Here's Why You Should Bike To Work

by Rachel Krantz

Spring has officially, truly, no-like-really sprung, and in celebration, you should probably take a bike ride. As if you need further reason, it also happens to be National Bike To Work Week — or as us regular bike commuters like to call it, just another week. Yes, if you commute to work on your bike, you know that there's nothing quite like the independence, fitness, and generally-ecstatic feeling riding a bike affords you.

I feel so strongly about riding a bike that I even wrote a [shamelessly-self-promoted here] essay about it.

When I stumble bleary-eyed out my door in the morning, I see my bike and feel a wave of fear.
Will I really travel four miles using only my body and this object? It feels, momentarily, overwhelming. What about that one hill where my legs hurt, or that 10-minute stretch of Kent avenue where the scenery doesn’t change? What if something comes unhinged?
Hoisting the frame onto my shoulder, my body answers doubt: Of course I will ride my bike. I ride my bike every day.

In honor of Bike To Work Week, here's how it feels to join the bike commuter club. Get ready to feel all the feelings.

when you wake up, you're all

(Not a morning person.)

That is, until you get on your sweet ride

and then you're like

...unless it's raining

or — if you're really tough — snowing

in which case you feel more like

(Because you're a badass, as we'll explicate later.)

how you feel when someone passes you, then proceeds to ride slower than you:

If you're a guy passing a woman, please make extra sure you're actually doing it for legitimate reasons.

so when you decide to pass someone, you make sure to

Keep that shit moving.

running red lights when they're pointless feels like

and you know headphones aren't the safest, but you have a whole rationalization around it

like, you know, you keep the volume low

Mama needs her Radiolab.

plus, you always wear your helmet

Dianne Manson/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images

Friends don't let friends date helmet-less riders.

how you feel when you've forgotten to put air in your tires. again.

...and when you finally remember

how you feel about people who suddenly open car doors

or double park in the bike lane

or have tons of exhaust coming out of their cars

and did i mention buses?

Don't even get me started on buses.

when someone honks at you for no apparent reason, you're all, dude

Clearly, they could benefit from riding to work.

but when someone honks at you and it is your fault?

by the time you get to work, it's time to

and eat your well-earned second breakfast

sure, in the summer, you may need to change clothes

but you wouldn't trade your bike commute for anything

in fact, during the polar vortex, the worst thing wasn't the weather itself

it was not being able to ride

(And if you rode anyway, congratulations ... and you're crazy.)

because when you bike to work, you understand

There are many, many perks

in fact, let's just briefly list them

your calves are sexy as hell...

...because your workout is built in

Why do you think they call them that? is your daily dose of vitamin d

and if you don't use headphones, it can also be a form of meditation.

you save mad time (and money) by not driving or taking the train...

...and reduce that carbon footprint in the process.

but most of all...

you cultivate a feeling of pure, unadulterated independence. Every. damn. day.

The psychological effects are immediately apparent. Try going into work actually feeling like you're a free human, and watch what happens.

yes, on a bike, it's clear

Youz a bona fide badass.

Happy Bike To Work Week!