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.
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.
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.
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
- Biking Directions on Google Maps - fast and easy way to plan a safe biking route -- it even tries to avoids hills!
- Bike Commuting 101 - Are you new to bike commuting? Have a look through our Commuting 101 articles. Tons of info for the beginner to commute by bike safely and quickly.
- Bicycling Street Smarts - A compact tutorial on how to ride a bicycle in mixed traffic.
- Commute Orlando - This site is dedicated to Orlando Metro Area cyclists who are currently using their bikes for transportation, or want to.
- The Commute — Possibly the Safest Bicycle Trip You Can Make - Great article on the Commute Orlando blog
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.