05/14/2012 12:29 pm ET

National Bike To Work Week: Detroit Rides Begin May 14

Fresh air, exercise and a chance save a few bucks on gasoline are just a few of the reasons people choose to ride bicycles to work. And this week is a great time to start bike commuting because it's National Bike To Work Week, a yearly event that runs this year from May 14 to May 18. The week-long effort is part National Bike Month activities, sponsored each year by the League of American Bicyclists since 1956.

The Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance will mark the event this Friday -- National Bike To Work Day -- by offering a stop-in for cyclists at Campus Martius. Food and refreshments will be provided. Commuters are encouraged to post their start times and locations on the organization's Facebook page. Rides are already planned from Dearborn, Grosse Pointe, Windsor and down Woodward Avenue.

Aside from the exercise and environmental pluses, there are financial incentives for biking to work, too. You save on gas and transit costs, and in 2009, the Internal Revenue Service began offering tax incentives of up to $20 a month for costs associated with bicycling to work. For more information and to download free cycling reimbursement cards visit the League of American Bicyclists' website.

A 2012 report by the Alliance for Biking & Walking estimated that the number of bicycle commuters in Detroit rose 258 percent over the last two decades. However, Todd Scott of the MGTA has disputed those figures, claiming it is not possible to know exactly how many cyclists currently commute to work.

Either way, Detroit continues to invest in cycling infrastructure to meet both bicycle commuters' and hobbyists' needs, and the city may be considering a bike sharing program.

For more on cycling in the Motor City, be sure to check out HuffPost's Detroit Bikes series.