National Bike Month in May is just around the corner. Although, I’m not in a fancy bike club or have any gear outside my trusty water bottle holder, I LOVE bicycling. It is really the only exercise I truly enjoy. This passion makes me thrilled to celebrate National Bike Month and I hope this post shows you why you should be too.
What is National Bike Month?
The League of American Bicyclists sponsors National Bike Month, which is celebrated in communities from coast to coast. Established in 1956, National Bike Month gave us the opportunity to celebrate the unique power of the bicycle and the many reasons we ride.
Why is National Bike Month Important?
Although some might say, this month was created to increase bike sales, the main the initiative isn’t just–or even predominantly–about sales. It’s about transforming the US from a car-dominated culture to one where bikes are a mainstream form of transportation.
Try Something Different
National Bike to Work Week 2017 will be held on May 15-19. If you’ve ever wanted to bike to work, now is your chance.
Just a Taste
Bike to Work Day is May 19th. Even if you weren’t able to make it work for the other days, it’s Friday and anything goes on Friday. You can recover from the sore muscles Saturday, office attire, rules and time is more relaxed on Friday, so all the excuses are out the window. Do it! You’ll be glad you did and it will show how easy and fun it is for next time.
It Makes Exercise Convenient
Continuing with the Bike to Work day/week, bicycling makes it super easy to exercise. Normally, a commute adds to the unhealthy habit of sitting, but biking on your way to work will give you a chance to exercise, if you don’t have the time available in your schedule. Fortunately, like taking the stairs instead of the elevator, one of the benefits of riding a bike for transportation is that it lets you add a fitness activity into your day even when you think you don’t have time for a workout. Depending on how far you live, biking could be just as fast as driving and if not, the time difference is doable.
Biking Saves Money
One of my favorite things about biking, is saving money. Bike Month can play a part help us realizing just how much money we’re spending on our cars. Depending on your commute and traffic, all that gas and car maintenance. The average cost to own and operate a car for a year is $8,698 for around 15,000 miles. That’s about $725 a month and 58 cents a mile. That’s quite a heavy price, especially if you include the money you could save on healthcare and gym membership fees.
Biking is Better for the Environment
There is still some CO2 emissions to consider if you’re riding a bike, such as the emissions created during manufacturing and all your huffing and puffing. However, those are nothing compared to those used in manufacturing vehicles and in long commutes. According to the EPA, greenhouse gases from transportation (cars, trucks, boats, planes, etc.) account for a third of all US greenhouse gas emissions. If you choose to bike to work just one day a week, you’ll be reducing your carbon emissions by 20% annually. Plus, more bikes would help us reduce need for paving new roads, leaving us more inclined to keep more nature.
Biking Relieves Stress
I think you’ll find during this Bike month or if you participate in bike to work week, you’re much less stressed. Physical activity, like bicycling, boosts the production of feel-good chemicals such as serotonin and dopamine.
Bikes Create Equal Opportunities
Bikes played a major role in the western women’s liberation movement and continue to offer opportunities to disadvantaged people.
Bicycles are the cheapest form of transport making them extremely important tools for lower-income workers. Even with a free car, there is still gas and repairs to consider. Bike repairs are extremely low-cost in comparison.
In many third-world countries, people have to walk many miles to get to school, which of course discourages attendance. This is especially a problem for women and girls, who must also find time to do housework. Bicycles makes it possible for those individuals to get an education and, in turn, to enrich their villages.
A car puts up a wall between you and your environment. Removing that barrier helps you see and experience new things. There are so many interesting things to be found along the way of different bike routes. I find new restaurants or shops tucked away in the corners of streets. It really is interesting to see things from a different view. Try it, you might like it!
And honestly, if you’ve ever been annoyed with a bicyclist, just try it because it’s much harder than it looks. That hill looks tiny in the car, but it’s much bigger on a bike. Yes, it’s annoying when a bicyclist rides in the road, but having all those cars whiz around you is quite terrifying. In addition, the road can be quite rough and there’s not always easy to navigate. Be kind to bicyclists – it’s a tough road out there.
It Gets Communities Involved
This news article is just one of the many examples of how National Bike Month is an encouragement for communities to take steps toward healthier and more eco-friendly transportation alternatives. These changes are also good for businesses and city budgets.
All the Cool Kids Do It
The National Household Travel Survey showed that the number of trips made by bicycle in the U.S. more than doubled from 1.7 billion in 2001 to 4 billion in 2009. So like good ideas, you can ignore all these other points and just do it because the cool kids are.
Looking for more ways to enjoy the great outdoors? Check out these other blog posts:
How to Plant a Garden with Kids – Little Sprouts Learning Garden