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Urban Bicycling Is For Lazy People 76

Here in Canada, as in the United States, people tend to generally view bicycles primarily for recreation or sport. Thus, when someone asks me how I arrived somewhere and I tell them I rode my bicycle, they naturally assume that I am athletic, brave, unusual, always late, and I probably need to take a shower.

In reality however, I arrive on time, I’m not sweaty, and I rode my bike not for a workout, but rather au contraire, I rode my bicycle because I am lazy.

I step outside my front door and hop on my bike because I’m too lazy to go downstairs in the parking garage to get the car. I pull my bike up to the front door at my destination because I’m too lazy to drive around looking for a parking spot then having to walk from the car to the building.

I ride my bike instead of taking public transit because I’m too lazy to go to the store to buy bus tickets, and I am far too lazy to dig for loose change under my couch. I am also too lazy to transfer from the bus to the subway to the streetcar, preferring to ride directly to my destination without transfers.

Instead of walking 15 minutes to my destination, I ride my bicycle there in 5. Yes, I ride there because I am too lazy to walk.

I ride my bicycle past dozens of cars at rush hour because I’m too lazy to be stressed out sitting in traffic and too lazy to explain why I’m late all the time.

I sold the last car I owned in 2010 and bought a couple solid bicycles because I was too lazy to maintain the car*. I was too lazy to renew my license plates each year, too lazy to fill up the gas tank, too lazy to shop around for insurance rates, and too lazy to take it to the car wash.

Now I just hop on my bike and go. Lazy transport. No insurance or major repairs required. No licensing, fuel, parking fees or traffic jams.

Urban bicycling is just pure, lazy, simple transport. Great for the body and wonderful for the soul.

James D. Schwartz is the Editor of The Urban Country and is based in Toronto, Canada. You can contact James at or follow him on Twitter.

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76 thoughts on “Urban Bicycling Is For Lazy People

  1. Ryan Fraser Jun 5,2013 10:59 am

    I love this.

  2. John Rawlins Jun 5,2013 11:25 am

    Cycling is also for mean people – that is, people who don’t like paying fuel taxes or sales taxes on vehicles, labour, and spare parts.

  3. anditron Jun 5,2013 11:48 am

    I love this. I tell people all the time that I bike because I’m lazy, impatient and don’t like people. It’s all a bit tongue-in-cheek but a bit true to. I would always rather bike 5 blocks than walk. I would always rather ride my bike than wait or adjust my schedule to public transportation. And I would always rather ride a bike than be squished up next to someone on that transportation. Lazy biking means I leave when I want to; go at the pace I want to go; and strangely while I don’t want to be squished next to others on a bus or train, I do enjoy saying hi to fellow riders and pedestrians out walking around.

  4. TiagoBarufi Jun 5,2013 1:59 pm

    I ride past thousands, not dozens. Damned lazy!

  5. Christian DeKnock Jun 5,2013 2:58 pm


  6. disqus_G4l7YJLX6Q Jun 5,2013 3:21 pm

    What a coincidence – I also sold my only car back in 2010 after I quit motoring journalism. Dozens of shin scrapes, one big flood and one hit-and-run (yes, by a car here in Bangkok) after, I still ride my trusty MTB setup for commute.

  7. Doug B Jun 5,2013 3:47 pm

    I’m too lazy to get up earlier in the morning so that I can drive to the gym, find a parking spot, walk in, change, workout, change, find my car, and drive to work. Instead I combine the gym and travel in one, and ride my lazy fat arse to work. Saves me a good 1/2 hour a day so I can sit on the couch and drink a beer (with the money I saved not driving and having no gym membership).

  8. boogaooga Jun 5,2013 6:23 pm

    …hope your relationship is o.k….

  9. grrlyrida Jun 5,2013 9:00 pm

    I told someone recently I was too lazy to drive around Trader Joe’s parking lot and look for parking. It’s much easier to park right at the door, lock the bike, then put groceries in the bike basket than sitting in a line of car and growing increasingly impatient waiting for a space to open up.

    • Mister5000 Jun 6,2013 9:29 am

      I’m too lazy to carry ten bags of groceries from the car to the kitchen. Shopping on a bike saves money, too – buying only what I can carry.

      • anditron Jun 21,2013 2:00 pm

        And much harder to over-buy. You have to stick to necessities, cutting back on the junk and bad for you food because every bit of space/weight is a consideration. πŸ™‚

      • lindsaybanks Dec 6,2013 3:09 pm

        Studies have shown that bicycling shoppers actually tend to spend more money than drivers! They don’t buy as much each time, but they shop more frequently…probably exposing them to more of the impulse buys! And their money is more likely to stay in the local economy.

  10. BarbChamberlain Jun 6,2013 12:47 pm

    Exactly! Used this in an Ignite presentation I did a few years ago in Spokane ( I added “cheap, impatient, & a control freak” to my list of worthy character traits that contribute to a bike habit.

  11. Satya Jun 6,2013 1:30 pm

    This is too accurate. I ride my bike everywhere because I’m too lazy to learn to drive. And I never walk. anywhere. Why use so much effort when you could just bike?

  12. Franklin Delano Bluth Jun 6,2013 10:55 pm

    Bicycling is convenient and cost/time effective. It’s absolutely not lazy.

    • James Schwartz Jun 6,2013 11:22 pm

      You either read the title of the article and went straight to the comments, or you took it far too literally. Either way, read through the whole article and you will see this is a bit tongue-in-cheek.

  13. Diego Rever Jun 7,2013 5:12 am

    We are in Brazil also too lazy as to stand traveling standing for hours without confort in the overcrowded public buses that also don’t take advantage of our human-power, without possibility to workout in the meanwhile leaving us no option than going to the gym after our working day! That’s why we invented the human-electric Bus for Olimpic Games 2016! It carries more than 30 bikes among folding and normal, is electric and up to 20% human-power assisted, and also fed by solar power. Please support the idea!!! [search for Human-electric solar bus Rio 2016] looking forward to hear from you soon!! Thanks and congratulations for the helpful website!

  14. Har Davids Jun 7,2013 6:39 am

    Being stuck in traffic if you can avoid it is a big waste of time, never mind the resources that get lost as well. If a thing can be done more efficiently, cooking, cleaning or moving about, you should do it. The time saved can be used in more constructive ways: having a beer with friends is just one of them. It isn’t lazy, it’s smart!

  15. mariposaman Jun 8,2013 2:03 am

    I ride an ebike. I get all the above benefits, and more, and even cyclists call me lazy. Life is good, at least it is if I do not listen to the motorist and cyclist’s whining. I only wish they would let me into the bike lane.

    • JSmith Oct 6,2013 3:09 am

      LOL! You’re lazy, all right. That e-bike is dead weight (a ball & chain, if you will) when you’ve run out of juice. Hopefully you don’t live in a hilly city/area.


  16. Paul Jun 8,2013 3:09 am

    Ben Franklin and Paul Lafargue would admire this laziness, as do I. True laziness is an art. The photo for the article is well-chosen — stylishly dressed women riding basic bikes at a slow speed without helmets on a dedicated bicycle lane. Unfortunately, it’s possible to transform bicycling into hard work, too.

    • Charles Gordon Jun 9,2013 1:14 pm

      Not sure that it’s too clever for the lead cyclist to be on the phone whilst cycling though…

      • James Schwartz Jun 9,2013 10:46 pm

        I think it’s great. There’s no reason why somebody shouldn’t be able to talk and ride. It’s a sign of solid bike infrastructure and a civilized bicycle culture.

        • WarOnMugs Jun 10,2013 12:10 am

          You are a nut. (Sorry for the ad hominem, but you leave me little choice.)

          • James Schwartz Jun 10,2013 12:16 am

            Thanks for the concern, Mom. Though I would highly advise you to take a trip to anywhere in the Netherlands or Denmark. You will see dozens of “nuts” talking on their phone while riding, so you would have plenty of people to wag your finger at.

          • WarOnMugs Jun 10,2013 12:23 am

            People do it in Japan too. Texting too! While riding on the sidewalk! Doesn’t mean it’s clever (though I’m kind of impressed by the texting). But come on. The bike is a wheeled form of transport, moving significantly faster than walking, among people and cars and all sorts of traffic. It really requires both hands to operate safely. If you have some hands-free set, go ahead. Until then, I don’t think endangering others (and yourself) by yakking away on a phone while biking is smart.

          • James Schwartz Jun 10,2013 12:27 am

            Indeed, if someone is riding on the sidewalk and zigzagging around pedestrians, that is a sign of poor infrastructure, and they shouldn’t even be thinking about using a phone. Also, texting is much different than talking on the phone. It requires you to look down at the phone, whereas the girl in the photo was simply holding the phone to her ear, while riding on proper bike infrastructure that is physically separated from motor vehicles, and she is not burning through pedestrians on a sidewalk.

          • WarOnMugs Jun 10,2013 12:32 am

            I’m not convinced. Even in those rare cities that have separate bike infrastructure you are crossing roadways, encountering lights, stop signs and pedestrians all the time. Both hands on the wheel (er, handlebars) folks. It just makes sense. If you have to make a call, pull over. Or get a bluetooth earpiece.

          • Simone B Jun 21,2013 5:30 am

            Talking on a hand-held phone while cycling is actually not legal in Denmark, the fine is currently 1000 dkkr (roughly 180 US$).

          • wolfe23 Jul 18,2013 6:14 pm

            Always has ter be one… this was a great article, with great comments… but there always has to be one holier than thou control freak, who feels compelled to tell everyone else how they’re supposed to act in thee name of safety. I’m usually too lazy to have to put up with such privileged arrogance.

          • WarOnMugs Jul 18,2013 7:09 pm

            Not lazy enough it seem, there Wolfie! I’m not Holier Than Anyone. But I think there are reasonable expectations of safe riding out there. Of course I see people riding no hands, talking on their phones, texting. On some quiet backstreet, who cares. But in any kind of heavy traffic situation, that’s just dumb. Try thinking about others, the people around you, rather than just how cool you look flapping your arms like bird wings while you bike.

        • RobiDon Nov 3,2013 11:11 pm

          that might be ok In Copenhagen, Denmark or Holland where they do have a “solid bike infrastructure and a civilized bicycle culture,” but not in the car crazy U.S.

      • Dude on Bike Jun 19,2013 7:43 pm

        Cycling on the phone is MUCH easier than carrying six coffees. That stuff’s HOT!

    • RobiDon Nov 3,2013 11:08 pm

      I too am lazy, and I want other people to be lazy too. That’s why I wear a helmet, so the brain surgeon can take a day off instead of operating on my lazy brain that got injured because I was too stupid (not lazy) to put a helmet on.

  17. Freyr Gunnar Jun 9,2013 2:42 pm

    I’m selling the scooter that I’ve owned since 2005, after failing to get it started recently because the battery was empty for not running in… months. With the money, I’ll get a second good quality bike πŸ™‚

  18. Hooligan Youth Reviews Jun 10,2013 10:46 pm

    You’re not lazy. You’re efficient.

  19. PaulC Jun 11,2013 10:34 am

    Love it! I keep telling people I cycle because I’m too lazy to walk. Most drivers don’t get the joke as they associate cycling with sweaty effort. It’s true though, I find cycling smooth, relaxing and relatively effortless. Driving is stressful and frustrating, walking is fine but it takes so long to get anywhere and carrying a load is difficult. Give me a bike anytime.

  20. Timoohz Jun 11,2013 11:03 am

    Last night I saw a political thriller on tv (“Ghostwriter”, maybe? A guy ghostwrites the memoirs of a politician, etc). The main character played by Ewan McGregor hops on a bike for a ride around the island and when it starts to rain, leaves the bike next to a gate and _runs_ fifteen meters to a porch to get out of the rain…

    I chuckled and thought: “He’s not a real cyclist!” πŸ˜€

  21. bbkingfish Jun 12,2013 11:40 am

    Lazy people treasure their laziness and willingly accept, even welcome, the increased risk of being crushed like a grape in urban traffic. When we end up dead on the roadside, seriously injured, or even vegetabilized, from the quite predictable results of our laziness, we ask no special considerations from our more industrious brethren. Laziness, after all, sows what it reaps, and damn the consequences!

  22. Tony Hunt Jun 12,2013 2:58 pm

    I am too lazy to come up with, what, $7-8,000 (on average) per year to own a car.

  23. Carrie Jun 12,2013 5:36 pm

    I wish i was that lazy!

  24. ImpureScience Jun 13,2013 2:31 am

    Just need to figure out how to transport a string bass and an amp on my bike and the car is outa here.

  25. Rb Jun 13,2013 4:40 pm

    This is amazing and very true. I live a 12 minute walk from where I work and I still bike. It’s the one part of my morning/evening where I’m not thinking about anything (other than the road ahead)

  26. gregstenson Jun 14,2013 5:58 pm

    I wish the city (Las Vegas, NV) and weather I live in were more bike friendly … I need some laziness like that in my life

  27. Corru Gate Cycles Jun 21,2013 10:56 pm

    I’m too lazy to go to the florist to smell flowers cos the flowers come to me; too lazy to go to the doctor cos cycling be-wells me; too lazy to buy lots of coffees cos cycling invigorates me; too lazy to go to therapy cos issues and joys flow when cycling; too lazy to speak to another carbon-footprint submission cos my bike is my mike. I am my carma mechanic for me.

  28. Caroline H Jun 23,2013 8:44 pm

    I bike to work when the weather is good, but I drive in the winter. That’s much more lazy. One day in March, I was so fed up with scraping the ice off my car that I stormed back into the house in search of my bike helmet: “I’ve HAD it! I’m biking to work!!!”

  29. crank Jun 27,2013 7:03 pm

    I am too lazy to stop at stop signs, too lazy to yield for pedestrians, too lazy to dismount on the sidewalk, too lazy to take another street when closed for roadworks. I’m too lazy to signal, too lazy to stop at red lights, too lazy to buy/install/use a headlight or reflectors.

  30. Diego Rever Jul 18,2013 11:03 am

    I did a translation to portuguese of this great article on my blog, keeping all the references and giving noticeable credits back to your page, which i also want to promote in Brazil because is awesome, fun and useful. thanks again, the traslation is here i hope you like it!

  31. kathy k Jul 20,2013 1:05 am

    ! And you don’t have to carry your bags of stuff around when you can just throw them in the pannier and roll !!

  32. John Tarantino Aug 4,2013 1:13 pm

    Love it! It’s so true, I am way too lazy to even explain all the reasons you are right. Love cycling =)

  33. daveybuc Aug 5,2013 7:38 am

    This is an awesome posting. …….I’m blessed to be part off a new family……. The lazy Urban Cyclists Association off Lazy Urban Cyclists… I love my bicycle….. πŸ™‚

  34. Joseph Palmer Aug 27,2013 1:45 pm

    This is the best post on being lazy I’ve ever read πŸ™‚ All it takes is a *good* consistent practice – like getting on the bike every morning or leaving the car at home and getting on your own two feet and walking down the block. However, in my parent’s suburbs, being lazy would mean taking a very long time to get anywhere – and that’s sad.

  35. Johnny5a Oct 12,2013 4:42 am

    I agree with this, my commute is bike – train – bike, the first leg is really a 11 minute walk but I’m too lazy to walk it, so I ride the bike takes just 3 min or 2 min if i’m running late. Though the second leg, I have ride bike but as you say in another blog you always know when you arrive unlike the tubes or buses in London

  36. Alex Jimenez Nov 14,2013 12:27 am

    Based on this article, I’m the laziest person in the world! I love my bike!

  37. modoufall Nov 28,2013 11:11 am

    A car can be a horrible waste of garage space πŸ™‚

  38. Josh Ingram Feb 8,2014 8:56 pm

    I’m also a lazy cyclist. I’m tired of cars and there never-ending demand for service.

    (Cars are needy, ride a bicycle!)

  39. phyllis Jun 16,2014 4:37 pm

    For 5 years, while getting the nerve to agree to a hip replacement, I biked as my sole means of ambulation because I could not walk. Like the author, my bike was always close by and was my saviour. Now that I am 1 year post op from a very successful hip replacement, I’m still car free most of the time.
    I used to bike 18 miles to work and it took almost as much time as driving in horrendous rush hour traffic and it was a much better way to spend that time.

  40. Gediminas Nemanis Mar 23,2015 9:54 am

    I’ve been using Rubbee for over two years to beat my laziness.. And it works, it really does πŸ˜€

  41. F-M. Mellbin Apr 17,2015 6:44 am

    The picture above hasd been stiolen from me. In spite of writing several times to James about this he has done nothing to either remove them or correct the accreditation. This is of course unacepptable.

  42. Robert Jarman Sep 22,2015 7:00 pm

    Tell your wife to ditch the car and get a moped or two for you to use if you need to go way longer distances and get a Dutch bike (search fiets into google) for yourself and your wife and if you have any children, one for them each too.

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