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May is National Bike Month

Take a quick look around where you're reading this. Are you near a window? Can you see outside? What's it look like out there? Is it raining? Green? Good. I want you to go to your garage/shed/basement and grab your ten speed and go around the block. While you're out biking, I'm going to put this picture to help motivate you.

There. Don't you feel better? Your heart should be pumping a little harder. Your lungs should be breathing a little deeper. Depending on your size, you just burned the equivalent of ten M&M's (milk chocolate). You've just taken part in National Bike Month. You're probably thinking to yourself, "Wow, I feel better. My health has improved!" Well, join the over 80% of people who have made the same claim after starting to bike regularly. 

But, health is not the only reason to hop on the ol' two-wheeler. You can save a lot of money, too! Take a look at these b2ap3_thumbnail_Ride-a-bike.jpgstats. The average annual cost of owning a car is over $8,000. Compare that to an annual operating expense of a bicycle at $308. (Enthusiast and biking guru, Elly Blue goes deeper into the costs if you want to learn more.) Layer these stats on top of the fact that over half of the US population live within five miles of their workplace, and you can see how the savings could add up.

Lastly, take a look at what biking can do for your environment. Instead of burning over 5 tons of carbon every year, you can really make a dent into that number by cycling to work. Even in the limited months usable for cycling in central Minnesota, you can do some serious good in terms of how much carbon used.

Like I said, central Minnesota can be difficult to grab onto your bike 365 days a year. In fact, I find it really intriguing that eight of the top ten states on the 2014 Most Bicycle Friendly State (from the League of American Bicyclists) would be considered northern states and encounter distinct winter months. You can see the benefits of biking and maybe these states understand that even more because of their limited outdoor time available. Moreover, their governments have seen the advantages that biking can bring and implemented programs and legislation that encourage their citizens to bike as often as they can (even though it may be limited). 

So, regardless of why you go the mile on two wheels; whether it's a 10-speed, recumbent, or mountain bike, be sure that when you get out and ride, you're reaping all sorts of benefits. So get out and ride!

Blog posted from Pine River, MN, USA View larger map
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  • Guest
    Sybl Friday, 09 May 2014

    I ride to and from work six days a week, usually twice a day. That makes for twelve miles a day of saying hello to my neighbors as I cruise by, taking in the scent of the blooms, noticing small changes day by day, and arriving at work pleased and rejuvenated. Also, since I live in an urban environment, it takes me the same amount of time to ride my bike the three miles as it does to drive, sit at traffic lights, and park. Win Win Win for everyone.

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Guest Tuesday, 02 September 2014