The local bicyclist association had a clear message: “Join thousands of area commuters for a celebration of bicycling as a clean, fun and healthy way to get to work!” I wondered if these words would be enough to compel hundreds of commuters in the Washington, DC area to trade their gas pedals for bike pedals on National Bike to Work Day.
On May 21st, I rode my bike to work. The participation rate for this year’s event in our area was among the highest on record, with 9,200 riders.
Among my closest friends and acquaintances, I didn’t have a lot of company. The message of helping the environment while engaging in physical activity didn’t really resonate with them. The potential hassles of dealing with rush hour traffic at busy intersections and working up a sweat on the way to work, I suppose, became the ultimate deal-breakers...What if the message was different? What if I showed them how pleasant my ride to work really was? Images of clear skies, comfortable temperatures, no traffic, and pathways through the idyllic countryside all conjure up appealing reasons for taking your bike to work, right? Sometimes, words aren’t enough and pictures really are worth a thousand words.
Look at the view I had as I cycled along my 10-mile commute. Compare it to the view from your windshield as you drove to and from work that day.
Next year’s “Bike to Work Day” is 11 months away. Are you in?