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National Bike Month Part Two: Bicycling Benefits

May is National Bike Month, and Thomas Law is publishing a 4-part series on bicycling in recognition of this promotion. Today’s blog is the second in the series.


Bicycling has surged in popularity recently, and with good reason; it has numerous benefits, and it is a low-impact form of exercise that is easier on joints than running or high-impact aerobic activities. Even more importantly, bicycling is actually fun! We summarize some of the many upsides to bicycling below:

  1. Fits into your lifestyle because it can also be a form of transportation: Although not everyone lives within cycling distance to their workplace, and many people have kids to drop off and pick up, those who can bike to work should give it a try. It gets a morning and evening work out in, saves money on gas and parking, and is eco-friendly while being much less stressful than sitting in traffic.
  2. Saves money: As noted above, biking saves money. A bike is much cheaper to maintain than a car: the American Automobile Association estimates that the cost of driving an average car a total of $15,000 miles (the average for a year), is $9,000. This cost is an aggregate of maintenance, fuel, wear and tear, insurance, taxes, depreciation and finance charges. This total cost represents more than the average American spends on food.
  3. Biking boosts your brain: Researchers from the University of Illinois found that a 5% improvement in cardio-respiratory fitness from cycling led to up to a 15% improvement in mental tests. This is because cycling activates nerve cells in the brain which in turn trigger the production proteins called brain-derived neurotrophic factor, or BDNF. These proteins enhance memory and therefore help to ward off dementia, particularly Alzheimer’s.
  4. Decreases the risk of heart disease: Researchers have found that cycling just 20 miles a week cuts a person’s risk of heart disease by 50%. This is a crucial benefit of bicycling because heart disease is the #1 killer in the U.S.
  5. Helps you lose weight: Cycling raises your metabolic rate while you ride, and research has shown that your rate continues to remain raised for several hours after your bike ride. Thus, you continue to burn calories even after you stop bicycling, increasing the amount of weight you can lose from the exercise.
  6. Eco-friendly: Unlike many other modes of transportation, especially cars which are frequently the alternative, bicycles produce zero pollution.
  7. Biking is social: The expression “cycling is the new golf” is based on the many cycling groups, clubs, and plain old neighborhood rides that have sprung up in recent years. Every age can participate, and because bicycles can be rented, socioeconomic status does not preclude anyone. Bicycling involves people with their community, and the ties it fosters between neighborhood and others, plus those endorphins, give cyclists a natural—and legal—high.


Here are a few safety tips to keep in mind when bicycling:

  1. Look behind you before turning;
  2. Use arm signals before turning left or right;
  3. Obey traffic lights and road signs;
  4. When overtaking parked cars, watch out for car doors opening suddenly and allow room to pass safely;
  5. Use bike lanes whenever they are available.


If you or someone you know has been involved in a bicycle accident, contact Dave Thomas at The Thomas Law Firm for a free consultation regarding your legal rights.

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