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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Bothell area, WA
    Posts
    564

    Bike to Work Week!

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    I'm sure you all know about it already, but next week is Bike to Work Week and next Friday is Bike to Work Day. Let's all hope for the country's single most perfect weather day next Friday!

    Do you have lots of coworkers who'll be biking to work? In my company of 400+ people, I might have 1 other person who maybe will ride is bike once this week. I'll make up for it by riding extra.

    And since it's 6:30 am on a Sunday morning, I'm going to throw this random rambling rant out there. MA sometimes irritates me with its Boston-centrism as far as biking goes. They are running "Bay State Bike Week" here, but every single event is in downtown Boston. Free food? Downtown Boston. Free T-shirts? Boston. Police escort on routes? Into downtown Boston. I even just tried to join the 250,000-mile pledge and when at their request I went to update my profile on their web site, I put in my non-Boston zip code and it said "Enter a valid number." GAH!! So people outside Boston wouldn't ever commute by bike to somewhere not-Boston? I'm feeling irritated. Also I wish I would see an uptick in bike commuters this week or month, but I know that if this year is like years past, it'll be exactly the same as always -- me on my bike alone. Celebrating Bike to Work Week isn't really the same by yourself.

    On a more productive note, any ideas on how to encourage reluctant coworkers to even consider trying bike commuting? Many of them live 50+ miles from work (I know!) and one drives over 120 miles a day roundtrip from Connecticut. Those people all tell me "Oh sure, I'd love to bike to work... it'd TAKE me a week to get here!" I try to suggest doing a partial commute, driving most of the way and parking and biking the rest, but there's no interest. People just see that it's impossible and that's it. How to make it seem doable and non-intimidating?
    Almost a Bike Blog:
    http://kf.rainydaycommunications.net/

    Never give up. Never surrender.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Western Canada-prairies, mountain & ocean
    Posts
    6,984
    1. Do you or your local cycling advocacy organization know of areas that have bike lockers located near commuter train stations where there would be also parking for car? Or near getting off at the commuter train/bus stop, they could pick up the bike from the bike locker and cycle the rest of distance to workplace. If they drive, that means they have to park their car close by.

    It would mean the person would leave their bike locked in that locker overnight or for few days (if the weather was too lousy for cycling).

    One must be realistic-- this type of multi-modal method between home and work does require some dedication by the person to care about their fitness, efficient use of their time...it is a solution if they want to build in fitness several times per week when they have very little time outside of work for personal fitness.



    2. I sent an email to all employees --very short that I had copies of cycling maps. But I also gave them a web link...if they wanted to print off parts of the map. I made sure I shot out the email at lunch time. Surprisingly I had over 15 employees who each wanted the foldout hard copy map. It was more than I expected since I was working way out in the suburbs..40 kms. outside of the city downtown core.

    Many, many residents are NOT aware of local and public transit bike maps. You must give them this info. A super emphasis on this. This is so basic to us cyclists, that we take it nearly for granted since regular cyclists become accustomed to knowing how to locate this information locally.

    Good luck. You will meet employees who might surprise you with their interest. Even if they don't bike-commute...your objective is to interest them to cycle more often for pleasure. Isn't that a good thing too? They might also pick up a bike route map for another family member who might be more interested.


    I will be volunteering at a Bike Work Week commuter station..early tomorrow morning. Should be interesting because rain is predicted which might mean less cyclists stopping?
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know whatís in a personís heart.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,394
    Katie, are you sure about the pledge thing? I entered last year and it took my zip code, although I *might* be on the edge of what is considered "greater Boston." It does kind of s*ck, though. They did have leaders for rides into Boston from as far west as Stow last year, and I don't think anyone came! I wanted to lead a group out toward Hudson, where I worked, but there was no support for that.
    I did manage to get a group of 5 people to go on an 8 mile after work ride with me, during Bike Work last year. But, it did take a whole lot of organizing and wrangling.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Western Canada-prairies, mountain & ocean
    Posts
    6,984
    I should add that the employees who picked up the bike maps from me at that, were all drivers but I noticed when the months got warmer a few did cycle to work. Most of these converts lived in suburbs but also were ex-patriate employees direct from Germany, abit more cycling oriented.

    They knew how complex my much longer distance commute was by only cycling part way. (Most of it from bike locker near aboverground commuter train to home.) And they knew how dedicated I was..because I was WALKING from the bus stop with my cycling gear on after a 1/2 hr. bus ride. (No point cycling in, 15 min. ride through a jumble of construction mess wasn't worth it.) They knew I didn't care what they thought how ...strange this might look.

    By the 3rd year I was employed by the firm, the number of bikes at our construction site tripled...which made it around 8-9 bikes. Approx. 75 employees at this site with 100 other employees scattered all over 5 other work site locations. Not sure about the other work sites but I was aware of 2-3 per site interested in cycling.

    It takes a few years to convert some people. But if you, yourself are dedicated and happy to cycle, and people see how fit you are, the enthusiasm will rub off at least 1 other person. Trust me. You need to be happy and patient.
    Last edited by shootingstar; 05-10-2009 at 06:44 AM.
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know whatís in a personís heart.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Belle, Mo.
    Posts
    1,778
    I'm a teacher, so I always offer a free Gatorade to anyone cycling to school. We then have the local paper take their picture. I usually get a pretty good turnout!
    Claudia

    2009 Trek 7.6fx
    2013 Jamis Satellite
    2014 Terry Burlington

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    WA State
    Posts
    4,364
    Out here we don't just have bike to work week - its bike to work month... aka the Group Health Commute Challenge
    (yes cycling is pretty big out here)

    At my place of work (a hospital, so yes there are a lot of workers) there are more than 40 teams of 4 to 10 people. You are supposed to pledge to ride at least 5 times during the month, but most people do it much more. There's also a relatively friendly, but highly competitive atmosphere about the whole thing within my workplace. I'm a regular bike commuter and so are most of the people on my team, as well as two of us being racers (the other guy is a pro.... as well as team doctor, and also a surgeon.... I don't know where he finds the time...)

    As far as how to encourage people who come from fairly far away - multi-modal commutes! My workplace gives *everyone* a 3 county bus pass. They try to make it as easy as possible to not drive... Getting people to try alternate commuting is the hardest part, but often after they've tried they often like. Saving all that money on parking (you have to pay for parking at my place of work - you get paid if you don't park), gas, maintenance and not sitting in traffic while you get exercise has its rewards.
    "Sharing the road means getting along, not getting ahead" - 1994 Washington State Driver's Guide

    visit my flickr stream http://flic.kr/ps/MMu5N

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Perpetual Confusion and Indecision
    Posts
    488
    I think I can safely say I'll be the only one at my workplace. Out of about 30 people, I'm the only person who ever rides to work. I do have one coworker who lives about 2 miles away, and he has ridden his mountain bike to work a couple of times, but he complained a lot about the 1/2 mile long gradual uphill from the corner. Maybe I'll work on him. Other than that, almost all of the guys make fun of me for it (in a "gotta give her a hard time over something" kind of way). We're part of a university, but several miles from campus, which is on one end of town. I'm sure lots of people on campus will be commuting. This year the city is having a big Ride to Work Day event, put on by the bike shops & other businesses. Of course, my commute would grow by 12 miles in order to hit the events, since work is between town & home, so I guess I'll skip that.

    My plan (tentative) is to ride to work every day this week. We'll see. There is a chance of thunderstorms later in the week, but I'll hit as many days as I can. Tuesday maybe I'll ride the snowmobile trail to work on my MTB, and then hitch a ride with DH on his way into town for swimming afterward, and a ride with my buddy back home. Tomorrow I'll ride the touring bike, and load the panniers with lunches and clothes for other days. The roadie is the most fun for commuting, but only if I don't have to carry too much stuff on my back. I don't do this often enough that it ever seems like it doesn't take extra planning. Such as: how early do I have to leave to ride the MTB? Do I have my underwear ? Do I have any appointments tomorrow? Will anything come up today that will prevent me from leaving work at my usual time? What if I get grease or hydraulic fluid all over my clothes at work? And, right now I have a sore throat - what if I get sick? I see why people see bike commuting as some sort of really difficult thing, if they never do it. It seems hard before you've actually tried it.

    Have fun, everyone!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Beverly, MA
    Posts
    91
    Didn't even know about this...

    I'll be biking to work/school. At one job it's just my boss and I, so I know I'll be the only one there, and at my other job I highlyhighly doubt anyone else will...
    - Ashley aka Redd
    Redd-Design REDD Road-Ryder

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    where the wind comes sweeping down the plain
    Posts
    5,251
    Oklahoma had bike to work week the last week in April and our Bike to Work day was May 1st (boo on them because I couldn't take the day off to be part of the festivities).
    Everyone have fun commuting this week and enjoy the day on Friday.
    Check out my running blog: www.turtlepacing.blogspot.com

    Cervelo P2C (tri bike)
    Bianchi Eros (commuter/touring road bike)

    1983 Motobecane mixte (commuter/errand bike)
    Cannondale F5 mountain bike

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Rhode Island
    Posts
    1,365
    I am leading the 30 mile train in from Hope Valley RI to Providence on Friday. Might get one person... maybe. Last year had no one.
    I can do five more miles.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    MI
    Posts
    2,543
    Sadly, I can't bike to work--I work from home. And when I do go to the office, it's 75 miles each way.

    HOWEVER, I am biking DD to and from daycare every day!
    2005 Giant TCR2
    2012 Trek Superfly Elite AL
    2nd Sport, Pando Fall Challenge 2011 and 3rd Expert Peak2Peak 2011
    2001 Trek 8000 SLR
    Iceman 2010-6th Place AG State Games, 2010-1st Sport, Cry Baby Classic 2010-7th Expert, Blackhawk XTerra Tri 2007-3rd AG

    Occasionally Updated Blog

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    10
    I biked to work for the first time all year and I plan to do it everyday this week. I'm trying to get my students on board but I haven't had many takers yet.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    403
    at my little lab with two of us here all the time... we BOTH commute by bike rain/snow/or shine... It's fun having another dedicated commuter. Also, suiting up in gore tex in the middle of winter with another commuter in the lab isn't so strange... I may have call a meeting on Friday at the local coffee shop

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Western Canada-prairies, mountain & ocean
    Posts
    6,984

    just wet at bike to Work Week commuter station

    So this morning it was a steady rain when I was volunteering at one of the different spots for Bike to Work Wk. stations tents/table in our city. We were right in front of a community college.

    About 45-50 cyclists in total did drop by in the rain for food, prizes and info. (8 am - 10 am). There was lots of food ...fresh fruit, juices, muffins, scones, donuts and coffee. Included a mother with her child in bike trailer.

    Would say at least 15 cyclists whizzed by unwilling to stop because it was too wet or they had to get somewhere on time. A few didn't seem to notice our table.

    This wk. there will at least 15-20 different bike to work week locations for bike commuter stop tents/tables for city and suburbs for food, info. Then there will be mega BQ downtown for bike commuters --several thousand cyclists. I plan to go, because it's so close to home...almost embarrassing that I cycle there, yet maybe not.
    ________________________________________________________

    Just heard from my partner who is in Brussels today, his lst day there. It is also Bike to Work Week or whatever there. He did roam around downtown but didn't see much evidence of the week/event being marketed as such.
    Last edited by shootingstar; 05-11-2009 at 05:03 PM.
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know whatís in a personís heart.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Belgium
    Posts
    931
    I haven't heard about it. But there was a big article in the newspapers about the event your husband is attending. Apparently Gent (a real bikefriendly) city was supposed to organise the event, but Brussels snatched it away. You hardly see any bikes in Brussels.

    What we often have (like once a year) is a car free day nation wide. Cars are not allowed in the streets then. I wish they did that weekly.

 

 

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