If you already ride your bike to work, you may be familiar with its benefits. But if you’re new to bike commuting or are looking for more information, consider the following:
It’s healthier: Physical activity is key for your physical health, and biking to work is one of the best ways to keep active. A 2016 study found that men and women who biked to work lost 11 and 9 pounds in a year, respectively. Biking just 3 hours per week can cut your risk of developing heart disease in half.
It lowers your stress: Most people dislike sitting in traffic on the way to or from work. People who bike to work consistently report feeling less stressed about their commutes. In fact, one study found that people who ride their bikes to work reported being happier than any other commuters.
It increases your productivity: Biking to work regularly may not get you that promotion, but it can increase your productivity and enhance your brain function. Regular aerobic exercise, like riding your bike, can improve your memory and enhance cognitive performance. Overall, biking to work may just make you better at your job.
It saves you money:
According to AAA
, the annual cost to own and operate a vehicle is more than $8,500 or $0.57 per mile. A commuter bike, in contrast, typically costs less than $1,000 to purchase and less than $100 per year to maintain. You could even see your healthcare costs decrease. One 2012 study found that the Cleveland metropolitan area could save more than $425 million
in health costs if half of short car trips (less than 2.5 miles) from April-October took place by bike instead.
It improves air quality, cuts carbon emissions:
Every mile that you bike, instead of driving, keeps a pound of carbon dioxide (CO2
) out of the atmosphere. Driving is also a major source of air pollution. According to the U.S. EPA, mobile sources make up the majority
of emissions of carbon monoxide (CO) and nitrogen oxides (NOx
), nationwide. Increasing the share of bike commuters and decreasing the share of solo drivers (also known as single-occupant vehicles (SOVs)) would help reduce total emissions, enhance air quality and improve public health.
If you have never biked to work before, it may seem a bit daunting. Fortunately, Bike Cleveland has a guide to help you start. Check out their Biking in Cleveland Guide, to learn how to pick the right bike; add accessories like racks and panniers (i.e. baskets); plan routes; and ride safely. You can also create bikepools through our Ohio Bike Buddies <link to trip matching platform> program, allowing you to share your commute with other cyclists.
NOACA develops bike maps for all five (5) counties in our region, in collaboration with county and local governments, metroparks systems, and non-profit organizations. We update these maps every three (3) years with new bike facilities. The maps are available online at the link here, through NOACA’s GIS portal, and in paper form.
Bikes and Transit
Do you feel your commute too far to ride your bike? Don’t worry – you can mix biking with transit. Our regional transit authorities (RTAs) allow you to bring your bike with you on the bus or train. The Greater Cleveland RTA has equipped all of its buses with racks.
Check out this handy video from RTA on how to secure your bike to these racks so that you and it can get to your destination safely.
Bike to Work Month
Did you know that May is Bike to Work Month, and May 19 is national Bike to Work Day? Your local bike advocacy organization may be hosting an event to celebrate. Check out Bike Cleveland’s events page for more information.