Last month in Denver, we celebrated one of the greatest American holidays — Bike to Work day. While other states celebrate the holiday at different times throughout the year, Coloradans celebrate it on June 28. Bike to Work Day is an excellent way to lose weight, help the environment, and even save on gas.
What You Need to Know
Bike to Work Day is a coordinated event where thousands of commuters ditch the car or train and ride to work together. It sounds simple, but when thousands of riders and sponsors band together, it’s more than a commute. It includes prizes, breakfast, coffee, and above all, a wonderful community of riders getting outside and improving their health. The registration for the annual event can be found here.
Colorado has celebrated the event since 1995, and it gets bigger every year. Last year, 30,000 riders participated and this year 34,000 participated, a record high. Denver currently has the second largest Bike to Work Day in the nation, second only to San Francisco.
Benefits of Denver’s Bike to Work Day
Biking is an excellent way to get in shape, and Denver’s Bike to Work Day makes it easy to get started on a great lifelong habit. Biking to work has been shown to drop the risk for dying of cardiovascular disease by 52 percent and reduces the risk for death from cancer by 40 percent, according to a recent report from the British Medical Journal.
Biking can have extraordinary effects on weight loss as well. According to one study from researchers in London, men who bike to work are over ten pounds lighter on average than their car-driving counterparts. Making one simple lifestyle change can help you lose weight and improve your health.
These are extraordinary benefits, and anyone who works in Denver should seriously consider these benefits when deciding on a commute. The Bike to Work Day has proven again how enjoyable and easy it can be to get started on what could be a life-changing practice.
Staying Safe When Biking In Denver
Biking isn’t always fun and games, however — particularly not for the inexperienced rider. That’s why the City of Denver has constructed a great map of bike routes and tips for the new rider. Some of the main tips for the new rider include:
- Make sure to always wear bright clothing and equip your bike with reflectors and a headlight, which is legally required in Colorado when riding at night
- Always signal and check your surroundings before stopping or making a turn
- Use designated bike lanes whenever possible. Denver is equipped with over 150 miles of bike lanes, so don’t let them go to waste!
- Make sure to maintain constant awareness of your surroundings. That means no headphones!
What Do I Do Now?
It’ll be just under a year before the next Bike to Work Day, but there’s so much you can do in the meantime. You could join the National Bike Challenge, a national event to get riders across the country out on trails, roads, and bike paths. Riders log their miles, and for every day and mile they ride they earn additional points, making them eligible for great prizes.
But you don’t even need an excuse to make healthy life decisions. Get outside and enjoy the beautiful Denver summer, whether that’s through biking, hiking, swimming, or another active warm-weather pastime. You can start small, with just a few minutes per day; and build from there. You can also explore low-intensity activities and healthy lifestyle alternatives like walking along the Cherry Creek trail after work. That’s really what the Bike to Work Day is about, and it’s a mindset that can last all year long.