The Many Benefits of Biking to Work

Photo by Tom Malloy

“Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of a bike ride.”
~John F. Kennedy

Friday, May 20th is National Bike to Work Day.  According to the League of American Bicyclists, one million people in cities across the country will participate, myself included.

More Americans are realizing the benefits of biking to work.  In fact, there’s been a 44 percent increase in bike commuting in the United States over the past 10 years according to the League.  With increases in traffic congestion and escalating gas prices, this trend will likely continue.

In addition to saving money and reducing my carbon footprint, I bike for the healing power of the ride.  I’m fortunate that my commute is a straight shot on the scenic Washington & Old Dominion Trail in northern Virginia.  So, I enjoy a mostly traffic-free commute.

Photo by Janet L. Larawa

Along the way, it isn’t unusual for me to see and hear a variety of wildlife, especially in the morning. Over the years, I’ve seen groundhogs, rabbits, owls, turtles and, of course, many songbirds.  Nothing puts a smile on my face like the call of a red-winged blackbird or the scamper of a busy chipmunk.

There are also many health benefits.  Although my ride is just 30-35 minutes, that’s enough to get my heart pumping in the morning.  I arrive at work rejuvenated enough to skip the caffeine.  And, after a busy day, it’s just what the doctor ordered for clearing my head and arriving home completely de-stressed.

If you’re thinking about biking to work, find a safe routefollow the rules of the road and wear a helmet.

And above all, enjoy the ride!

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Published: May 20, 2011