One Bike to Work Day Can Get You Hooked

Marianna Johnson Tweet us @BikeArlington @BikeArlington May 11, 2017 0 Comments

Marianna is a Health Mentor with Arlington’ s InSHAPE program, which provides fitness, nutrition, and habit coaching to adults with serious mental illness.

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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 of benefits of biking to work all the time. You’d expect that of BikeArlington. 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.

First Time Biking to Work

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 no clue how to make that work. When I heard about last year’s event, I decided to participate. So, the morning of the event, I 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?” For the rest of the route,  I was cheered for and encouraged by all of these pit stops along the way.

Connected to a New Community

I made it into work successfully, and midway through the day, I saw a colleague wearing a Bike to Work Day t-shirt, and I was shocked. I asked her how she had gotten it, and that was when I learned about the actual EVENT.

I called  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 Day 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 and to learn that there is a whole cycling community out there. 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. They also introduced me to Strava, an app that allows you to map your ride and share your routes with friends.

Created a New Habit

After my experience on Bike to Work Day, 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 generally an awesome benefit to my cardiac strength and endurance.  Nothing says joy like riding with the wind on my face at 7:00 a.m. whizzing past backed up traffic on I-66.

Comfortable and Still Riding

Frequent riding led me to feel more comfortable with my bike and the culture in general. I’ve gotten involved with organizations like BikeArlington and All The Cycle Ladies. In turn, my clients at InSHAPE are benefiting from professional partnerships with Phoenix Bikes and Capitol Bikeshare. Needless to say, Bike to Work Day is the best!

So, start riding now to get ready for Bike to Work Day in May and use BikeArlington’s Comfort Map to chosse the routes most comfortable for you and go at your own pace.

 

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