Updated 05/18/2012 03:06 PM
Bike To Work Day Raises Commuters' Heart Rates In A Good Way
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Thousands of New Yorkers made their commutes on two wheels Friday as part of National Bike to Work Day.
Transportation Alternatives says the event helps New Yorkers get outside, get healthy, and helps the environment.
The group hosted commuter stations with iced coffee and energy bars at all of the East River bridge crossings, the Staten Island Ferry, and along the West Side Greenway.
"It's very much a case of if you build it they will come. We have lots of new lanes coming out all the time, more people choosing a convenient and easy way to get to work," said Michael Murphy of Transportation Alternatives.
The city's Department of Transportation says the number of commuter cyclists in the city has more than doubled since 2007, with the installation of nearly 280 miles of bike lanes.
Counts last year at various commuter locations found an average of nearly 19,000 people heading to and from work on bikes on a weekday. The DOT has also found a 72 percent drop in the average risk of a serious injury to commuter cyclists over the past decade.
"It's just a lot easier to bike. It's healthier, my mind gets to wander more, I get to experience the city in a different way," said one bike commuter.
"I like it mostly for health benefits. Eat more, and burn off the calories that I eat. Lose a little weight," said another.
Bike to Work Day is the centerpiece of a month-long salute to cycling.
For more information, head to BikeNYC.org.