Cities around the nation are celebrating 2009 Bike to Work day this Friday, May 15. The League of American Bicyclists has more on Bike-to-Work Day, which is part of Bike-to-Work Week, which, you guessed it, occurs during Bike Month.
The purpose of Bike-to-Work Day is to increase knowledge and incentive for bicycle commuting. According to the League of American Bicyclists, more than half of the US population lives within five miles of their workplace. After participating in Bike-to-Work day, many former drivers become full-time bike commuters.
Why participate in Bike-to-Work Day? As a commuter, this should be a no-brainer. You get free breakfast. You get your bike tuned up for free. More often than not, you receive free schwag. You get a workout. Other possible perks include:
–Free public transportation for cyclists
–Festivals and rallies
–Free water or coffee
–The chance to bond with your community
Employers benefit from Bike-to-Work Day through marketing and networking opportunities as well as the chance to groom a fitter, happier, more productive workforce.
If you choose to make biking to work a permanent activity, it will pay off handsomely. Benefits include (from the LAB):
-Save money on parking fees, traffic tickets, gas, car maintenance and insurance, and transit fares.
-Avoid traffic jams.
-Burn calories: A 10-mile bike commute burns 400 calories for a 180-pound man.
-Sculpt your butt.
-Reduce your carbon footprint.
-When you ride your bike on short trips instead of driving, you save 3.6 pounds of pollutants per mile
-Park almost anywhere.
-For companies: Healthy, fit employees are more productive and register fewer sick days.
-More than 66% of the US population is overweight. It only takes 30 minutes of moderate physical activity three days a week to improve fitness levels. Biking to work is a no-brainer way of achieving this minimum.
-The average commuter travels at 10 mph. This is not terribly hard to beat on your bike.
-Bikes are quicker on trips of 3-5 miles.
Regardless of your age, a bike may also help you count yourself among the ranks of the young and hip. Former FDIC chairman and CNBC commentator Bill Seidman, who passed away this week, biked to work almost every day, according to MSNBC–because he loved being around young people. It’s a subtle added bonus.
Happy Bike-to-Work Day! May your bicycling become a lifelong habit.