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Bike to Work

Zachary Slobig

Where
Anywhere

Commuting sucks. "Mega commuters" endure 90 minutes each way to punch the clock. More Americans fall into that category than there are residents of Copenhagen. Why point to that Danish city? It's got the busiest biking street in the Western world—the result of years of public pressure and infrastructure investment that reshaped commuting habits. The arguments for bike commuting are familiar: healthier for you and the environment; saves you tons of cash; often faster than driving or taking public transit. Here's another: it's an opportunity to see your city or town without looking through a pane of shatter-proof glass. Another: it's a lot of fun. In many places it can seem too dangerous to bike to work—no bike lanes and a gauntlet of taxi doors and four-wheeled aggression. A suggestion to mitigate those concerns: find at least one bike buddy. There's strength (and safety) in numbers. So go ahead and try it. This week, saddle up and ride a bike to work. It might become a habit.

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  • Marcelo Borges

    I have a bicycle in my house it is not mine, but I can use to work and visit all the city. I have been a cyclist since my childhood, and I love it!

  • Chelsea Roff

    Just bought a bike today (mine was stolen in front of the Santa Monica Library 6 months ago) and so excited to be back on two wheels.

  • Kelly Kayne

    Melbourne has 1 million bike commuters and so of course the Government decided to drastically cut funding last year. Then we spent millions placing hire bikes around the city forgetting we have a helmet law but offered none. Lucky the cycling community are an enthusiastic bunch and we now have some new city lanes being built that aren't parking lanes. We have such traffic congestion, some train carriages to act as bike racks so people can commute half way would be handy. I have started riding to work every morning and love it, although the hard-core morning peleton can be a little intense! But for a bit of fun the annual Melbourne Tweed ride is a great way to get motivated.

    • mark.gallagher.7927

      The struggle for positive change is rarely one-and-done. I applaud the Melbourne biking community's perseverance and creative solutions to the thicket of snags that have appeared and will continue to appear from tine to time. Thanks for the comment, Kelly.

  • sonorangreenman

    I have been biking everywhere since 2006 every day I can. i highly recommend it!
    Tucson is great! too many thing to list! Bike boulevards, the loop (pima.gov/theloop)
    great folks , great music, low cost of living! (downtowntucson.org, modern streetcar
    in 2014, amazing! I have no words to describe, Mountain biking Valhalla! Craft brewers are filling up the downtown.
    Bruce Hermes

  • kmeyerTX

    Even just commuting 1 day a week helps. I'm now shooting for 2 days a week. Each week I look at my schedule & the weather to determine the days I ride. Its challenging, but very rewarding, too. I'm 5 years post stroke & will soon be hitting 50 one way commutes soon.

  • Bernardo Bechtold

    It's impossible to do it in my city. Actually, I think it is barely impossible for many citys of my country. We don't have the infrastructure needed to allow people cycling on the streets. It's a dangerous task. The country has the money to do it, but this is not a profitable idea for politicans and the government. Even the public transport is fail, so we still using cars.

  • Serge Lubomudrov

    I don't try anymore: I ride to work every day, any weather, any season ;)

  • Arturo Chesi Visani

    I'm going to school in bike since like 13 years ago xD And I always laugh a bit inside me when I see the endless lines of cars by the school.

  • Nona

    http://labiketrains.com/ Need to get to work in Los Angeles? Wish your commute was super fun instead of a drag? #LABikeTrains

    We provide a rolling party along select routes run by Conductors – experienced urban cyclists – to harness the safety of riding in a group while kicking it up a notch by making the ride a fun social experience. And it’s totally free!

  • Eli Kaufman

    I'm in! Riding awakens the five senses. I caught the scent of a super fragrant Star Jasmine vine just starting to flower at the end of my block last week. Looking forward to visiting it again on my Friday commute!

  • Yasha Wallin

    I work from home, so I bike to get coffee before I start my day. And bike to meetings, so I guess I do the opposite commute.

      • Yasha Wallin

        It's the best. Bike lanes for miles (or I guess they would say kilometers). Definitely the most bike friendly city I've lived in.

    • Zachary Slobig

      Jo, I'd love to talk to you a bit more offline. I'm at zslobig (at) goodinc (dot) com.

  • Patricia

    I just began working for our local hospital in a very sedentary job. My commute is abut 5 miles with US1 and non bike friendly road part of the obstacle. I managed to carve out a route that takes me through parking lots and back roads. I try to bike twice a week. I live in Florida and the heat may be an issue as the summer approaches.
    For now, the ride is wonderful. I also live in a rural setting. My bike takes me through school zones and I feel so much more connected to the people I passed in my car.

    • Zachary Slobig

      Great to hear that you were able to get creative with a route where you felt comfortable enough to make it a habit, Patricia. That's so important, and it can be really difficult. Urban bike commuters like to share their favorite speediest, safest routes on forums and blogs and those resources can be really helpful. In less populated places, I'd imagine that's not really an option—you're forging new paths. Good for you.

  • Dan de Angeli

    Biking to work aside from all the (sorry) obvious reasons, has many other more subtle benefits that are happening in the brain. You think different thoughts when you are riding and that totally changes your general approach to the day. I would hope that non-bikers are not holding out for a buddy. C'mon this is not the jungle..just ride!

  • Keanna Sheu

    Any tips of the disaster preparedness kind? My track record with Murphy's Law predicts a flat tire (or something I haven't thought of yet) on my anticipated 16 mile round-trip bike ride...

  • Steve Boynton

    I think we need more rural bike commuters! I live in a small city, Spanish Fork Utah, (35,000 population) and commute 10 miles to work during the summer months. I ride by horse, cow, sheep pastures, and corn fields at the foot of the Wasatch mountains and only see one or two other people on a bike. You just can't have the same multi-sensory experience stuck in a car.

    • Zachary Slobig

      Hell yeah, Steve! That sounds amazing. I'd love to hear about more rural bike commuting like this. No reason this challenge needs to be limited to urban workers, of course. Do you see other cycling commuters during your day to day routine?

  • Mary Slosson

    Bike buddies are awesome! When I first started bike commuting in my home state of Virginia, a friend of mine who was an avid cyclist took me under his wing and taught me the bike commuting ropes. He'd bike to my house in the morning, help me figure out the best routes to our shared workplace, and then bike home with me in the evening to make sure I felt comfortable biking alongside so many cars before continuing on his merry way. It gave me a huge confidence boost and I started bike commuting all the time. Honestly, though, bike commuting in Los Angeles is a much more daunting endeavor...

    • Kim Burgas

      So happy you mentioned bike buddies, Mary. A fellow cyclist and I organize biketrains in NYC for the very reasons you mentioned: biking with others boosts confidence and is educational. Here is more information on NYC biketrains http://www.bikeapolis.us/. Also, since you are in LA, you should check out labiketrains.com.

      • Mary Slosson

        I'm so happy you told me about LA Bike Trains - thanks!

      • Zachary Slobig

        Thanks for posting that, Kim. Biketrains are so smart—the best way to get over the fear factor. I'd love to chat with you a bit more offline if you have the time. I'm at zslobig (at) goodinc (dot) com.

  • Rosalie Murphy

    I just inherited a friend's bike and picked up some wheel reflectors -- biking to work this summer!

    • Zachary Slobig

      Excellent, Rosie. How far will that ride be for you? Besides not having a bike, what are some of the other reasons that keep you from commuting this way?

      • Rosalie Murphy

        I'm public-transit reliant anyway, but I definitely have safety concerns -- about drivers as well as fellow bikers. It can be scary to ride alone, especially as a woman, and when I don't know how late I'll be leaving someplace, I'd rather wait for the bus... I think I'll do it most when I know I have to head straight home after work (unless a friend and I bike to dinner, I guess!)