pedal power

Biking to work.  I can’t think of a better example of “everyday sustainable” to kick off this blog.

  • Only fuel needed is pedal power, so no carbon footprint.  Everyday sustainable for the environment.
  • Great exercise.  Everyday sustainable for an individual’s health.
  • Hardly any impact on the roads and low parking space needs.  Everyday sustainable for infrastructure of communities and companies.

Well, yesterday was Bike To Work Day, and I got to see all this good stuff in action when I hopped on my (dusty) bike and rode over to an Energizer Station in Palo Alto, where I helped hand out goodie bags, fruit and water to regular and first-time bike commuters.  It was so much fun!  Which brings me to one more benefit of biking to work.

  • Kinship with fellow cycle commuters.  Everyday sustainable for communities.

Of course, biking to work is not feasible for everyone, everywhere, all the time.  But to these commuters, cycling was the best option.  Here are some reasons:

  • DISTANCE: They live within a few miles, so the distance was manageable. 
  • SAFETY: They could get to work along bike paths and streets that were safe enough for riding.
  • CONVENIENCE: Many people we talked to were grad students or employees at Stanford.  It’s a bike-friendly campus, but also a large one where the easiest way to get around is on two wheels.
  • HEALTH: Who needs the gym when exercise is an integrated part of the day?
  • FACILITIES AT OFFICE: We also talked with people riding to two other large employers in the area, SRI and SUN, which make it easier for cyclists by providing facilities to shower and get office-attire-ready.

A cyclist from Holland who stopped by said the reason cycling is so popular in her country is that driver’s education places huge emphasis on biker safety.  So in other words, it’s a safer and more harmonious environment for people to ride their bikes.  Now that really sounds like everyday sustainable.

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