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Bike to Work Day 2011

2011 May 20

By Aaron Ferster

Did you bike to work today? Last Friday, I wrote about my plans for taking part in Bike to Work Day festivities. “Who’s in?” I asked. From the number of comments, it seemed a safe bet there was going to be a robust turnout.

That proved to be the case here in Washington, DC, where we had near-perfect cycling weather: clearing skies, temperatures in the low 50s, and no wind.

My own ride was absolutely delightful. I rolled out the driveway around 6:30 a.m. wondering what kind of cycling “traffic” I might encounter on my 18-mile ride. One great thing about bicycling is that, unlike when you drive a car, you can actually go faster when you draft behind a line of fellow commuters. (Well, if you can keep up, that is.)

I didn’t have much opportunity to draft in the early parts of my ride. I counted a half dozen other bikes on the road, all heading in the opposite direction. There were almost as many deer (four), soft brown bodies outlined by shafts of orange sunlight and columns of swirling mist, the last remnants of last night’s storms. For no particular reason I rang my bell as I passed, but they didn’t bother to look up.

At around the 12-mile mark, another cyclist whizzed past me so fast I think I saw their rear wheel before I heard a voice: “On your left.” “They could be the poster child for Fly Your Bike to Work,” I mused.

After about an hour or so of pedaling I had reached my “pit stop” in the Mount Pleasant neighborhood of DC. Here was my opportunity to join one of the many “commuter convoys” that ride together. This is also where I’ve been meeting a friend and fellow bike commuter since 1996. This morning we calculated that between us we’ve only missed this ride together two out of 15 years.

I counted 17 riders in Mount Pleasant, and we continued to grow as we merged with other convoys over the last four miles to the big gathering. A chorus of dinging bells greeted us as we glided into Freedom Plaza—another successful Bike to Work Day.

Tell us about your own commute in the comments section below.

About the Author: Lead science writer for EPA’s Office of Research and Development, Aaron Ferster is a frequent Greenversations contributor.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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6 Responses leave one →
  1. Attorney permalink
    May 20, 2011

    Riding a bike these days is a dangerous activity.
    I know from personal experience what happens when a bicycle hits a tiny stone unexpectedly and goes out of control. If I had my wishes the main roads would have been built with lanes for joggers and cyclists. I wish we could afford to re-do the roads so that my daughter & I could feel safe jogging or bicycling.


  2. magna rx permalink
    May 21, 2011

    Ive Learn so much here the information are very useful and interesting. Thanks For sharing

  3. DRP permalink
    May 22, 2011

    I have been riding my bike to work for quite awhile. It is just a nice way to start the day off and get the sleep out of your eyes. I’m glad that more people are trying it out. Even if it is only for a couple of days


  4. Online Event Registration permalink
    May 23, 2011

    Quite informative.Impressed!. However I am looking for more such articles for one of my research project. Can you help me ? Creativity goes a long way to add value in any endeavor. I will bookmark this page. You can visit mine

  5. Lilly1 permalink
    July 30, 2011

    I completely agree.
    where i live the bike lanes are so small and bike riders are pretty much forced to ride right next to cars.
    And I’m sorry but I don’t trust people in cars these days, I wish more effort was made in changing the infrastructure of roads so they’re safer for bikes.
    just my 2 cents anyway


  6. John permalink
    January 11, 2012

    Thanks for sharing this article. I am a Massage Therapist and I have believed in the importance of physical activity. I now have some research to back my rationale to implement at least 20 minutes per day of aerobic activity. I am going to search for some supplemental to jogging, jump ropes and kids aerobic dance dvd’s so that I advise my clients to try incorporating exercise as a lifelong habit! I love the ideas of using stationary bikes, dance dance revolution type games etc. Thanks so much for your blog.

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