May is the month to honor bicycle riders

A closer look at bike facts

Want to lose weight, save money and help the environment? Ride a bike.

Sponsored by the League of American Bicyclists, every May since the year 1956 has been called National Bike Month. In the past decade, there has been a 47 percent increase in U.S. bicycle commuting, according to the American Community Survey (latest data 2011).

The 2014 Alliance Benchmarking Report says a large percentage of commuters bike and walk to work in Alaska, Oregon, Montana, New York and Vermont, among other states.

Some biking events on the calendar for May include:

  • National Bike to Work Day: May 16
  • National Bike to Work Week: May 12-16
  • Ride of Silence, slow-paced ride in honor of those injured or killed while cycling on public roads: May 21

Here’s a closer look at some facts behind bicycling from The League of American Bicyclists:

  • Bicycle commuting burns an average of 540 calories per hour.
  • The average person loses 13 lbs in the first year of commuting by bike.
  • A daily 4-mile bike commute will save about 66 gallons of fuel per year.
  • In Washington D.C., 83 percent of Capital Bikeshare users are more likely to patronize a business if it’s located near a Bikeshare station.
  • Bicycling just 20 miles per week reduces women’s risk of heart disease by 50 percent.
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