Benefits of Bicycling
More than 1.2 million Chicago residents have sedentary or irregular activity lifestyles that contribute to over 20 conditions and diseases including heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, poor weight management, and mental health problems. In Chicago, inactive lifestyles are contributing to an obesity "epidemic" with more than 20 percent of the city's children and 60 percent of adults overweight or clinically obese. There is an emerging consensus that our transportation system contributes to this health crisis. The good news is that increased physical activity can help prevent and manage of these problems. Switching to bicycling for transportation offers the opportunity to convert sedentary transportation time into healthy physical activity. If you would like to learn more about using your bicycle for trips to work, school, for shopping and to run errands, visit some of the links below:
Many trips are faster by bicycle than by car, especially short trips under three miles. For longer trips, combine biking and transit (See the Bikes and Transit page). Chicago’s roads are clogged, and motorists spend hours stuck in traffic - often for trips that could be accomplished as quickly on a bicycle.
Bicycles cost little to buy or operate, and there's no gas, parking, or insurance to pay for. Dependence on the private automobile is expensive. Households in the Chicago region spend an average of 17 percent of their budgets - or $7,500 per year - on transportation.
Bikes don’t pollute the air or require lots of land for roads and parking lots. Tailpipe emissions from automobiles and trucks account for almost half of Chicago’s air pollution, contributing to asthma and other respiratory problems suffered by 650,000 children and adults in Metropolitan Chicago.
Last, but not least, bicycling is fun! Chicago boasts hundreds of exciting destinations that are accessible through the city's bikeway network. Pick a destination, then consult the Chicago Bike Map to find the best ways to get there. Bike Chicago offers five months of bicycling activities during spring and summer, while Bike Winter continues the fun into the cold-weather months.