Bicycling is a great way to travel to work, for shopping and for recreation. Bicycling has many benefits: improved health and fitness, money savings, reduced traffic congestion and improved air quality. Commuting by bike and recreational bike riding are safe, low-impact, aerobic activities for Americans of all ages. A 150-pound cyclist burns 410 calories while pedaling 12 miles in an hour-almost the equivalent calories of a McDonald’s Quarter Pounder®. A 200-pound cyclist burns 546 calories while going 12 miles per hour-almost the equivalent of a Big Mac®. With gasoline hovering around $4.00 per gallon riding a bike to work can save you a lot of green. According to the Nationwide Personal Transportation Survey, 25 percent of all trips are made within a mile of the home, 40 percent of all trips are within two miles of the home, and 50 percent of the working population commutes five miles or less to work. Yet more than 82 percent of trips five miles or less are made by personal motor vehicle. Biking these short distances reduces traffic congestion and lowers carbon emissions.
Rick Holt, aka Bikedude, mixes in biking to work as part of his weekly commute options. He bikes to the George Mason University campus in Fairfax from Bristow and then back (20 miles each way) or bikes to the Prince William campus (4 miles), takes the shuttle to Fairfax campus and then rides home in the evening. His 20 mile ride takes two hours but he doesn’t mind as he saves money by not driving, lowers his carbon emissions and gets two hours of exercise at the same time. Holt enjoys his biking riding and is always encouraging others to try this great opportunity for exercise and sustainable travel.
Holt, an employee at George Mason University and a graduate student in Sport and Recreation Studies, is focused on efforts promoting physical activity, specifically bicycling. As a member of Prince William Trails and Steams Coalition he is promoting the annual Metro DC Bike to Work Day, which will take place on Friday, May 18.
Bike to Work Day has been held annually in the Washington metropolitan region with a main rallying point or Pit Stop in downtown DC. This event has been coordinated by the Washington Area Bicyclists Association (WABA) for over a decade. In September 2000, the Commuter Connections program as a part of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments partnered with WABA to form a regional Bike To Work Day 2001 Steering Committee to examine the feasibility of adding additional Bike To Work Day Pit Stops or rallying points throughout the region, thus creating a larger awareness of using cycling to work as a viable commuting alternative. Over 10,000 bicyclists registered to participate in the 2011 event, visiting one of the forty-nine regional pit stops.
Prince William Trails and Streams Coalition and Prince William County hosted Bike to Work Day pit stops for the second time in May 2011 at six different locations across the county, in the Town of Haymarket and the City of Manassas. One new pit stop will be added this year at the Woodbridge VRE station. Please contact Rick Holt, email@example.com, to find out how you can get involved.
Each pit stop will offer a local mix of food, drinks, entertainment, dynamic speakers and chances to win bicycles and other sweet prizes. Please be sure to register with your pit stop location to be eligible for prizes and a Bike to Work Day t-shirt. Registration is available at http://www.biketoworkmetrodc.org/.