May is Bike Month!

Posted by Trish Riley, May 8, 2009

From the RentaBikeNow folks (who, alas, don’t provide service in Gainesville, but remember them when you’re traveling!):

Bike-to-Work is Easier/Cheaper at 200 Bike Shops Nationwide
CHICAGO, IL – April 30, 2009 – Bike-to-Work Week kicks off May 11th and encourages all Americans to-you guessed it- bike to work. This celebration encourages people to try bike commuting; increases environmental awareness; and promotes healthy transportation for 26 million adults who ride regularly. The remaining 185 million adults are left with only excuses. While this epic battle between benefits and excuses has raged since 1956, tips the scale by making rental bikes available nationwide and waiving their Convenience Fee during the week long celebration.

  • First of all, try it.  Set a specific day to start and commit to riding your bike to work several days that week.
  • Drive the course first and try some less traveled streets – what’s right for a car may not be right for a bicyclist.
  • Try different routes, often the shortest route isn’t the quickest or most comfortable.  Consult the internet since bike mapping websites and bike route information is readily available.
  • If distance is an issue, incorporate mass transit into your Bike-to-Work plans; it still counts.
  • Take is easy.  If you keep your efforts and pace in check, you’ll arrive cool and dry.  And of course, it gets easier after a few commutes.
  • Just in case, keep a spare set of clothes at work with a box of baby wipes for a quick way to freshen up.
  • For bike parking, ask your employer if there is a safe room for you to store your bike – you’ll be amazed at how often they say “Yes,” and your employer learns that you are an energetic employee.
  • Talk to other cyclists.  Almost every office has a bike commuter, and they are usually more than willing to share their personal tips and tricks.
  • Wear bright colors when riding; always wear a proper fitting bike helmet; and obey traffic laws.  And don’t forget to wave to motorists – you’ll be surprised at how often they wave back.  Perhaps the next time, from their own bike.
Bike-to-Work Week is, in fact, part of a larger push with May being National Bike Month and May 15th being Bike-to-Work Day.  Cyclists choose their level of commitment then start pedaling.  At minimum, Bike Month celebrations should remind people to visit their neighborhood bike shop for a quick tune-up or to explore the latest models.
Ride on!