Commuting by Bike: Make It the Easy Choice (Part 2)
May is Bike Month. A program of the League of American Bicyclists, Bike Month offers an opportunity to celebrate the unique power of the bicycle and the many reasons we ride. Check out the League’s website for everything you need to celebrate bike month, including tips for commuting by bike. This brings me to the subject of today’s post – making commuting by bike the easy choice.
This week is Bike to Work week, a significant part of the Bike Month celebration, with the big event here in the Washington, D.C. metro area being today. Yesterday I shared a few ideas for making commuting by bike easier. Today I share the remainder of my list. What other ideas do you have?
1. Free or cheap access to shower facilities – My last office building didn’t have a gym or even a bare bones shower so I found myself joining a gym just to have access to the locker room facilities. One reason I commute by bike is to save money, but monthly gym fees really cut into my savings and decreased my incentive to ride to work. Not sure how it would work, but maybe the YMCAs could offer “shower-only” memberships or employers could consider other options for providing access.
2. AAA for cyclist trailside assistance – I can change a flat tire, but it takes me awhile. If I experience a break in my chain or some other serious mechanical issue, I might not have with me all the necessary components. For peace of mind, I’d be willing to shell out a reasonable annual fee ($30? $40?) for a cyclist-specific version of roadside assistance.
3. “Free-ride-home-in-case-of-emergency-programs” similar to those offered to carpoolers – In the DC area, we have formal carpool organizing programs that help people find rides and also provide a certain number of free, guaranteed rides home per year in the instance that a rider needs to leave work outside of the time agreed upon by the carpool. I bet lots of hesitant or infrequent bike commuters would ride more often if they knew they could get a free ride home in case of a sick child, personal illness, needing to work late into the night, etc.