Bicyclists rejoice: Friday is National Bike to Work Day! Here at GASP, we’re a fan of initiatives like this – ones that ultimately help improve the area’s air quality.
Because here’s the thing about biking to work: Experts indicate that if a person who usually drives an SUV to work each day was able to cycle there instead, it could save almost 2 tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year.
So, whether you’re a seasoned city cyclist or someone who is trying to do what they can to reduce their carbon footprint by foregoing traditional transportation, we want to ensure you’re safe and prepared for the day’s commute.
Here are some things to consider before you pedal-push their way to work Friday:
Being a responsible bicyclist (or a motorist who encounters people riding their bikes on local through ways) means understanding the law. Before heading out on two-wheels, make sure you familiarize yourself with Pennsylvania’s traffic laws regarding cyclists.
Limit your exposure to air pollution, if and when you are able. How? Consider taking side streets where exhaust emissions aren’t as prevalent. If there is wiggle room when it comes to your arrival and departure time, avoiding rush hour traffic can help cut down on your exposure to air toxics. Fewer cars on the road = less emissions you can breathe in.
Please, before you embark on your commute via bike, make sure you do your due diligence: If your bike has been in your garage all winter, it’s so important to make sure it’s in working order. Take that bad boy out for a test ride before heading out for your commute to work. Tires full of air? Brakes braking? Chains and bell in working order? You know, the important stuff. Need to fix your bike on the go? No worries – our friends at Bike Pittsburgh put together this resource.
What are you wearing? No, seriously. We’re asking because we want to make sure you avoid loose pant legs and other wardrobe choices that could be less than prudent for your commute. Please know we’d totally remiss if we didn’t say, “Make sure to wear something reflective so folks can SEE you.” Also: It should go without saying that your outfit won’t be complete without a helmet (stats show they reduce bike injuries by 85 percent).
Carefully consider your route as well as the time it will take to commute via bike. If it’s your first time pedaling your way to the office, check out this great piece.
Know that you have an entire community of local cycling enthusiasts to tap for more information, tips, etc. Our friends at Bike Pittsburgh have all the info you need!
From all of you to all of us: Have a fantastic Bike to Work Day!