Oil those gears, air up those tires, and strap on your helmets because today is National Bike to School Day! Biking to school can be loads of fun, it helps reduce vehicle pollution, and it is a great way to get some exercise!
The very first National Bike to School Day took place in 2012, making this year the 5th-ever National Bike to School Day. Groups and organizations across the country will be participating and encouraging students to ride bikes to school.
While National Bike to School Day was started to help bolster National Bike Month, it also fits perfectly with National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, which takes place throughout the month of May. Riding a bicycle to school or work is a great way to get work some exercise into your morning commute, and can provide a number of benefits.
Here are a few benefits of biking to school or work:
- You can save money on gas.
- Cycling improves cardiovascular and respiratory health.
- It can improve muscular and joint health.
- Biking can help you maintain a healthy weight.
- Riding a bicycle instead of driving reduces your carbon footprint.
- Exercise has been shown to improve mood and cognitive function.
- It’s fun!
It’s recommended that adults get at least 30 minutes of exercise every day, and it’s recommended that children get at least an hour of exercise each day. It can be hard to fit physical activity into a busy schedule. One way to do so is by making it a part of your daily routine.
Here are a few bike safety tips to help you and your family bike to work or school safely.
- Check your bike before riding. Check the breaks, air pressure, and the chain to make sure everything is as it should be. It’s a good idea to take your bike in for an annual tune up.
- Always wear a helmet.
- Wear bright colors and equip your bike with lights or reflectors to increase your visibility to drivers.
- Practice. Being able to ride a bicycle and being able to ride a bicycle well are too very different things. The more skilled you are at riding a bike, the lower your risk of accidents or injuries.
- Ride with traffic (on the right side of the road).
- Stay alert. Watch for turning vehicles or obstacles in the road.
- Since Arkansas law does not define a bicycle as a vehicle (although some laws apply to both drivers and cyclists) it is OK to ride a bicycle on the sidewalk (some cities excluded). You should, however, always yield to pedestrians, and dismount when necessary.
Take part in National Bike to School Day. But don’t stop after just one day! Make biking or walking to school or work a part of your healthy daily routine!