One week from today on next Friday, May 20th legions of two wheel enthusiasts, novice bicyclists, and (if history is any guide) even Energy Secretary Steven Chu will turn the paths and bike lanes of Washington, DC into a veritable velodrome. Why? Well, it’s Bike to Work Day. As a new bicycle commuter I can vouch for the benefits such as exercise, freedom from the bus and metro, cost savings, and joy of biking to work (especially if you can make use of Rock Creek Park). I can also say that it does take more planning and some inconvenience to get to work by bike. I need to make sure I have suits and work shirts ready and hanging the closet at work and all the necessary morning ritual toiletries on hand in a locker in our office building’s locker room and shower so that I can be ready for work at 8:30am. But in the couple weeks I’ve been biking, I’d say the pros outweigh the cons.So, throw off the usual commuter chains of car/bus/train and hop on some two wheeled person power. Especially if you live within, say, 6 miles of work give the old bicycle a try. Even if it doesn’t work as an everyday commute, the one day change of pace will be good for your body and mind. It’s free, of course, but you can sign up here if you want for a commuter convoy from your neighborhood, pit stops, and a raffle. There’s plenty more information below and on the Washington Area Bicyclist Association’s (WABA) website, including route planning and bicycle lanes maps.
How Bike to Work Day Works:
1) Plan your Route to (and from) Work
There are great resources on the WABA website for route planning. Google Maps also provides directions for traveling by bicycle using bike lanes, trails and route while avoiding hills and traffic! Also consider joining a commuter convoy from your neighborhood. While planning your route, be sure to stop by pit stops for snacks, waters, high-fives and fun! If this is your first time riding, try a practice run of your route before the big day on the weekend when the roads are quieter.
2) Register for a Pit Stop
You’ve got to register for Bike to Work Day! This enters you in to the regional and local raffles for sweet prizes and bikes. You get a FREE Bike to Work Day t-shirt if you are one of the first 8,500 to register for the event. Please feel free to visit multiple pit stops on Bike to Work Day.