commuting by bike

Join Us and Bike to Work

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By Joe Edgell

I’m always struck by the reasons people have for not commuting by bike.  No shower facilities.  Don’t know the route.  Unsure how to get started.  But the biggest reason cited by most people is the perceived safety of riding a bike in traffic.  In fact, 60% of people in U.S. cities indicate they would ride a bicycle but for their traffic-related concerns, according to Tom Bowden, Chairman of BikeVirginia in his recent National Bike Summit presentation.

Believe it or not, biking is actually much safer than driving or walking.  Biking has significantly less fatalities than driving, walking near traffic, swimming, motorcycling, and flying small planes.  For every hour you ride your bike, you have an incredibly small chance of getting injured—and only a 0.00000041% chance of dying.  Compared to driving a car, bicycling is far safer.  If you drive your car, you have a 15 times higher liklihood of dying than if you ride your bicycle.  You would have to ride your bike about 15,000 hours before you’d risk being killed, a number almost no one reaches.

Looking at the benefits of bicycling, the British Medical Society found, according to Tom, that the health benefits of riding your bike outweigh the risks by 77 to one!  You’ll do your mind and body a favor by bike commuting, arriving at work refreshed and ready to start the day.  And arriving home, having ridden all the day’s stresses out.

Given the incredible safety of biking to work, please come join me and my fellow cyclists and bike to work this summer. If you’re a federal government employee you can join the Federal Bike-To-Work Challenge. All cyclists can participate in events and get tips from the League of American Bicyclists. Start biking to work today and you’ll find out just how easy bicycle commuting really is!

About the author: Joe Edgell is an attorney for the Office of General Counsel. Perched atop the bicycling baby seat, he’s been bicycling since before he could walk.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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Bike to Work, It's Easier Than You Think!

By Joe Edgell.

Gas prices skyrocket. Delays on the subway. Accidents on the Beltway. Police and fire activity blocking roads and snarling traffic.

Seems like there’s no way to get to work easily, on time, and with minimal cost.

Unless you consider commuting by bike. And this Friday, May 18 is Bike-to-Work Day, the perfect time to see how it works.

Here are the top ten reasons to join me and about 10,000 other bicyclists this Friday:

  1. According to the Outdoor Foundation, bicycling is the second most popular outdoor activity in the United States;
  2. Adults who bike to work have better weight, blood pressure, and insulin levels;
  3. Women who bike 30 minutes a day have a lower risk of breast cancer;
  4. Bicycling boosts the economy, with $5.6 billion in bikes and equipment sold in 2009;
  5. On a round-trip commute of 10 miles, bicyclists save around $10 daily;
  6. Traffic congestion wastes nearly 3.9 billion gallons of gas per year in the U.S.;
  7. Increased bicycling decreases vehicle traffic accidents;
  8. The transportation sector is responsible for 71% of all U.S. petroleum use.
  9. Bicycling produces only 21 grams of CO2 per person per kilometer, compared to 101 grams of CO2 per passenger per kilometer for buses, and a whopping 271 grams per passenger per kilometer for cars; and most importantly
  10. The health benefits of cycling outweigh the risks by a factor of 20 to one!*

And today bicycling is easier than ever. There are electric motor-assisted bicycles to help you with that push up the hill, bike sharing so you don’t have to worry about maintenance, and shower facilities at many employers, such as EPA.

Come out this Friday, bike with a group of people to a nearby celebration (or the massive celebration at the Reagan Building if you’re in DC), and take the first step in de-stressing your morning commute by biking to work.

I’ve been biking to work for the past eight years and love it. I’m healthier and happier. You’ll find it changes your entire outlook on the day!

*A special thanks to Bikesbelong.org for the biking benefits studies.

General information about biking to work

About the author: Joe Edgell is an attorney for the Office of General Counsel. Perched atop the bicycling baby seat, he’s been bicycling since before he could walk.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Please share this post. However, please don't change the title or the content. If you do make changes, don't attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.