May is Bike Month, a time to celebrate biking and all the good things that come with it. According to the U.S. Census, the number of people commuting to work via bicycle increased by 60% between 2000 and 2012! [i]
We all know that biking has many benefits, but what do actual bike riders/commuters have to say about it? This month Socket was able to interview two advocates of pedal power: Jennifer and Peter Westerholm.
Jennifer and Peter both work near or around downtown but the couple’s daily commute looks different than the average employee- instead of driving, they like to ride their bikes!!
Because of the nature of Jennifer’s job, she bikes to work less often. Peter, however, bikes to work 90% of the time. The couple enjoys biking year-round regardless of the heat, forgoing the bike only when conditions are severely stormy or the temperature drops below 20 degrees.
There are multiple benefits of biking to work, the pair said, such as not having to find a parking spot and Peter arriving at his workplace faster than he would if he drove. The couple also enjoys the good feelings they get from commuting via bike. “You arrive at work feeling energized and bad ass! You multi-task -- get exercise while getting to work.”
In addition to reducing traffic congestion, the couple also said they enjoy connecting with other Nashvillians during their rides. “Riding our bikes is great exercise and connects us to our city and neighborhood in a way that driving does not… It's more friendly -- we often see and interact with people while biking that we'd miss in our cars.”
Environmental sustainability is something that is also important to Jennifer and Peter. They stated that they also enjoy biking for its ability to reduce air pollution.
Biking is a healthy, environmentally-friendly way to get from point A to point B, but for Jennifer and Peter, it’s also more than that. Biking means quality family time and provoking a love of nature in their two children.
“Our son, Porter, is dropped off at school by his dad each morning -- by bike. As he rides around our neighborhood on the back of mom or dad's bike, he becomes familiar with biking as a fun way to travel. Our littlest is only a few months old, but she has already taken multiple rides as well. We hope to instill a love of the outdoors and of biking in both of our children. We are doing our best to lead by example!”
Bike month is a great time to try exercising or commuting via pedal power.
Want to try biking to work? Visit Nashville Connector for details and tips on getting started.
Want to bike for leisure? Find a Greenway or trail near you!