May is National Bike Month!
Established by the League of American Bicyclists in 1956, National Bike Month is an opportunity to celebrate the many benefits of cycling and encourage more folks to give biking a try.
What are some of the benefits of biking?
- It’s a non-weight-bearing aerobic activity. Biking burns more calories than walking, it’s easier on the knees than running, and it’s usually more convenient than swimming. According to Harvard Medical School, a 155-pound person who cycles at a leisurely pace of 10-12 mph will burn about seven calories a minute. If the same cyclist were to increase his or her pace to 14-16 mph, he or she would burn calories at the same rate as a runner doing 10-minute miles.
- It can help you meet physical activity guidelines. The 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommend that adults engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity each week for optimal health benefits.
- It can double as a mode of transportation. Approximately 40% of all trips in the United States are less than two miles. Replacing short car trips with active transportation – biking and walking – can reduce pollution and save money on gas.
The League of American Bicyclists offers five Rules of the Road to help bikers ride safely and comfortably:
- Follow the law – Ride with traffic, obeying all traffic signals and stop signs
- Be predictable – Signal before turning or changing lanes
- Be conspicuous – Wear bright clothing, use lights when visibility is poor, make eye contact with
others, and stay off the sidewalks
- Think ahead – Watch for turning vehicles and parked cars; look out for debris, potholes and other road hazards
- Ride ready – Check your ABCs (air pressure, breaks and chains) before riding, and always wear a helmet
So, what do you think? Are you ready to give biking a try? One popular way to celebrate National Bike Month is to observe National Bike to Work Week (next week!) or Bike to Work Day (next Friday, May 20). To find out whether there are any organized events for National Bike to Work Week taking place near you, search by city or zip code on the League of American Bicyclist’s website.