9 Reasons Why You Should Never Bike To Work

(photo by mitsu iwasaki)

I have biked everywhere within 4 miles of my apartment in the past 5 years, including every job I’ve had — I’ve never had to drive to work in Denver. I find riding a bicycle exhilarating, but that’s no reason for you to think you should. In fact, here are 9 reasons you shouldn’t bike to work. I’m sure you can think of others.


9. It’s too dangerous.

Can you imagine being out there on a bicycle with all these crazy drivers flying past you, nothing to protect you except a plastic and styrofoam shell on your head? You could get killed. The absolute best thing is to stay in the protective cage of your car, because no one’s ever been killed when they’re inside an automobile. Driving is safe.


8. You have to wear a tie to work. Or a suit. Or a skirt.

Not only that, it’s important to wear your tie/suit/business casual attire from the moment you leave your house in the morning until the moment you get home. There is no conceivable way you could leave some clothes at your office, and change into them after you ride your bike to work, two or three days a week. Plus, your suit/tie combination is so dialed, you can’t just spread your tie collection out over two locations. Where the hell is my cornflower blue tie? I need to see if it looks good with these shoes. And like there’s some way to ride a bike in skirt or a dress?


7. You have to go to the gym after/before work.

What, are you supposed to carry all your work materials and your gym clothes in a tiny little backpack on a bike? Please. I mean, what, bike to work, then bike to the gym, then get on the stationary bike for 45 minutes, and bike home? Ridiculous. What are you, Lance Armstrong?  I guess you could just ride your real bike, and stop going to the gym, but we’re Americans. We work out indoors.


6. You can’t show up all sweaty and smelly for your job.

It is a proven fact that once you have sweated from exercise, you can never recover until you get into a shower or  bath and rinse it off. Also a fact: Human sweat is comprised of more than 90% fecal particles, which is why you smell like a hog confinement instantly after you start exercising, and afterward, when the people next to you on the stairmaster are passing out like they’ve just been chloroformed. It’s not like you could take a shower at the office, after all, or use Action Wipes to wipe off when you get to work to mitigate that smell. Your co-workers will be all, “Bob, what the hell did you do, bike to work today? It smells like somebody’s gutting a week-old deer carcass in your cubicle.”


5. You don’t have the right bike for it.

The only bike you own are your Trek Madone, and your single-speed 29er, neither of which will work. You’d have to go out and buy a dedicated commuting bike, which start at, what, $1,200? Ask those day laborer guys who bike to work every day on secondhand Huffys and Magnas — they’re not cheap.


4. You can’t be wearing a bike helmet and messing up your hair before work.

Fact: Hair products are not portable, and are not designed for use outside of your home bathroom or a hair salon. And let’s face it: Your hairstyle is a work of carefully crafted art, not something that can be rushed in 5, 10 or even 30 minutes in some modern office restroom. You spend a long time on your hair, just like Tony Manero. You can’t just throw it all away on a bike ride.


3. The route from your home to your office would be suicide on a bike.

There are no bike lanes, no shoulders, no wide sidewalks, no nothing on the roads from your home to your office. What, are you supposed to find other roads to ride on, like lesser-traveled, lower-speed-limit roads through residential areas? Or detour way out of your way to get on a bike path? No thank you. You don’t have time for that shit.

2. What if it rains?

Yeah, Mr. Hardcore Bike Commuter, what if it rains? You’re supposed to just ride a bicycle home from the office through a downpour? What are you supposed to do when you get home, looking like a sewer rat?  This is a civilized society. Thanks to umbrellas, sprinting from your car to your office, and sometimes holding a newspaper above your head, you haven’t gotten wet outside of your shower since 2007. Next thing, someone’s going to tell you that you have to carry a rain jacket in your bike commuting bag — maybe pants too. What the hell is this, a backpacking trip? You’re just trying to get to work on time.

1. You would have to change your routine.

Please. Give up your 45-minute drive into work, the drive that energizes you for the day ahead? Give up interacting with all those other fun, friendly, courteous drivers on the freeway? Sitting in traffic? Road construction? Merging? Not a chance.

-Brendan

Semi-Rad is brought to you by Outdoor Research.

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24 Comments

  1. Stuart
    June 16, 2011

    Your blog entries are hilarious and oh so true! It’s refreshing to hear from someone who is hardcore into the outdoors but isn’t pictured in a North Face ad putting up 5.15b FA’s but instead is a regular guy and weekend warrior.

    Keep up the great writing! I’ve read every entry and it made my day to see a new one in my inbox this morning.

    Reply
  2. alan
    June 16, 2011

    The Saturday Night Fever clip cracked me up. I didn’t know Vinnie Barbarino’s name in that movie and had no idea what to expect when I clicked the link. Awesome.
    Also, #6 could have come from a series of direct quotes by my brother.

    Reply
  3. June 16, 2011

    Hilarious! I wish I lived closer to things so I could bike. I already try to walk/run everywhere that’s close enough :)

    Reply
  4. Will
    June 16, 2011

    I’ll just add that right this moment, my corner cubicle neighbor is grunting in a bear-like fashion as he tries to ward off sleep. He’s a big man, and I’m sure riding to work in the morning would sap even more of his strength and energy, and he’d never make it through the day

    Reply
  5. June 16, 2011

    Great One!

    Reply
  6. Mick
    June 18, 2011

    10. Can’t pull a chipper with a bicycle…..:-)

    Reply
  7. jlt
    September 24, 2011

    I can’t tell you HOW CLOSE TO HOME this hits, here in Seattle!!! hahaha!! Love it! (and according to most reputable sources I could find, “The Emerald City” is one of the top 5 healthiest & happiest cities of folks in the U.S. !! :-)

    Reply
  8. Danny
    July 16, 2012

    Although it’s not for everyone or everyplace, biking is not a terrible way to get around. I’m not going to hack away at everything that’s a off in this article. Still though, me and several of my friends (that I met on my bike) would tell you that biking to work has been the best decision we ever made. It’s how I found my favorite coffee shop, several friends, my newest and best boss, and my happy, fit girlfriend. And it’s only been 5 months since I started.

    Reply
    • Miglet
      November 6, 2013

      Danny…this article is a joke…It’s intentially “off”

      Reply
  9. February 7, 2013

    Too funny. Here in Missoula, Montana biking is a way of life. While I can’t etch out an extra 2 hours a day because of my schedule and picking up my kiddo on a bike from preschool would be quite a feat, I do admire those who can!

    Reply
    • March 1, 2014

      Picking up kids no excuse. My Dad was lame from an auto accident, amnd had a little seat for me on the cross-bar of his bike – probably illegal now (this was the 1940s), but my mother had a real baby seat, with a “fence” all round it, on the back of her bike for my little bro.

      Reply
  10. February 7, 2013

    This is great and hilarious! Excuses are just that…excuses.

    Reply
  11. mike
    July 3, 2013

    Love it. I actually thought, ‘what a twat!’ when I started reading…… Then I realised haha. Any tips on suits? Im starting a teaching job in September and don’t want to give up my bike for buses and trains!

    Reply
  12. mike
    July 3, 2013

    Apart from above. Anybody know a good suit bag for commuting?

    Reply
  13. August 29, 2013

    Great read and had to laugh a few times. I fully agree with you. I do have to say that while biking to work I’ve been almost hit twice so I didn’t laugh at your point 9. Southern California drivers just don’t care.

    Reply
  14. September 21, 2013

    According to my co-workers, I am certifiably insane, out-of-my-mind, crazy. Living in Los Angeles and commuting to work is seen as a stunt, not a way of life. Your list sounds very familiar, I hear it from them nearly every day.

    Reply
  15. lisa
    February 8, 2014

    Suits and work clothes: I take the train to work once a week, and bring 4 days worth of work clothes and lunches with me. On the way home I take home last week’s gear. :)

    Reply
  16. February 8, 2014

    Almost all my life. 150,000+ car miles displaced so far, and still pedaling strong. Years working with the same group of people, and they are still amazed I ride my bike sometimes. Heck yeah I rode today! I love to ride my bike!

    Reply
  17. John cook
    April 9, 2014

    I have a 62 mile round trip commute to work and to get home. First have great lights so people in cars freak out and slow down. Ride with I eye clas mirror and my work has a shower so I shower at work. Carry in my cloths when I do not ride.

    Reply

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