It seems as though there is a national ‘day’ or ‘month’ for everything, and I mean EVERYTHING. In May alone, there’s Cinco De Mayo, Mother’s Day on the 13th and maybe if you are a Sci-Fi geek with a sense of humor, National Star Wars Day, AKA “May the Fourth” is circled on your calendar.
However, you know something has REALLY made an impact on our society when not just a day, but a whole month is dedicated to something. That brings us to one of the coolest and most utilitarian inventions in the history of mankind, the humble bicycle. And yes, the entire month of May has been declared National Bike Month! Not only that, May 18th has been declared National Bike to Work Day.
Are you ready to dust off those pedals and get moving for Bike Month? Here are just a few of the benefits you’ll see!
Improve your health
Health is one of the top three reasons most people consider commuting by bicycle. Obviously, you are burning calories so it will affect your waistline and the number on your bathroom scale, but it will also:
- Improve cardiovascular fitness
- Lower your blood pressure
- Reduce the risk of heart disease
- Improve sleep
- Reduce stress
- Increase energy
- Improve muscle tone
The list of health benefits goes on and on!
Decrease your impact on the environment
Reducing the size of your carbon footprint is another popular reason for commuting via a two-wheeled human-powered vehicle. It is estimated that almost 30% of all greenhouse gas emissions from the U.S. are generated from transportation, with 1/5 of those emissions coming from cars and trucks.
Save money at the pump
My commute to work is about 22 miles round trip and my car gets about 28mpg. I paid around $3.45 a gallon the last time I bought gas, which means I can save about $2.69 a day by riding my bike to work. That’s $13.45 a week or almost $700 a year!
Lower your healthcare costs
In 2016, the Journal of the American Heart Association looked at what the potential price tag would be per individual if they are active vs. inactive as far as annual health care costs go
. They found that simply walking 30 minutes a day was enough to save you $2,500 annually on average. Just think of what your daily bike commute could do!
Ready to ride? Check out these Local and National Bike Month Events
May 2nd – Mall to Mall Ride
May 9th - Bike to School Day
May 12th – Bike Rodeo
May 13th – Cyclofemme
May 18th – National Bike to Work Day
And Remember: Safety First!
One of the biggest reasons people don’t commute by bicycle is a concern for safety. Yes, there is a certain amount of risk involved with riding a bike to work, but here are some quick tips for a much safer ride:
Happy National Bike Month!
- Ride predictably. Try not to make abrupt lane changes or maneuvers.
- Put lights on your bike - even during the day.
- Wear high-visibility colors.
- Ride with a group when possible.
- Always, always, always wear a helmet.