One Bike to Work Day Can Get You Hooked
That first Bike to Work Day experience can pave the path to many more in the future. With all the fun, resources and riders out on the streets and trails, you are bound to benefit.
We tout the myriad benefits of biking to work all the time. You’d expect that of us. But don’t just take our word for it. Listen to what Marianna Rouse Johnson (a Health Mentor at Arlington’s InSHAPE program) has to say about her first Bike to work experience last year (adapted from a Facebook post):
My first Bike to Work Day
So without any intentional hyperbole, I have to say last year’s Bike to Work Day, my first, had a huge impact on my life. I had always thought about starting to commute by bike to work, but had really no clue how to make that work. When I heard about last year’s event, I decided to participate, and that morning, sorted out a possible route, jumped on my bike, and started to ride.
Fifteen minutes into my ride, I passed what I know now was a pit stop for the event. There were volunteers and staff from the local bike shop waving banners and ringing cow bells, and I was like, “wow, are all morning commutes this exciting?!” lol, and for the rest of the route, was cheered and encouraged by all of these pit stops along the way.
I made it into work successfully, and midway through the day, I saw a colleague wearing a Bike to Work Day 2016 t-shirt, and I was shocked. I asked her how she had gotten it, and that was how I learned that this is an actual EVENT, for which I could have registered hahaha. I called up the event organizers and explained that I am sometimes completely clueless, and asked if I could still get a shirt. They were super understanding and let me know that not only could I still get a t-shirt, bag, and all of the swag, but I could pick it all up at New District Brewing Company for a Bike to Work happy hour! Beer and bikes?!?! Be still my heart.
So I rode over to the brewery, where I was flabbergasted to meet so many other cyclists – it’s like there is this whole cycling community out there. Who knew?! – and have a beer and chat about this whole experience. I was accompanied halfway home on the trail by two of the awesome people I met who both continue to be great sources of information, and introduced me to Strava!, and was thereafter SO motivated and excited about commuting to work by bike.
New habits form
I started riding to work at least twice weekly, and maintained that until November, when the cold temps and inadequate cold weather gear finally forced me to call uncle. Those super regular, hilly, 18-mile round trip, rides were a great supplement to my triathlon training last year, and were of generally awesome benefit to my cardiac strength and endurance – to say nothing of the joy of the wind on my face at 7 a.m., whizzing past backed up traffic on I-66. This more frequent riding led me to feel more comfortable with my bike and with the culture in general, which has in turn caused me to get involved with organizations like BikeArlington and All The Cycle Ladies ~Bike maintenance workshops at Phoenix Bikes. In turn, my clients greatly benefit from a professional partnership with Phoenix Bikes and Capitol Bikeshare, and in conclusion – hyperbole aside – RIDE TO WORK DAY IS THE BEST. 🙂 I CANNOT WAIT to start commuting again and I am so excited for this year’s event. I am even registered this time!