Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Bike to Work Day Recap

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:
Colin Silver
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:
RT Rybak Bike To Work Day
And what does RT ride? A Trek. With a rack, lights and fenders. No trailer queen.
RT Rybak's bike

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
Mileage: 24
Ride type/Bike: Commute/Kuwahara
May mileage: 68
Year to date mileage: 1392

2 comments:

Yon Saucy Wench said...

Wow! Really impressive turn-out. I hope this is the start of something big.

Jeff Stevenson said...

Hi. Please join the Bicycle to Work! LinkedIn networking group. Members pledge that they will try to ride their bicycle to work or on an errand at least once a week. Although the benefits should be obvious, let me outline them here.

Right now people in the industrialized world are facing two very grave problems: obesity and a growing scarcity of oil. Compounding this problem is the new food shortage brought about, in part, by the conversion of food cropland to bio-fuel crop production. Most people feel powerless to help, but there is one thing that we can do. Ride our bicycles to work.

If everyone would agree to ride their bikes to work one day per week we could cut oil consumption by as much as 10-15%. No one would argue that riding a bike burns more calories than driving the car. Although popular politically right now, most bio-fuels consume more energy than they produce. We would be much better to eat those bio-crops then use our own energy to transport us around.

So spread the word. Make it a movement! Bicycle to work one day a week and do your part to cut back obesity and the overuse of oil and precious cropland.

Just go to my profile at http://www.linkedin.com/in/jeffreylstevenson and you can click on the group to be included. While you are there, don't forget to ask to link to my network of more than 9,000,000 like-minded professionals. I accept all invitations and look forward to meeting you.

Jeff