There is nothing that makes you appreciate how much carbon we spew into the atmosphere like sitting in a giant traffic jam on the way to work. For some people the use of a car to commute is unavoidable, but for everyone else, don’t forget that Thursday May 13th is “Bike to Work Day!”
There are a bunch of great organizations that are helping to support and promote Bike to Work Day. In San Francisco and Los Angeles County there is the Bicycle Coalition. The Coalition offers services such as Bike Buddies and Commuter Convoys to get cycle newbies comfortable on the streets. Check out their sites for other resources.
The hard reality behind Bike to Work Day is that it could be called “Get to work anyway besides driving alone day.” If biking isn’t an option, there are plenty of other ways to get to work such as public transportation. If you live in the Bay Area you can take BART, the Ferry or Cal Train, not to mention AC Transit or MUNI. Public transportation may not be as quick or convenient as your car but it has it’s own set of benefits. For instance, it can be a lot cheaper than owning and maintaining a car. Additionally, it’s a lot less of a hassle when it comes to finding parking and dealing with crazy drivers.
For me, taking BART to work means that I not only get a good walk every morning and afternoon (because let’s face it, after a long day of work, who wants to go for a run?) and I get a chance to read my book every day! BART also has a very cool feature on their Quick Planner page that tells you how much carbon is saved by taking BART as opposed to driving.
On this bike to work day, think about how your ride could become a daily habit, not just a once a year exception. And remember to wear a helmet and to be safe!