LiveGreen - May a good month to get on your bikes

by Patrick McAtee, Verdis Group | May 21, 2013

Image with file name: LiveGreen2111.jpg

If you've been thinking about riding your bike to work, now's the time.

May marks the start of the 2013 National Bike Challenge. From May 1 to September 30, anyone can join the challenge to log biking miles, be eligible to win prizes and contribute to some huge numbers.

Since May 1, riders across the country have already logged nearly 850,000 miles and burned more than 21 million calories! Locally, 596 riders on 37 teams have logged more than 13,000 miles and kept nearly 8,300 pounds of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, just from commuting to work. Those interested in participating can register here. Both The Nebraska Medical Center and UNMC have teams.

Earn enough points from riding, and you can be eligible to win prizes like water bottles, bicycle lights, or even a new bike! Plus, the League of American Bicyclists notes that biking to work is:

  • fun because it builds morale, encourages camaraderie, and is a great way to get active in your community;
  • healthy because active employees are more alert, take fewer sick days, and are more productive; and
  • green because biking reduces your carbon footprint, reduces traffic congestion and parking demand, and saves you money.

In addition to the National Bike Challenge all summer, Omaha will celebrate Bike to Work Day this Friday, May 17. Omaha's Mayor Jim Suttle will join Council Bluffs Mayor Tom Hanafan, Bellevue Mayor Rita Sanders and hundreds of community members to ride to work.

If biking to work at UNMC, find bike racks here.

The ride starts at the Bob Kerrey Bridge at 8 a.m., heading south to Farnam Street, and then west to Turner Park for a pit stop. It will then head south to Leavenworth Street, along the buffered bike lane to 19th Street and north to the mayor's office at 19th and Farnam streets.

Use of bicycles for commuting in Omaha doubled between 2000 and 2009, and each year, more people choose to ride bikes for transportation and recreation. In 2011, the League of American Bicyclists designated Omaha a bronze-level Bicycle Friendly Community.

But whether you chose to ride a bicycle, drive a car, ride the bus, or walk, remember to be safe and have patience and compassion for fellow travelers.

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UNMC Today Editor
May 21, 2013 at 8:35 AM

Good point, Kelly. A link to the bike racks located on campus has been added to the story.

Kelly Duffy
May 21, 2013 at 8:28 AM

Would be nice to have locations of bike racks available for people who choose to bike to work.