Get started Biking to Work

I’ve ridden pretty much every day for over 11 years; it happens without my even thinking about it. Perhaps you’re in the same boat…and that’s a shame.

Because when you do think about, it riding a bike to work is really remarkable! Tens of millions of Americans say that they want to get up in the morning and get some exercise, but they don’t. Tens of millions of Americans say they want save money, but they don’t. Tens of millions of Americans say they want to do things to be kinder to the planet.

If you rode your bike today, you did something that the vast majority of Americans did not do. It doesn’t matter that you do it everyday or that you did it today without thinking about it or even that it wasn’t hard (remember when it was hard?).

That is remarkable.

It’s a victory.

Celebrating people

You had a big win today. Stop and celebrate it.

Stop for a second and celebrate it. Put your hands in the air and do some fist pumping. Give your self a quick round of applause.

You deserve it.

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Today is Memorial Day—the official, unofficial start to summer. It is also the perfect day to execute on your latent desire to begin biking to work.

woman on a bike

Summertime and the biking is easy. Photo by Julio Greff.

We most often think about habits and resolutions in January, but when it comes to creating a bike commuting habit, summer rules because: [click to continue…]

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Bicycle touring

Image by Lindsey Wood

A few years ago, I did the maths and realized that I had ridden my bike the equivalent of all the way around the world at the equator. The realization was kind of sad…all that way and yet I had only gone back and forth from my home to the office.

In this guest post, Peter Rice suggests that if you take your bike to work, the next logical step is taking your bike on vacation.

Enter Peter Rice. [click to continue…]

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It’s been about ten months since I last posted to this blog. I had run out of things to say and, frankly, I thought I was done; but this morning’s commute changed my mind. What was special about today’s commute? I’m working from home.

Picture of an amazing sunrise

It’s hard to appreciate a view like this from a car moving at 40 mph in traffic. That’s one reason I ride a bike. Photo by Natesh Ramasamy.

My bedroom is upstairs and my desk is downstairs, but I felt compelled to put a 45 minute ride in between the two. What is really remarkable about this is that when I started commuting almost ten years ago getting on my bike was a daily struggle and I often was only able to do it because I had left myself no other option for getting to work.

I honestly don’t know whether my “ride to work” was a waste of time, but I do know that my reason for riding has changed from something I have to do to something I want to do. [click to continue…]

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May 12-16 is Bike to Work Week and you will undoubtedly have many opportunities to read about the health and monetary benefits of riding a bike to work. Those articles will be informative and enjoyable and I encourage you to read them.

My Bike to Work Week post, however, will have no practical value.

A cloud covered mountain

I love the way clouds scrape the mountain in spring. This cloud, lit up by alpenglow, makes it hard to tell where the snow-capped mountain stops and the sky begins.

Springtime is ideal for riding a bike to work for so many reasons, but my favorite—by far—is the beauty of the ride. It’s something you can’t appreciate through your car’s tinted windows. It’s something you don’t dare appreciate at 65 miles and hour in bumper to bumper traffic.  [click to continue…]

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Recently our family took a road trip from Utah to points East. Along the way from Hershey, Pennsylvania to Washington, D.C. we took a detour to Lancaster County to see “Amish Country.” Rolling hills: check. Large families tending well-kept farms: check. Horse drawn buggies: check. Other people looking at Amish Country: check.

Interestingly, we (and many other people) drove thousands of miles at 75-80 mph to—purposely—get stuck behind a buggy.

An Amish buggy and a car wait at a red light.

This guy doesn’t know that the road is for cars. Photo by Tony Fischer.

No one goes to Amish Country and then complains about being delayed by slower traffic because it is expected, but take your bicycle into a traffic lane and don’t be surprised to hear a horn or two.

It’s time to reset expectations—those of motorists, and more importantly your own. While I generally ride on the shoulder (most streets in Salt Lake have a generous shoulder), there are good reasons for riding in the middle of a lane of traffic, and you should be aware of and become comfortable with them. Read why you should take the lane

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Three Reasons You Should Have and Use a Bike

August 5, 2013

Yesterday on a train, I was asked to take yet another survey on transportation and transit. I take every survey that comes my way because I have strong opinions on the subject, but for the last year and a half or so, I have been embarrassed about my answer to one of the questions: how […]

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Speed Kills

May 29, 2013

I just saw another of those studies that answers a question us non-Ph.D types wouldn’t bother asking. In this case the question was, “Are higher speeds more dangerous?” The scientifically-validated answer: yes. No one should be surprised that that higher vehicle speeds lead to more deaths as well as more crashes in general. But what […]

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Morning Warning

May 13, 2013

I love riding in the morning; the air is cool, the wind is still, the birds are singing, and promise of a new day colors my view. But morning is, in my opinion, the absolute most dangerous time of day to ride, and I was reminded of this by an recent awful accident. Please take […]

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Being Safe by Being Confident

March 6, 2013

For years, I accepted the conventional wisdom that riding a bike was inherently dangerous. I figured that sitting on my ever growing backside on a bus was probably worse than the considerable risk of getting run over, and chalked up my continued safety to a run of good luck. After tens of thousands of miles […]

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