15 May 2009

Imagine

Imagine riding your bike to work every day, surrounded by hundreds of other cyclists. Imagine cars being so used to seeing a lot of bicycles that we have become just another part of the transportation fabric in our society. Imagine people being patient and tolerant of each other and recognizing that we're all just trying to get to work efficiently, safely and ready to do a good job for our employers.

May is National Bike Month. All month I've been part of the Group Health Bike To Work Challenge, hosted by Cascade Bike Club. Of course part of the purpose is to get people on their bikes more for commuting to work. But it is so much more than that. It's also about increasing community awareness. If only we could get people out of their cars one day every week, imagine how much more visible we would be to the motorists. Imagine if we did this twice a week. I've done it 84 days so far this year, and driven only once, feeling cheated out of my morning routine.

This year for the Bike to Work challenge, I've got to be part of Team Carpe Velo, a 10-person team of which 2 of us have ridden our bikes to work every day, riding this week in some pretty wet conditions to do it. So we have Bike to work Month, Bike to Work WEEK and now, today is Bike To Work DAY. And the cyclists were out in force.

Mimi and I started out together and rode up to Columbia Way so she could get counted. Then we rode down to Boeing and I headed north. I ran into my team captain, Mike McCormick:

Mike - Spokane St. Bridge

We both ride this same route almost every day, but have never crossed paths before, so this was pretty special for both of us. After we got our picture taken together

Team Carpe Velo - 100%'ers

we hung around for a bit, had some coffee, enjoyed all the support out there, wondering why people do this just one day, one week or one month out of the year.

Interesting Table - Part 1

Interesting Table - Part II

Great Bike - Needs Cup Holder

Nice Rack

But soon, it was time to ride off to our respective offices, Mike heading south, me heading north into downtown. But not before loading some goodies into the panniers.

Mike on his way

Typically, I see 2 or 3 bikes coming south as I'm heading north. In May, I usually see 10 or so, and this week because of the rain, the number has been down. This morning, I counted 34 bikes coming at me before I got to the bridge. Once I got there, with bikes heading in from West Seattle and heading out of downtown towards West Seattle, I saw over a hundred bikes on the road. The woman counting bikes coming out of West Seattle was up to 233 when I arrived and it was early yet.

Imagine how differently cars might see us if there were these numbers EVERY DAY!!!

Imagine.............

3 comments:

louise said...

I think of Bike to Work Day as the one day of the year that I am really appreciated, though I ride every day of the year. But I always wonder about the droves of cyclists who show up on that one day but never again. What would it take for them to ride to work more often? Should I offer up my water bottle and Clif bars to them? Do they feel safe on BTW Day because of safety in numbers but don't realize they can be one of those numbers every day? It's a very puzzling day for me...

kawman said...

Like Don, like Louise I wonder why the masses are so thin most days. I realize biking EVERY day may not work for some or even most people but I am equally convinced that if you could ride one day, you can ride more. A lot more.
I think for many, a key is getting them away from cars be it by trail or bike lanes for the arterials on their commute. Need the GUVAMINT for this one. Then people need their workplace to provide lockers and showers. With all the hills around Seattle, it's hard to arrive without working up a sweat. Some fenders, decent raingear and a Superflash and you're ready... IF last, but not least, you get an attitude change on the part of the rider.
How do you generate a change in the soul? Planting seeds like BtW Day, setting an example on and off the bike, believing.
Thanks Don for being such a great advocate for the ride.

kawman said...

Like Don, like Louise I wonder why the masses are so thin most days. I realize biking EVERY day may not work for some or even most people but I am equally convinced that if you could ride one day, you can ride more. A lot more.
I think for many, a key is getting them away from cars be it by trail or bike lanes for the arterials on their commute. Need the GUVAMINT for this one. Then people need their workplace to provide lockers and showers. With all the hills around Seattle, it's hard to arrive without working up a sweat. Some fenders, decent raingear and a Superflash and you're ready... IF last, but not least, you get an attitude change on the part of the rider.
How do you generate a change in the soul? Planting seeds like BtW Day, setting an example on and off the bike, believing.
Thanks Don for being such a great advocate for the ride.