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May 09, 2011

I Want to Ride My Bicycle

Bikecommute Bike to Work Week is fast approaching, which is why now is a good time to highlight Grist's excellent continuing series on bicycling economics. This week's article explores employers -- and the intangible benefits of having a bunch of bike-happy worker bees on the payroll. Employees who commute by bike take fewer sick days. They are generally less stressed. In congested neighborhoods, their commutes can be shorter. And, of course, they relieve parking scarcity. Read the article for ideas on making your work place bike friendly. I enjoyed this nugget: "OHSU, a teaching hospital in a hilly section of Portland hemmed in by narrow roads and expensive real estate, is acutely attuned to all the benefits of a bicycling workforce. They've seen bike trips 'skyrocket' since they began handing out a $50 cash incentive for every 30 days of bike commuting an employee logs."

Speaking of work, the author of one of my favorite bike blogs, Let's Go Ride a Bike, recalled recently pedaling home from a work-related event through an unexpected thunderstorm.

After the storm started, I considered pulling over to put the raincoat on, but did not want to lose momentum, so I continued all the way home as I was. [...] There is a lot of talk on bike blogs and forums about gear like rain pants, ponchos, etc. Those accessories are important in some situations (like if I were on my way to the event), but if you’re going straight home, there is nothing terrible about getting caught in the rain in your regular clothes. I do not want newer bike commuters to worry that they are not properly prepared for bicycling until they acquire all that stuff.

If weather conditions have you thinking twice, it's alright. Visit the Sierra Club's bike resource page for weather tips, helpful videos, and other words of wisdom. If you're in need of more bike-blog goodness, try Copenhagenize, Cyclelicious, and Streetsblog. Do you have any bicycle blogs you'd add to the list? Share 'em in the comments section.

-- Brian Foley

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