Why Commute by Bicycle?
Traffic and Parking
Who hasn’t been stuck in a traffic jam trying to come into or leave downtown Baltimore, Annapolis and other activity centers? And, unless you rent a parking space by the month, it is likely that you’ve experienced the frustration of circling like a shark in the hopes of finding a place to leave your car. Bicycle commuting can help alleviate traffic congestion.
It costs over $3,000 a year to own, operate and maintain a motor vehicle! Paying for gas, parking and regular oil changes really adds up. On the other hand, bicycle commuting is practically free. You’ll probably need a yearly tune-up for about $50. If you’re in the market for a bicycle, keep in mind that you don’t have to drop a lot of money on a fancy new bicycle. Top of the line bicycles are great for racing or taking on tough mountain trails. Be realistic about what you’ll be using your bike for and exactly what kind of bike you’ll need.
Personal Health and Wellness
Surveys show must of us don't get enough exercise. Physical inactivity and being overweight are two of the leading causes of death and disease in Central Maryland. The rise in prevalence of obesity and physical inactivity that compounds our risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes II, and stroke is epidemic.
A disproportionate health burden for stroke, diabetes and heart disease exists in Baltimore City. About 10,000 deaths and $200 million in hospitalization costs occurred in 1999 alone. In the greater Baltimore region that year, poor diet and inactive lifestyles contributed to more than 25,000 deaths and $560 million in health care costs.
It can be tough to squeeze in a workout at the end of a long day when you find yourself exhausted with a to-do list a mile long. Bicycle commuting is one way to work exercise into your daily routine. Instead of sitting in a car, you’re pedaling across town on your own power, getting a low-impact cardiovascular workout while your colleagues are just stuck in traffic.
If you’re concerned that you’re not in shape enough to begin commuting by bicycle consider driving part way to work and parking at a park-and-ride or alternating bicycling one way and taking the bus the other way. You’ll be in shape in no time!
Bicycle commuting can also eliminate the stress felt while sitting in traffic. You’ll feel more relaxed and refreshed in the morning ready to make a great start. And in the evenings bicycling home will provide you with some needed personal time to unwind before facing family or roommates.
A Cleaner Environment
Every summer, our region lives with unhealthy air days, when air quality is so poor that people are asked not to drive their cars to work. The pollution that cars produce causes ground level ozone or smog. Smog can cause burning eyes, make it difficult to breathe or even trigger asthma attacks.
Bicycle commuting helps by cutting down on the number of trips made by cars and therefore the amount of pollution released from cars.
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