Dawn of the Bike Age

biking, cycling, bike commuting
biking, cycling, bike commuting

Illustration by Monte Workman

We’ve had the Stone Age, the Bronze Age and the Fossil Fuel Age, but this is the dawn of the Bike Age. More and more people are biking—and it’s not just millennials and grizzled men in spandex bike shorts.

Over the last decade, the number of bicycling baby boomers has more than doubled. Bicycling among Hispanics, African-Americans and Asian-Americans has grown even faster than rates among non-Hispanic White Americans. And, even though men on bikes still outnumber women on bikes, more women than ever are enjoying two-wheeled commutes.

In cities that have invested in quality bike infrastructure, up to 45 percent of bicyclists are women. In Tucson, nearly 20 percent of trips within two miles of the University of Arizona are on bikes; that’s one in five trips!

Join folks of every age, race, ethnicity and gender by evolving: Replace some of your fossilfueled car trips with bike trips. You and your community will notice the benefits. Here are some fun facts and statistics.

Physical Health

» Biking is good for your heart! Individuals who bike commute tend to have lower blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Bike commuters tend to have healthier insulin levels, too.

» Bike commuting to school or work reduces the risk of obesity in kids and adults. Multiple studies have found that car commuters—even those who were physically active at other times—gained more weight than bike commuters.

» Biking can ease the symptoms of knee osteoarthritis.

» Biking makes you younger! Well, almost. One study found that an adult who regularly commutes by bike has a level of fitness equivalent to someone 10 years younger.

Mental Health

» Long car commutes are associated with poor mental health—especially in women. Biking, on the other hand, has been shown to improve self-esteem and overall well being, while increasing tolerance to stress.

» Biking is known to reduce sleep difficulties and tiredness.

Economic Health

» The average American spends more than $8,000 each year on their car and about 64 minutes each day behind the wheel. Wouldn’t you prefer to save some of that money and time by commuting by bike (which will only cost you about $300 each year)?

» Companies that encourage their employees to bike save significant money on health care costs.

» Multiple business studies have found that customers that arrive by bike visit stores more often than customers who arrive by car. With all of the money they save by not using a car, bicyclists also tend to spend more money each month than drivers.