An avid cyclist forgoes a car rental during his visit to Calgary─and it helped him stay healthy and connect with the community
I like to bike. It’s what I do. As an active cyclist, I’ve been biking to work year-round for the last five years. Along with my commuting, I mountain bike, road bike, and race in multiple disciplines. In 2018, I’ve amassed over 6,000 kilometers so far, with a year-end goal of 8,000 km. Whenever possible, I try to include cycling into my lifestyle─either with my family, my friends, or just to stay active.
So, when an opportunity recently came up to travel from my office in Fredericton, New Brunswick, to Calgary, Alberta, for work, I jumped at the chance to literally flex my mountain climbing muscles while contributing to healthier and greener alternatives. Once I arrived in Calgary, I rented a bicycle instead of a car.
Adam Baxter used his rental bike to commute during each of the days he was stationed in Calgary for a recent business trip.
I booked a hotel room a short distance away from the office─about 2.5 kilometers─and, by using my rental bike and a sturdy laptop backpack, I was able to commute during each of the days I was stationed in Calgary.
It was the first time that I’d rented a bike instead of a car during a business trip, and I’d highly recommend it. So, in honor of World Car-Free Day on Sept. 22, consider making this decision for your next trip. Here are five benefits of choosing two wheels over a typical car rental:
1. Biking is better for the environment
Biking is a pollution-free way to get around. Aside from reducing transportation emissions, riding a bike also lessens traffic congestion. During your trip, instead of taking a rental car or bus to multiple locations─like the hotel, office, restaurant, or training center─you can choose a greener option.
Riding a bike around Calgary put Adam in a great mood during his recent business trip.
2. Biking is great for your physical health
Looking for a way to squeeze in some cardio during the trip? You might as well do it during your commute. Cycling is a low-impact form of exercise that promotes weight loss, muscle growth, and improved lung health. As a bonus, biking can help reduce jet-lag symptoms.
3. Biking is also beneficial for your mental health
You’re always in a better mood when you’re on two wheels. While biking, the release of endorphins and Adrenalin elevates your general sense of well-being. It helps me feel more alert first thing in the morning. During my trip to Calgary, I noticed social benefits as well─my bike rental became a talking point with every new colleague I met. I also joined a local Stantec office on their weekly mountain bike group ride, as they adjusted their days to include me. A former colleague─who worked with me on Canada’s east coast but then relocated to Alberta─accompanied me on several mountain bike trails a short distance away from Calgary.
During his business trip in Calgary, Adam Baxter was able to tour Calgary by bike and discover the excellent bike infrastructure and sights that the city has to offer.
4. Biking helps you explore a new city
There’s no better way to discover a new place. Cars don’t always give you the best perspective of _q_tweetable:You’re always in a better mood when you’re on two wheels._q_a city, right? And they don’t allow you to find little nooks and crannies. After the workdays during my trip, I was able to tour Calgary by bike and discover the excellent bike infrastructure and sights that the city has to offer. I biked past the Calgary Stampede, saw some architecturally interesting bridges, and visited a local provincial park.
5. Biking is generally more cost-effective
Unless you’re booking a high-end mountain bike, renting a bicycle will often be cheaper than renting a vehicle. Plus, you don’t have to pay for gas. And if you’re not expensing as much, you’ll return to a happy manager when the trip ends.
I hope your next business trip is as memorable as my Calgary adventure. I also feel like this blog post is especially timely, given that World Car-Free Day is upon us. Can you give up your car for a day, and turn to cycling, walking, or public transit instead? If you’re on a business trip on Sept. 22, you already know what I’m going to say. Ride on!
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