May is National Bike Month – which is exciting because it’s the time of the year where much attention is paid to the advantages of biking to work. Bike to Work Week takes place from May 14th to the 18th, with Bike to Work Day falling on the 18th. Amazingly, people have been taking the initiative; “since 2005, the 38 Bicycle Friendly Communities among the 70 largest cities saw a 95 percent average increase in bicycle commuting.” Additionally, the benefits from commuting to work via a bicycle are numerous. They include, but are certainly not limited to:
- The average person loses thirteen pounds in their first year of commuting to work
- You have a smaller carbon footprint – 50-90% of emissions are caused by cars
Biking to work is certainly less expensive than driving, particularly when you factor in high gas prices and the general maintenance and upkeep of a car. There are more, potential, financial perks as well; employers can provide a subsidy for those who bike to work, and if your job doesn’t do it now – you can certainly ask your HR Department about it. Commuter Check cites “that employers rarely offer the benefit until prompted by their employees.” So be sure to ask because the check you receive is used toward your cycling needs, like:
- Purchasing a helmet, which according to the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute, can prevent 85% of head injuries caused by bicycle accidents.
- Lights (LED) so that people can see you both in the mornings and if you’re traveling back in the evenings.
- A rack that you can attach to your bike to hold your belongings as you travel.
Even though many places in the US are still very car centric, and while it might not be completely feasible for everyone to bike to work – if you can do it, it’s certainly worth a try since cycling saves you money and the planet simultaneously! If you’re able to participate in this year’s Bike to Work week, please do leave your experiences and impressions in the comments!