These days there are more and more reasons to commute by bike. Gas prices are always on the rise. There are more and more motorist on the roads, clogging streets and increasing commute times. American cycling cultures are growing, so riding a bike to work might actually become cool one day.
Bike riding is fun. Every adult I know who gets back on the bike says how it reminds them of their younger days, and the smiles on their faces are evidence. But one thing that might be potentially more important than any other reason to commute by bike–and often overlooked–is the inherent health benefit. Campfire Cycling is by no means the first to touch on this subject. Increasing health through bike commuting and riding is an ongoing campaign which many of our fellow bike commuting advocates have chosen to promote as well. BikeCommuters.com as well as CommuteByBike.com have written informative articles discussing the health benefits of daily commuting by bike.
The CDC (Center for Disease Control) recommends that adults in America need 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week or 75 minutes of vigorous activity each week. That’s more than 20 minutes a day for moderate exercise and about 10 minutes per day if you prefer the vigorous route. These figures represent the minimum requirements that the CDC has declared for increased heart and health benefits. The American Heart Association has similar requirements for maintaining a healthy lifestyle as well.
American health associations aren’t the only ones to comment on the benefits of cycling. The British Heart Association states that cycling at least three hours a week cuts your risk of heart disease in half, compared to those who do not cycle or perform regular exercise.
Now for some, commuting by bike may not be an option, whether the distance to work is to great to reasonably be covered by bicycle, or the logistics of the commute just don’t lend themselves to a safe riding. But for many, especially those in urban areas, a commute by bike is a couple of pedal strokes away. For many, the perception of bike commuting is one of significantly greater time commitment than by auto. Well the numbers don’t lie. The typical bike commute takes about one third longer than the corresponding auto commute. Not really a substantial time increase, especially for a little exercise and a smile.
So if for no other reason other than your health, consider the impact that bicycle commuting can have on your life, not to mention that you will be saving gas money, reducing your carbon footprint, and you’ll fee better about yourself. And you might be just a little bit cooler–in a social sense at least.