Do you choose to ride a bike instead of commuting in a car? If your answer is “yes,” this month is for you. May is National Bike Month!
The League of American Bicyclists established May as National Bike Month to spread awareness about the many benefits of choosing a bicycle over an automobile. Whether you choose to ride a bike to cut costs, benefit your health, or protect the environment get involved in Bike Month to spread the message to your community!
Why should you choose to ride a bike over a car? The following are just a few reasons:
- Gas prices are high, biking is free! You no longer have to pay parking fees either.
- Car exhaust dramatically increases environmental pollution, bikes emit no air pollution. Cars emit 3.6 pounds of pollutants into the atmosphere every minute; you can completely cut that out!
- You can greatly improve your health. A ten mile bike ride can burn up to 400 calories.
- Traffic is horrible, speed right through it on your bike.
- All the cool kids are doing it, why aren’t you?
- The Federal Highway Association is installing safer bike lanes for commuters, making your commute even easier!
- It is a nice little energy boost in the morning, biking gets your heart rate up allowing you to tackle the day with ease.
- Increase your balance and strength
- Proven stress reliever
- Bicycles get cars off the road. Up to 10 bikes can park in one car spot.
Although we only cited 10 reasons why you should get out on your bicycle, the benefits are infinite. How do you start a bicycle transportation campaign? Just follow these ideas to promote biking within your household, your workplace, school, or community. Check out The League of American Bicyclists for more ideas and steps to help plan your bike ride!
- Provide maps with routes to work and dispense them to your coworkers so they can plan their trips.
- Provide bicycle mentors for new bike riders. These mentors can share their expertise with beginners to help them get started.
- Make arrangements for neighbors to ride together.
- Ask restaurants or grocery stores for breakfast item donations for rider incentives. Bikers can meet at a central location to eat breakfast together.
- Ask companies to get involved. Companies can compete to have the largest number or bike commuters. Incentives can be gift certificates to restaurants or movie theaters. Companies can also receive recognition for their clean commuting habits.
- Provide incentives for participants too. Those commuters who log the largest amount of hours will win prizes such as T-shirts, gift certificates, water bottles, etc.
- Ask your community to develop a commuter challenge such as Georgia’s Clean Air Campaign.
- Ask your local politician, such as your city’s mayor, to get involved in a bike ride. The event will be more meaningful to your community members if they can attach a face to the event.
- Ask you local newspaper editor to promote biking events within the community.
- Plan bicycling events for kids, as well. Whether kids take their bikes to the park or participate in Ride Your Bike to School Day, get them involved in the fun, as well!
Do you choose to ride your bike over your car? We would love to hear your suggestions in the comments section below!