It's "Bike to Work Day" season again. San Francisco's annual Bike to Work Day is today. National Bike to Work Day is next Friday, May 16, which is when NYC, DC, and most other US cities are pushing people to get out and bicycle to work. Is it time for you to join the bike-to-work fun?
Here are 5 reasons why I think you should use this opportunity to ride on two wheels to get to work this coming week, and forever after:
1) Biking is freakin' fun!
I've had commutes where I drove, biked, walked, and rode transit. There are benefits to each of those options, but none of the others is as fun as bicycling, imho. There are several noble reasons to bike for transportation (see below), but that doesn't mean we should neglect to value the fun of bicycling. As the image above notes, "It feels like flying."
2) Good health ain't too bad.
Most Americans don't get enough exercise. One common reason why people don't bike to work is that it takes longer than driving. However, if you consider the fact that you really need that exercise, then your commute actually saves you time. It cuts your need to go to the gym or exercise in your spare time. Of course, if you wouldn't exercise otherwise, then biking to work provides an important health boost.
3) We need a livable climate
It seems practically undeniable that global climate change is the largest challenge facing society today. If we let it get out of hand, it could be the largest challenge human civilization has ever faced. One of the top contributors to climate change is the burning of oil for transportation. If you want to help combat this crisis and prevent the catastrophes that could be around the corner, there's hardly a better way than biking for transportation.
4) Clean air & water are pretty useful, too.
Once upon a time, environmentalists were primarily fighting for clean air and clean water rather than working to prevent climate change. We sometimes lose sight of the fact that our air and water are still pretty filthy and we need clean transportation solutions like the bicycle in order to continue cleansing our basic resources. Protect the health of your kids, your grandkids, and yourself by switching to the super clean bike instead of a polluting gasmobile.
5) Money, money, money.
If altruism, health, and fun can't get you to switch to two wheels, perhaps the humble coin can tip you over and onto your bike. Reportedly, money makes the world go round, and it seems to stick around your house much more when you bike, so it seems that a few simple calculations should get your rolling like you're 10 years old again. The American Public Transit Association estimates that the average American would save $10,174 a year by switching from driving to riding transit. Those savings are slightly reduced by transit passes that generally cost more than biking. So, if those assumptions are right, it seems that biking would save the average American well over $10,000 per year. I could think of a few things to do with $10,000 per year.... (Actually, not having owned a car in about 10 years, I'm cashing in about $100,000 in savings in order to purchase a home. Major thanks to the super-efficient bike!)
Don't put it off another year. Join in on Bike to Work Day this year. If you're in San Francisco and missed Bike to Work Day today, remember that you've got another chance and can join National Bike to Work Day next week... and every other day of the year.