It’s a great time of year to be outdoors, ideal for biking around the neighborhood.

Did you ever think about cycling to work? May is Bike to Work month. The Middle Peninsula’s back roads make biking to work a good yet overlooked option.

Before dismissing the idea out because you’ve never done it, if it’s a doable distance and route, think about making it part of your weekly routine. Fitness doesn’t have to be something you do after a tiring day at work or in the wee hours of the morning when you’re scrambling to exercise. Biking is great exercise. As an aerobic activity, biking gets your heart, blood vessels and lungs going. Cycling is an excellent form of cardio that can burn belly fat. It’s also low impact so your joints aren’t stressed.

You don’t have to do it every day for starters. You could also arrange to get a ride with a coworker if biking both ways seems daunting.

If the idea of biking in business suit seems crazy, make sure to have an extra set of clothing at work. Again, if you’re only biking one way, it’s pretty simple to have recreational clothes at work. No need to invest in special biking clothes though purists will tell you a good pair of biking shorts is invaluable. The important thing is to make sure you’re comfortable on the bike seat the entire way, so if shorts help, they’re fairly inexpensive. If you bike to work, you’ll want basic toiletries to make sure you’re fresh for the day.

If you’re still unsure, consider a dry run on the weekend so you’ll have no surprises.

Ride with a backpack devoid of long cords that includes your cell phone, a water bottle, a small first aid kit, a mini bike pump and a patch kit. It goes without saying – make sure you know how to change a flat. Having a few energy snacks is never a bad idea.

It goes without saying that biking is beneficial for the environment, and it will reduce the amount your visits to the gas station.

Be safe during your commute by wearing a helmet and making sure you’re on a bike that fits you. Have a lock and you’ll need headlights if you’re biking at dusk.

You might be surprised how much you enjoy biking to work. It makes you feel as if you’ve accomplished something before you answered your first email. You’ve already got your workout in. You didn’t sit in traffic. No matter your age, you’ll feel like you’re a teenager again hopping on your bike, riding at your own pace and soaking in all the good vibes. It’s not just the planet the wins when you bike to work. You do, too!

Don’t forget to log your activity on the MidPenRideShare app and cash in on your rewards!

MidPenRideShare is a free service operated by the Middle Peninsula Planning District Commission for residents, workers, commuters, and tourists in Virginia’s Middle peninsula (Counties of Essex, Gloucester, King and Queen, King William, Mathews, and Middlesex and the towns of Tappahannock, Urbanna, and West Point).
The Commission has partnered with the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) and their Virginia-wide ConnectingVA program to provide free ridematching to find carpools, vanpools, and all forms of public transportation, trip planning, and information on park-and-ride lots, bike share services, electric vehicle charging stations, and rewards.