Amongst the eco-minded, May 15 is more commonly celebrated as Endangered Species Day, but did you know there’s another environmentally-conscious, green-friendly event that takes place on the exact same day?

Oh yeah. National Bike to Work Day, baby.

Riders in the 1991 Giro d'Italia climbing Sestriere on stage 13, Savigliano-Sestriere. (Image: WikiMedia Commons)

Riders in the 1991 Giro d’Italia climbing Sestriere on stage 13, Savigliano-Sestriere. (Image: WikiMedia Commons)

Why should you bike to work when the alternative, automobiles, are available? Are you ready for a dirty dump of data? According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, cars and trucks account for nearly 20 percent of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.

For every gallon of gas a car burns, approximately 24 pounds of carbon dioxide and other global-warming gases are belched into the atmosphere. Blech!

Car exhaust. (Image: Creative Commons)

Car exhaust. (Image: Creative Commons)

Meanwhile, what good does cycling do? Well, in addition to not clogging the air with the same stuff you scrape out of your fireplace, it improves general muscle function, strengthens your leg muscles and the mobility of your hip and knee joints, and it makes your butt look fantastic!

It also builds stamina and improves cardiovascular fitness. According to the British Medical Association, cycling 20 miles per week can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by 50 percent!

Also, biking to work is much easier than running to work.

I asked Planet Experts’ Editor-in-Chief, Pierce Nahigyan, if he knew it was National Bike to Work Day. He seemed distraught, because he kept throwing things at me and yelling that the holiday was too obscure to feature. I said I’d add a link to his interview with Pedego CEO Don DiCostanzo if he let me spread the word, but he remained adamant.

Yet all was not lost! I managed to find the original anthem for Bike to Work Day, written just after the 1929 Stock Market Crash to inspire people to stay calm and carry on. It was a surefire way to get Pierce to give the article the greenlight, as any history buff would. 

A couple seated on an 1886 Coventry Rotary Quadracycle for two. (Image: Public Domain)

A couple seated on an 1886 Coventry Rotary Quadracycle for two. (Image: Public Domain)

Cyclin’ Days (National Bike to Work Day Jingle)

“If you gotta get to work, don’t pump the gas –
There’s a better way to sit on your ass.
Snap on your helmet, tug on your shorts,
Say ‘see ya later!’ to your gassy cohorts.

This May 15, grab your bicycle –
Or, Hell, steal a uni- or a tricycle!
Two wheels is all you need to escape the mob,
So change gears and bike to your job!”

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