#BossLadiesOnBikes: Why We Bike to Work

May is Bike Month kicks off today!  What is that exactly you ask?!  May is Bike Month is an education and outreach campaign to encourage people to ride their bikes instead of using a car during the month of  May and throughout the year. Fun activities for adults and children are planned across the six-county Sacramento region throughout out the month. New and experienced cyclists are encouraged to register and log their miles online and be entered into weekly prize drawings.

In celebration of May is Bike Month we asked some of the #BossLadiesonBikes around the grid why they started biking to work.  Their stories are below. If you bike to work and have tips let us know in the comments section.  Also, if you would like to chat with some of our Girls on the Grid and find out more about May is Bike Month feel free to join us for a little Happy Hour  on Friday May, 8th, 5pm at Hot Italian.

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Chelsea Irvine:

When I moved to midtown nearly five years ago, the close proximity of my new home to my office was a huge selling point.  That first Friday after the move when I tested out my bike commute I was pleasantly surprised that it took a little less time to bike than to drive, what with no traffic and great bike lanes.  I would smugly give a side nod as I breezed by the line of cars stopped at traffic lights while I jammed out to Jamiroquai on my headphones.

The Capitol community is filled with bikers and bike racks are plentiful around my building.  Bike riders of all ages seem to offer a friendly gesture to other bikers, even those like me pedaling ancient cruisers with dents and scuff marks and no fancy matching bike bags.  Turns out, even spandex clad bike commuters who travel fifty miles each way still give props to those of us who ride two miles.

As a girl who thoroughly enjoys a happy hour cocktail on occasion, bike commuting is an even bigger draw, as you can always find bike parking (even in the Handle District), you don’t have to worry about parking tickets and you can safely bike home after two(ok, maybe four) Ella gin and tonics without worrying about drinking and driving.

Of course, I don’t ride to work every day (sometimes the ‘fro can be hard to tame when I have a big early meeting), but I make a point on Fridays and other days my after work schedule permits.  I highly suggest you give biking to work a shot.  How about next Friday?  May is Bike Month and May is the perfect time to start a Friday afternoon bike meet up happy hour ritual with your friends.

 

Bernadette Austin:

It’s hard to believe that just two short years ago I started bike commuting. Sure, I rode my bike when I was younger. I went to UC Davis, after all. Biking everywhere is an unspoken Aggie rite of passage.  But then I got busy: graduated, joined the work force, had a couple of kids. My bike did little more than collect dust. When May is Bike Month kicked off in 2013, I decided to give cycling another shot. Friday seemed to lend itself well to bike commuting, with its culture of casual clothes and no threat of last-minute deadlines.

Biking into work that first month, I learned some things. How to style my hair post-ride. Which is the best route to the office. Why panniers, (or “saddle bags” as I like to call them), are more comfy than a cute messenger bag. But the most important thing I learned was how fun a bike commute can be. After sailing along the Sacramento River, I love starting the work day fueled with endorphins from sunshine and a burst of cardio. I find that riding my bike home has the opposite effect of road rage. I get more giddy after each mile rather than more cranky. Maybe my stress evaporated along with those 300 calories I left on the bike path.

Now, I certainly don’t expect novice riders to become spandex-clad cycle junkies overnight. Start small. Try exchanging one car trip with a bike trip for May is Bike Month. A half-mile ride to the grocery store is surprisingly easy. A pedal-powered pub crawl with friends is surprisingly fun. And one bike commute could ultimately convert you to join the ranks of Sacramento area velo vixens.

 

Leia Ostermann:

Biking to work is good for my health, attitude and speed. It takes me 15 minutes to drive to work, 28 minutes to walk and 7 minutes to bike. If I wake up late, my reaction is always “Whoops – I better bike!”

 

Monica Hernandez:

In 2005, I was teaching second grade and often pondering the non-verbal examples I was sending to my students. Sure, I could teach the traditional classroom lessons of kindness, compassion, eating right and exercising–but what were my personal actions around healthy eating and living actually showing them?

That year I went from not owning a bike to being a semi-regular bike to work commuter and avid weekend biker. What I remember most was wanting to set a good example for my students. The school I worked at didn’t have a bike rack, so I would lock my bright orange cruiser to the front gates of the school. It didn’t take long before kids and parents alike took notice, and shared the inspiration they got to start or expand the bike riding they did.

Today, I am a regular bike commuter and ride my bike for many errands. I love my bikes–yes plural. I’m more aware of the environmental benefits today than I was in 2005, and that’s a big motivator.  But I’ll keep it real…  I take the bus when it’s raining.

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5 Comments

  1. Jen says

    Bernadette, I am very interested in this “pedal-powered pub crawl” of which you speak.

    1. Bernadette Austin says

      Jen, I don’t have anything specific in mind. However, May 9 is Second Saturday and May 23 is Shop Dine Bike Day. Both of those would be great opportunities to gather a group of friends and go bar hopping (biking?) on two wheels instead of four. For more information on participating organizations, check out http://www.mayisbikemonth.com/discounts.php.

      1. Jen says

        We plan on participating on the 23rd! That would be a primo day for bar biking. Perhaps also a chance for a V-Day reunion?

  2. susan says

    Sad I will miss the meetup next Friday! (Disney’s TinkerBell half) I hope you plan another event for later in the month…..I could use some post-cycling hair styling and grooming tips!

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