What impact can you make by Bike Commuting?

Assuming you live 2 miles from your job. What difference can you make by riding your bike to work instead of driving?

  • Each mile you ride, reduces stress, body weight, blood pressure and improves blood chemistry for overall health. You don’t have to carve time out of your day to work out for health or fitness purposes –that would be part of your commute!
  • You would burn around 50 calories for every mile ridden (roughly 12 mph) vs. driven. The average bike commuter can lose 13 pounds in a year if eating habits remain the same.
    • Higher number calories burned if you weight more than 154 lbs, you are going up hill, into the wind or riding in the cold
    • Lower number calories burned if you weigh less than 154 lbs, riding downhill or with wind at your back
  • You would leave a parking space for someone traveling farther or is sick or injured:
    • Consider the high cost of free parking - The capital costs of a parking space range from $2,000 to $5,000 for a surface lot, and $10,000 to $20,000 a space in a two- or three-story parking structure.
    • A parking space takes up 340 square feet for both the space and the aisle. If you divert five parking spaces from a building project (freeing $10,000 to $25,000 of capital) and use two spaces to build a 680 square foot shower/changing room, and one space for lockers for a dozen bicycles, you still have 680 square feet to plant trees. (www.ibike.org/environment)
  • You would have one less car causing wear and tear on the road and taking up more than 80 square feet along the road as you travel.
  • You would eliminate air, water and noise pollution created by driving your motor vehicle. Some people worry they would have to inhale too much pollution riding along a road with traffic. But studies show people inside cars in the travel lanes inhale more pollution than cyclists along the edges of the road. So inhale less and create less pollution!
  • You would decrease your carbon footprint with each mile bicycled compared to driving:
    • Your car emits 0.98 pounds of CO2 (carbon dioxide) each mile you drive (assuming one person driving in a vehicle getting 20 mpg under city commuting conditions).
  • You take in the full scene around you - you are more connected with people and the environment.
  • Bicycling is not only good for the body; it is also good for the mind. The feelings of accomplishment and relaxation that follow a bike ride, combined with the physical benefits, also lead to reduced stress levels, heightened self-esteem and self-confidence.