Wednesday, March 31, 2010

One Green Thing: Bike to Work Day

Lately, with the exception of the February when I blogged every day, my blog has turned into one race report after another. As a way to blog more regularly, I'm going to begin posting some weekly features on my blog. The first you saw on Monday, and I will try to participate in Jillian's Brain Exchange every week as long as I have something to contribute to the weekly topic.

Jason gave me the idea for the 2nd weekly feature: One Green Thing. Every week, I will feature one thing that I am doing to help the environment. It may be something new I tried that week, or something I've been doing for a while that I want to bring to your attention with tips and resources on how you can do it too if you choose. I'll post every Wednesday until I run out of things. You may think this has nothing to do with running or biking or swimming, but this blog is about my lifestyle change, not just fitness :) And you will find that the two do intersect plenty.

bike clinic host So today's topic is Bike to Work Day, which took place last Friday on March 26. I should have posted about it then, but I'm a slacker =P May is national bike month, but because it's hot in Florida in May, we celebrate it in March and the last Friday is Bike to Work Day. Jason and I have been biking to work semi-regularly (read "when the weather is nice and are not training for a marathon =P) for 2 years now. We organize Bike to Work at the office each year with free bagels for all cyclists to raise awareness and get others to try it too. This year we went a step further and hosted a bike clinic the previous week to further raise awareness about cycling safety and how to change a flat tire.

Bike to Work Day Crew There were 4 of us who rode to work together on Friday. The forecast called for rain earlier in the week, but the rain cleared out just in time to yield a beautiful morning for riding, and we spotted 3 bunnies along our route.

The ride home was a bit more eventful. We had 20+ mph headwinds the entire way, so we took it slow and enjoyed the alligator sightseeing safari. We spotted four gators on the Econ Trail, including this huge one. You can see more photos from bike to work day and the bike clinic on Flickr.

self portrait Bike commuting, wether to work or to the market, is a great way to go green because it is a win-win for all: you get some exercise while enjoying some fresh air and saving money on gas, and you help ease congestion and reduce pollution by having one less car on the road. I also find that I am much more productive at work in the mornings when I bike commute. It's probably all those endorphins from the exercise.

When we lived closer to UCF, we biked to work 3-4 times a week. Now our ride is 14.5 miles each way, so we only ride 1-2 days a week. I would love to ride more often, but time is the biggest limiting factor since it takes twice as long to ride our bikes than to drive there. This would not be such a problem since I get up by 6 am to exercise most days anyway (I can actually sleep in a tad on days when we bike to work), but if I spend all my time biking to and from work, when will I run and swim? We're going to try biking every day one week and see how it goes, but I don't think I'll have the time or energy to sustain that in the long run unless I gave up running -- yeah, that's NOT happening =P

So what are you waiting for? Give bike commuting a try! If you already do, tell us about your experience in the comments, including tips, tricks, and tools you use to make your commute easier, safer and more enjoyable.


The Green Girl said...

I think you are one of the most green people I know. It's awesome how conscientious you are about when you do and how you are impacting our planet.

Kitzzy said...

Thanks Mary! I know I can still do more, but every little bit helps.

Maddie said...

*Awesome*, alligators!

It's Ride to Work day tomorrow (Oct 13) in Australia, where I live. I'm in Melbourne, which is a southern state which is coldish at this time of year. Knowing our luck it will pour down like it did last year!

I just saw your post about Cycle Savvy which looks fantastic, I have been fretting about riding in the door zone lately and wonder if I should start wearing a vest with 'I don't do door zones' or something like that (to excuse my behaviour to Melbourne cyclists who can be a tiny bit competitive...).

Anyway, great blog! Bookmarked. I'm doing C25K at the moment, just started Week 8 yesterday, and your journey is inspiring me to consider doing some core exercises, and perhaps look a little more to the long-term with everything health-wise. I guess changes don't happen overnight! I have been considering the 100 Push Ups, just need to get over my mental hurdle and begin it I guess!

Cheers, Maddie

Kitzzy said...

Thanks for the post Maddie. Glad you like the blog and find inspiration for your own journey. Good luck!

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