This year, it's celebrated on Friday, May 19, 2023 as millions of commuters get a workout going to work -- on a bike.
Hitting the trail more than a half-century ago, National Bike to Work Day was originated by the League of American Bicyclists in 1956 to encourage biking as an alternative to driving to work.
Today, the observance is part of National Bike Month which helps to raise awareness of "commuting without polluting". And, with more people working at home during the pandemic, emphasis is also being put on #BikeThere -- or short "bike hikes" to Starbucks or errands to the local home-office supply store!
Of course, you don't have to wait for National Bike to Work Day to start biking. Begin now and it's almost guaranteed you'll be getting a great cardiovascular workout, shed unwanted pounds, and save lots of money on gas and parking.
NOTE: If you're still driving to work, National Bike to Work Day is a win-win, increasing your chances of uncongested traffic on your way to work!
National Bike to Work Day fun facts
New York residents top the list of those who bike
to work each day, followed by LA and Portland.
• Around the globe, those who bike to work each day include the Dutch who top the list at 30 percent, followed by Japan at 15 percent and the USA trailing behind at less than 2 percent.
• According to Bicycling magazine, more than half of all Americans live less than 5-10 miles from work, a trip that usually can be accomplished in under an hour.
• There are about 38,000 miles of bike paths and trails in the U.S.
• In a 2009 survey of major U.S. cities, New York City headed the major population centers who made it a habit of biking to work everyday at more than 22,000 people, followed by Los Angeles at 17, 345 and Portland and at 16,846).
• The average cost of a new car in the U.S.? $30,000. The average cost of a new bike? $385.
How to participate in National Bike to Work Day
With a little preparation, biking to work can be fun and easy. If you live in a large city, scout out an easy bike path route. You can also go interactive with Google maps by searching for your designated city. Then, find the menu icon and click on bicyling to find cycling routes anywhere on the planet. Or, ask coworkers who already bike to work for tips and advice on the route they take.
If you haven't biked for a while, first take a few weekends to gear up for the commute to work. Remember proper maintenance on your bike so it's fit for the road and -- most importantly -- WEAR A HELMET! This bit of protective gear is responsible for avoiding serious injury from falls or spills more than any other.
Seek out information on Bike to Work Month events which usually occur along major designated bike paths. They're fun, friendly, and may offer valuable tips on the best bike routes to get to work each day. Just ask.
Bad weather? Wear brightly colored rain gear -- then smile and wave to commuters on the highway where traffic is usually slowed to a standstill.
More about National Bike to Work Day around the Web:
2023 National Bike Month - The official site from the League of American Bicyclists featuring step-by-step guides for biking to work, a calendar of special events, safety tips, statistics, and related resources.