There is no excuse not to bike during National Bike Month

With May comes warmer weather, May flowers (depending on the amounts of April showers), graduation, and most importantly, National Bike Month. But celebrating National Bike Month may seem to be a bit more difficult than many other commemorative months. Although not quite as easy to celebrate as a commemorative day where a chubby rodent with prominent upper teeth is pulled out of a stump to see if he can still cast a shadow, celebrating National Bike Month would fall somewhere between National Hot Breakfast Month and National Fiber Focus Month. About all you need to celebrate National Bike month is a bicycle, a set of legs, a helmet, and a determination to live a better lifestyle. The WEB urges everyone to consider biking as a better way of transportation. The hype of National Bike Month revolves around May 10-16th, better known as Bike to Work Week, a week dedicated to encouraging people to try bike commuting, increase cycling awareness, and promote a healthy alternative form of transportation. Although the bicycle is probably the most common commuter vehicle worldwide, its use as an actual form of transportation rather than recreation in the United States is disturbingly low. Each day, millions of people worldwide bike to work, so giving excuses won’t do any good because there can be found a perfect contradiction for each excuse. “Cycling is too dangerous” is a common excuse, but the greater and more direct threat to your health is sitting on your jiggle-jams in your car as you wait for a light to change. The certain health benefits from cycling far outweigh the less likely chances of injury or accident. These health benefits include a reduced risk of heart disease, and studies have shown that integrating moderated cardiovascular exercise protects against some cancers, obesity coronary heart disease and even aerobic exercise has been shown to reduce symptoms of depression. And as long as you follow traffic laws and have your bike checked over by a skilled mechanic, you’re as likely to get into an accident on a bicycle as you are in your car. “I don’t have time”, another common excuse. In a city the size of Ames, you’re more or less three miles away from your destination, and at an almost leisurely 10 mph, you’ll be three miles in less than 20 minutes. Still don’t think you have time? Try mixed-mode commuting, riding your bike to a bus stop and taking the bus for the rest of your trip, or driving your car to a trailhead and riding the rest of the way. Still have excuses? “Why ride” you say? All the fuel you’ll need is food, not that other stuff that costs 3.50 a gallon and is imported from across the globe. Not to mention the money you’ll save on insurance from driving your car less. It’s free parking, too; with a decent lock, you can park safer and easier to your workplace without an expensive parking pass. The National Institute for Health has also increased the suggested amount of exercise from half an hour to an hour a day: goodbye gym pass, hello bicycle. Even if you can’t commute to work, try getting off your meat-seat and onto your bicycle to run those errands only a mile or so away. In China bicycles outnumber cars 250 to 1, so come on America, let’s win this one for the ol’ red, white and blue. -Editorial composed by Ross Hackerson on behald of The WEB’s editorial board.