May is the League of American Bicyclists’ National Bike Month, which means “Bike to Work Week” (May 14-18) is also just around the corner.
National Bike Month includes a wide range of events across the U.S. that encourage people to get out and ride. The biggest event, “Bike to Work Day,” falls at the end of Bike to Work Week on Friday, May 18, this year.
Whether or not you find yourself on two wheels that day — you’ll find it difficult not to notice that something important is going on. Bike to Work Day is usually the high watermark each year for a bigger trend: people everywhere are rethinking the way they commute to and from work.
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Bike to Work: A Rising Trend
According to the 2016 American Community Survey Data, the number of people biking to work has increased by 51% nationwide since 2000. This shift is even more pronounced in particularly bike-friendly cities like New York, Washington D.C., and Boston where there has been growth ranging from 150 - 295%.
This change in commuting dynamics is, in part, driven by the advent of bike sharing networks like Citi Bike, but is also indicative of people’s changing perspective on the modern commute.
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Since 2000, for example, attitudes on a variety of issues have changed. Climate change, physical health, and mental wellness have become mainstream considerations for starters — all things that riding a bike to work daily can have a positive impact on.
Employers, recognizing this, are increasingly seizing on the opportunity to provide their employees with a flexible, healthier, and greener mode of transportation.
In NYC, we can vouch for this trend. Justworks gives employers the option to provide their teams with access to the Citi Bike network. Since adding Citi Bike to our platform in 2015, we have seen many teams take advantage of this perk to get out and get riding.
Offering Bike Share Perks to Employees
Offering a perk like Citi Bike is a true win-win. It’s a great way for employers to demonstrate an active commitment to wellness and sustainability, while also taking advantage of an opportunity to boost productivity. According to Mayo Clinic, virtually any form of regular exercise can contribute to reduced stress levels and improve mental focus, relaxation, and even sleep.
The number of people biking to work has increased by 51% nationwide since 2000.
Plus, employees are free to take advantage of this perk not just to bike to work but to get around town anytime. So whether it’s fitting in some exercise during lunch or going for a ride on the weekend, employees feel valued and are happier as a result.
Related Article: The Bottom Line: Employee Happiness is Good for Business
Unlike owning a bike, bike sharing takes this freedom even further by making it a breeze to ride one way. If you ride the subway in to avoid the rain but it stops after dinner, Citi Bike home. In fact, according to Citi Bike, 50% of their members also own their own bike. The added flexibility of a bike share network is a great reason to join for anyone who already loves cycling.
The Buzz Around Bike to Work Day
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Any way you look at it, the events of National Bike Month will create a lot of buzz around biking to work each May — especially Bike to Work Day. For those of us who ride infrequently, or not at all, it’s a great reason to see if cycling works for our commute.
But with 40% of all trips taken in the U.S. measuring in at under two miles according to the League of American Bicyclists, National Bike Month isn’t the only reason more people are getting out on two wheels. Cycling is simply becoming more commonplace because it’s a fun and extremely feasible way to get around.
May is a perfect time to discover or rediscover the benefits of cycling. It’s never been easier to start offering it as a way for your team to get to work.