While every week is Drive Yourself Alone to Work Week for most Americans, May 15-19 is Bike to Work Week ... and Bike Pittsburgh is making an effort to help commuters realize commuter cycling can be simple, fun and doable. The week, part of the League of American Bicyclists' Bike Month, will include biker breakfasts, biking workshops and a biker's Happy Hour.
Cycling to work brings some unique challenges, acknowledges Bike Pittsburgh director Scott Bricker. Until companies really help their cycling staffers by providing showers and lockers, not to mention bike racks, "You can keep washcloths or some little wet naps to do a quick wipe-down," he suggests ... or keep a fresh change of clothes at the office if necessary.
"People make a pretty big deal about biking" to the job, says Bricker. "We understand why it can be a sort of daunting thing, but once you get to do it, it's something that you look forward to. It's cheap, it's easy, you don't have to wear Spandex."
The group is currently focusing on the practical aspects of biking to work: Improving networking and communication among cyclists, Bricker says, is key to improving the city for biking. Cyclists ought to get together, he says, and do everything from comparing notes on traffic to explaining to non-bikers that this is a realistic way to get around. Bike Pittsburgh also facilitates BikePools, a program that puts cyclists traveling similar routes in touch with each other.
Bike commuting is on the rise, in part because of higher fuel prices, says Bricker: "People are starting to see their gas bills and saying something has to give."