If you’re like me, you’ve known about Bike to Work Day for quite some time, but when you’ve gotten the information from your company coordinator or seen publicity in your local newspaper, you just skimmed over it and scoffed. “Yea, right!” You’ve thought, “I live too far from work to ride my bike there and, besides, I’d be all sweaty and I’m not sure the roads are safe!” At least that’s how I used to think. Until now.
There are several ways that you can participate in Bike to Work Day, whether or not you’re able to cycle all the way from home to work! Check out these tips for easing Into the idea of cycling to work (or the store, the movies, a friend’s house…):
Try a practice run on a weekend to find a good route and see how long it takes. Find a co-worker or friend who bikes and commute with them. Start by trying bicycling to work just one day a week (try it on casual Friday). Bicycle to transit—or to a park and ride lot and share the rest of the ride to work. For details, contact Commuter Connections (800)-745-RIDE or website
The Washington Area Bicyclist Association's commuter mentor program will put you in touch with other people in your neighborhood who bike to work and help you find the most comfortable route. Contact WABA (202)-518-0524 or www.waba.org
Use Commuter Connections’ Bicycle Routing web site to map your best route. Sign up for Commuter Connections’ Guaranteed Ride Home, just in case your best laid plans don’t work out – but don’t worry, they most likely will work like a charm!
When you are considering using your bicycle to commute, you should take several things into consideration. Your bike should fit you properly so that you’re comfortable and not prone to injury. You may want to consider purchasing certain accessories to make your commute more safe and enjoyable, especially safety-related items such as a helmet, clothing that is bright or reflective, and headlights and/or tail lights. You may also want to invest in a basic tool kit so that you can change a flat tire or fix a jumped chain.
Many cyclists wear a backpack containing office attire for when they reach their destination, and if you decide to commute by bike on a regular basis, you may want to purchase saddle bags.
Bicycling can be an easy and inexpensive way to get to a TransIT stop, or bus/train station. Following is information about using your bike in conjunction with TransIT buses, MTA Commuter buses, or the MARC Train (always call if unsure to confirm that you have all the info you need to have a smooth commute!)
All TransIT buses are equipped with heavy-duty racks attached to the front of each bus. There is
no fee for using the bike racks at any time. allowed on buses even during peak hours. You are responsible for loading, securing and removing your bicycle from the rack. Up to two bikes can be stored in each rack, which cyclists can easily load and unload themselves, following the simple instructions affixed to the racks. We will have a bus stationed at the Transit Center, Frederick’s Bike to Work Day Pit Stop, so you can see a demonstration and practice loading and unloading your bike!
MTA Commuter buses:
Although at this time, the MTA Commuter buses aren’t equipped with bicycle racks, there are bike racks at the Monocacy MARC Station (behind the Target off of Rt. 355) so that you could ride your bike to the bus stop, store your bike, and then retrieve it when you return in the evening.
MARC Commuter Train
Non-folding bicycles are not allowed on MARC Trains; however, the Frederick MARC stations have
bicycle parking available (you must provide your own lock). For more information call (800) 325-RAIL, www.mtamaryland.com.
To quit scoffing and register, visit www.biketoworkmetrodc.org. C’mon…you know you want to!