There are numerous reasons why you should ride your bike instead of driving your car, and very few reasons why you shouldn’t. However, people tend to cling to the few reasons as excuses as to why they keep driving their cars everywhere, when they could easily reach most destinations by bike or even by walking. Whether this is simple laziness, stubbornness, or thoughtlessness depends on the individual, but if our planet is to remain habitable by our grandchildren then we need to make changes to the way we live our lives, and we need to make them yesterday. This article is meant to be educational without being overly preachy so I won’t harp on about the negative things about driving a car in lieu of riding a bike. Instead, I’ll try to emphasize the positive, and give good motivational reasons why you should consider riding your bike instead of driving your car. I’ve come up with many, but for the sake of brevity I’ll limit this list to 5. Here are my top 5 reasons to ride your bike instead of driving your car:

5 – More Freedom

Sure, we all love to be able to jump in our car and reach our destination within minutes, but what if the trip doesn’t go as smoothly as planned? What if there is construction, an accident scene, or a traffic light outage at the intersection. Suddenly that quick jaunt to the store seems to take an eternity as we crawl along, trapped in our metal box at a speed slower than we could walk. On a bike you’ve got a lane of your own, more flexibility to take a different route, and a free pass through most construction zones. Nothing is more satisfying than cruising by bumper to bumper traffic, unhindered by anything but the limitations of your legs and lungs.

4 – Enjoy the Fresh Air

Do you ever feel a pang of envy when you see some guy go cruising by with the top down on his convertible on a nice sunny day? Sure he probably paid $10,000 extra for that model, but he sure looks like he’s getting his money’s worth. Want to one up him? Grab your bike and go for a ride! Your bike is a convertible 100% of the time and you can enjoy the sunshine and fresh air without dropping $35,000 on a sports car.

3 – Help Protect the Environment

Okay, on to the more practical of the top 5 reasons to ride your bike instead of driving your car. Almost 100% of the cars on the road today require fossil fuel to make them go. Even the cleanest of fossil fuels release pollutants into the atmosphere that lower the quality of the air we breathe and contributing to climate change. The bigger the vehicle the more pollutants are released. Want to leave your grandkids a scorching, barren desert to grow up in? No? Start riding your bike instead of driving your car everywhere.

2 – Get Fit

I can’t count how many people I know who claim they have no time to go to the gym, or work out at home, yet they constantly bemoan their ever increasing girth. The solution to their time constraints is right in front of them, yet they refuse to make a positive change. Every day they spend 30 minutes in the morning and again in the afternoon, sitting in rush hour traffic on their way to work. If they rode their bikes instead of driving their cars, these people could arrive at work in the same amount of time, invigorated and ready to take on the day. Not only would it ease the stress of the bumper to bumper commute, but it would take care of their daily workout without taking a bite out of their precious time.

1 – Save Money

Number 1 on my list of the top 5 reasons to ride your bike instead of driving your car is the most likely to make an impact on most people. People will happily ignore environmental impacts, or fitness benefits to biking, but when their hard earned dollars are on the line they are more likely to perk up and listen. With the skyrocketing cost of gasoline, insurance and maintenance, some owners of pickup trucks and luxury SUVs are paying more every month to keep their vehicles on the road than keep a roof over their heads. If you are struggling with debt, or trying to save money for the future the best thing you can do is get out of your car and onto a bike for your transportation needs. It will have an incredible impact on your financial well-being.

There you have it. My top 5 reasons to ride your bike instead of driving your car. Most of it is simple common sense, but when people get in a routine or a rut, sometimes they just need a simple nudge to get them pointed in the right direction. So get that bike out of the garage and get riding. You’ll be glad you did.