It's time. It's time to dust off your bike, if you have not already, and let it explore. Explore new routes to work, maybe a back road to the grocery store or possibly invite a loved one on a little heart pumping action.
Bikes are not meant to hang in a basement or garage. They are not happy there. They want to move--they want to make YOU healthier and happier. They want to improve the environment, but unless you release them, they can do none of these things.
As a year round commuter for over twenty years, there is nothing I enjoy more than riding in the morning. Although I love--and I do mean love--my first cup of coffee, nothing trumps the early morning peace of my morning commute by bike. It is at this witching hour of 5am, I get to hear recently hatched spring peepers in the kettle ponds, hoots from barred owls and the see the darting movements of raccoon families. This is my time. My time to breathe and get into a healthy state of mind for the upcoming day.
Oh sure, there are days, like when sheets of rain are falling, that a quiet sigh might leave my lungs. I can honestly say, however, that I have never regretted biking into work and 99.9% of the time, I feel better for doing so.
In this Spring/Summer version of bike-to-work-week--held May14th-18th--I am asking you to make a personal pledge to commute to work by bike a few times, if you don't already. I know that there are always a million excuses, but believe it or not, most of these excuses have a way of falling by the wayside once you start. If your workplace doesn't offer a place to wash up, try bringing a washcloth and hand towel for a quick "bath". If there isn't appropriate bike parking, ask your supervisor to get a bike rack and explain how it can help your entire workforce. If you have to tote large items back and forth from work, consider getting a trailer, panniers or try doing a car/bike exchange where you drive in one day, bike home, bike in the next day, then drive home.
The Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin is here to help get you motivated for a great season of bike commuting! Throughout the state, there will be events from May 14th-18th. Get your morning coffee trail side, get a quick tune up, gather with friends at the end of the week to celebrate. While you're at it, enter into the Wisconsin Bicycle Challenge. Log your miles from May 1st (no it's not too late to start) to August 31st and get entered to win great prizes. Challenge your co-workers to see who can put the most miles in--you'd be amazed how well this works. Most importantly, think of some personal reasons of why you want to bike to work--we'd love to hear them!