Bike to Work Day is a nation-wide cycling event that attracted one million people in cities across the country last week. For many people, it will be the first time they ride their bikes to work. Dorcas Adkins of the Washington Area Bicyclists Association (WABA) explains, "It helps people get over the hump."
There are a lot of reasons to bike. According to this fantastic bike stats sheet from Bikes Belong:
Bicycling can help you live longer and better
Adults who bike to work have better weight, blood pressure, and insulin levels. (Gordon-Larsen, P., et al., 2009)
Women who bike 30 minutes a day have a lower risk of breast cancer. (Luoto, R., et al., 2000)
Adolescents who bicycle are 48% less likely to be overweight as adults. (Menschik, D, et al., 2008)
A community benefits from increased cycling as well. Bicycling can help reduce traffic congestion, air pollution and reduce infrastructure spending. The work of organizations like the Washington Area Bicyclist Association have helped communities be smarter about where they spend their money. According to a press release from the League of American Cyclists:
There has been a nationwide 44 percent increase over the past 10 years. Communities that have actively encouraged bicycling have seen even bigger increases, including those designated by the League as Bicycle Friendly Communities (BFCs). Platinum-level BFC Portland, Ore. has seen a 230 percent increase in bicycle commuters since 2000, their percentage holding steady at 5.8 percent of work trips, while 12.3 percent of citizens in Platinum BFC Boulder, Colo. ride every day. Other stand out BFC commuting cities include: Silver-level Gainesville, Fla. with 6.3 percent, and Gold-level Minneapolis, Minn.’s number of 3.9 percent commuting by bike daily. Statistics for more than 200 U.S. cities are available here.
So, smart communities invest in cyclists! What do you think? Weigh in below.