Ride Your Bike to Work You can save money on gas and get some extra exercise On a freezing November morning in Chicago, Megan Mason puts on leggings, several polyester tops and a fleece, a windbreaker, four pairs of gloves, and silk sock liners. She ties a bandana over her head, dons earmuffs, snaps on a helmet, safety-pins a scarf into a cocoon around her head, and gets on her bright green Schwinn for a 6.5-mile ride to work.
Surely anyone who braves Windy City cold must be a hardcore biker. But Mason, a 27-year-old curriculum analyst at the Northwestern University School of Law , is new to the ranks of cycle commuters--one of thousands of Americans who this year have switched to pedal power. It's too soon for national numbers, but many cities and counties are reporting a surge. In Chicago, 3,500 people rode in a spring Bike to Work day, up from 2,800 last year. Bikestation , a nonprofit that has six indoor parking facilities for cyclists on the West Coast, mainly in downtown neighborhoods, has seen a 30 percent increase in usage in the past year...
The thought of urban cycling can pose a minicrisis for a newcomer. Mason had to overcome her fear of city streets and dark winter nights. How do you make the leap from wannabe to bike commuter? Cycling gurus are happy to offer advice. ( Read more .)
One of the best ways to encourage more bicycle commuting is to simply keep riding, offering a visible presence on the streets and role model among our associates. What else do you plan to do to encourage more bicycle commuting among your colleagues and friends in 2009?