Tomorrow (the 18th) is ride a bike to work day. This is a great idea. People get exercise, cars get off the roads, all is right with the world. But I wonder if anyone really does it.
To ride a bike to work you need a number of things. First you need to live close enough to work to make it a reasonable thing to do. If you are 18 miles from work, and its all uphill, then it may not be the best idea to ride to work. If you don’t have enough time to spend in the saddle, then these constraints may slow you down.
Of course, one wonders if riding down most city streets, dodging cars, trucks and dogs, is really for the uninitiated. Here in LA we have a bike path that runs a number of miles from south of LAX to north of Santa Monica. Its a nice ride, traffic free (except other bikes and skaters) but it doesn’t get you to work.
Amsterdam, however, is a different story. Its a city built for bicycles. They have the right of way over cars, pedestrians, and have many special bike lanes down the sides of major arteries. Bikes are seen by the tens of thousands everywhere, and the distances aren’t great. I would be surprised if the longest ride is more than five miles and most are less.
You see women in skirts and men in suits navigating around canals with ease. But then, the weather is different, too. Its cool in Amsterdam, and ‘working up a sweat’ is difficult. Many spots in the US are different — LA, Phoenix, Las Vegas, and anywhere in the south – can be sweat producing venues. I understand many companies have installed showers and locker rooms so their staff can get ready for work after the ride in from home.
In Santa Monica there are bike support operations built into garages where you can join, like a gym, and you are provided a locker, a place to store your bike, and showers and fresh towels. Now that’s biking at its best.
I would like to know whether or not ‘bike to work day’ really ‘worked.’ Anyone out there who rode to work because it was bike to work day? If so, let me know how it was and if you are going to continue. If you do, more power to you.
All the best
Oh, there was one fellow who said he had a real problem with bike to work day, he worked from home — that corner at the end of the hall was a killer. On the other hand he was awarded employee of the month for April.