Cycling to office
I was staying in Japan for more than 16 years. Out of those 16 years I went to office by cycle only for last 5 years. I always wondered why I did not try this mode of transport for first 11 years! I was late in trying out this mode of transport but I hope that by reading this article some of you will start going to office by bicycle soon. I have found that it takes time to convince people about this. But if they do this only couple of times, there is no going back by train. If you are not convinced after reading this article, drop me an email and I will explain more.
Is it difficult to find time for gym? Do you find your gym costly or boring or both? Do you hope to get good physical exercise without changing your current schedule? Do you like to exercise in more enjoyable settings? If answer to all these questions is "yes" then join the club. You are the best candidate to start going to office by bicycle.
My home is close to Minamisunamachi station on Tozai line. My office is in Harumi near Kachidoki station. It takes me around 35 minutes to reach office by bicycle. So total 70 minutes of cycling in a day. I guess it's a lot better than almost no exercise.
Please read on to overcome the inertia about switching to new mode of transport:
- Just pick up the bicycle and go to office. Stop doing all this analysis about it in your mind. Some times things are a lot easier than your mind tells you.
- You do not need to go all the way to office by bicycle if it's really far away. Just go till your first train change or may be just few station. Park bicycle in some near by super market and then take the train. Offices generally have free parking areas for bicycles.
- You can save money by avoiding some or all of your train journey. On average we spend 10,000-yen on commute. Hey you could buy an iPod in 3 months. Or you could donate this money for a good cause.
- If you are like me, you will sweat a lot. Carry extra clothes and change before you start your day. If you do not dry yourself then there is high chance of catching cold.
- Cycles are not expensive these days. I bought a new biycle for 20,000-yen. It has 6 gears. It has auto-light [to avoid friction when cycling at night]. Roads and bicycle quality in Japan is really good. You won't feel tired once you get used to it.
- Worried about rainy days? You can get a rain coat for 1000-yen these days. If you avoid train and use bicycle for 4 days then cost of rain coat will be recovered.
- I must admit that there is higher risk of accidents & exposure to pollution. Some of things you could do to avoid it are:
- Please a buy a helmet and use it.
- Do not speed. Racing is not the goal. I have had some close encounters whenever I forgot this.
- Avoid the temptation to jump the signals.
- Use goggles and mask. Best way is to choose a route which avoids busy roads.
If you have any questions, please use the contact us form on the top right corner of this page. We will glad to talk to you. On popular demand, posting the pictures of my bike bought for 20,000-yen. Estimated total running 4,500 Km so far [15Km every day, 20 days/month, for 15 months] Read what wikipedia has to say on bicycles:
http://www.japantoday.com/category/features/view/companies-offer-special-benefits-to-bicycle-commuters [Thank to Priya Deshmukh-san for sending this link]