Bike to Work: Help the Environment and Yourself

Commute on Bike

My gear for bike to Work Day 2012. Save money and the environment: Bike to work!
My gear for bike to Work Day 2012. Save money and the environment: Bike to work!
Recognition buttons for Bike to Work Day.
Recognition buttons for Bike to Work Day.

Bike to Work Day

Bike to Work Day comes in late June usually. There is competition between companies, T-shirts available and lots of refreshment stations. Some include breakfast or light meal.

Details are at http://biketowork2015.org/ including where the stations are, etc. This page belongs to the Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG), which fosters regional cooperation among county and municipal governments in the Denver metropolitan area.

My Experience Last Year

I recently chose to begin biking to work for a nice change of pace. Since work for is on the other side of a beautiful bike trail through Cherry Creek State Park in Colorado, I have a scenic commute. In addition I save the environment from car pollutants, save gas money, get in shape and burn calories.

I chose and rode a route yesterday that used residential and used less traveled tertiary streets to get safely to the trail, Upon arriving at work, I found that I also really enjoyed the ride and felt energized as well.

How fortuitous then that today happens to be "Bike to Work Day" in Colorado! I had found my route from Google Maps, which has a biking option (as well as car, bus, walking, etc.) Lawyer-ese is aplenty there, as can be expected in the USA's litigious society. :-(

This morning, I noticed many more cyclists on Piney Creek Bike Trail through Cherry Creek State Park than I had observed yesterday. "Bike to Work Day" does seem to get support and inspire action from the community. I found out that quite a few businesses were competing among themselves for getting the most employees to participate.

Quite a few refreshment stations were set up for the occasion both at employment sites as well as along bike trails and other locations. I enjoyed a free breakfast and orange juice at the trail head station sponsored by Parks and Recreation. In addition, local coffee and food service businesses had specials or free food. Yum! Bacon and egg on a croissant! Plenty of convivial conversation and coupons for local businesses were also there to be had for this worthy event.

Biking to Work Video

Safety Tips For Biking to Work

I recommend observing a few safety precautions before biking to work. Obviously you will want to reduce the chance of a collision with a motor vehicle!

I suggest:

Avoid high traffic roads. Choosing residential or tertiary streets will make your trip safer and more enjoyable.

Wear bright colors. Wearing red, orange or yellow will insure that you are visible to those in motor vehicles.

Use lights and reflectors. Reflectors increase your visibility to others on the road. Use headlights and taillights when biking after dark for visibility and also to avoid potholes, etc.

Carry water. It’s vital for your health to carry water to avoid dehydration, particularly in summer months.

Carry a tire pump and basic bicycle repair kit. A pump will help you insure that your tires are properly inflated. An extra inner tube can be carried in a pouch underneath the seat, especially if you live in an area fraught with goat heads, glass or other tire-flattening items.

Carry pepper spray. If you are traveling through neighborhoods that have pets off-leash, carry pepper spray to deter dogs that may chase you.

Conclusion

Biking to work is a win-win situation for all parties involved. The environment is saved from the emissions that vehicles produce. Road maintenance is magnitudes less for bicycle traffic than for heavy vehicles.

Employers benefit by having to provide fewer parking spots and having a healthier employee. In addition, there are tax-saving programs available for employers who provide bike parking, showers and other benefits for bike-commuting workers. See Russ Klettke’s article for more information.

Finally, persons biking in to work experience benefits in a number of areas: They burn calories and improve their endurance and strength; They avoids traffic gridlock and the hassle of finding a parking spot; Studies show that moderate exercise contributes to improved mental health and happiness.

Bike on!

Addendum

My dear cyclist fans;

Make sure to have your bicycle checked out by a specialist every few years. Like cars, bikes need servicing sometimes. I love and still love my old bike ,"Nellie" (featured in the picture), but found out that the servicing was to cost as much as a newer bike. I bought a newer "used", but never used bike about two years old. A trophy bike? A New Year's Resolution bike? I'll never know.

Sadly, Nellie is a parts bicycle. I plan to donate Nellie, a fantastic Schwinn bike. Now that I've gotten her home, I see the new, unnamed bike really feels great and is much lighter.

I go everywhere on my bike unless there is greater than 2 inches of snow. When driving, the car maintenance was costlier, so I ride the bike if less than 15 miles or so and little snow. Otherwise, I bus.

Ride on Warriors and Warrioresses! Let us make a suitable planet to inhabilt for our chidren!

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Comments 7 comments

John  Lakewood profile image

John Lakewood 6 years ago from Lakewood, CO

Another point is to layer on clothing to deal with the crazy weather fluctuations in Colorado. Thank you.


Laura in Denver profile image

Laura in Denver 6 years ago from Aurora Author

Good point, John. Thx!


Bella DonnaDonna profile image

Bella DonnaDonna 6 years ago from New Orleans, LA

Biking to work also decreases dependence on oil (which could reduce such incidences as this BP oil spill treatening the gulf).


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

Hi, I always bike to work, apart from two years ago when I went over the handlebars! but that's another story! lol it is good exercise and great for the environment!


Laura in Denver profile image

Laura in Denver 5 years ago from Aurora Author

Thank you Nell Rose. I rode to work until 8 months pregnant, then I had to walk. That is no big deal now that I am too old to have a child.

I am still alive and kicking, riding and doing what I want. Most major cities have bike trails. Call the city counsil.

Unblelivably, I often get to a destination by bike far faster than by car or bus.


RedElf profile image

RedElf 5 years ago from Canada

I used to bike a lot 'til I moved to a big city, and then got out of the habit because of all the traffic. I took a lot of buses and walked. I'll have to start again now that I'm back in a small town.


Laura in Denver profile image

Laura in Denver 5 years ago from Aurora Author

I am in a big city, but the busses have two slots for bicycles. Such a huge help! (Except when you are SOL because both slots are full!)

Still, the insurance, maintenance and other endless costs of a car have made it worth it for me.

Thanks!

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