More New Yorkers Shifting Gears From Costly Commute

More bike lanes offer cheap, healthy alternative

Hundreds of miles of new bike lanes are paving the way for the city's two-wheel commuters.

And with warmer weather now upon us -- kind of -- a failing economy and the obvious health benefits, more people than ever are biking to work in New York.

About 185,000 bicyclists turned last year from rails and roads to their own two wheels -- up from 113,000 in 2005 and 75,000 in 1992.

Transportation Alternatives released the figures as it continues to tout Bike Month throughout the city, as well as today's National Bike to Work Day. The DOT and other transit groups have organized more than 200 rides this month, and today gave away free breakfast and biking tips at several locations throughout the city.

The figures clearly demonstrate that riding a bike isn't just for bike riders anymore.

"I save at least $60 a month on subway fares, $100 on parking and $100 on gas," a budget-minded Michael Pavlakos told The Post. "My bike costs me $50 a year in repairs. So I ride it even more because of the economy."

If saving money isn't enough of a lure, bicyclists can burn 440 calories just from a 30-minute round-trip commute. (Need more reasons why you should bike to work?)

Since 2006, the DOT has added 200 more miles of on-street bike lanes, according to TA figures. In all, New York City has a total of 620 lane miles of bike paths, lanes, routes and care-free greenways.

"The exponential growth in cycling is a sign that New Yorkers see biking both as a real transportation option and as a great way to experience everything the city has to offer," DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan said.

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