Cycling isn’t just a fantastic way to stay fit and explore—it’s also a mode of transportation that holds immense potential for transforming our environment, cities, and health for the better.

Emission Reduction
We all know cars contribute a significant amount to global greenhouse emissions, smog, and climate change. But how much, exactly? Well, vehicles release about 1.4 billion tons of greenhouse gasses (GHGs) each year. Which means every gallon of gas we burn, creates 20 pounds of GHG. That works out to roughly 5 to 9 tons of GHG a year (

According to the National Household Travel Survey (NHTS), 48% of our daily trips are 3 miles or less, and just over 20% are 1 mile or less. Which means half of all trips taken by Americans could be made by a 15-minute or less bike ride. A study conducted in Europe shows that those of us who make one less car trip a week, using our bike instead, decrease our life cycle emissions from transport by 67%.

Reduced Traffic Congestion
Cycling also presents a solution to traffic congestion. Paris saw cycling spike 60% in 2020-2021, and banned or relegated car traffic to single lanes on roads along the Seine River through the center of Paris to ease traffic congestion. Paris is leading the way in bicycle commuting, even subsidizing 1/3 of the cost for people who bought 85,000 electric bikes or cargo bikes from 2009 to 2022.


Health Benefits
Pedaling a bike requires you to use up stored energy, which burns calories, even if you pedal on a flat surface at a slow, easy pace. For example, a 180-pound person who bikes 10-12 miles per hour (average pace) for 30 minutes burns up to 240 calories.


Of course we understand that replacing 100% of car trips with bikes is not feasible for most Americans. But, by choosing cycling as a mode of transportation just once a week, we not only substantially benefit ourselves mentally and physically, but we’re also making a measurable contribution to a healthier planet. And all it takes is one or two bike rides a week.

Here’s your homework. The next time you jump in your car, set your trip odometer. See how far you really travel. Odd are, it’s a fairly short trip. And depending on where you’re based, you may even spend more time searching for a parking spot than on the road itself.

If you want tips on commuting, head on over to our Bicycle Commuter Guide and start pedaling.

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