It’s about exercise and health, it’s fun, it’s simply a great alternative

 

Commuting by bike in CNY:

This is a new page that we envision will help to promote what is likely to be an increased interest in commuting to work in Central New York via bike.  Despite the long winter season, and the lack of dedicated bike lanes and bike paths, fuel prices will probably make many people think seriously about the bike as a cheaper, and healthier option to get to the workplace. Riding to work only twice a week lowers your work-related fuel costs by 40%!  Think energy independence, cleaner air, cholesterol reduction, low blood pressure…

We will add information on practical advice from experienced commuters, commuter friendly employers, commuter bike selection, bike safety and repair, dressing for the trip to work, route tips, etc.  We will also add a special item title for ”commuting”  on the OCC forum page: http://forum.onondagacyclingclub.org/

Tips for bike commuters:

1- Make it a habit.

2- Try to work on improving your route each time you ride.  What can you do to make your route shorter, safer, easier, more fun, etc.?

3- Leaver earlier to beat the cars and rush hour.

4- Use positive reinforcement for courteous drivers. Be a advocate for cycling.

5- Dress in bright colors: bright neon yellow, blaze orange. Use a front and rear light day and night.

6- Try to find a partner to share the commuting experience. There is safety in numbers. You will be more likely to stick to your routine with a partner.

7- Always wear a helmet.

Stay tuned… and start thinking about riding to work!  “Bike to Work Week is May 15-19, 2011, and Bike to Work Day is May 19, but it could be everyday for all of us!  See more tips and practical advice in the interviews with “Ultimate Four Season CNY Bike Commuter” Dan McCarthy, and NYC newcomer “Urban Bike Commuting Specialist” Helene Schmid at: http://onondagacyclingclub.org/commuting/commuting-interview/.

Some very good starter links:

Syracuse Metro Transportation Council:  http://www.smtcmpo.org/bike-ped/

http://bikecny.wordpress.com/

http://bikecny.wordpress.com/maps-and-trails/

http://www.commutebybike.com/

http://www.commutebybike.com/cats/commuting-101/

http://blog.syracuse.com/cny/2010/05/friday_is_national_bike_to_work_day_top_excuses_for_not_commuting_on_a_bicycle_–_debunked.html

This last link is so good, I have added the essence here:

How much could you save
by parking your car
and becoming a bicycle commuter?

Syracuse Bicycle, with help from the League of American Bicyclists, runs through the most common excuses people give for NOT biking to work–along with some possible solutions.

1. The roads aren’t safe. Wear bright clothing, obey traffic signs, ride on the right side of the road and choose your route carefully. Always wear your helmet.

2. No showers. Most bicycle commuters ride at an easy pace to stay cool and dry, then ride home at a faster pace if they want a workout. Baby wipes are also a great substitute for a shower!

3. I have to dress up for work. Keep multiple sets of clothing at work so you can change when you get there. Rotate them on days that you drive.

4. It takes too long. The average bicycle commuter travels about 10 mph. The more you ride, the faster you’ll become. Trips of 5 to 7 miles in urban areas may take the same time or even less by bike than by car.

5. I’m out of shape. Ride at an easy pace, and in a few months, you will be in great shape.

6. It’s too far. Try riding to work and then taking the bus home, or vice versa. Or ride to a coworker’s house and then carpool to work.

7. I have to run errands. Add a rack to the back of your bike to add carrying capacity, and make sure you have a lock to secure your bike while you are in a building.

8. It’s raining. Fenders for your bike and rain gear for your body will keep you dry. If you are at work and it starts to pour, take the bus or carpool home, and ride home the following day.

9. No bike parking. Check for a storage area near your office, stash your bike in your office, or formally request that your employer provide secure bike parking.

10. My bike is old. Get it serviced to make sure it is in good working order. Or consider trading it in for a newer model.

 

Questions or comments: contact Dan Wnorowski at genufix@yahoo.com