My Writings. My Thoughts.
It’s Bike Month!
You’ve got a bike, right?
The purple Schwinn mountain bike you were were going to ride every day. The one you crammed into the back of your car when you drove out west from Minnesota, now collecting dust in your garage.
Or the 1980’s Bianchi fixie conversion you bought pre-built off of Craigslist and walk the two blocks from your $1,800/month studio to Ritual every Tuesday night.
Or the Giant OCR that cost a pretty penny, but felt so light when you picked it up in the store that it seemed crazy not to buy it. You know the one.
Well, it’s Bike Month, and it’s time your bike got the fresh air and exercise it deserves.
That’s right, Drive Your Bike to Work Day is almost here! On Wednesday, May 13th (2009), hoist that bike onto the roof of your car and drive it to work!
Celebrate the joys of bike-driving with your fellow road warriors! Put some miles on that under-used eco-transport! Plus, raise awareness about the hazard that affects bike-lovers everywhere. Low clearance garages.
Most of us know someone who has been hurt by low clearance. Some of us have even experienced it ourselves. Any time you place your bike on the roof of your car, you are putting yourself at risk. It’s time we stand up and speak out about this danger, and driving your bike to work helps spread this important message.
Don’t let this happen to you:
She had to learn about low clearance the hard way:
How can I help raise awareness about bike racks and low clearance?
It’s easy! On Drive Your Bike To Work Day, just attach your bike to the roof of your car and drive it to work! When someone asks you why your bike is on the roof, inform them about the dangers of low-clearance that drivers face every day. If you see cyclists commuting without a vehicle, a friendly “Get A Car!” and a bright smile always helps get the message across.
What if I don’t own a car?
Fear not! There are plenty of ways that you can show solidarity with fellow drivers:
What is a better way to start increasing bike-rack awareness than pairing up with a car-owning co-worker and driving your bikes to work together?
There are several city car-sharing programs that support bike-driving. CityCarShare has several cars equipped with bike racks, and ZipCar encourages the transportation of bicycles in their hatchbacks or other vehicles with rear-folding seats. Just watch out when re-entering the garage; that low clearance will get you every time!
Are there other ways I can raise awareness about bike racks and low-clearance?
Of course! You just have to get creative and think outside the steel box. Take these examples:
Isn’t driving your bike to work bad for the earth?
Definitely. Cars, even when equipped with bike racks, emit carbon dioxide, which contributes to global warming. But you can reduce your “carbon footprint” to zero by sending money to people who will plant trees to offset your fossil-fuel burning vehicle. Rest easy knowing you can buy your way out of this predicament, while also boosting the economy! After all, you’re pushing money into gas, a car, a bike, and trees in Ecuador!
I just want to bring my bike to work like I normally do. You know, riding it… without a car?
Your dedication to bicycling is admirable, it really is, but don’t you think it’s time to show solidarity with your fellow commuters? This is a day when we must empathize with bike-drivers. Think about how they must feel, having to be constantly on guard, driving in these hectic streets, forced to swerve wildly around cyclists, worrying about running the bike on their roof into garages…
Please, just take Drive Your Bike To Work Day as a annual reminder that cyclists aren’t the only people using the city streets of San Francisco.
We here at DYBTWD are still recovering from the big day of bike driving, but some initial media has come through. Stay tuned for more coverage. Thanks to everyone that participated, drove their bike to or from work, brought limos and vintage cars, bicycles, tall bikes, booze, or showed up at Benders for roller racing in solidarity of bike-drivers.
Thanks also to the fine folks of the Butter Lap for hosting the event as part of their weekly ride.
Here at Drive Your Bike To Work Day, we’re constantly hearing about yet another horror story about a bike left on the roof of a car while attempting to drive into a parking garage or drive-thru window. I heard recently from a San Francisco cyclist named Sasha about a great way to honor those bicycles befallen to tragedies of low clearance.
From Left in SF:
Clearly, the rising tide of these injuries demands an aggressive awareness campaign. AIDS has red ribbons, war-mongering has yellow ribbons, and breast cancer has pink ribbons. Bike-rack related injuries deserve their own ribbon. I’d like to propose the Celeste Ribbon to commemorate those lost to our streets due to the tragic combination of roof racks and high-roofed vehicles.
Driving your bike to work inherently involves many dangers. We’ve discussed before the obvious hazard of low-clearance garages. But the sheer act of putting your bike on the roof of a car can expose you to injuries, stained clothing, even bike damage if you make a mistake. And with SUV roof heights skyrocketing higher than gas prices in California, it’s becoming harder and harder to lift your bike onto the roof of your car.
This is why a patent has been filed for a new style of bike rack which uses a “rotating arm member” to lift your bike onto the roof of your car for you!
Clearly, the dawn of a new age of bike-driving technology.
Everybody knows that bicycles are great way to work out. But for many, bike-related exercise also includes a fair amount of bike-driving, especially when an expensive racing bike is involved. From training rides to races, to tune-ups at the shop, recreational riders are always driving their bikes around.
Now, some people are content to just ride their bike around town - to work, to pick up groceries, maybe to get a little fresh air and exercise or just explore. But for others, a ride doesn’t *count* unless it’s a bona fide training ride. While it’s difficult to fully differentiate a training ride from just a “ride”, it’s safe to say that it often involves driving your bike to the start, where wheel-attaching, seat-bag-packing, and chain-cleaning is just part of the full ritual. Plus, how else are you supposed to get to the starting point of your 70-mile hammerfest, when it’s almost halfway across town?
But sometimes there’s just not enough time to fit in a training ride. That’s why Endurance Performance Training Center offers you the chance to drive your own bike to their indoor “eCycling” class workouts.
For just $299 a month (plus a $500 initiation fee), you can experience what they claim is the “most efficient 90 minutes you can spend on your bike.” Skeptics may argue that it’s hardly efficient if you’re not going anywhere, but truly, what can be more efficient than pulling your bike out of your garage, attaching it to the roof of your car, driving it to the gym, taking it off the roof, bringing it inside for a 90 minute workout, then driving it back home again?