I bike to work on occasion, not always, but it isn’t unusual to see me biking in. I am not out to be a diehard bike advocate riding every day and everywhere in a vain attempt to save the world, I ride to work to save just a little bit of my health and sanity. I see any bike riding over car driving as moving my health in the right direction and my sanity is helped by the nice afternoon rides home. I sometimes Supertramp it and take the long way home. I’m a realist though and I know that there is only a certain portion of the year that commuting is even possible around these parts, and even that certain portion includes soccer season and other commitments that just don’t readily work on a bike.
So this annual bike to work and school thing is kind of just a fun thing for me because biking to work is already in my mix. Over the last few years or so I have celebrated the day in a few different ways. A few years back, a ride to work would entail riding through the badlands of downtown Ferndale so a bike to work day meant take your bike to work and go ride somewhere safe after work. I know that’s not exactly the purpose of the day, but it did point out a fallacy that Ferndale is bike friendly and I did get to go for an afternoon fun ride so it was all in all a constructive day.
Another year I rode my late 50’s Raleigh 3-speed into my current job, which has a much safer bike route. It was fun to experience what it would have been like ride to work back then in the 50’s and compare the experience to commuting in the present day. The ride was fine, the bike was a bit shaky though as far as safety. I personally prefer brakes that quietly stop you vs. brakes that may or may not stop you but either way will make noise.
This year, a group of coworkers will be meeting at some central location and riding in together. I’ve put new tires on the Raleigh Twenty I recently picked up, so I will be trying the 2018 Bike to Work Day on that little folding piece of history. I’ve ridden it around the neighborhood a few times, nothing too much, so this Bike to Work Day will be a sort of like an inaugural ride.
Crazy little bike and crazy to think how popular these bikes were in England, in the not too distant past…the 1970’s.
**After work Update** – Almost 12 miles on this bike today and my takeaway is that Raleigh made a deceptively nice bike. It looks small and precarious, but it rides like any other bike. At a recreation level of riding, it was easy to ride with my coworkers who were on much larger, much newer and much more expensive bikes. I was also impressed with the efficiency of this small wheeled bike. There was no real difference in time, max speed, or overall ride-ability on this bike versus any of the other bikes that I regularly ride to and from work. If only I could get the circus music out of my head…