Editor’s note: This article was originally published May 10, 2013

I started riding my bike to work once a week six or seven years ago. I upped it to twice a week a few years later, then started riding nearly every day about three years ago.

My gas bill plummeted, I loved the "incidental" exercise I picked up just going to and from the office, and I started looking forward to the ride because it made me feel like a kid. Along the way, I’ve spotted nutrias and snakes in Shoal Creek, befriended a polydactyl neighborhood cat, met other commuters, whirled through creeks, banged up my shins, got caught in a few rain storms, heard the hooting of an owl, kept abreast of new construction and coasted past thousands of cars stuck in traffic.

Yeah, I’ve almost gotten taken out by cars a few times, too.

In general, though, it’s spectacular. I feel in touch with the world, not encased in an artificial bubble that transports me across the city.

It’s kept me healthy, resulted in a tiny to non-existent monthly gasoline bill and, I like to think, kept my legs looking cute.

May is National Bike Month.

Thinking about riding your bike to work too? A new website, http://bike-buddy.open-austin.org/, helps connect experienced bike commuters with those just getting started.

The site features an interactive map so users see where other cyclists start and end their trips. It also makes it easy to connect with other registered users to coordinate a ride.

Open Austin, a citizen volunteer group that advocates for open government, open data and civic technology, developed the website based on collaboration with the Office of Austin City Council member Chris Riley.

Have questions? Email bike-buddy@open-austin.org.