Today is bike to work day here in Colorado. For some reason it’s on a different day than the national bike to work day, which is held the 3rd Friday in May. Perhaps this is simply to give us all two chances to get swept up in the excitement of riding our bikes, and that can’t be a bad thing.
In my opinion biking is one of the best cardiovascular exercises you can do, for more than a few reasons. Not only can you burn lots of calories, but it’s easier on the joints than a lot of other aerobic exercises. On the ‘green’ side of things you get a couple of benefits: you reduce the pollution you’d be otherwise contributing to the air, and you line your pockets with a bit of extra ‘green’ on the gas you’ll be saving.
Here are a few fun facts to help get you motivated to spend a bit more time on your bike seat.
Bikes were first introduced in the early 19th century in Europe. Who would’ve thought they’re a mere 200 years old?
There are an estimated 1 billion bikes in the world. Half of them are in my garage so I can’t park in there.
In some cities and countries the bike is used as readily as other forms of transportation, even for hauling large items.
You can burn anywhere from 200 calories per hour to well over 1,000 calories per hour riding a bike, depending on your weight and how hard you’re pedaling. Check out thislistfor more specific numbers.
There are at least 38,000 miles of bike paths and trails in the U.S., because theAdventure Cycling Associationhas mapped that many. An I imagine they’ve missed a few.
If you choose join in the fun, remember a few things:
Always wear your helmet. Even a seemingly minor accident could be fatal if you fall on your noggin just right. It’s estimated that 98% of bikers that are killed riding were not wearing a helmet.
Less than 5 miles to work is probably a quick, easy ride, taking 30 minutes or less. 5-10 miles could take a bit longer, but is possible to do on a regular basis. 10 or more miles and you probably want to combine forms of transportation like riding the bus part way and biking the rest of the way.
Bless your co-workers with a shower when you get to work!
For me personally biking is one of my favorite cardiovascular exercises. I can cover lots of ground faster than running which keeps it interesting for me. I encourage you to try biking to work yourself one day, it may just become a healthy habit you’ll keep.