Even with the much needed rain of the last two days, we have had absolutely specatcular spring weather here in Wausau, with crystal clear blue skies, low humidities and moderate temperatures. Hopefully next week will bring more of the same as we celebrate Bike to Work Week here in Wisconsin.
Wisconsin is well known as a bicycle friendly state, with the first and largest rails to trails network and with Madison and Milwaukee often being recognized as bicycle friendly cities. Having formerly been a flatlander (or FIB, if you will) I can assure you that motorists are much nicer to cyclists here than there. So with good weather and friendly drivers to share the road with, two excuses are gone for not riding your bike to work.
In many cases commuting by bicycle is actually faster than taking your car and it is certainly better for your health and the environment. With gas at $3.00 a gallon and probably still going up, a couple a days a week of bicycle commuting will save enough money to buy you a pretty fancy bike. Not only that, a 15 minute bike commute each day will shave 11 pounds of body fat off in a year. And that does not include the weight you will lose and the money you will save by not stopping at Starbucks for a mochachino and muffin.
Much has been said about the wonderful fuel efficiency of hybrid cars, but they have nothing on a bicycle. A mere 350 calories, an apple tart or a small muffin, will propel the average bicyclist 10 miles, a walker 3 and a half miles and a car all of 100 feet. Riding a bike at a moderate pace is no more strenuous than walking (well, except up those hills, I will admit that) and the breeze you generate should quickly evaporate any sweat beads that form. These and other fun facts about bike riding can be found here. If you really like facts and figures, check here.
For the whole scoop on bicycling in Wisconsin you can go to the Bike Federation of Wisconsin website. Bike to Work Week is part of National Bike Month, which you can read about here. May is National Bike Month and Bike to Work Week gets off to an early start here in Wisconsin with an Art Bike Rally at the state capital this Saturday, May 13th at 11 a.m.
I hope you will join me and many others as we take our bikes to work, next week and every week.