May is National Bike Month. Established in 1956, National Bike Month aims to encourage people to take up cycling, educate the public about the benefits of biking and to act as a voice to advocate for cyclists at the local, state and federal levels.
The bicycle was introduced to Europe in the 19th century and has since become one of the most prolific forms of transportation throughout the world. Twice as many bikes have been produced in the world then cars. William Saroyan, a Nobel prize winner, once said that the “bicycle is the noblest invention of mankind”.
Bikes have been the principle form of transportation for billions of people around the world for the past 100 years. Although in America we’ve changed from bike pedals to those on vehicles, biking is making a comeback in the US, and it’s in large part thanks to events like National Bike Month. Read on to learn more about the benefits of cycling.
Cycling is a great form of cardiovascular exercise. Cardio is an important aspect to staying in shape, good for your heart health, and boosts your metabolism even after you’re done exercising (meaning you burn more calories). Biking is one of the best forms of cardio because not only is it fun but also lower impact than many other forms of cardio.
Exercise reduces stress. Studies show that people who bike to work have lower levels of stress than those who drive, and it makes sense. After a long day of work, riding on a bike path is surely more enjoyable than being stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic. A 180 lb man biking for 60 minutes at 14 mph burns 816 calories; totaling 1600 calories burnt a day just commuting. That’s equivalent to burning two and a half pounds of fat per week.
Biking saves you money. Commute Solutions (a company that specializes in coming up with alternatives to commuting) estimates that the average 10 mile commute to work in your car costs around $10 – when adjusted for gas, insurance, maintenance, initial costs and indirect fees.
It’s a great time to be a cyclist. On top of numerous improvements in technology that have made bikes lighter and more comfortable to ride, cyclists are gaining more traction in both local and national legislatures. The amount of public funds going towards cycling projects like bike lanes and bike paths has increased dramatically and resulted in a large increase in cyclists (289% according to the New York City Department of Transportation).
With more and more people on the road, we need to remember that safety is the most important thing. Always wear a bike helmet and understand the rules of the road. Colorado Bike Law is dedicated to educating cyclists about their rights across our state. Make sure that if you’re out on the road, you understand your rights and how to get places safely.
May is bike to work month and June 24th is bike to work day in Colorado. Take advantage of our great summer weather and get outside and ride your bike. You’ll get in better shape, save some money, and increase your personal satisfaction.