May Is National Bike Month—Time to Cycle Toward Health


(DGIwire) — Bikeway networks are emerging along urban, low-traffic streets as residents employ increasing pedal power in cities like Cambridge, MA; New York City; Portland, OR; and San Francisco. Tourism and transportation trend watchers note that the amount of on-street bicycle parking provides a ready gauge to how rider-friendly a city is.

Still, according to the findings of a National Household Travel Survey that 40 percent of all trips we make are two miles or less, the International Bicycle Fund (IBF) reports that Americans choose to bike over a car for only one percent of these trips. In Europe, which favors walkable cities, Amsterdam commuters lead the way by choosing their bikes 28 percent of the time, followed by 20 percent in Denmark, 10 percent in Germany, eight percent in the United Kingdom and five percent in both France and Italy (versus one percent by U.S. city commuters.)

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, at least a quarter of Americans age 16 and older will likely ride a bicycle sometime this summer. The National Survey of Pedestrian and Bicyclist Attitudes notes that 26 percent of American bicyclists ride for recreation, and 24 percent for health. Additional reasons include getting home (14 percent), errands (14 percent), visiting (10 percent), commuting to school or work (five percent) and “other.”

“A bike ride offers an excellent chance to workout leg and buttocks muscles,” says Tom Griesel an avid cyclist and co-author of the books TurboCharged: Accelerate Your Fat Burning Metabolism, Get Lean Fast and Leave Diet and Exercise Rules in the Dust (April 2011, BSH) and The TurboCharged Mind (January 2012, BSH). “These two muscle groups are the largest and greatest fat burners we have. In addition to getting in a good walk daily—if you need to get there a little more quickly…maybe a bike ride is in your future.”

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