National Bike Month 2012 posterby Carla Bray, Website & Marketing for The Path Bike Shop

May 14-18 is National Bike to Work Week, and Friday May 18 is Bike To Work Day. This month is filled with lots of cycling events across the country, and a renewed commitment by many to ride more often and to encourage others to ditch their cars and try taking their bicycles instead.

Even small steps can make a big difference. According to the League of American Bicyclists, 50% of all household trips are 3 miles or less, yet nearly 90% of those are made by car.

Using a bike for short trips (to work, school, the library or supermarket) leads to improved health, reduction in traffic congestion, and a noticeable savings in your wallet.

 

So why should you ride a bike?

  • Saves Money - Think about how much it costs to maintain your car, not to mention the price of gas. The cost of maintaining a bicycle is much cheaper. A replacement bicycle tube is cheaper than 2 gallons of gas!
  • Keeps You Healthy - We all know the benefits of daily exercise. Plus, summer is almost here...have you got some extra pounds you want to shed? Cycling to and from work, or during your lunch hour, will burn off some calories and have you summer ready in no time.
  • Makes You Happy - Exercise relieves stress, and it's a great mood elevator. Get those exercise endorphins working for you! Riding your bike is also a great way to unwind on your lunch hour or after a stressful day. Enjoy a social ride with friends and family, or enjoy a time of needed solitude.
  • Makes Auto Commuters Jealous - How many times have we been sitting in our cars stuck in traffic, moving slowly for miles...suddenly a bike rider whizzes past you in the bike lane and bypasses all that traffic you're sitting in. Did it make you wish you could be on your bike instead of sitting in your car? You know what I'm talking about.
  • Riding is FUN - Riding your bike makes you feel like a kid again!

Commuting To Work

Bike To Work Day is Friday, May 18. I hope you had a chance to try your commute by bicycle at some point this week! Didn't make it? No worries, you've got the rest of the month to give it a try.

In SoCal, lots of people have to travel long distances to get to their workplace so bicycle commuting isn't always an option. Still, there are lots of small ways you can make a difference by integrating cycling in your daily routine.

Not sure where to start? Keep it simple.

  • Quick errands - Need to run to the bank or the grocery store? Take your bike instead of your car.
  • Ride to the gym - You'll arrived warmed up and ready for your workout. I know this for a fact; I've been riding to my gym workouts and its the perfect warm-up and cool-down!
  • Ride on your lunch hour - You'll come back to work refreshed for the afternoon, and you probably won't need that afternoon coffee wake-up anymore.
  • Personalize your bike - Make it uniquely yours! Stickers, colored grips, whatever you like. Make your bike something you enjoy going to every time you ride.
  • Ride with your co-workers - Start a lunchtime or weekend riding group. Great way to get to know the people you work with outside the office.
  • Introduce someone to riding - Do you have a friend or co-worker who doesn't ride? Invite them along with you on a bike ride, show them why you love cycling! 
  • Become a bicycling advocate at your workplace - ask your employer about having bike racks installed or bike supplies/tools on hand for commuters. Bike commuters can get their workplace to reimburse them with the Bike Commuter Tax Benefit.

So enjoy yourself during National Bike Month! Join one of our weekly shop rides for some added riding motivation and friends to ride with.

Quick resource links on the web

Bicycling Magazine 100 Best Bike Shops logo

League of American Bicyclists bronze logo

IMBA International Mountain Bicycling Association logo and link to website