Category Archives: Commute

Why We Ride: Thoughts on Motivation

Let’s talk about motivation. What drives you to ride your bike or walk? Why on earth — especially during these sodden, cold winter days — do you commute via bike or feet over a warm, dry car?

A little housekeeping first: when used in the same sentence as bikes, commute has many definitions. Most people associate commute with work. But work isn’t the only destination for a commute. What about school? or play, activities, errands, appointments, or even to run kids here and there? Maddie, for example, is a bike commuter in our eyes. And for the purpose of this article, if you use a bike to “get around” (say, any use not strictly for sport),  then you are a bike commuter too. This article mostly refers to “bikes.” But if your needs are better met by mentally substituting “walk” or “scoot” or “multi-modal” instead of “bike” as you read this post, you have our blessing.

share the road with a Kid

This discussion is not new, our bike tribe has been talking about this topic for years. Back in 2008, Kent Peterson did some posts: why do you bike commute? / Why don’t you bike commute?

You’ve heard of first world problems, right? Most people who live in the world’s wealthiest nations have abundant choices. One of those is the option to choose our mode of transportation. To get from point A to B, we can drive or walk or take the bus or use a bike, a scooter or a unicycle, or even hire a town car. Us first-worlders are blessed (cursed?) with commute options. Continue reading

ATP (Alternative Transportation Project): Leave the Car at Home

Thanks, Jorge, for sending us this video!

The entire Car Free Days family enjoyed watching this whimsical video that’s a refreshing reminder of the fun involved in leaving our cars at home on occasion!

Happy Bike-to-School-And-Work-Day tomorrow!

 - Anne

Brompton: Take it in? Or lock it up?

BromptonsTim and I have a difference of opinion when it comes to Bromptons.

When he rides the Brompton, Tim forgoes toting around a heavy U lock and frequently chooses to take the bike with him when he arrives at his destination. In a shopping cart, in the corner of a restaurant or in a waiting room at the doctor’s office, Tim’s choice is usually to tote and stash the bike. Continue reading

Joy-filled, kid-cam view of an Xtracycle commute

I’m a little behind on my blog / RSS reading (like 6-9 months, oops) so maybe this one has been all over the Inter-Webs. But even if it has, I don’t care. I love it and I’m posting it here anyway.

Nate Byerley, CEO of Xtracycle, spent some time filming his daughter Davis and their commute to school on a PeaPod (child seat) -equipped Xtracycle. The result is the perfect video to share with anyone who wonders why children should be transported by bike.

Watch and then answer me this: Have you ever seen such joy (“I see a kitty! …  Scream with me!”) from ANY child strapped into a video screen-equipped mini van or SUV?

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Bikes are better!

Thanks Nate!

-Tim

Everybody talks about the weather but no one…

A wet trip homeIt was raining so hard when I got up Wed. morning I didn’t ride my bike to work.

Don’t worry, I still got there on the Xtracycle, but like most days, I found it made more sense to take my time getting underway.

My morning (many mornings, in truth) went something like this: I got up. It was raining. Had my Grapenuts and coffee with the kids. Raining. Helped them get ready. Raining. Said goodbye to the kids. Still raining. Shower? Yep, still raining.

Yet 10 minutes later I was on my way to work dressed in my normal (non-bike) clothes, rain gear safely stowed in the Xtracycle Freeloader. Rain-gear optional is a a pretty usual way for me to roll (and maybe the reason I can still justify owning my hideously ugly purple/pink/black, 18 (!) year-old REI Turismo jacket/pants

I’m not saying all this to sound like a total time-challenged-douche-bag-schedule-slouching-weather-rock-star or something—though if you got soaked yesterday you might think  I sound like one of those. Nah, I just want to share my two simple tools (well, three if you count the merino wool and four if you count fenders, but everyone knows that one, right?)  for staying dry this winter. Continue reading

New Light Rail and No Parking, What a Concept!

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Columbia City station on Seattle's Link light rail from rutlo on Flickr

Sound Transit is launching it’s starter light-rail line from Westlake Center to Tukwila tomorrow.

Today’s Seattle Times reports that some would-be light rail riders are upset by the lack of parking around the light rail stations. According to Rick Sheridan, SDOT spokesman, this was done on purpose.

“Light rail was meant to be fed by people taking the bus, walking or biking,” said Rick Sheridan, spokesman for the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT). “It was not meant to be fed by cars.”

Sounds like a great opportunity to promote cycling. One mile is a doable bike ride for most people. Let’s hope people get inspired to give cycling a try since they won’t have any place to park their cars. Go ahead,  buy a beater bike and ride it to the light rail station.

Does anyone know if they put in adequate bike parking?

I’d love to hear from some South end readers about what you think of this topic.  The Times has 329 comments at this time, so it looks like a hot one.

– Anne

Transportation Forum + Bike to Work/School Kickoff

I love commuting with my wife

I love commuting with my wife

Friday is a big day.

We kick off Bike to Work month (Tim) and Bike to School month (Anne and the kids).  I’m pretty sure we’ll be blessed with clear (or at least dry) skies, so don’t delay the start of your commute season. Remember, this is Seattle—the weather can only get worse as we get closer to June.

If you find yourself downtown with a spare hour around lunch time, I’d recommend checking out the Forum, TOWN HALL: Visioning the Puget Sound Region’s Transportation Future. It’s part of their ongoing Friday Forums series:

Transit demand continues to skyrocket while operating revenues are plummeting.  How do car sharing, walkable and bike-friendly communities, and transit work together to form a new vision for transportation?

You’re even bring your lunch so if your schedule can swing it—unfortunately, mine can’t— please share any good takeaways. From over here in the cheap seats, it looks like an interesting collection of speakers will be covering some major ground.

WHEN:Friday, May 1st, 12:00 – 1:30 PM
WHERE:
Bertha Landes Knight Room, Seattle City Hall (on 5th Ave.between Cherry and James St.)

More info at the Transportation Choices Coalition website.

-Tim