Spring weather is back just as some of us are slowly returning to one element of normal we may not be quite as excited about - the commute to work. We take a look at some of the benefits of riding to the office whenever possible, and it’s about more than just upping your miles on Strava for the year.
There are a lot of good reasons to ride your bike, and if it also means taking a car off the road, that’s even better. 2020 was an exceedingly odd year for obvious and myriad elements of life, and in the world of cycling, one of contrasts. On one hand, the pandemic has led to a real boom in both bicycle sales and cycling participation, with families looking to get outside. For those who needed to work in the office, the bike became the go-to choice for those looking to avoid the risk posed by crowded public transportation.
But for millions of Americans, working from home meant the end of the daily commute, which affected more riders adopting the bike as a part of their daily movement. As the US increases the number of Americans safely vaccinated and the slow return to something like normal, advocates and experts are hoping to push more people to include riding a bike as an option in how they navigate life outside of lockdown.
Environmentally, the impact of fossil fuels burned in cars is, frankly, tremendous. Cars emit a lot of carbon; in a single year, the average driver contributes 4.6 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, over 8,000 grams per gallon of gas. This means the average cyclist who parks the car can save something like four to sixteen million tons of carbon dioxide per year.
Traffic congestion costs the US billions of dollars a year as well, with bicycles reducing congestion, freeing up parking, and reducing the health issues associated with smog caused by tens of thousands of cars on the move. There’s evidence that the problem congestion is getting worse, too. According to a study by the GPS company TomTom, drivers are actually spending more time in traffic jams, especially in metropolitan centers.
To reduce carbon emissions, traffic issues, and improve the overall health of residents, cities and states are putting a renewed emphasis on bikes. There are proven benefits as a result of investing in cycling through measures like bike share programs, improved cycling infrastructure, adopting Complete Streets policies and design, and using programs to get kids and families riding bikes for their daily trips, errands, and grocery shopping.
We’re working with small businesses, retail centers, and urban planners to offer safe and space-efficient bike storage to make parking the car and going by bike more practical for more families across all walks of life. Want to learn more about how we can help? Contact us today!