In the midst of “Bike to Work” month/week/day, I’m feeling a bit out of the loop. We’ve had a constant stream of one thing after another that has just made it so much easier to do everything by car. As in, “Oh, we have an errand to (insert unbikeable place), let’s just stop for the groceries while we’re out.” Or, “I think it’s going to rain any second, I’ll wait.” My avoidance is made that much easier by the fact that I’m still kind of nervous about the whole prospect of biking in this town. I need to rectify the situation, soon, before it’s blisteringly hot out there and I have another excuse.
I also haven’t pinned down my exact feelings about bike to work advocacy. On the one hand, I’m really sympathetic with the project. A focus point like this can pull the disparate parts of the cycling community together and help make a statement about the practicality of bicycling. Also, in many areas there are events intended to increase the safety of bike commuting and help those new to the idea. The last large town we lived near coordinated group rides from the suburbs to downtown, in an attempt to help cyclists feel more safe during their commute. The problem is, I think, with what happens when that kind of support is gone. Cyclists like to imagine that if you can just get people to do it once, they’ll fall in love. It’s all a bit naive, if for no other reason that the self-deconstruction of the message. If it takes an elaborate, coordinated event to make commuting “safe,” then it can’t possibly be safe to do alone.
But, really, this whole post is just an excuse for a link to Emily’s excellent blog post on bike to work month. Emily usually deals with very serious mega-endurance bike races, so you may not know her blog. If you don’t, you’re missing some gems. She’s fierce. If I can get all girl-crushy on the internet here, Emily and Krista are my strong-woman role-models.
Today’s goal: ride my darn bike.