This is a shameless plug for Bike to Work Day in Silicon Valley tomorrow, Thursday May 14th, when commuters are encouraged to leave their car at home and bicycle to work instead. This is of course in the hope that this will not just be a one-day event but a life-changing habit. And it’s fun with many participants not only committed to biking but also to helping make it a really enjoyable day for everyone.
As the Wave magazine puts it :
The best part is the 70 “Energizer Stations” that the coalition sets up all over the valley, where cyclists can receive prizes, biking information and, of course, refreshments”
I”m fortunate to work from home so I won’t be joining the crowd, but I will recommit to getting on my bike to run local errands instead of grabbing the car keys from now on. My husband, however, does bike to work every day, a 9 mile trip from Sunnyvale to Oracle on Great America Parkway, and it shows. He figured out long ago, that with his demanding sedentary job behind a computer screen, cycling to work was the only way he was going to be able to keep fit – and he looks as good now as the day I married him! And I can’t say that for myself….
There is, of course, another excellent reason to bike to work besides exercise, namely to reduce your carbon footprint on this world we live in. As the EPA states:
“the transportation sector accounts for approximately one-third of greenhouse gas emissions and is the fastest-growing major source of greenhouse gases”
this, in a country who is the largest consumer of oil in the world today : 20.4 million barrels a day!
According to Ecobridge, an organization committed to finding solutions to global warming – from its readers (go on, send in your idea) :
“Vehicles with poor gas mileage contribute the most to global warming.For example, according to the E.P.A’s 2000 Fuel Economy Guide, a new Dodge Durango sports utility vehicle (with a 5.9 liter engine) that gets 12 miles per gallon in the city will emit an estimated 800 pounds of carbon dioxide over a distance of 500 city miles”
And if you’re convinced that your car is not a huge contributor to the carbon footprint, check out Terrapass’s website where you can enter your car’s details and find out just exactly how much you do contribute.
Now that you’re rethinking your commuting strategy, where to go for a good bike? Well, there’s always, Craigslist, if you know what you’re looking for. Otherwise we have an abundance of bike shops with expert advice before you buy : Walt’s, The Off-Ramp, Bicycle Outfitter, Performance Bicycle and Sports Basement are all close to my home. Most of them also offer bicycle classes and rides for anyone wanting to get together with other cyclists. If you’re still not sure whether cycling to work is for you, borrow a bike from a friend and try it out. Hey, you never know, you might be able to get rid of that second car!!
My retired brother is currently cycling from Yorkshire (northern England) to Rome in Italy. It’s his second big bike ride – he cycled to Northern Italy last summer and we follow him on Twitter as it’s his only way of communicating with everyone on his cell phone. The way he describes his current journey through France makes me want to jump on my bike and cycle to the hills! Maybe one day Kev and I will join him – it’s a lovely thought!
I have already blogged about my newly-equipped bike which I retired a little in the winter months, but now that summer looks like it’s peeking through, I think I can forget about the car for another few months!
Please let me know if you join the cycling crowd tomorrow – I’d love to hear how it all goes. And if you have any cycling trips planned or undertaken, I want to hear your stories!!