News Center

Gear up for Bike-to-Work Week

by Community Manager

‎05-08-2014 02:14 PM

Justin MooreSix years ago, USAA’s Justin Moore traded his four wheels for two and started cycling to work a couple of days per week. Since then, he’s logged 7,100 bike commuter miles. This lead research analyst and bike blogger shares his experience and tips for anyone considering commuting by bike.

 

I decided to become a bicycle commuter in June 2008. Although I was not new to cycling, riding my bike to work seemed unachievable. However, the nearly $8-cost-per-day commute in my pickup changed my mind.

 

Once I started, I discovered USAA employees who rode their bikes to work and asked for their advice. They took me under their wing. I felt astonished the first time I pedaled 11 miles to work, locked up my bicycle and walked into the office. I was equally flabbergasted at the end of the workday. “My truck is not here,” I thought. “I got here on my bicycle … whoa!” It’s a thrill that never gets old.

 

My primary motivation for bicycle commuting is to maintain and improve my physical fitness. Biking 22 miles two or three days a week ensures I get between four to six hours of cardiovascular exercise. That said, I simply can’t ignore the additional benefits:

 

  • I’m driving fewer miles, so my auto insurance premiums are lower.
  • Leaving my Ford F-150 in the garage for 7,000 miles saved me from purchasing about 538 gallons of gasoline.
  • With an average gasoline price of $3 per gallon, that’s about $1,614 that never left my wallet.
  • I’ve prevented about 5 tons of vehicle emissions from entering the atmosphere.
  • My mood is elevated after nearly two hours of cardiovascular exercise.
  • My quality of sleep is much improved on bicycle commute days.

 

Justin’s Rules of the Road

 

  1. Drink up. Hydrate before, during and after your commute. Even trained athletes underestimate their hydration needs. Down an electrolyte beverage, such as Gatorade®, during your commute. Bring two bottles of water.
  2. Map your route. Plan your commute before you ride. Ask cyclists in your workplace for route advice. Use Google Maps’ bicycle routing option. Click the link for this video to learn more.
  3. Be seen. Wear bright clothing and invest in bike lights, especially if you’re riding at night: Here’s a blog post I wrote discussing the importance of standing out.
  4. Get schooled. Bike associations and leagues offer safety courses. It’s important to understand how your bike works, how to navigate in traffic, and what clothing and equipment can help keep you safe.

 

 

Photo courtesy of Joel Ziegler

 

205354 - 0514

 

5-8-14_Carousel-Moore-Bike.jpg

Community Managers

Briana Hartzell

Briana Hartzell

Briana knows all about moving. This Navy wife has helped her husband relocate to four different naval air stations in the last three years. A former USAA employee, Briana is co-founder of The Triple Dish, a blog focused on food, fitness and military life.

View Briana's Profile
Wendy Poling

Wendy Poling

Wendy is a social media strategist and founder of MyMilitaryLife.com, featuring a popular military spouse blog and the hit podcast Navy Wife Radio and now Military Life Radio. She is the wife of a submariner who has also served in Afghanistan.

View Wendy's Profile
Charles Pratt

Charles "Chazz" Pratt

Charles "Chazz" Pratt III is a former U.S. Army Captain who made the Military-to-Civilian career transition in 1994. In his book, The Fort Living Room Transition Course, he shares valuable tips & tricks to help you succeed. Since his transition from the military, he's worked for several Fortune 500 companies, including Pfizer, Genentech, and St. Jude Medical, among others.

View Chazz's Profile
Scott Halliwell

Scott Halliwell

Scott Halliwell is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner.

View Scott Halliwell's Profile
Joseph Montanaro

Joseph "J.J." Montanaro

Joseph "J.J." Montanaro is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner.

View Joseph "J.J." Montanaro's Profile