Monday, May 14, 2012

Bike to Work Week

I rode my bike to work on Friday in celebration of Bike to Work Week (which doesn't officially start until this week so I was a little early).  The distance was about 6 1/2 miles each way (a mile more than driving because I wanted to stick to roads with bike lanes for safety.
Outside Reno Bike Project on 4th Street near downtown
John rode with me in the morning to make sure I could find a safe route to work. The day was perfect for riding -- sunny, still, and clear.  Being outside in the fresh cool air felt so good.  It woke me up faster than coffee and I was instantly alert.  Traffic was light and our cruise through the neighborhood streets was pretty much uneventful (except for one person in a lifted diesel truck who thought it was funny to deliberately smoke us out. Don't worry, it's a small town...and a memorable vehicle).  These are photos I took a few weeks ago when John drove me to work.

Then we stopped for coffee and pastries at Bibo Coffee Company near campus and sat outside on the patio (this photo was taken at the end of March and the weather was still cool then).
Bibo Coffee Co. on Record Street near UNR (March 2012)
Riding my bike to work was pretty easy.  Our pace was pretty easy (14 m.p.h. average) so I didn't get sweaty which meant I could wear my work clothes (I didn't need to change or shower).  Most of the route was safe because there were bicycle lanes and all of the drivers (but the one person) were mindful and gave us a lot of room (and me a lot of room when I rode home alone after work). I carried my laptop and lunch in my backpack -- and a flat tire kit.  Bike, helmet, a water bottle, eyeglasses, and light gloves were all I need.  Also, you should carry some sort of an emergency contact and ID card on you like Road ID® (I wear an ID badge for work so I wrote my emergency contact on a card that I slipped behind my badge). Leo also shares his experience and many great tips on his blog.

If you'd like to ride your bike to work (perhaps for Bike to Work Day this Friday), there are many resources out there to help you make it happen:
http://www.bikeleague.org/
http://www.biketoworkinfo.org/

If you live in or around Reno, there are some perks like free coffee, pancakes, and/or snacks -- and raffles to win neat stuff just for riding to work this week: http://bikenevada.org/.  Bike shops are also giving 10% discounts as well.  I'm sure there are similar things going on around the nation since May is National Bike Month.

Whether you are riding or driving, I hope you have a safe and fun week!

 

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