The Online Voice of the Bicycle Alliance of Washington

Monday, May 17, 2010

BTW and P --- The Unsung Reason Why Anyone Might Bike to Work.

Bicycle, check! Helmet, check. Bike To Work route, check. Secure parking, hmmmmmm.....

The key ingredient to a bicycle commuter's routine isn't any equipment, or even a sunny day. The one thing --- that will truly make bicycling a viable form of regular transportation --- is the peace of mind that comes from knowing your bike will be intact when you return to it at the end of the workday or errand.

I have had the experience of sharing space
in a small office with my bike and all of my commuter gear. I have carted said bike up flights of stairs into a rented apartment that did not come with a garage. I rarely park on a standard outdoor rack if I cannot also see my bike from where I sip coffee, or shop. I carry a "New York" chain lock with a heavy duty pad lock and a cable leash for my seat and seat post. Blaming bike thieves for this way of life would be like shaking my fist at pigeons adorning my shoulder with droppings: this is the nature of bicycle transport life in a city like Seattle, or Portland, or San Francisco.

Amazingly, I now work in a bicycle parking facility in downtown Seattle in Pioneer Square District. As the manager of BIKE PORT, I regularly talk to bicyclists that express incredible gratitude for having indoor secure parking for their ride. Most of these folks bicycle commute all year long using the BIKE PORT, transforming into their work selves using the lockers and changing room. Lately, I have had a number of folks sign up for parking plans, who live downtown in condos or apartments that did not provide secure bike parking. Some have even bought bikes because they now had a place to park.

BTW month aside, there is a demographic for citizens that bicycle as transportation any time of year. They do not ride the same distances, or make the same incomes, or live in safer parts of town. No doubt they have had a bike or two stolen.

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