If you noticed a lot more Lycra on the roads last Wednesday, there was a reason: June 26 was Bike to Work Day.
As a regular cyclist (in the summer at least), I’ve always wondered about this annual event’s impact. I’ve never noticed an increase in cyclists following the promotion along my route. I assumed its main value was in creating more visibility around cycling. But I was wrong. A survey conducted by Denver Regional Council of Governments’ Way to Go program following 2018’s Bike to Work Day showed that bicycling commuting increased by 14% among new participants. (Among all participants it increased by 12%).
That’s a remarkable impact, but I shouldn’t have been surprised. Cycling to work is one of those pleasures that once discovered, you’re hooked. It’s such an invigorating way to start the day — especially if you’re on my route: Fresh air, blooming foliage, quiet streets, cute dogs.
Truth is, the promotion I would suggest is “Bike Home From Work.” That’s the harder bit. After a full day at work getting on that bike for the trek home takes a little more motivation, especially if your return journey has uphill portions (mine does).
That’s when I would really appreciate that free “Bike to Work” snack station!
If you’re thinking about taking up cycling, here’s my one major safety recommendation: visibility. Never assume that you are seen. I’ve been hit twice and both times it was because the driver didn’t see me. In one case, he had an obstructed view. In the other, he was making the equivalent of a right turn and didn’t think to look for cyclists.
So always be careful — but why not find out if you can become one of the 14%?
Shana Goldberg may be reached at email@example.com
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