Monday, July 7, 2008

Ride To Work Day?

July 16th is the 16th annual Ride To Work Day. (Ride your motorcycle to work, that is.)

The purpose of the event is "... to demonstrate:
- The number of motorcyclists to the general public and to politicians.
- That motorcyclists are from all occupations and all walks of life.
- That motorcyclists can reduce traffic and parking congestion in large cities.
- That motorcycles are for transportation as well as recreation.
- That motorcycling is a social good."

More info can be found HERE, at the official website.

Motorcycling (and motor-scooting, etc.) seem to be an easier sell in 2008 than in years gone by. Could it be the $4 gas? On most nice days, there are as many motorcycles parked at the office as on the "official day" a few years back.

I actually participated in 2005. My motorsickle is the one with the flag on the right side. I've not participated since, and don't think I will again. Although I agree with their principles as listed, and although I am very fond of motorsickles, from my bicyclist viewpoint they share essentially all of the hassles of other motor vehicles, for day-to-day transportation:
- You're sitting in the same traffic,
- You're still paying for gas (but likely not as much),
- You're still hunting for a parking spot (albeit a smaller one),
- etc.

Besides, I'm a bit skeptical about a one-day "show of force." People who are sold on motorcycling for transportation should be doing it regularly, "ride to work day" or not.

Another thing... what's with this "501 c4 non-profit organization" that promotes Ride To Work Day? What a gig that must be, huh? How about the other 364 days each year? And how do I get on the payroll?



Anonymous said...

Bikeboy, just curious if you feel that being a cyclist makes you a better motorcyclist? Do the two skills conflict or complement each other?

Bikeboy said...

Oh, ABSOLUTELY, I'm a better motorcyclist on account of so much bicycle riding!

In many ways, it's like low-speed, highly-forgiving motorcycle-riding practice. The hazards are similar - everything from other roadway users not seeing you for whatever reason, to crossing railroad tracks diagonally. In addition, the physical conditioning prepares the bicyclist for long motorcycle days on the road.

(I've thought about that many times, but I guess I've never written about it. Excellent question, bob!)