The Point: RCTC encourages active transportation and offers incentives for cycling to work

May is National Bike Month, May 14-18 is Bike to Work Week, and May 18 is Bike to Work Day. Those are a lot of dates to remember, but the bottom line is to get on your bike and ride!

The Riverside County Transportation Commission and the San Bernardino County Transportation Authority IE Commuter Program offers incentives to employees who bike, walk, ride the bus or train, telecommute or take part in a carpool or vanpool to work. Find out if you qualify by visiting IEcommuter.org.

Whether you are a Spandex-wearing cyclist with pockets crammed with energy gels or more of a low-key beach-cruiser round-the-block pedaler, riding a bike can be a great way to travel. The Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) estimates that 38 percent of trips in southern California are three miles or less – ideal for a quick bike ride.

Even better, SCAG notes that biking five miles to work, four days per week, avoids about 2,000 miles of driving each year and burns a whopping average of 540 calories per hour. SCAG’s “Go Human” campaign is a reminder that biking allows you to improve your health, save money, help the environment, avoid driving in traffic and the hassle of parking.

For your safety:

  • Always ride in the same direction of traffic.
  • Be predictable by using hand signals and only change lanes when it’s safe to do so.
  • Helmets can reduce your risk of injury. Children under 18 are required by state law to wear helmets.
  • Stop at red lights and stop signs; these signs and signals apply to bicyclists, too.
  • When riding at night, use a front and back light to make yourself visible. Nearly half of bicyclist deaths in 2012 occurred between 4 p.m. and midnight.
  • Slow down and take care around people walking on sidewalks and in crosswalks.

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