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The Benefits to Bike Commuting

National Bike to Work Day is Friday, May 15.

Why not take advantage of the event to try this new way to commute to work?

March 2009
Would it surprise you that driving to work is not any quicker then biking? Studies show that for a 10 -mile commute, biking to work might only add 10 extra minutes to your commute time.

Commuting by bike is a great way to work exercise into your daily routine, reducing your chances of developing heart disease and cancer. Plus, daily bikers are 15 pounds slimmer than those who eat the same diet but don’t exercise.

Biking is also easier on the environment. Automobiles produce 80 percent of all carbon dioxide emissions, 50 percent of all nitrogen oxide emissions, and 30 percent of all carbon monoxide emissions. Biking produces none. For every 4 miles that you bike, a car produces more than 15 pounds of pollutants for those same 4 miles. Each year the average car burns 150 gallons of gas and leaks 4,000 pounds of C0-2.

If you’re getting ready for your first commute, you’ll need a bike, a helmet, a lock, a pump, and a spare tube. Small bike shops are always willing to show you how to do simple maintenance like fixing a flat and oiling your chain.

When getting ready for that first ride, it’s a good idea to plan your route. Avoid highways and particularly busy roads. If your commute is a long one, take a few Sunday rides and work up to the required mileage. While dedicated bike paths are ideal, it’s unlikely that you’ll find a perfect route right to work. Unfortunately, traffic keeps many potential cyclists off the road. There’s one simple rule that will make road riding easy: pretend you’re a car.