May is National Bike Month and this past Friday, May 20th was National  Bike to Work Day!  I must admit that with this years  long, cold, and rainy winter it has been a little more difficult for me to find the motivation to get back on the bike.  Events like  Bike to Work Week provide me the needed challenge and motivation to get back out there—and just in time for summer!

(see this link for Seattle’s Cascade Bicycle Club’s Challenge )

Biking to work has numerous benefits!  For me, I can’t help but think of the positive effects it has on my health and the environment .  Not only does my bike commute provide physical benefits, but mental benefits as well.  My bike commute provides space to process and reflect on the days activities and/or life happenings, sometimes I’ll even take the long way home to allow more time for this much needed time of solitude.  Each day I ride, I arrive to work feeling refreshed and energized–with a clear head ready to start my day.  Likewise, I arrive home feeling satisfied and accomplished.

Here are a few more great reasons to bike–provided by the Cascade Bicycle Club

Commuting Statistics

Bicycling Improves Your Health

  • Number one strategy for reducing inactivity-related diseases: shifting from auto trips to walking and bicycling [Centers for Disease Control],
  • New bicycle commuters can expect to lose 13 pounds their first year of bicycle commuting. [Bicycling Magazine]
  • Behind tobacco, leading cause of death among adults: inactivity / sedentary lifestyles [California Dept. of Health Services]

Bicycling Makes Financial Sense

  • Trimming one vehicle from your household, saves you $340/month [City of Seattle]
  • Cost to purchase and install one bike parking rack: $1503
  • Number of bikes that can be parked in one car parking space in paved lot: 6 – 203
  • Estimated cost of constructing one car parking space in a paved lot: $2,000
  • Estimated cost of constructing one car parking space in a garage: $20,000 – $30,000

Bicycling Makes Environmental Sense

  • America’s cars and trucks consume 10% of world’s oil supply [League of American Bicyclists ]

Bicycling is just more fun

  • 25% of the U.S. population bicycles [Omnibus Transportation Survey by Bureau of Transportation Statistics, July 2001]
  • 20% of Washingtonians rode a bicycle in 2001 [WA State Assessment of Outdoor Recreation, March 2002]
  • 60 million Americans bicycle at least once per year [Bikes Belong]
  • While in Japan 15% of commuters bicycle to work, in the Netherlands 50% of commuters bicycle and in China 77% commute by bike; only 1.6% of U.S. commuters bicycle to work [Washington State Energy Office Extension Services]

Bicycling is the fastest growing mode of transportation in our region

  • 100,000 bike boardings on Community Transit busses annually [Community Transit]
  • 500,000 bike boardings on King County Metro busses annually [King Co. Metro]
  • 66,000 bike boardings on Sounder Commuter Rail annually [Sound Transit]
  • Miles of bike trails in Seattle: 283 [City of Seattle]
  • Miles of striped bike lanes in Seattle: 15 [City of Seattle]
  • Miles of signed bike routes in Seattle: 35

Safety Matters

  • Cyclists who ride sober, with the flow of traffic, using lights at night, are 99.999% likely to survive their rides [John Hopkins]
  • 70% of adults and 50% of children in King County wear bicycle helmets – the highest irate in the nation [Harborview Medical Center]