Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Winter Biking Catching On Nationwide

Normally I try not to just call attention to others' blog posts if I find something good, rather I just let you check it out through my feeds and through sharing them through my "Articles of Note" section (which is from my personal Google Reader page). I do this because I'd rather create my own content and make it specifically for Columbus readers.

But in this case, I'm going to talk about an article that references a few winter biking articles from around the country - one from Paul Dorn's Bike Commuting Tips (one of my favorite cycling blogs). Go read it, then come back here.

Done yet? Good.

It's heartwarming (no pun intended) to see this in the news as it shows that we're not a bunch of freaks for wanting to continue biking in the cold weather. Obviously we're not, in fact that's an opinion that is far from the truth. But to see our reasons for continuing to bike in the winter spelled out so plainly (saves money, it's not really that cold once you get going, great exercise, etc.) in the mass media does help a lot.

As much as I like the looks I get when riding up to my building in the winter, it gets tiresome to have to hear the constant "I could never do that" or "I wish I could do that" comments all winter long from people who think they have to tell me all about it. I want to look at people and say "You could, just look for reasons TO do it instead of focusing on the reasons you think you CAN'T do it."

But it strikes me that the real reasons people don't do something is that "everyone else isn't doing it, so maybe there's something wrong with it." So to see articles like the ones in Paul's post that show other people doing it, especially in places that are colder than here like Monroe, MI (ironically where my parents live) and Madison, WI makes it much easier.

I think I'm going to print these articles out and post them in my office somewhere so that people can read them when they come through. That'll show them that it's not just some weird thing I'm doing, but rather a growing trend by those who want to save money, get exercise, avoid burning more noxious fossil fuels, and actually enjoy their commute to work.

2 comments:

  1. how 'bout the 'ol "what's wrong, can't afford gas?" I don't hold anything against the guys with the hour plus car ride not biking but I'm 5 miles away (on purpose!) from work so I bike. Here in New Jersey, there are NO bike lanes so commuting is deff' sketchy at best. You are on your guard and taking your lane or dying. The roads I ride are not usable for an infrequent cyclist especially at rush hour, at night. When someone tells me I must be crazy for biking in such cold weather, I ask "have you ever skied? Was it cold?" "Did you ever say that about snomobile riders?"

    On another note, I have just been elected advocacy chairman at the local bike club and would like to see more alternate transportation area available on the roads! what can I do?

    -Sasquatch2

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  2. I've not gotten that comment yet... I'd probably come back with something less than complimentary about the size of the person's tuckus, so it's probably a good thing.

    If someone's driving an hour to get to work, I don't blame them for driving (I blame them for living where they do, but that's a whole different issue). We have no bike lanes here, either... but then our drivers aren't as bad as the ones in the Northeast (having lived for a while in Massachusetts I can pretty much figure where you're coming from). I'd look into getting the Urban Bikers' Trick and Tips for some good ways to handle this if you want some nifty ideas to control your biking environment a bit.

    As far as advocacy... wow. I'm not a good source for that sort of thing, as I've never done it. Sorry... I'd suggest getting in touch with your state's bike advocacy group or the Thunderhead Alliance for some help with this. Good luck!

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