost. I spend about $100 per year maintaining my bicycle (and I don't do it myself). That's probably 2 or 3 tanks of gas, never mind insurance and maintenance.

So I guess the question is, why wouldn't you want to bicycle as a means to get around Brookline?


  1. Bob, this is inspiring. I tell myself that I will bike to work when I no longer have to bring my son to school in the morning. i sure could use the regular exercise and love having it be a part of my regular routine. You're right, it does make sense in Brookline. The traffic and parking can be a real drag.

  2. I've thought about biking to school, but I'm usually pretty dead tired in the morning. I think I'd be even more dead tired after the ride in to I got my bike tuned up this summer (at Bikes Not Bombs), but I've yet to put wheel to road. Just haven't been inspired. Perhaps your blog will inspire me.

    1. I know what you mean, and it is sometimes hard to get motivated to make the ride. Once I have, I am more awake and ready for the day. I used to look forward to an excuse to avoid riding, now I am disappointed if I can't.

  3. Great topic! I bike to school every day all year, and it is the best way to wake up! On the very rare days I can't bike in, it takes longer and I'm in a worse mood... I take my kids on the bike, by the way.

  4. I bike to school on occasion and love it. It is difficult to motivate myself for the morning ride, but I really love the afternoon ride - really allows me to clear my mind of the day's events before getting home.