Pedal your way to healthy living and safer transportation this Bike to Work Week — observed each year in the week of Bike to Work Day, falling on the third Friday of May — which runs from May 15 to May 21 this year. Held as a celebration of biking to work, this week is a part of National Bike Month and includes a whole host of bike-related activities sponsored by the League of American Bicyclists, which are held from coast to coast across the U.S.
History of Bike to Work Week
Celebrating the bike is not an exclusively American concept; bike weeks are even held globally! A yearly international event, Bike Week usually falls on different dates depending on the country. The U.K. has been running this week for more than 90 years now, and now it has even gained popularity in Asia, America, and Europe.
Created by the American League of Bicyclists, Bike Week in the U.S. falls in Bike Month. This organization is usually responsible for creating a buzz around this event each year, alongside other local bicycle organizations. Some U.S. states that show frequent participation in this event include Austin, Boston, Pasadena, Portland, Roseville, Santa Barbara, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, and Washington.
A survey conducted 12 years ago shows how commuting to work via bikes increased in popularity. Cities like New York (with 22,000 bicycle commuters), Los Angeles (with 17,345 bicycle commuters), and Portland (with 16,846 bicycle commuters) topped the list of people biking to work on a regular basis. Another survey from 13 years ago listed biking as the primary means of traveling to work for 0.55% of the American population.
Bike to Work Week timeline
A global bike craze means people use this contraption everywhere, even to work.
The rise of the suburbs and the popularity of the car steals some of the spotlight from biking.
The first Bike Week is held in the U.K.
The cycling craze is still going strong in Europe, although it experiences a decline after this period.
The League of American Bicyclists starts observing the importance of biking this year.
More people bike to work in New York than in any other major U.S. city.
Data shows an increase in the number of bicycle commuters by up to 47%.
Bike to Work Week FAQs
How long is too long to bike to work?
While this distance is largely up to you, 10 to 20 miles is usually a reasonable distance. Gradually, with practice, you can travel further and further distances on your bike.
What is the National Bike Challenge?
A nationwide event, the National Bike Challenge kicks off in May and continues through September. It encourages bike riders to challenge themselves and others to compete on a local, state, and national level.
What is Bike To Work Month?
Bike To Work Month is held yearly in May to promote the benefits of bicycling and encourage more people to give this a try.
Bike to Work Week Activities
Bike, of course!
What is the best way to celebrate a week revolving around biking? Well, we bike, of course! And where do we bike? You can bike to work, bike to the grocery store, bike with family and friends, and if you’re stuck at home, bike to exercise in your local park.
Sign up for the National Bike Challenge
Contribute to a national movement. Log your miles and challenge yourself to go further and faster. Be a part of the movement for safer streets and a bike-connected community. Encourage others to join in on this challenge, too.
Participate in local biking events even after Bike to Work week
Share your enthusiasm for bikes and biking with others and encourage them to join you on your bike rides. You can even connect with local biking groups, clubs, local bike shops, and organizations that support biking and join a like-minded community.
5 Fun Facts About Biking
It’s the least damaging to the environment
After driving just a kilometer, a car releases 271 g of CO2 and a bus releases 101 g, but a bicycle releases just 16 g of CO2, which is calculated on the fuel of the rider (a.k.a. their food).
Americans can easily bicycle to work
“Bicycling” magazine says more than half of all Americans live only around 5–10 miles from work, making bicycling fun and an efficient way to get around.
The U.S. is very bike-friendly
There are approximately 38,000 miles of bike paths and trails across America.
Bikes are cost-effective
Cars cost about $30,000 on average, but the average cost of a new bike is only $385.
More good news for the environment
A study showed that replacing one car trip per day with a bike trip can reduce carbon emissions by 67%.
Why We Love Bike to Work Week
It promotes healthy living
Biking not only makes your heart work harder and beat faster but it also ensures you work up a good sweat. You are more active, energized, and healthier.
You are making streets safer
Bikes rarely, if ever, cause fatal accidents, unlike many other automobiles. Choosing to bike to places entices others to adopt this habit, too. You are like a local biking ambassador, showing others how bikes make life safer and healthier.
Riding a bike is fun!
Whether you are alone with the wind in your hair or you are pedaling down the streets with your biking group, getting on that two-wheeled machine is loads of fun, especially when it takes you back to your childhood days.
Bike to Work Week dates