Friday is Bike to Work Day (So, go on, … ride)

Full Bike Room at aork

I hope you are all ready for Seattle’s Bike to Work Day. Though I like my nice bike room (above), I’m hoping so many people ride that I’ll have to find my rack space elsewhere tomorrow morning.

It’s a good day to take the bike commute plunge. The weather is supposed to be awesome. Cascade Bikes, Starbucks, Group Health, and others are pulling out the stops—something like 42 Bike to Work Stations will be staffed tomorrow. Expect (possibly less-than-warm but) free Starbucks coffee, Powerbars or equivalent, water bottles, stickers, and some nice bikey camaraderie.

Even though I plan to swing by two or three commute stations conveniently located along my route, I realize it’s not about the stuff. Yeah, swag helps people get out, but the important thing is getting a butt load of riders on the road and in the public eye at least one day a year. Need another reason? Cascade does a count/census on Bike to Work day; consider a ride on Friday a way of “voting for bikes” with your wheels.

Big News: Mayor Greenhouse Gaseous Nichols is supposed to be at the Westlake Park commute rally. One wonders what kind of example he’ll set. I’m sure Greg plans to model a bike during the event, and maybe even roll down from City Hall. I’m doubtful, however, that we’ll see Hizzonor traverse the Swing Bridge and brave the less-than-relaxing trek from West Seattle. I’ve heard a few people say I’m a little hard on our mayor, so I’ll tell you what. If you do see him riding outside the Westlake-City hall radius—say south of Sodo—do let me know (grab a photo, too!). I’ll gladly take (most of) my snarky comments back.

Don’t forget it’s also Bike to School day. We’ve covered school biking events extensively so I’ll just say this: Encouraging your kids to ride to school (and showing by example) is the right thing to do.

Ride tomorrow. To work. To school. For errands. For everything.

Ride.

-Tim

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14 responses to “Friday is Bike to Work Day (So, go on, … ride)

  1. If someone doesn’t feel able to safely ride a bike in traffic – should they be forced to just because that someone is the Mayor? The fact is, for a lot of people, biking is scary. It would be great if Nickels was an avid cyclist but he’s not and I’m pretty sure it’s not just to spite the Seattle biking community.

  2. Hello from the Edmonds/Shoreline area. I’ve been enjoying your blog for a while. My wife and I got Xtracycles less than a month ago and have cut way down on fossil-burning. Our car-free days ratio is climbing.

    I mostly work at home, so commuting is infrequent, but this morning I rode to the Shoreline checkpoint to be counted (#167). My wife and son were leaving for a camping trip, or they would have joined me.

    Last night I went to pick up my son (towed his bike there, and we rode home), and met a guy who told me his neighbors in Seattle have Xtracycles, and two kids, and sold all but one car, and I was all, “Tim and Anne? Oh, yeah, I read their blog.”

  3. Hi Don – glad you’re enjoying the bikes! Out in West Seattle, our little station had over 600 riders come through in just two hours. Quite a few of them had no idea what was going on, as they do it every day, anyway. “So today you get to really celebrate it!” I told them, “Have a banana – have some coffee – have a chocolate truffle!” We hauled everything by bike, and I did a batch of quick repairs, including one broken spoke and two flats. Along the way, we decided that the correct term for a group of cargo bikes is a “pallet”, as in “Look at that pallet of cargo bikes – I wonder if someone’s moving, or just having fun?” We had a blast, all the riders were cool, and then I rode to work.

  4. Bike to School Day is a huge success as well. We counted 175 bikes at school today. They came in all forms: kids riding their own bikes, trail-a-bikes, trailers, kid seats. electric bikes. It is so great to see all of those parents and kids arriving on bikes.

    photos here.

  5. Thanks everyone for the comments. Anne, I’m totally thrilled about bike to school day. That’s really encouraging. Was that 175 kid bikes or total?

    Val, I’m digging the “pallet.” Much more impressive that “herd” or “cluster” or something like that. I’m curious about Cascade’s total counts. Maybe upwards of 20k?

    Don, I’m flattered that you’ve outed yourself as a reader. We know a whole bunch of you come by everyday, but it’s nice to put a name and experience with a page view stat! I wonder which of my neighbors you ran into. It sounds like you are doing the car free day thing well. Keep up the good work.

    Allie. I think we agree more than you realize. I’m perfectly aware that riding bikes is scary for some people. It needs to be better. My problem with Mayor Nichols is that he likes to spin himself as being pro cycling but because he doesn’t _want_ to ride, he doesn’t get the ramifications of what he says or his actions.

    Examples include his comments about the trolley track safety issues being overblown by cyclists and his resistance to putting actual bike lanes on Stone Way, even when the city’s own data showed they were necessary.

    These are just two examples (and we’ve detailed more) that don’t back up the idea of someone who _wants_ to ride but is scared of traffic. Instead I think his commitment to bikes is mostly designed to look good on the national stage without inconveniencing him to much locally.

    And finally, some bike to work photos (and couple bike to work flickr videos) here

  6. I felt like this was MY day!

    A co-worker and I biked from Tacoma to our office in Federal Way, something I do most days. Then we headed to the Kent bike station at REI HQ because there isn’t one further south (why?). We must be counted! When I got home, the wife left for her evening shift at the hospital, also on a bike.

    Wednesday night we had a bike town hall meeting with the Tacoma mobility coordinator at a swell spot called The Hub (yep, a bikey restaurant/bar). 50 people showed to discuss the bike future of Tacoma and it was noted that our city manager has been quoted as saying he will not ride a bike in Tacoma because it’s not safe and he won’t try the bus because he just can’t figure it out. There’s a possibility that these are political statements meant to draw more attention to the issue in order to get more action, but that’s speculative.

    PS I also read your blog daily, built a nearly identical Xtracycle to Anne’s and sold our other car last August, and (maybe just for irony) work for an oil company.

    Cheers to a fine day with more bikes on the road!

  7. Tim & Anne, keep up the good work. I don’t think people are hard enough on Hizzoner!!! I think Greg gets away with murder, ( well metaphorically) hey Val a ‘pallet’ of cargo bikes? hmm.. while technically acurate it could use a little more zip.

  8. Howdy Tim ‘n’ Anne!

    Here’s a little dispatch from BTWD in DC , enjoy. I hope to post some more pics soon. Was a little damp, but not even noticeable by PNW standards, and lotsa fun.

    regarding:

    Examples include his comments about the trolley track safety issues being overblown by cyclists and his resistance to putting actual bike lanes on Stone Way, even when the city’s own data showed they were necessary.

    Perhaps he is an avid cyclist, but he rides a Pugsley everywhere and just doesn’t notice grooves that size? Our Mayor’s a triathlete, so I think he’s more sensitive to those kindsa hazards 🙂

    Fan of all ya do, cheers!

  9. hey Val a ‘pallet’ of cargo bikes? hmm.. while technically acurate it could use a little more zip.

    How about a “pallet-ton” of cargo bikes?

    (Personally, I vote for “convoy”, but I also like the idea of going by “Rubber Duck”.)

  10. Marge: hey, they’re cargo bikes – they have many fine and endearing qualities, but truly, “zip” is not one of them.

  11. Any chance you know the photographer?

    DSC02827.JPG

  12. Hey Thanks Matt.. that’s a good looking bike! And you can’t even see the hot coffee the rider spilled all over himself. 😉

    And nope, I don’t know the photographer … but whomever they are, thanks for not making me look fat!

  13. Pingback: Snap! (Crackle, Pop) Goes the Xtracycle « Car Free Days

  14. Pingback: This just in: January 1 Cargo Bike Ride is on! « Car Free Days

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