It's undeniable, riding a bike is a great way to commute to and from work, a wonderful way to improve health and fitness, to save money and a fantastic way to help the environment. But you knew that already, didn't you?
But did you know that May is National Bike Month?
What is ‘National Bike Month‘ and the ‘Bike to Work‘ day initiative?
Established in 1956 and sponsored by the League of American Cyclists, this National event spanning cross borders, includes a variety of events across the United States and Canada. The most popular of which includes the “Bike to Work Day“, and in some larger commuter-friendly cities, “Bike to Work Week”. This spring and summer, goodnessknows snack squares is encouraging people across North America to try something new by participating in their local ‘Bike to Work' activities.
As a Vancouverite and someone who spent a better part of my adult life commuting by bike, this holds a special meaning to me. Released earlier this month, new numbers from the City of Vancouver suggest that more people bike to work in Vancouver than any other North American city. In 2015, city residents made an astonishing 131,000 cycling trips daily! This is a great trend that's being witnessed all across North America, in particular the US, where there' been an overall growth of bike commuting by 62% since 2000. (Most notably Washington, DC and Portland, OR – see graphic “The growth of bike commuting”)
Being someone who supports activities that reinforce active lifestyles, biking holds a special place for me in my heart. Besides the in arguable health benefits, cycling saved me a lot of money each year. Did you know that it costs about $200 per year to maintain a bike compared to $7,500 the average person spends to own a car in North America?
When it comes to a global vision for commuting by bike, no one says it better than Bike to Work BC, “A future in which as many people as possible experience the joy of commuting by bicycle.” Ready to join the bike commuter revolution?
How can you take part in the Bike-to-Work movement?
“Greatness is not a function of circumstance. Greatness, it turns out, is largely a matter of conscious choice, and discipline.”
When Jim Collins wrote his best seller, Good to Great, he alluded that the path to greatness begins with a choice. No matter your biking experience, goodnessknows is helping people take a small step to go from good to great – even if you end up tearing a pant leg along the way!
It all starts by committing to small steps to help you go from goodness to greatness, like leaving your car at home and biking to work and packing satisfying on-the-go bite-sized snacks, like goodnessknows snack squares. To help make the leap easier, use the following checklist as a guide.
10-Point Check List to Gear-Up-and-Go for Bike Commuting Success
‘Fail to plan, plan to fail' holds true for bike commuters! If you're planning to take part in your local bike to work events, be sure to check out these 10 tips and ideas from goodnessknows and Public Bikes:
1 Protect your head
Always wear a helmet! Don't take my word for it, as per a recent report on helmet safety, “Helmets provide a 66 to 88% reduction in the risk of head, brain and severe brain injury for all ages of bicyclists”.
2 Check that your bike is ready
Getting an annual tune-up from your local bike shop is a great idea. And at the very least, PublicBikes.com suggests learning how to do the following 3 tune-up hacks yourself: Pump-up your tires, adjust your gears, and clean & lube your chain.
3 Stay visible and alert
Keep an eye out for any potential obstacles and utilize hand signals to let other motorists know the direction you're going.
4 Pick the right accessories
5 Pack your snacks
Keep energy levels up and hangry-ness at bay! May I suggest trying goodnessknows snack squares? A delicious and amazingly satisfying snack that combines the goodness of whole nuts, real fruit like cranberries and tart cherries, toasted oats and dark chocolate with no artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners.
6 Act like a car
If you ride your bike like you drive a car, obeying the rules and going with the flow of traffic, you'll be more predictable to other commuters and the safer you'll be.
7 Try new routes
When I first moved to Vancouver, I challenged myself to try new routes and memorize the street names. Before I knew it, I felt more connected with the city and local communities. As well, it kept me mentally sharp and stimulated with my rides.
8 Always carry a cell phone
As Murphy says, “Stuff Happens”, and so it pays to be ready. Carrying a cell phone just gives you that peace of mind that if something goes wrong, you have a plan to deal with it — call a friend!
9 Do a dry run of the weekend
If you are concerned about how long it will take you to commute to work, take a practice run or two. When I first mapped my commute, I went at a pace that would be a little slower than my standard ride and for every traffic light I added an extra 30 seconds. This gave me a best case and worst case scenario, allowing me to always get to work early enough to shower and get ready for my day.
10 Wear comfortable clothing
Be comfortable is key! You don't have to get all the pro gear to be a ‘bike to work' commuter, but definitely wearing clothes that you feel good in will keep you happy and committed to your daily commute. (TIP: if you are in a rainy city like me, it doesn't hurt to invest in some good rain gear! Lots of options to consider – take a look here)
What are GoodnessKnows Snack Squares?
Before you head out, don’t forget to pack a nutritious and satisfying on-the-go snack. goodnessknows snack squares are one of my go-to’s. My family and I were fortunate to discover them on our #WLFMRoadtrip across the Western States earlier this year, and I'm pumped to be sharing their goodness with you now.
This delicious and amazingly satisfying snack combines the goodness of whole nuts, real fruit, toasted oats and dark chocolate. It’s a first-of-its kind, pre-portioned snack that delivers on both taste and nutrition. Each 150-calorie bar is divided into four perfectly portioned squares – allowing you to eat just the amount that’s right for you. (BTW, I eat all 4 in a sitting all the time!)
One individual, two-bite square contains about 40 calories. Each snack square is nestled in a luscious layer made with dark chocolate, and each serving contains 100 mg of naturally occurring cocoa flavanols. Cocoa flavanols are the good stuff found inside cocoa beans and some dark chocolate products, including goodnessknows.
GoodnessKnows ‘Gear up and Go' Giveaway – enter below
Together with Public Bikes, goodnessknows will give residents in select markets a reason to get out and get pedaling by providing access to bike services, tips for a smooth ride and a chance to win a brand new bike.
I have an awesome goodnessknows “Gear Up and Go” giveaway pack which includes a t-shirt, epic workout towel, mini first aid kit, carrying bag, water bottle and 3 different flavors of goodnessknows snack bars and a signed copy of my book, The Whole Life Fitness Manifesto. A must have kit to get you ready for your next bike-to-work commute.
All you need to do is enter via the widget below.
In the Tapinfluence comment box (scroll down), answer the following question:
What is your favorite part about riding your bike?This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of goodnessknows. The opinions and text are all mine.
And to be absolutely clear, this is my disclaimer: “Just so you know, I have been compensated to share my ideas on this topic. Sometimes it is in the form of products, or services or even money… But here’s the thing; I won’t share anything with you that I don’t fully support. It doesn't matter what it is, or how much they are willing to give me, if I don’t believe in it, It won’t be on my site. Seriously. You’ll just have to trust me on this.” ~ Coach Moose