The Business Insider website, of all places, and by that I mean not Bicycling magazine or the Sierra Club, ran a good piece Wednesday with 13 solid reasons to bike to work. Reasons include lower health care costs and greater productivity, but some are more surprising.
You can find the entire piece here. Below are the highlights. Also noted: Since 2000, bicycle commuting has risen 40 percent in the U.S.
No. 1: Way cheaper than driving. According to a recent study by AAA, the annual cost of owning and operating a car bumped two percent last year to $8,946. Average cost of operating a bicycle: $308.
No. 2: Free gym on wheels. The average bicycle commuter loses 13 pounds their first year biking to work.
No. 3: Skip morning traffic and parking woes. Rush hour commuting can take twice as long in big cities. "Half of the working population in the U.S. commutes five miles or less to work, with bike trips of three to five miles taking less time or the same amount of time as commuting by car," writes Kiplinger editor Amanda Lilly.
No. 5: Healthcare savings. A Journal of Physical Activity and Health study reported that "during the next 30 years, Portland’s residents could save as much as $594 million in health care costs because of an investment into biking culture" and "fuel savings of $143 to $218 million."
No. 7: More the merrier: “Unlike cars, the more bicycles on the road, the safer it becomes for cyclists, research shows,” according to Business Insider.
No. 8: Sick of — or from — the bus? Not to discourage public transportation, but a British study “found public transit riders are six times more likely to suffer from acute respiratory infections — and occasional riders are most at risk,” according to the New York Daily News. Fresh air = good.
No. 9: Tax breaks! Starting this past January, bicycle commuters have been entitled to a $20 per month tax-free reimbursement for bike-related expenses, such as bike repairs and storage expenses, according to the National Center for Transit Research.
No. 11: No. 8: We inhale more harmful exhaust in our car than on a bike. Fuel emissions are bad for any set of lungs, but drivers are actually more susceptible to harmful air than bicyclists, according to a recent Grist post.