SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — If the rain ever lets up, thousands of new and seasoned  bike commuters in Missouri are planning to pedal to work this week.This week is National Bike to Work Week.

Given the increasing congestion in Springfield, bicycling is an easy, efficient and healthy way to get to work, run errands and much more.

“I find I am way to lazy to workout. I used to think oh I’ll go and workout and in reality I don’t want to. So if you put the workout between me and work well then it gets there,” says bike commuter Thom Hutchison.

Hutchison has been a part of bike to work week since 2007 and says riding his bike has a wide ranging effect.

“It’s far more than oh I rode to work and it made me a little bit more healthy. You look at the risk that we face from cardiovascular disease, cancer and other lifestyle diseases which are epidemic.”

Hutchison tells us getting that exercise helps you also deal with stress in life.

“If you  have a job that’s really pounding on you getting in a car and dealing with traffic right after work is no fun, but if you get on that bike you can blow off  some of that stress and makes it a lot easier when you get home to unwind.”

Donna Johnston has been participating in the bike to work week for four years and says it takes her 8 miles to get to work and safety is always a concern.

“You just have to plan your route and find the safest route to take during the hours that you’re riding.,” says Johnston.

Lori Tack, Ozark Greenways Program Coordinator tells us in years past over 1,500  people participated here in the Ozarks.

According to Lori Tack, “active transportation is kind of the new buzz word. We have thousands using the Greenways Trails and the on street bike routes every week.”

Tack says it’s not just about biking  one week  in the year,

“But it also brings a show of support to our city leaders that we really want these types of facilities.”

“Tack says Springfield  has over  72 miles of on street bike routes in addition to 70 miles
Greenways Trails.

“We want to show people come out and try it. Join us for at least one day. That’s all it takes and then everyone is eligible for prizes.”

If you would like more information on bike route information and maps, visit these links:

Route maps 

Street Smart program

Bike workshops  

Plan your bus ride