Contrary to what many might assume, heavy-duty trucks are not the largest source of transportation-based pollutants. Light-duty vehicles (including passenger cars and light-duty trucks) account for 77.2% of all road-based greenhouse gas emissions in Northeast Ohio (2018 Air Quality Trends Report). Because of this, every car taken off the road helps to improve our air quality, even just a little bit.
If you already ride your bike to work, you may be familiar with its benefits. But if you’re new to bike commuting or are looking for more information, consider the following:
It lowers your stress: Most people dislike sitting in traffic. People who bike to work consistently report feeling less stressed about their commutes. In fact, one study found that people who ride their bikes to work reported being happier than any other commuters.
It increases your productivity: Biking to work may not get you that promotion, but it can increase your productivity! Regular exercise can improve your memory and enhance cognitive performance. Overall, biking to work may just make you better at your job.
It saves you money: The cost to own and operate a vehicle is more than $8,500 a year. A commuter bike typically costs less than $1,000 to purchase and less than $100 per year to maintain. You could even see your healthcare costs decrease. One study found that the Cleveland area could save more than $425 million in health costs if half of short car trips took place by bike instead.
It improves air quality, cuts carbon emissions: Driving is a major source of air pollution. Every mile that you bike, instead of driving, keeps a pound of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. Increasing the share of bike commuters and decreasing the share of solo drivers would help reduce emissions, enhance air quality, and improve public health.
Resources for Biking
If you have never biked to work before, it may seem a bit daunting. Check out the Biking in Cleveland Guide to learn how to pick the right bike, plan routes, ride safely, and more! Want to try riding a bike around town before you make the leap to full-time bike commuting? There are bike rental options available throughout the city through HOPR.
Create bikepools through Gohio Commute and share your commute with other cyclists.
Bike Maps & Routes
NOACA develops bike maps for all five counties in our region. Check 'em out online at the link here or request one by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Using an app like LaneSpotter Cleveland is also a great way to gather info and plan your ride with maps created for cyclists, by cyclists.
Bikes and Transit
Do you feel you commute too far to ride your bike? Don’t worry – you can mix biking with transit. Just bring your bike on the bus or train! Check out this handy video from RTA on how to secure your bike to these racks so that you and it can get to your destination safely.
Bike to Work Month
Did you know that May is Bike to Work Month, and May 19 is national Bike to Work Day? Your local bike advocacy organization may be hosting an event to celebrate. Check out Bike Cleveland’s events page for more information.