Bike to Work Week June 13-20

Chicagoland’s Bike to Work Week is just a week away!

We hope to see you all out on your bikes, and at some of these awesome bike to work week events:

Bike Commuter Challenge

To celebrate biking as a healthy and non-polluting way to get around town, the Active Transportation Alliance is sponsoring a Bike Commuter Challenge. The challenge is free and encourages commuters to bike all or part of the way to work at least once during the week. Whether it’s a short ride to the Metra station or the nearest bus stop, each trip counts.  Sign up as an individual or as a company/organization team to track bike trips and compete with hundreds of businesses across Chicagoland.

Fountain Square Pit Stop

To support and celebrate your two-wheeled trip, a Bike Pit Stop will be available for Evanston bike commuters on Tuesday, June 17th from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. at Fountain Square in downtown Evanston (intersection of Sherman and Davis).

The Bike Pit Stop is organized by the City of Evanston, Rotary International, and Downtown Evanston.  Wheel and Sprocket will be setting up a bike repair station at the event and will provide free tune-ups for your bicycle!  Furthermore, City of Evanston staff will be at the event to get input on the in-progress Updated City Bike Plan, which will be finalized after taking community input until June 20th.  (Input can also be given here)

The first 35 bikers in attendance will receive a free water bottle in celebration of 100 years of water in Evanston!

Bike and Brew

On Thursday, June 12, Bat 17, a breakfast, lunch, and dinner pub on 1709 Benson Ave will be hosting a “Bike and Brew” from 5-7 p.m.  The event features discounts on beer and appetizers for bikers, as well as the opportunity to become a member of ActiveTrans.

See http://bikecommuterchallenge.org/celebration_schedule/ for a full schedule of daily events throughout Chicagoland during Bike to Work Week.

 

Why Bike?

Biking is one of the most environmentally, economically, and physically healthy ways to move around Evanston. By utilizing the resources on the City’s website, including a downloadable map of Evanston bike routes, bike safety and more, you can make your biking experience as enjoyable and safe as possible.

Replacing your daily commute and other short errand trips with cycling instead of driving not only reduces greenhouse emissions and achieves improvements in air quality; it also improves fitness and saves money. According to a study in Environmental Health Perspectives, if 30 million urban and suburban Midwesterners replaced half of their short car trips with cycling during the warmest six months of the year, they “could save approximately four trillion pounds of carbon dioxide emissions, 1,100 lives and $7 billion in mortality and health care costs for the region every year.”

Although new bikers may be nervous at first, biking is actually much safer than driving. In fact, according to the Center for Disease Control, “for those aged 5-34 in the United States, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death [italics added]”

A disproportionately high amount of carbon dioxide emissions come out of the tailpipe within the first few minutes of starting a car.  Cutting out short car trips in favor of bicycling therefore provides a disproportionately large reduction in CO2, particulate matter and other dangerous pollution, significantly improving air quality.

Cycling provides an enjoyable and easy manner in which to exercise. It is safe for joints, facilitates weight loss, can reduce stress, and improves muscle tone and cardiovascular fitness. According to the British Medical Association, cycling just 20 miles a week can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by 50%. In addition studies have shown that cycling to work will increase cardiovascular fitness by 3-7%.

Finally bicycling can be an economical way to save money on transportation and on healthcare. While the yearly cost of owning and operating a vehicle is over $9,000, or 18% of the average household’s income, owning and maintaining a bicycle can cost as little as $120 per year! Similarly, regular bicycling can save individuals on health costs. With the improvements in health caused by cycling 30 minutes daily, average savings for an American adult on medical bills total $544 annually.

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