International Winter Bike to Work Day is this Friday, February 12th!
If you read my last post, you know I finally took the plunge into cycling in cold and wet conditions. I suffered, but survived the post-Jonas ride. Now that I installed the right equipment on my bike, I am confident in wet conditions and know how to handle cold weather.
This Friday looks like it is going to be in the low 20s by the time I head out for work at 7:30 AM. I haven't gone out in such low temperatures before, but with layers and fast pedaling I believe I will once again prevail the dismal winter conditions.
I learned about IWBWD from this interview by bicycling.com with the founder Anders Swanson. In their discussion, Swanson states the reason this day is so important. "It is all about cities that know how to make it easy to ride year-round. Eventually, there will be no need for Winter Bike to Work Day." Swanson explains people don't ride in the winter because it is "extreme" or they see it as a major accomplishment, but simply because they need to get to work. Raising awareness in all cities will show the demand for clearer and safer bike routes throughout the winter months. Bike routes should be treated like roads in order for all commuters to get to and from work safely.
I am reminded of my post-Jonas ride on the Westside Greenway. One of, if not the most popular route in Manhattan for cyclist to get up and down the city was poorly plowed and remained dangerous until warmer temperatures melted the snow. Winter Bike to Work Day will hopefully raise awareness of the importance of clear bicycle routes year round as Swanson stated.
Furthermore, Swanson has increased his exposure to adolescents with this years first ever Bike to School Day. Everyone knows how important it is for kids to be active at a young age. I will get behind any initiative to promote kids getting outside and moving. Also, I believe this will further promote safer bike lanes throughout all seasons.
So if you have a bike, get out this Friday and ride to work! It really isn't as bad as you think. Commit to ride at winterbiketoworkday.org. Also if you want tips on how to dress, REI has a good article here.
Get on your bikes and ride!