Now that we’re well into spring season, it’s the perfect time to participate in National Bike to Work Week, with National Bike to Work Day on Friday, May 19th! Communities all across the US will be organizing events to celebrate bicycling as a preferred commuting option and encourage new cyclists to join in on the fun. Here in Washington, DC where I regularly bike to work, there will be over 85 Bike to Work Day pit stops throughout DC, Virginia and Maryland where cyclists can get food and beverages, and even enter prize raffles.
According to the League of American Bicyclists, from 2000-2013, bicycle commuting rates in large Bicycle Friendly Communities increased 105%, and 62% nationally. We at Care2 are big fans of biking to work, for its positive impact on health, the environment, and our wallets! Consider these stats*:
- Adding just 30 minutes of cycling to your daily life saves you $544 in annual medical costs.
- On average, people who bike to work lose about 13 pounds during that first year.
- A midsize car, making a 10 mile roundtrip commute, 5 days a week for a year, emits 1.3 tons of CO2.
- During its lifetime on the road, each car scatters 40 pounds of worn tire particles, brake debris and worn road surface into the atmosphere.
So are you ready to start biking to work? Well, we have more good news: many nonprofits and companies offer bike commuting benefits! So be sure to ask your employer, and read more about the Bicycle Commuter Benefit to find out what’s covered and how it works.
If it’s your first time biking to work, check out these helpful tips for getting started. When I started commuting by bike, I found that doing a practice run on the weekend, taking less busy roads, and wearing brightly colored clothing made me feel more confident and safe. It takes a bit of planning ahead and practice to incorporate it into your routine, but once you get the hang of it, biking to work is a fantastic way to stay healthy, de-stress, and improve your commute. Happy biking!
*San Francisco Bay Area Bike to Work Day (http://youcanbikethere.com/environmental-benefits), Commuter Benefit Solutions (http://commuterbenefits.com/employers/products/products-features/)