Bike to Work Day registration is now open, so mark your calendar for Friday, May 20! This awesome event, sponsored by WABA, is a great way to get your feet wet riding your bike around the city. At last year’s event, when I had just started out commuting by bike, I won a raffle for a fantastic messenger bag, got all sorts of great bike gear, and enjoyed free food all before 10 AM– all things that made it a bit easier to integrate biking into my daily commute. And no matter where you live or work you’ll probably be close to one pit stop, where you can pick up your free t-shirt and other bike-related goodies. And best of all, it’s free!
If you need more reasons to dust off that bike and ride it to work, I’ve got ’em. The past year of riding my bike to work has been fantastic, so here are my five favorite reasons to bike to work:
5. It could be your fastest way to get there. It certainly is for me! Every day on my bike I breeze by the bus I typically take, and I get to the office in about half the time it normally takes by public transit. And with the great network of bike facilities in the city, there are several great bike routes to take through the city. Still not sure what the best route to work could be? Check out Ride the City, a fantastic site that gives you options (do you want to get there faster, or do you want to take only bike lanes and bike routes?) for charting the best way to get there.
4. You don’t even need a bike of your own to participate. Now that we’ve got Capital Bikeshare stations all across the city, you don’t even need your own bike to bike to work. Just grab a bike from a station, ride it to work, and drop it off. The Capital Bikeshare bikes are great for commuting, as they’ve got a little basket area for your bag and you won’t flash half the city if you’re wearing a skirt. And Capital Bikeshare is also great if you just want to just ride in to work in the morning and commute by another mode in the evening.
3. It’s fun! Biking to work is one of the highlights of my day. You’re outside, you’re getting a workout, and you’re able to enjoy the trip. I’d trade a Metro commute where I’m packed like a sardine in for a liberating, refreshing bike ride to work any day. I’m always in a better mood those days when I get to ride my bike to work. So act like a kid again and get on that bike.
2. It’s healthy and good for the environment. Here’s another time saver: you won’t need to schedule in an extra trip to the gym if you’re biking to work. You’ll get your blood pumping first thing in the morning and arrive to the office ready to start the day. And since you’re not taking up an extra seat on the Metro or bus, and not driving your own car, you’re reducing your environmental impact too.
1. There’s safety in numbers. The more people that ride bikes in the city, the safer it it is to bike in the city. When motorists see cyclists every day, they expect them more, and drive more carefully around them. It’s a wonderful thing. So by becoming a bike commuter, you’d be making it safer for me and every other cyclist out there. And once cycling in the city is perceived to be safer, even more people will start to bike around the city, making it even more safe.
Choosing to start commuting by bike was one of the best decisions I made last year. So sign up for Bike to Work Day this year and give it a shot– at the very least you’ll get a free t-shirt, and you may even discover your new favorite way to get around the city.