Bike Off the Pounds

Plenty of people are knocking out their daily cardio by commuting to work on a bicycle. But too many are missing out on the benefits—for usand the planet.

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About half of us live fewer than five miles from our job. But according to recent stats, more than eight in 10 of us drive to work. Leave the keys at home and burn massive calories—at least 500 an hour. The extra benefits of riding to work:

Reliability
"it takes me almost exactly the same amount of time each day to get to and from work—to the minute," says Andy Clarke, president of the League of American Bicyclists, in Washington, D.C.

Saving the Earth
Bike displace more than 238 million gallons of gasoline annually. For every four miles you peddle instead of driving, roughly 15 pounds of pollutants are kept out of the air.

Improving Your Work
Exercise can make you a happier, less stressed and more productive employee.

Extra Spending Money
Beyond the obvious savings (parking, gas, repairs), you can get up to $240 a year in employer sponsored tax credits to help cover the cost of a bike, lock, and helmet.

How to Get Started:

  1. Take a Dry Run
    On the weekend, scope out a path with less traffic and fewer hills—and no doughnut shops. Your best option is probably not the route you drive.
  2. Clean Up at Work
    Stash a change of clothes and some grooming essentials (deodorant, baby wipes, towel, body spray) at work. Get there early so you can clean up before co-workers arrive.
  3. Maintain
    Check tire pressure, wear, and damage; quick release and fastenings; brake wear and power; gears; and how well the chain's operating (look out for stiffness and rust).

 

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