Cycling to Work: Better Health and a Longer Life

By Peter DePaolis

Choosing two wheels over four is not only a great way to save on gas, but it could save you years of health complications later as well.

One British medical journal published a study confirming how bicycling to work and around town could improve your health and longevity. In fact, the study found that workers who commute using a bike were at a lower risk for heart disease and cancer – the two leading causes of premature death in the United States.

More so, taking your bike to work beats walking to work.

How Do You Get Started with Biking?

Opting for two wheels instead of four is not easy. Also, there are significant risks that come with cycling to work – with the biggest being motorists that do not look out for cyclists. Regardless, there is a trend starting that favors cycling over driving. According to the data from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), the number of cyclists deaths rose 12 percent – which means more people are cycling, but car drivers are still not paying attention.

Despite the risks, you can get yourself up and ready to tackle the day with your bike in tow. If you are not sure where to get started, here are a few tips:

  • Get a Good Bike – You need a bike with quality wheels. Check the air pressure and tread, and keep a tire repair kit on you in case you get a flat. If your bike is a few years old, you can still use it. But, you may want to check it in with your local bike repair shop and have the brakes and chain replaced first.
  • Get Up Early – Naturally, taking a bike to work will take a little longer than your vehicle – depending on traffic. Get up early and time the commute on two wheels.
  • Wear the Right Equipment – Helmets might leave your hair in disarray, but they save lives. You can always touch up when you get to work – especially if you leave yourself enough time to change and refresh upon arrival. Also, consider knee and elbow pads in case of an accident.
  • Drink Water – Keep yourself hydrated. Instead of your morning coffee in tow like you would in the car, opt for a bottle of water. On hot summer days, you could quickly become dehydrated – even with a short 20-minute ride.
  • Pack Up – A shoulder bag or backpack with your work clothes and anything you need once you reach your destination is a must. You will want a pair of gym clothes for the ride and separate work clothes.

Remember to Stay Safe

You cannot rely on motorists to look for you while you cycle to work. Instead, you must take matters into your own hands. Before you cross in front of vehicles, make eye contact with the driver. If you plan to ride on the road or in a bike lane, learn the cyclist signals. These signals notify motorists of your turn and stopping intentions.

Go with the flow of traffic too. When you are riding along parked cars, be on the lookout for drivers who may be opening their doors. In fact, one of the leading causes of serious accidents for cyclists was being “doored,” which involves someone opening a car door on the cyclist traveling at high speeds.

You Have Rights as a Cyclist

If you were riding to work on your bike, but you were injured in an accident with an inattentive or negligent motorist, you have the right to seek compensation from that driver.

Hold drivers accountable for their actions with the advocates from Koonz McKenney Johnson & DePaolis LLP. Our attorneys understand how traumatic these types of accidents are, and we are here to ensure you receive the compensation you need.

Schedule a free case evaluation by calling one of our three office locations or connecting with a team member online.

About the Author
Peter DePaolis joined the firm in 1980 and has since represented a large number of individuals involved in automobile collisions, truck accidents, bus crashes, defective products, and medical malpractice cases. A significant portion of Mr. DePaolis’ practice is devoted to working on behalf of people suffering from asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related cancers. He has led his firm’s fight against the asbestos industry and has recovered over $30 million in damages for asbestos victims and their families.