"We're seeing more people out riding, and it makes sense," says Clarke. "We've been worried about the obesity epidemic and physical activity issues, and we're worried about gas prices and climate change, so all the reasons are there for people to consider this."
With gas at $4 a gallon in some states, Clark says a typical bike commuter who rides five miles to and from work five days a week an save upwards of $2,000 a year in gasoline costs alone. If you add on parking and tolls, he says the savings could double.
Click here to calculate how much you would save by riding your bike to work
Cities and towns around the country are taking steps to make their communities more bicycle friendly. Chicago, for example, has a $3 million facility in its central business district that provides indoor bike parking, showers and bike repairs, making it easier for residents to commute to work by bicycle. Other cities, partly a result of the green movement, are making infrastructure investments and offering rider incentives.
Click here to see the slideshow of the 10 most bicycle-friendly cities
Regardless of where you are riding, sharing the road with cars and trucks can be intimidating, but there are many things a rider can do to make the trip safer. Clarke advises cyclists to ride with traffic, follow the rules of the road, wear lights and avoid the sidewalk.
In order to get started and ride safely, new riders will have to invest in equipment.
"You can start as low as $300, and the average with the helmet and all is probably $400," says Jim Cerullo, owner of James Vincent Bicycles in North Bergen, N.J.
Besides a bicycle and a helmet, Cerullo also advises new riders to buy a bike light, an air pump, a water bottle and an extra inner tube.
The power source, of course, is free.