NATIONAL BIKE TO WORK DAY | THIRD FRIDAY IN MAY
National Bike to Work Day takes place on the third Friday in May, right in the middle of National Bike Month. The observance encourages us to bike to work, but it also raises awareness of cyclists as they commute to and from work each day.
As more and more people take to bicycles for transportation to and from work, it’s important for both cyclists and drivers to share the road safely. Both must be aware of the traffic laws and follow them. More and more communities are adding bike lanes to improve safety. In the United States, from the year 2000 to 2011, the number of bicycle commuters grew by more than 47 percent. National Bike to Work Day promotes the bicycle as a healthy and safe alternative for commuting to work.
Some of the benefits of commuting to work by bicycle include:
- Physical fitness – Cyclists get an aerobic workout before and after work. It’s also low impact exercise that is easy on the joints, unlike jogging.
- Fuel savings – They save fuel costs, which puts more money back in their pockets.
- Smaller carbon footprint – By cycling, they reduce carbon emissions resulting in cleaner air.
- Automobile longevity – Get more life out of their motor vehicle by using it for more necessary trips.
Biking is an enjoyable activity. But, like all outdoor activities, it’s important to remember safety is the key to enjoying your biking experience.
- Always wear a helmet.
- Wear reflective clothing.
- Limit distractions.
- Ride with the flow of traffic, not into traffic.
- Learn hand signals and use them.
PARTICPATION IS CELEBRATION
- Attend a community biking event.
- Share biking tips with a child.
- Take a bike safety course.
- Bike to work every day during the summer.
- Create a biking club.
- Learn the history of bikes.
- Share your biking journal on social media using #BikeToWorkDay.
NATIONAL BIKE TO WORK DAY HISTORY
National Bike to Work Day originated in 1955 by the League of American Bicyclists and is endorsed by the American Medical Association. However, the invention of the bike is highly debated. Do we give credit to the first introduction of a similar invention? Or, do we give credit to the modern version?
- 1791: Comte de Sivrac debuts a 2-wheeled scooting “bike” in Paris. The bike had two wheels that could only move forward and handbars.
- 1817: Baron Karl Drais invents the hobby horse, otherwise known as the “Draisienne.” The hobby horse had two wheels and a saddle. Interestingly, you had to use your feet to make it move.
- 1880: Inventors Karl Kech and Pierre Lallement were the first to secure a US patent for the modern bike. Their invention included two wheels, a saddle, pedals and was made of wood.
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