Bike to Work Day: June 27th - Three Benefits of Biking

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(Photo: Cyrus McCrimmon, The Denver Post)

With general concerns about higher gasoline prices, signs of global climate change and an obesity epidemic, there is a recent surge in the number of Coloradoans opting for their bicycle as a primary transportation option.

Many cities have increased their support of biking, as people search for greener, healthier, and cheaper transportation options. Cities like Denver have added low-cost bicycle lanes, the B-Cycle bike sharing program and bike parking options to reduce traffic, improve air quality and promote a healthier lifestyle.

Air Care Colorado is proud to support Bike to Work Day, scheduled for June 27th. The annual free event promotes biking as a choice for those who work along the Front Range and commonly commute by driving alone. The goal is to introduce biking as a commute option and hope that it becomes a more frequent choice.

With the focus on biking and Bike to Work Day, here are three benefits of biking to consider once you have proven to yourself that it is a viable option:

 

1. Biking is good for you.

If you’re looking for a full body workout that will leave you evenly toned from head to toe, look no further. Biking burns calories and boosts energy, while getting you to where you need to go. Are you a runner? Biking puts less stress on your knees, ankles, and spine than either walking or running while giving you just as good of a workout. There is another healthy perk to riding your bike, like any aerobic exercise, biking helps lower cholesterol and blood pressure. Whether you ride once a week or every single day, please remember to be safe and always wear a helmet!

 

2. Riding saves you money.

Have you ever calculated how much money you spend on gas and vehicle maintenance per year? What about highway tolls and parking fees? Depending on where you live you could save a lot of money by riding your bike from place to place. According to the National Household Transportation Survey, [link - http://nhts.ornl.gov/ ] half of Americans live within five miles of their work. The average person could bike that in about 20 minutes. Now let’s say you bike to work twice a week, five miles each way. That should burn about 3,000 calories (one pound of fat) per month. Now you’re not only saving money, but you’re getting in a great workout at the same time. Ready to calculate how much you could save by biking to work? Try Kiplinger’s bike to work calculator. [link- http://www.kiplinger.com/tools/bike/]

 

3. Contribute to better air quality.

Why does Mother Nature love bicycles? They are 100% emissions free and they don’t take up much space in the junkyard. Unlike motor vehicles, which contribute to air pollution, bicycles are completely eco-friendly. When driving short distances in a car, it takes the catalytic converter a while to kick in and clean up your emissions. Because of this, the first few miles of your drive are often the most polluting. For this reason, it makes sense to make short trips by bike in order to reduce the emissions that you are putting out into the air. If your longer trips are by car, at least you’ll feel better knowing that you’re making an effort to pollute less when you can.

 

Dust off the bike you have in the garage, pump up your tires, and join in the second largest bike to work day in the country. As an added benefit, Breakfast Stations will be open 6:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.
 and Bike Home Stations will be open 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.