It may not look like much, but that two-wheeled contraption in your garage is a lean, green, health, economic and safety machine.
We rounded up some facts and stats from the Bikes Belong Coalition. Consider these talking points when you ask your employer to install a free bike locker.
1. Bicycling is for everyone
- Bicycling is the second most popular outdoor activity in the United States. (Outdoor Foundation, 2010)
- 47% of Americans say they would like more bike facilities in their communities. (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2008)
- Most trips Americans make are short: 50% are less than 3 miles, 40% are less than 2 miles, and 28% are less than 1 mile. (US Department of Transportation, 2009)
2. Bicycling can help you live longer and better
- Adults who bike to work have better weight, blood pressure, and insulin levels. (Gordon-Larsen, P., et al., 2009)
- Women who bike 30 minutes a day have a lower risk of breast cancer. (Luoto, R., et al., 2000)
- Adolescents who bicycle are 48% less likely to be overweight as adults. (Menschik, D, et al., 2008)
3. Bicycling boosts the economy
- The U.S. bicycle industry sold $5.6 billion in bicycles and equipment in 2009. (National Bicycle Dealers Association, 2010)
- More than three times as many new bicycles (14.9 million) are sold in the U.S. each year than cars (4.6 million). (National Bicycle Dealers Association, 2010; Bureau of Transportation Statistics, 2010)
- Studies have shown that homes closer to bike paths are more valuable. (Various sources)
4. Bicycling is less expensive than driving a car
- The average American househould spends $7,179 per year on owning and driving their cars. (Bureau of Transportation Statistics, 2010)
- On a round-trip commute of 10 miles, bicyclists save around $10 daily. (Commute Solutions, 2011)
5. Bicycling reduces road congestion and air pollution
- Traffic congestion wastes nearly 3.9 billion gallons of gas per year in the U.S. (Texas Transportation Institute, 2010)
- For every 1 mile pedaled rather than driven, nearly 1 pound of CO² (0.88 lbs) is saved. (US Environmental Protection Agency, 2009)
6. Bicycling is safe, and together we can make it safer
- The health benefits of cycling outweigh the risks by a factor of 20 to one. (Hillman, M., 1992)
- There is safety in numbers: the more cyclists there are, the safer bicycling is. (Jacobsen, P., 2003)
Image from Mission Bicycle.