The League of American Bicyclists is promoting Bike to Work Week 2014 from May 12-16, with Friday, May 16 designated as Bike to Work Day.
For me, every week is bike to work week. Four years ago, I made a major lifestyle change when I bought a commuter bike, helmet and lock at the local bike shop. At the same time, I moved the MomsTeam offices closer to my home so I could get to work under my own power and eliminate an hour of commuting (and all the gas and carbon monoxide that driving involves).
Now, whether permitting, I walk, bike or kayak to work, or a combination, each day. It is a four-mile round trip and I feel great about my choice and, now that the warmer weather is finally here in the colder-than-usual Northeast, I am back on my bike again, and it feels great! So far, my knee (which I originally injured playing lacrosse in college) is holding up fine.
With fewer and fewer kids riding bikes to school (the 2014 United States Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth gave a flunking grade of F on the percentage of U.S. children and youth who usually walk or bike to school, I am aware more than ever about the need of this country and the world to use active transportion to work and school, not just to stay fit but to reduce the consumption of fossil fuel wherever possible.
In some places in this country (Portland, Oregon comes immediately to mind), biking to work is fairly commonplace. In other parts of the world (Amsterdam, Asia, India), the bike is the primary mode of transportation, so I applaud efforts like Bike to Work Week to get more Americans thinking about pedal power instead of putting the pedal to the metal. In addition, of course, biking is great exercise and, for a family, a fun way to spend time together outside.
For more on National Bike Month visit the bike league's website. Be sure to check the events section often to see what bike month and bike to work week events are being held in your community. If you would like to submit your event information to be posted on their site, email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please make sure you write, "Bike Month Event" in the subject line of the email.
Let me know how you celebrated the week. I know what I'll be doing!
Brooke de Lench is the Executive Director of the non-profit MomsTEAM Insitutte, the author of HOME TEAM ADVANTAGE: The Critical Role of Mothers in Youth Sports (HarperCollins 2006), and the Founder and Publisher of MomsTeam.com.