Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Better Move: Ride a Bicycle to Work

I am happy to say that I successfully rode a bicycle from home to work today. I survived Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City! I have been thinking about changing my work commute from taking a vehicle to simply ride a bike. The main reason is I want to help (in my own little way) in easing the traffic. I do not want to add further to the problem of air pollution and climate change. One less car on the road is not much compared to the very huge traffic problem. But one less car on the road is still one car less! Just imagine if half of the cars on the road were bicycles. It will not only effectively solve the traffic mess, it will also help our planet to breathe!

Screenshot from my Strava App
My bike commute could have been a lot easier and safer if there were bicycle lanes. The lack of bicycle lanes made me more cautious about approaching vehicles and pedestrians walking and waiting to get a ride. On my bike, I can see the total chaos and lack of discipline on the road. There were traffic enforcers but implementing rules and regulations in an already chaotic environment is very difficult, if not totally impossible. I have seen other bicycle riders who were able to squeeze their way into the crowded highway. It is a sort of a miracle how these bikers were able to maneuver in tight spaces momentarily created by the traffic gridlock.

Despite the difficulties and dangers, I consider it an achievement to "bike to work" and survive Commonwealth Avenue considered as one of the most dangerous roads in Metro Manila. The feeling of being able to get to the office on your own power and energy is amazing. With this bike to work scheme, I was able to squeeze in much needed exercise into my very tight schedule. I also got to enjoy my bike and see the world in an entirely different perspective. There is really something great about riding a bicycle to work. Despite the risks, there is some sort of a very different kind of feeling that uplifts the mood and inspire you to work better. As I biked along this reputedly dangerous road, I saw people in a way that I would not have seen when inside an enclosed vehicle. There is really some truth to the cliche. Sometimes, you got to see life in different angles. Life is not meant to be seen in one particular dimension.

I intend to continue riding a bicycle to work. It is simpler, healthier and friendlier to the environment. The benefits of biking to work far outweighs the perceived dangers on the road. It creates another reason to wake up early and just ride! Instead of getting to the office tired, I felt better and energized. The early morning exercise, courtesy of riding a bicycle, awakens the muscles and conditions the mind for the usual and monotonous 8 hour grind.

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