Steve Biggs | 511 Contra Costa

Steve Biggs: A Bike To Work Day Success Story (BTWD 2016)

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:
His Commute
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 website.
btwd 2016There’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.

Commuting to Work is Recreation for Clayton Cyclist

A Clayton commuter once believed that cycling was for recreation and weekends, but now his commute to work IS recreation.
Meet Steve Biggs of Clayton. He began cycling to work on Bike to Work Day (May 14th, 2009) and has continued bicycle commuting  ever since.  Although Steve is a trained road cyclist he didn’t commute by bike because he was a bit unsure of the route, how to clean up after the ride, and with a new job he didn’t want to risk being late.    Steve threw caution to the wind and cycled to work on Bike to Work Day.   Read Steve’s updates  below to see how things are going.
June 2, 2009-  “There was a little bit of a learning curve on the logistics.  Now I have enough clothes at work to last a week or so and the local health club gave me a” shower” membership.  The first week I almost threw my back out by carrying too much stuff with me and managed to cover a pair of slacks in grease. ”
July 2,  2009 – “Cycling to work is going great.  I rode all four days this week.  I have been getting a little more comfortable doing errands or stopping for other meetings on the way home, so that has helped increase the number of  days I ride.  I also found out that there are showers in our building after meeting another cyclist that works in the complex.  Monday had been a driving day because I was always tired, but now when I cycle to work Monday I feel more energetic all day.  With all the road miles that I’ve logged I decided to sign up for the 100-mile Livestrong Challenge and raise some money for cancer.”
November 11, 2009 —  Steve Biggs has been cycling to work since Bike To Work Day six months ago.  He’s cycling to work three to four days a week and says it feels strange to drive into work.   “I wasn’t sure if I would ride as frequently once the days started getting shorter and it meant riding in the dark.  The route I was originally taking had some sections with heavy traffic so I adjusted the route to make the trip a little safer.  I use a mountain biking headlight that provides more than enough light for the road, and I bought a bright blinking tail light and lights for the wheels. I actually find that cars have no trouble seeing me, and are a little more careful in the dark when passing. The nice part is that I only get home 15 minutes later than I would if I had driven.”
Biggs says his weekday riding makes a huge difference on weekend rides with friends.  He  found that he is a much stronger rider (than last year) with all the mid-week mileage he is doing, which makes his recreational riding more fun.