Bike to work day for 2008 is in the books. And from my perspective, it was great. I got to see a lot of people I know and also meet some people I didn't know. I also saw a lot more people biking to work that I knew were newbies. I'm cynical enough to know that once either gas prices go down, we get used to the higher prices, or the weather turns cold most of them will go back to driving. But some will keep at it, future junkies like the rest of us.
I was particularly excited by the turnout from my coworkers. My company has been a top level sponsor for the event for the last few years, and folks from work have lead most of the Commuter Pods or whatever they call them year after year. But it's always been the same old folks, the ones we don't need to reach out to. But this year, a guy I've worked with for over 10 years and has never ridden a bicycle to work rode on Monday. He made the complete rookie mistake of getting his pants caught in his chain. Those khakis may never come clean. But here he is on Wednesday, showing how a simple rubber band can make all the difference:
And today he applied for underground bike parking and was talking about discontinuing his bus pass for the summer. Another coworker who has talked about biking to work for years but never has called me yesterday. He said, "This year, I'm going to do it. Once I cross the Mendota Bridge how do I get to Minnehaha Park?" He managed to follow my directions and was part of the Commuter Convoy this morning.
Another sign that things were going well at work is the bike rack. In all my years of commuting, I have never seen the underground rack area so packed with bikes. Including previous bike to work days. I had to lean my bike against the wall because there was literally not a single place at the racks to squeeze it in.
And on the way in we saw Mayor Rybak on the Greenway, pulling in to the soon to open Freewheel Bike Center. And here he is later downtown. I think it really helps to have a mayor who rides. He gets it. Here he is, fresh off the bike going to the registration table:
And what does RT ride? A Trek. With a rack, lights and fenders. No trailer queen.
We had possibly the youngest rider in our convoy this morning. She needed a fruit bar and a juice box to fuel up. Riding on the back of dad's bike is hard work.
So in short, I thought this was one of the more well run and enjoyable Bike to Work days I've participated in. Maybe I'm just feeling optimistic. But I thought it was a well done event.
Date: May 14
Ride type/Bike: Commute/Kuwahara
May mileage: 68
Year to date mileage: 1392