The average Silicon Valley resident will gain between 1-5 pounds and spend more than $850 extra dollars during the holiday season. By bike commuting just once per week between now and New Year’s Eve can offset holiday weight gain and money loss to the tune of 1 pound and $85.00.
Approximately 3,500 calories in excess or deficit equals one pound of body weight gained or lost. That means that over the holiday season the average person is taking in somewhere between 3,500 to 17,500 extra calories from food and drinks that they’re not offsetting with physical activity. This equals 1 to 5 pounds of weight gained. Bike commuting - riding a bike instead of driving a car or taking a bus or train - burns about 10 calories a minute at a beginner’s average 10-14 mph pace. More than half of commuters live within 10 miles of their workplace, which means a 10-mile commute at 14 mph by bike takes about 40 minutes during which the rider will burn about 312 calories each way. The same commute made driving a car will only burn about 50 calories. That means that each day someone bikes back and forth to and from work instead of driving, they can burn approximately 262 calories more than driving each way (or 524 calories round trip) by bike commuting. That amounts to more than 4,000 calories between now and January 1 without stepping foot in a gym. Of course bike commuting is just one way to pedal. Local bike paths can also do the trick without traffic. Do that just 6 or 7 times between now and New Year’s - about once a week - to avoid a full pound of holiday weight gain.
Turning now to holiday dollars, the American Research Group reports that a typical person will spend about $850 more than their standard budget during the holidays each year. According to AAA the typical motor vehicle costs about 60.8 cents per mile to drive. That’s about $12.16 a day round trip for the average 10-mile work commute. Making the switch from car to bike for just one commute a week between now and New Year’s will save about $85 in cold hard cash. That’s the equivalent of getting a 10% sale on every holiday gift the average person will buy this year.
From Miami, FL to Anchorage, AK people can bike commute year round with a little preparation. All it takes is a bike, a helmet, a backpack or messenger bag and some basic toiletries bike commute successfully. The free local Silicon Valley Bikes app provides basic pointers on bike commuting, etiquette for riding on the road or routing a commute on local bike lanes and trails with helpful feedback from experts at Palo Alto Bicycles who regularly commute by bike. Visit mycitybikes.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org for one-on-one advice, or use the Silicon Valley Bikes app to contact a local bike shop.
For more information and to access the local app, visit the iTunes or Google Play app stores to download Silicon Valley Bikes:
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