It’s going to be close, but I think this year may be the first year of my life when I’ve traveled further by bicycle than by car. I’m at a point now where I would rather be on a bicycle than stuffed in a car. I like the way I can hear, feel, smell and sense the world around me from the saddle. I feel a part of something bigger. In a car I mostly feel isolated, as if I’m passing through and don’t really belong. This is no small thing.
It’s well known that regular cyclists make good hires. We miss fewer days than the overall population because we seldom get sick. If we commute by bicycle, we show up wide awake and ready to work. We’re generally more productive. We’re also more creative.
That last one surprised me when I first heard it, but the more I cycle the more sense it makes to me. I know that my experience is purely anecdotal. I’m not a scientist. I’m just a guy who likes to ride a bike. Still, cycling has brought me a calmness that wasn’t there previously. That, in turn, has led to clarity of thought I could previously only dream of.
I understand that part of this is that aerobic activities like cycling feed oxygen to the brain and that oxygen is creative fuel, but it’s more than just that. When I’m on a bike, I feel as though I’m moving at a pace that’s more in harmony with the natural world. Motorists are constantly fighting for position. They’re analyzing the road and thinking about the evasive steps they need to take to avoid catastrophe. I find that I don’t have to worry about that so much on a bike and that, in turn, gives me more time to think about other things. Once you’re comfortable on the road, cycling is mentally easier than driving…no doubt about it. Even better, for short trips the bike is often as quick as the car was previously. My top speed is never as high while cycling, but there isn’t as much stop and go. I get to park closer to the door. The net time invested, especially for trips of five miles or less, is typically about the same.
I understand that there’s more to creativity than just getting on a bicycle, but I also understand that the margin between success and failure in business is often razor thin. Hiring everyday cyclists may give you the creative edge you need to put some distance between your firm and the competition.