Sponsored by the League of American Bicyclists, National Bike Month is an opportunity to celebrate the unique power of the bicycle and the many reasons we ride. Whether you bike to work or school; to save money or time; to preserve your health or the environment; to explore your community or get to your destination, get involved in Bike Month in your city or state — and help get more people in your community out riding too!
May is National Bike Month
Health & Productivity
More than two-thirds of the U.S. adult
population is overweight or obese, costing
our nation more than $68 billion in health
care and personal costs annually. More than
one in four kids are overweight, as well.
Researchers compared the relationship
between bicycling and walking travel and
obesity in 14 countries, 50 U.S. states, and
47 U.S. cities, and found statistically significant
negative relationships at all levels.
Bicycle commuting is a great way to
squeeze regular exercise into a hectic
schedule. For a 180-pound man, a 10-
mile round trip bike commute burns 400
calories; for a 130-pound woman, this same
commute burns 300 calories. A study of
nearly 2,400 adults found that those who
biked to work were fitter, leaner, less likely
to be obese, and had better triglyceride
levels, blood pressure, and insulin levels
than those who didn’t active commute
According to a survey by the Transportation
Research Board, more than 80 percent
of bicycle commuters believe their
health has improved since they started
bicycle commuting. Plus, bike commuters
report lower stress and greater feelings of
freedom, relaxation, and excitement than
Employers in the community benefit from
a healthy, active workforce, as well. Cyclists
on average take 15 percent fewer days off
from work for illnessthan non-cyclists, and
generally accomplish more work. There’s
nothing like riding to stimulate circulation,
relieve stress, allow creative thought and
establish a positive attitude toward oneself
and one’s environment.
Bicyclists are less likely to be affected by
traffic congestion, too. Whether they ride
on bike paths or roads, bicycles are much
more maneuverable than automobiles.
Wide lanes, shoulders and bike lanes
provide space for bicyclists to ride right
past traffic and on to work.
Bicycle commuting saves on parking fees,
parking tickets, fuel costs, auto maintenance
costs and transit fares. According to
analysis by the League, Americans saved
more than $4.6 billion by bicycling instead
of driving in 2012 alone.
The average annual operating expense
of a bicycle is just $308, versus more than
$8,000 for a car. In some large urban areas,
it is possible to save more than $200 per
month on parking alone. According to
CEOs for Cities, New Yorkers save $19
billion per year because they rely less on
cars than residents of other major U.S.
cities. A new bicycle and cycling gear would
pay for itself in a few months.
Portland, Ore., residents save $2.6 billion
per year thanks to spending less time in
cars and more time biking or walking. And
investing in bicycle infrastructure is costeffective,
too. For $60 million — the cost of
a single mile of urban highway — the city
built a full city-wide bicycle network.
And biking is good for business, too.
Research in multiple cities has shown that
patrons arriving by bike visit more often
and spend more money. Since the costs
of employee parking sites are growing,
many companies are looking for cheaper
alternatives. It costs the same to build
parking for 75 bikes as it does for just