While NYC may have a long way to go to surpass Copenhagen as a cycling city, this great city made huge strides in recent years. From hundreds of miles of new bike lanes to improved bike parking and increased cycler awareness, this is the year to join the growing ranks of NYC cyclists. In case you are still on the fence, below are five solid reasons to start pedaling your way through New York (or any city):

1. Your body wants it. Consider your bicycle a free gym on wheels. As a new cyclist, your 30 minute commute just became a 22 minute bike ride and your cardio work out all in one. Oh, and studies show you'll also become a better lover.

2. $ave lots of ca$h. Regardless of what method of transportation you use, bicycling will be less expensive. Even when you factor in the possibility of a stolen bicycle. Plus there's a good chance you'll consider canceling your Crunch membership (see Reason #1): there's no spin class that compares to the real thing.

3. Shrink the city. Traffic and subway delays become a thing of the past. Getting around the city will not only become more manageable, but more fun. And while the MTA will get you to lots of places, it won't take you to the best ones. You'll find those remote parts of NYC are suddenly very much within reach and discovering new favorite spots is all part of the ride.

4. Get Vitamin D. Cycling will have you spending much more time outdoors. In the process you will experience your city's neighborhoods in a whole new way. Think about rush hour subway, then compare that to the possibility of the wind in your hair (safely under a helmet, of course). 

5. If not for you, do it for 8.3 million others. Cars in the US emit 1 billion 300 million metric tons of carbon dioxide a year. A YEAR. Every car off the road is about 17,000 pounds of CO2 that won't enter the atmosphere. Plus, more bikes on the road and fewer cards on the road will make safer city streets for cyclists and pedestrians.

Still not convinced? Further reading:

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