Apr
17
2017

Getting Along: This Earth Day, Ride Bikes!

10 Health TV invited BicycLincoln to share why bikes are great for the environment and for you! Here’s the video:

Every day is Earth Day when you ride a bike – particularly when you use a bike instead of your car. You know that bikes are green: no gas, and no deadly emissions (depending on what you eat…). When you ride, you emit 1/10 of the CO2 that you would in your car – even accounting for your food, which is your fuel. That’s all great, but what’s in it for you? As it turns out: Plenty.

N Street Cycle Track grand opening – April 23, 2016

You save money.

If you ever need a justification for a new bike or accessories, just ride more instead of driving. Check out this calculator from Kiplinger to see how much you could save per year. With my 7-mile round-trip commute, I save $3.08 per day. That doesn’t sound like a like a lot, but over the course of the year, it adds up to about $800. The basis for those figures is the IRS’s estimate of $0.54 per mile for driving and Kiplinger’s estimate of $0.10 per mile for biking. Yes, you’ll wear through chains and tires and other parts on your bike, but on the whole, bikes are far cheaper to maintain than cars.

You get exercise.

The CDC tells us we should be active for at least 150 minutes a week. When you commute, or ride for your errands, it’s easy to hit that number without ever “exercising.” You’re taking just a little bit longer to do tasks that you’d be doing anyway. My commute takes only an extra 10 minutes, total, by bike, but I hit that 150-minute exercise goal every week.

Great way to start the morning.

You reduce your stress.

Studies have shown that active commuters are the happiest commuters. Yes, sometimes you’ll come across drivers who raise your blood pressure. But on the whole, it’s pretty difficult to stay angry on a bike. Every morning and afternoon, I exchange waves with other commuters who regularly cross my path. One house on my route has a baby who is usually staring out a picture window as I ride past; she waves and smiles. Kids love it when they see adults on bikes, and they’re usually not shy about saying hello. It’s invigorating to experience the world on your way to wherever you’re going! And once you arrive at your destination, there’s usually a free parking spot almost right by the door.

And remember…

There’s no shame in starting small. You won’t singlehandedly save the planet, even if you sell your car, but every bit of riding you can do helps! Maybe you ride to work one day a week, or ride to the library or the grocery store or the farmer’s market. There’s no need to be fast or to ride tons of miles (although there’s nothing wrong with either). You don’t need special clothes, especially for riding short distances. Riding for transport is enjoyable, so do it in whatever way makes you happy.

And! Log those miles for Lincoln in the National Bike Challenge, which runs from May through September. We’re hoping for back-to-back wins! Only a mile of riding gets you full points each day, so frequent riding is more beneficial than long rides. You can sign up now at nationalbikechallenge.org, and join BicycLincoln at our challenge kickoff: Friday, April 28, from 5-8 pm at the Hub Cafe.

This Earth Day, come see us! Come check out Lincoln Earth Day, and visit us at the BicycLincoln booth. We’ll be at Union Plaza from 10am – 2pm this Saturday, April 22. We’ll gladly talk bikes, share advice, and get you set up for the National Bike Challenge.

About the Author: Sarah Knight

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