Last Spring I organized a small ECOSS team for Bike-to-Work Month, an annual competition that encourages employees of local businesses and organizations to commute by bike. It’s a well-timed event at the end of Seattle’s bike-unfriendly winter season, and it’s a great way of getting new riders on bikes since there is added safety in the increased number of cyclists on the road. The sponsoring organization, Cascade Bicycle Club, even calculates the amount of CO2 each team offsets by riding rather than driving to work. Last year, our ECOSS team of four avoided putting about a ton and a half of CO2 in the atmosphere. Imagine if every workplace in Seattle did the same or better!
I realize that not everyone loves bikes or biking as much as I do, but I think more people would enjoy it if they gave it a shot. It’s true there are many barriers to riding–safety, weather, experience, those darn Seattle hills–but for every barrier there are several solutions. Riding with a friend and wearing appropriate clothing are two actions that can address several of those challenges, and as for those hills, well, they’re a great way to get in shape. 🙂 So as the weather starts to loosen its icy grip and let the sun back in, I hope you’ll consider trying out biking to get around, or if you already bike, that you’ll take a newbie under your wing. The sustainability implications of biking vs. driving are obvious, but I think many will find that it’s more fun, too.
– Aldan Shank
Cascade Bicycle Club – Fantastic resource for all riders.
Bike to Work Month – Learn how to start a team of your own!
Bicycle Alliance of Washington – Another splendid resource for riders; features a calendar of group rides and other events.
City of Seattle Bike Program – The City’s official website for making Seattle a great place to ride.
Maps! – Want to ride around those hills instead of over them? Links to maps with the best routes for two-wheeled, person-powered transport.
Seattle Bike Swap – Want a bike but need a bike? This is a great place to start. Amazing deals on amazing bikes. Check it out–it’s only days away (Feb 21st)!