City dwellers worldwide are swapping their car keys for a new set of wheels for National Bike Month in May. With so many ways to be environmentally conscious in our daily life, National Bike to Work Week is the perfect eco-friendly idea for your office commute. This annual event held the 3rd week of May, (this year 15-19) by the League of American Bicyclists offers commuters a chance to test out a new mode of travel. Group rides, rest stations, and community events are hosted in cities big and small across the nation. Before you hit the pedals check out these 4 tips for making National Bike to Work Week a success:

  1. Same roads, same rules. Although cycling offers a convenient way to skip morning traffic, the rules of the road still apply. Traffic signals, street signs, and driving procedures are in place for you and everyone else to stay safe.
  2. Lose the tunes. Everyone likes to rock out to their favorite jam on the morning commute, but headphones obstruct hearing and create potential danger. Leave the headphones off while cycling on the road.
  3. Pack like a Professional. Be an Eagle Scout. Make sure you pack clothes to put on after your ride to avoid embarrassing sweat and grease stains, or any lingering odors. Proper footwear is also important in making your ride as comfortable as possible, so pack a pair of street shoes.
  4. Don’t go alone. Group rides are a fun way to meet and learn from other riders. Many cities offer organized group rides during Bike to Work Week including Austin and Washington
  5. Respect on the road. Be kind and respect other cyclists, as well as runners, and walkers. We are all trying something different, and for some it’s more difficult than for others. A smile and a quick wave easily brighten another’s day.

Supporting eco-friendly changes to our daily lives is the first step in creating a cleaner, healthier future. So whether it’s a trendy city bike rental or something pulled out of the back of the garage, give National Bike to Work Week a try.

Sharon Schweitzer and Caitlyn Arnold. Sharon Schweitzer, J.D., is a cross-cultural trainer, modern manners expert, and the founder of Protocol & Etiquette Worldwide. In addition to her accreditation in intercultural management from the HOFSTEDE centre, she serves as a Chinese Ceremonial Dining Etiquette Specialist in the documentary series Confucius was a Foodie, on Nat Geo People. She is the resident etiquette expert on two popular lifestyle shows: ABC Tampa Bay’s Morning Blend and CBS Austin’s We Are Austin. She is regularly quoted by BBC Capital, Investor’s Business Daily, Fortune, and the National Business Journals. Her Amazon #1 Best Selling book in International Business,  Access to Asia: Your Multicultural Business Guide, now in its third printing, was named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2015. She’s a winner of the British Airways International Trade Award at the 2016 Greater Austin Business Awards.

Caitlyn Arnold is a Spring 2017 cross-cultural communication intern at Protocol & Etiquette Worldwide. She is currently a senior at St. Edward’s University, majoring in Global Studies with concentrations in East Asia and International Security. Connect with Caitlyn on LinkedIn or follow her on Instagram

Photo Credit: Ceirra Riley