Bike to Work Day – May 21, 2010

Woman riding bicycle on a snowy trailFor a variety of reasons, a number of us here at the EPA face long daily commutes. Living in Frederick , MD and working in DC is not my idea of a sustainable lifestyle, but I am determined to reduce my overall carbon footprint by linking a number of different transportation modes.

Since moving in 2008, I have experimented with a number of different routes and transportation combinations including bicycle, car, MARC train and Metro .  I have gone back and forth between riding the C&O Canal and riding the back roads into DC.

Right now, I prefer riding on the road as the C&O can often be quite muddy, making travel time less predictable. My current system involves leaving my car at a nearby MARC station and riding into DC along some of the most beautiful country roads Maryland has to offer.

The ride is a little over 40 miles long and takes roughly 2.5 hours. To get home, I take the MARC train back to Frederick. The next day I take the train to work in the morning, and then ride back to my car after work. (Unfortunately, bicycles are not allowed on the MARC train, which would solve a number of logistical issues.)

In years past, Bike to Work Day bloggers have done an exceptional job of illustrating exactly how many pounds of CO2 can be reduced and how many calories can be burned by biking to work:

As Bike to Work Day continues to gain popularity, I think the majority of us are aware that bicycle commuting is the better option not only for the environment, but also for our physical fitness. This awareness is also reflected in programs such as the Bicycle Tax Credit as well as health insurance companies covering exercise related expenses.
As an EPA employee, I feel a personal and professional responsibility to live an environmentally sustainable life. While living over fifty miles away from my place of work is not an ideal situation when it my carbon footprint, it is not a hopeless situation. There are options—and bicycle commuting is one of them.

About the author: Anna Kelso is an Environmental Protection Specialist in the Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics. In addition to her commitment to bicycle commuting, Anna is a mountain biker on the Gripped Racing Team and is a dedicated bicycle advocate within her community.

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