Conn. (WTNH) — Today is National Bike to Work Day. People all over the country left the car at home this morning to make people and the environment a little healthier. This national bike to work day comes as people are now going back to work.

“A lot of people during the pandemic were maybe working from home, tele-working, but people are back in the office now,” explained Commissioner Katie Dykes of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

Dykes was part of a group of cyclists that biked from a cycle shop in West Hartford to the Old State House in downtown Hartford. Biking to work is good for that second “E” in DEEP – the environment.

“Vehicle exhaust is one of the largest contributors to air pollution,” Dykes said. “Connecticut, especially our cities, have really high rates of asthma.”

Bike-to-work organizers say there are plenty of other benefits, as well.

“You know, you feel, you know, the environment, you feel the air, you feel the air rush by you,” said Ric Barry, Co-Chair of Bike Walk Connecticut. “You see stuff on a bike that you wouldn’t see on a car.”

The goal of this day is not necessarily to get people to give up their cars entirely, just maybe choose the bike some of the time.

“Forty percent of emissions are from transportation,” said Jay Stange, a coordinator with Transport Hartford. “If we can just eliminate a few trips a week, some of those short, 3-mile trips, with e-bikes and bicycles and scooters, we’re all going to be better off and have a great time.”

Organizers say that would be a lot easier with some changes to help protect riders.

“So, we need to have some protected infrastructure so that we have more people riding,” Stange said. “The more people who are riding will make the city a better place to ride, and we will build from there.”

If you are interested in electric bikes, DEEP is about to start offering rebates for people who purchase them. E-Bikes are on the more expensive side. For more information about the program, click here.