Script Flip

Love Your Commute

Woman commuting in the city on an Xtracycle cargo bike

Minimize stress, maximize fun, and whistle past the gridlock as you sneak in a little adventure on the way to work (or play).

Want to nix anxiety and stress the fast and easy way?

Skip the traffic and pedal your way to the office and back home every day.

That time spent outside in the morning, getting a little exercise, makes your whole day better, increasing energy, productivity, and your health and fitness, of course. And then after work, watch amazed as the ride home melts away the stresses of the day and gives you time to reflect and let your subconscious work on problems. Sometimes solutions come as surprises while you’re riding.

To maximize your potential as a bike commuter, we suggest your steed of choice be an Xtracycle cargo bicycle.

And we recognize that for some of us there’s a kind of mental block that keeps us from riding to work. We’ve found that it helps to have a way to frame it and look at it in a new way. Like a mantra.

Our bike-commuter mantra?

WORK TO EAT, EAT TO LIVE, LIVE TO RIDE, RIDE TO WORK

And repeat…

With that said, it’s time for some tough love, some rah-rah-rah, and some thoughts on that Möbius-strip mantra for ditching four wheels in favor of two.

But be warned: the following might feel like a rant, but it comes from the heart as a challenge, a gauntlet gently tossed at your feet. Mainly it’s meant to be a prescription for good medicine.

As general guidance, “work to eat, eat to live, live to ride, ride to work” simplifies things a bit, but as an appropriately self-perpetuating cycle of reductive behavioral psychologizing slash rationalizing, it has a kind of elemental perfection, don’t you think? Wordplay as motivational mantra. Which is why many folks have found it helpful to get them fully in the spirit of not just riding to work but riding everywhere else, too—and often selling a perfectly good infernal-combustion vehicle and buying a cargo bike instead.

The biggest excuses we hear from able-bodied people for not getting to the office et cetera via two wheels and animal power is the weather and/or the “right” equipment. But we believe these are delusions, not real obstacles. They don’t know what they’re missing, those prisoners of the status quo. (And, mind you, we count our former selves among them.) Now, we know this might sound a little harsh—and that’s OK—but we now see that stance as not only delusional but… infantile.

Let us explain:

What we mean is that, to us, the most apt analogy to these “But, but, but…” protestations is the crying of a newborn: it’s not pleased with this whole Not in the Womb thing. And a car can be said to be womblike: an enveloping, climate-controlled shelter that serves as transport and requires little of its passenger.

But you’re not really out there living until you leave the womb, right?

Of course, it just can’t work for some folks, the cargo-biking, utility-cycling life. Their situation precludes it. They’ve gotta drive an hour to work and that’s not until after they get the kids to school and so forth. That said…

Pretty regularly, we find ourselves talking to some dedicated cyclo-commuter who once felt mired in such a situation, but they figured out how to get it all done on an Xtracycle cargo bike. You can tell it’s not histrionics when people like this say something like “Changed my life.” Because it can. Maybe even in an earth-shaking way, especially if, say, your health is deteriorating or you’re feeling particularly unfit. Especially if you sit on your ass all day (which speaks not to how hard you may or may not work but to the manner in which you do that work).

Sure, sure, riding a bike is healthy. Maybe for some it’s a kind of penance for sitting on your ass all day, which can literally kill you. It’s also extremely good at neutralizing stress, which can also literally kill you. It’s you moving you through open air on this marvelous invention. But, more than that, it’s a blast.

But you probably knew that already.