It’s National Bike To Work Month, the perfect time to dust off the old ten speed and give bicycle commuting a try. The Weather Channel posted a video of Al Roker describing the pleasure he gets from seeing New York while the “city is still asleep” when he bikes to work. Plus, it’s a great way to get some exercise. But bicycle commuting offers other benefits than exercise and the opportunity to slow down and enjoy the scenery. Bike to work, and you’ll reap great health and monetary rewards.
Bicycle commuting saves money — a LOT of money.
Just look at the numbers from AAA and the Sierra Club: your car costs you about $8,900 a year, thanks to fuel, maintenance and insurance costs. Traffic jams alone cost commuters more than $700 in wasted fuel burned while idling. Compare that to a bike, which only costs $310 a year to maintain:
“If American drivers were to make just one four-mile round trip each week with a bicycle instead of a car, they would save nearly 2 billion gallons of gas. At $4 per gallon, total savings would be $7.3 billion a year.”
The bicycle commuting tax credit: get paid for taking your bike to work.
You not only save money with bicycle commuting, you can earn some too, thanks to the bicycle commuting tax credit. Uncle Sam will reimburse you up to $20 a month for expenses just for regularly taking your bike to work instead of your car. Get the details at the National Center for Transit Research.
You inhale less exhaust when you bike to work than when you drive.
File this bicycle commuting fact under “who knew?” It’s counter-intuitive but it turns out that you inhale more harmful fuel emissions driving than biking. According to environmental news blog The Grist, the reason is location, location, location: drivers are “very close to sucking on the tailpipe of the MES just ahead of them… bikers and pedestrians are on the outskirts.”
Do you bike to work? Have some tips for newbies looking to get started? Share your advice on bicycle commuting in the comments.