Can Bike To Work Day change your life? Ask Steve Biggs of Clayton. He tried bike commuting in 2009 and hasn’t stopped since!
Before Bike To Work Day 2009, Steve wasn’t sure that bike commuting was for him. He’d never tried biking to work, having concerns about finding a good route, being able to get cleaned up after the ride, and not arriving late. But on May 14, 2009, he rode from Clayton to Lafayette on Bike To Work Day and was hooked!
Steve continued commuting by bike, and when he hit the six-month mark we wrote about him on our blog.
We checked in with Steve and it turns out that almost 7 years after his first bike commute he’s still going strong!
We asked Steve if he would share his bike commuting experience with us. Here’s what he had to say:
Currently Steve bikes to work 4 days a week. His 16-mile commute from Clayton to Lafayette takes about 70 minutes — only 15 minutes more than if he had driven. He learned it’s worth taking a longer route if it helps him avoid congestion and dangerous intersections, finds most motorists to be considerate, and prefers mixed-use paths over roads because they’re not crowded during the week.
What He Enjoys About It
Beyond the bump cycling to work gives his fitness, Steve enjoys the calm he finds on the morning rides. It lets him brainstorm for the coming work day, organize his thoughts, and arrive at work feeling energized and focused. The daily rides even act as training miles for when he’s on the mountain bike — which helped him complete the Leadville 100 in Colorado, a 100-mile mountain bike race which starts at an altitude of 10,152 feet!
According to Steve, a little planning goes a long way: Keep an extra set of clothes at work. Find a secure place to store your bike, preferably inside the office. Think about where you can freshen up after your ride (some health clubs offer ‘shower memberships’). Spend some time thinking about how you’ll transport your belongings on the bike. And most importantly, “Get used to the route before commuting to work.” Try riding it on the weekend when you’re less pressed for time.
Find a Bike Mentor
If you’re on the fence about bike commuting, Steve suggests finding a mentor or someone to help you get prepared and plan your route. Not only can experienced bike commuters share pitfalls to avoid and strategies which work for them, they often know cut-throughs (which aren’t on the map) that help you bypass congested or dangerous roads. If there isn’t someone in your office who bikes to work, you can find a Bike Buddy via the 511.org website.
There’s no better time than Bike To Work Day to see what it’s like to commute by bike! Look what it did for Steve. Who knows what it might do for you?
For information on Bike To Work Day, including resources to help you plan your route and find an Energizer station, visit the 511cc Bike To Work Day page.