Skip to main content

OK, so unlike last week's SNLC, 3CM doesn't have the privilege of diarying proceedings about a given a national (fill-in-the-blank) day until the day after the event (typical loser, that 3CM).  However, as yesterday was National Bike to Work Day, no choice in that regard (although this diary about it appeared this past Wednesday).  Depending on where one lives and works, of course, biking isn't necessarily a commuting option for many people.  But if you can do it, with a reasonbly safe pathway to work where the car drivers are somewhat rational and respectful of bikers, it's a nice way to get exercise, as well as mitigate one's transportation carbon footprint.  More below the flip....

One local group, , had its list of bike stations where one could enjoy a bagel, coffee, banana, and/or orange juice (not all at the same time, of course) on the way to work.  A few folks were at the bike station where I stopped to 'refuel', even though I did have a bowl of cereal before I started biking.  There was a hint of potential rain in the clouds that suddenly crept in while on the way to work.  However, I was OK getting there, and while there was a small bit of rain while inside at work, it was pretty much mid-morning by the time it was done.  Some very mild vestigal sprinkles on the way home, but not much to worry about.

I didn't find a single National Bike to Work Day page as such from teh internets, although a myriad of locally-based pages abound, such as the Trailnet page.  In searching for general info about how many Americans bike to work, I did find this page from the League of American Bicyclists (LAB for convenience), regarding their sponsorship of May as National Bike Month.  From that page, you can access this page trumpets the increase in bicycle commuting during the 1st decade of the 21st century (emphasis theirs):

"The National Household Travel Survey showed that the number of trips made by bicycle in the U.S. more than doubled from 1.7 billion in 2001 to 4 billion in 2009."
BTW, they also say at the end, as a disclaimer:
"Remember, these numbers are based on surveys of a sample of the population so they're just estimates - sometimes with large margins of error. Some changes may not be statistically significant. They're just bike commuter estimates; lots of people who ride bikes are not counted here."
(This blog post from the LAB's Carolyn Szczepanski pretty much recycles the above article, albeit w/o the disclaimer.)

I checked the local numbers off the link in the post.  STL ranks 56th out of the top 70 cities here, in terms of "bicycling rank", with a somewhat dispiriting trend of statistics in terms of increase in biking ridership, as you shrink the time frame:

1990 -> 2011:  +20%
2000 -> 2011:  -8%
2005 -> 2011:  (N/A)
2010 -> 2011:  -65%

Given that I don't see very many commuter bikers here, I suppose that I shouldn't be surprised, not that I've been all around the city to do the research.  At work, very, very few bikes are present at the bike rack, which isn't a surprise given that many co-workers live quite far away, a good portion of them across the river.  This fits well with a stat given off this page at chiff.com (emphasis mine):

"Worldwide, those [who] bike to work each day include the Dutch who top the list at 30 percent, followed by Japan at 15 percent and the USA trailing behind at less than 2 percent.

There's also this bit:

"According to Bicycling magazine, more than half of all Americans live less than 5-10 miles from work, a trip that usually can be accomplished in under an hour."
What that one-liner admittedly doesn't address is the nature of the distance between work and home, i.e. whether it's all highway with no nearby biker-friendly routes or something like that.  Plus, if the weather is bad, or I have somewhere to go after work, I'll drive.  The harsh fact is that I still have a car, so that the gas that's in the tank will ultimately get combusted, even though each time I bike to work, it stretches out that time for using up the tank.  Also, each biker means one less car on the road, so for the rest (majority) who do drive, it's very incrementally that much less of a hindrance to travel, at least in the abstract.  In these senses, biking is not completely about saving the planet, but rather us killing the planet more slowly.  Hence my use of the word "mitigate" rather than "eliminate", regarding carbon footprint, pre-flip.  

So ultimately, as I have both a bike and a car, it's nice to bike on days when it's convenient in terms of scheduling, not to mention weather.  At least both options are on hand.  So if you bike to work, or elsewhere for things besides exercise, yesterday was your day.  But then as the chiff.com page notes:

".....the sad fact is that bike sharing programs and bike routes are woefully underfunded or non-existent in many areas. And, until the infrastructure is in place to support everyone who wants to bike to work, there will always be a National Bike to Work Day!"
With that, time for the usual SNLC protocol, namely your loser stories of the week, which may or may not involving bicycles or biking......
EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  yup, yet another autobot posting..... (6+ / 0-)

    Will be back later (hopefully) to reply to & mojo any comments, biking-related or otherwise.

    So this is sort of backhanded loser, but:  Molly Ringwald did a gig at The Bistro this week.  Interesting idea, but then the review said that she was OK, not great.  I chose not to go.  Loser or not?

    "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

    by chingchongchinaman on Sat May 18, 2013 at 03:24:23 PM PDT

  •  hi (5+ / 0-)

    We are home from a fun overnight seeing four grandbabies.

    I am exhausted, but still smiling.  

    I will be crashing and burning very shortly, but it was worth the three hour drive each way.  

    Next up is a Kindergarten graduation on Tuesday which is only an hour's drive.

    Best wishes to all here!!!

    Join us at Bookflurries-Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

    by cfk on Sat May 18, 2013 at 06:28:47 PM PDT

    •  3-hour drive? Hmm..... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shari, jlms qkw, cfk, RiveroftheWest

      As you know, I'm not one for long-distance driving, but you obviously have the motivation with seeing the grandkids.  Good to know it went well.

      "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

      by chingchongchinaman on Sat May 18, 2013 at 08:15:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I got to read books to two of them (2+ / 0-)

        which is always fun.

        The almost three year old had me read a book about a dog herding sheep.  He wanted me to read it again and he asked me why the dog wanted to hurt the sheep.  I had to explain what herding was and I thought it was good that he asked as I had not thought about him not knowing what that was and hearing it as "hurting".  

        The two who danced did really well.  

        The baby is a smiler.  :)

        We don't do the trip very often, but it was great weather and nice to see lilacs and flowering trees and green everywhere.

        Join us at Bookflurries-Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

        by cfk on Sun May 19, 2013 at 05:23:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  hmm, I actually thought that you guys would.... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cfk, RiveroftheWest

          ......do the drive more often, but then now that I think about it, I guess the kids drive to you with the grandkids just as often, if not more so, perhaps.  Makes old age more fun, which tells you about me.

          (Virtually no traffic on this one.  Oh well.)

          Still wondering what other books to juggle along with The Iliad, again to try to unload at the bookstore.  I found out that I apparently do have a fair bit of store credit built up over the past year.

          "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

          by chingchongchinaman on Sun May 19, 2013 at 07:18:23 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Hurrah for store credit! (2+ / 0-)

            So you can get something you really want.  :)

            I suspect everyone has been out playing in the nice weather instead of being at DKos.  

            Join us at Bookflurries-Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

            by cfk on Sun May 19, 2013 at 08:27:19 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  did have some nice weather here y-day (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              cfk, RiveroftheWest

              Today isn't so bad right now either.  We didn't have a really prolonged spring as such this spring.  Might pop out for a quick errand at some point.

              "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

              by chingchongchinaman on Sun May 19, 2013 at 10:09:46 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site