Monday, May 12, 2008

Did You Ride Your Bike to Work Today?

It's national Bike to Work Week. If you can ride your bike in a race or for training, you most likely can find a way to ride it to work. Here are four reasons to give it a try ...

You'll feel better: A study by researchers at Bowling Green State University found that people who cycle for just 10 minutes enjoy the same mood boost and reduction in depression and fatigue as those who cycled three times as long.

You'll be healthier: The average adult loses 13 pounds his first year of commuting to work by bike. Just three hours of bicycling per week can reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke by 50 percent. A 140-pound cyclist burns 508 calories while pedaling a mild 14 miles in an hour.

You'll save money: Based on gas prices of about $3 a gallon (and we all know gas is closer to $4 a gallon, currently), the annual cost of owning, operating, and driving a passenger car roughly 15,000 miles is nearly $11,000. Conversely, it costs roughly $120 a year to maintain a bike.

You'll help the environment: Sixty percent of the pollution created by automobile emissions happens in the first few minutes of operation, before pollution control devices can work effectively, making the negative impact of short trips more substantial. Drivers in the United States alone could save 462 million gallons of gasoline a year by increasing cycling a mere half percentage from 1 percent to 1.5 percent of all trips.

So park the car. Ride your bike. How many reasons do you have not to?

You can download a booklet of helpful tips on commuting to work by bicycle for the League of American Bicyclists.

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