Why Bike to Work? National Bike Month Is a Great Time to Start

By Sher Warkentin in Thinking Sustainably

National Bike Month is the perfect time to dust off your bicycle, pump up those tires and get biking…to work!

Why bike to work? Besides helping your own health, it's also beneficial for the environment. Here is why you should pedal your way to work tomorrow.

Why Bike to Work?

If you have trouble finding time in your work week to exercise, why not squeeze in that workout on your way? Riding a bike to work provides plenty of health benefits, including improving cardiovascular health, increasing bone density, and building muscle.

Biking to work may help you live longer, too. A study published in the British Medical Journal found that people who biked to work had a 46 percent lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease and a 52 percent lower risk of dying from the same. The study also found that those who commuted by bicycle had a 45 percent lower risk of developing cancer.

Besides giving you a chance to get some exercise, biking to work can save you money. You'll minimize your gas use significantly and put less mileage on your car, which means less wear and tear in the long run. Many companies offer incentives to employees who use bicycles or alternative modes of transportation to get to work, so ask your employer if a program like that exists.

A bike commute has so many environmental and health benefits.

Pedal Power

Biking to work has tremendous environmental benefits. Unlike a car or other motor vehicle, a bicycle releases zero pollutants. A bike requires no fuel, other than what you eat to keep you pedaling.

According to the European Cyclists' Federation, even when you factor in CO2 emissions created by the food you need to fuel your ride, riding a bike generates ten times fewer emissions than an average car. Biking to work might encourage your co-workers to adopt a more sustainable transportation method, which means even fewer pollutants.

Getting Started

Biking to work can be easy if you take a few simple steps to prepare yourself for the change. The first thing you'll need to do is map out the quickest and safest route to bike to work from home. Once you've figured out which way to go, try a trial run on a non-workday to clock how long it will take you to get there to make sure you have enough time in the morning.

You will also want to gear up for your new bike commute. In addition to your helmet, you might need to add a few items that you don't usually use for a leisurely ride. The first thing to think about is what you plan to wear. Will you dress in your work clothes? If so, you might need straps to tie back loose pant legs.

If you'd rather change once you get to work, you'll need a way to carry your clothes, as well as anything else you typically carry to work, like a lunch bag or tote. Adding a basket to your bike gives you space to carry items. Besides your clothing and storage, you might consider adding a small mirror to help navigate the commuter traffic.

You'll need the right accessories for a bike commute.

Just Like Riding A...

If you haven't ridden a bicycle in a while, that doesn't mean you're too rusty to start riding to work. Take your bike out for a few rides along your route to get acclimated. If you're new to biking, you should review any laws or safety regulations regarding bikes. Once you feel ready, start by riding to work just one or two days a week and add more from there.

Riding a bike to work doesn't have to be an overwhelming change. With a little planning and preparation, it can be simple to get started and a healthy way to start and end your workday.

Do you bike to work? Share your bike-riding tips with us on Twitter!

Image source: Pixabay | Pixabay | Pixabay

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Why It’s Good

Why bike to work? Here are some of the tremendous benefits of starting a greener commute.