What do you call someone who speaks at a bicycle conference?
Speaking of bikes… every year in the United States there is a week dedicated to riding your bike to work. This week falls annually on the third week of May, once April showers have turned into May flowers. Not too hot, not too cold. This year “National Bike-to-Work Week” will be from May 13-17, with May 17th being National Bike-to-Work Day! Maybe you have participated in the past, maybe you haven’t. Either way, those of you who are eligible to participate in this cause should consider it.
DID YOU KNOW?
Biking to work saves money. It will save you money on gas, parking, car maintenance, and healthcare. The more you ride, the more you save.
U.S. riders who bike to work at least three days a week receive a $20 tax-free reimbursement each month. Expenses that can be reimbursed include bike repairs and storage costs.
Who needs to go to the gym for cycling class when you’re cycling to and from work? The average commuter loses about 13 pounds during their first year of cycling. What a great way to condition your heart and perform aerobic exercise that is easy on your joints.
Avoid traffic and the toxic air that comes with sitting in a traffic jam.
Alternatives for commuters:
Instead of going from the inside of your house, to the inside of a parking garage, to the inside of your office, park a mile outside of where your office is located and complete the rest of the trek on your bike! This may require you to leave your house earlier than usual. Don’t have a bike? Park near a bike share location and rent one for the day! Follow this link to the Capital Bike Share page where you can locate bike stations in the DMV! $2 for a single trip, $8 for the day, $85 for the year.
Metro busses have space on their front fender for attaching bicycles, secure your bike onto the fender, ride into the town or city in which you work, and cruise into your office from a distance that best suits your ability. Two bicycles are permitted on any given railcar or train in the D.C. area at a time.
Alternative if you work from home:
Do you have a local errand to run, kids to take to school, or a safe route you could ride on your bike during lunch? This will break up the monotony of the day and lower your blood pressure. How appealing! If the idea of being away from your computer during work hours is stressful, a good option would be a stationary bike stand. Stationary bike stands can be purchased and attached to your existing bicycle for cycling indoors, steps away from your work station.
How to get started:
Ease into the experience. Over the weekend pull your old bike from the shed, give her a tune-up and go for a short ride. Each week leading up to Bike-to-Work Week go take a ride a couple times per week, increasing the distance each time. By May 13th you’ll be ready to join the masses in support of Bike-to-Work Week, improving your personal health, and the health of the Earth at the same time!
Safe riding tips:
Make sure your tires have the proper amount of air in them and are in alignment, and always wear a helmet. Review bicycle hand turn signals to notify automobiles when you will be turning. Wear reflective clothing, and make sure your bicycle is properly equipped with a light if you are riding before the sun comes up or after the sun goes down. Use marked bike paths whenever possible.