Next week is Bike to Work Week in Springfield.
Or, just another week.
You see, I’m participating in, and about to complete, Bike to Everywhere Decade.
I seriously do not mean to criticize Bike to Work Week or brag about what I do. It’s a good program. But I do have a minor gripe that’s really about what I see as a subtle and unintended message of such events: Riding a bicycle to work requires a special week to promote it because ______. You may fill in the blank with whatever reasons you may have for not using a bicycle as basic transportation.
Given a reasonable set of circumstances,* bicycling for basic transportation is neither difficult nor dangerous. If it were either one of those things, I wouldn’t be doing it.
I have nothing to brag about because bicycling for basic transportation is neither difficult nor dangerous.
A week-long special event is fine. But what happens at the end of the week? I contend it takes a little more than that to figure out that bicycling for basic transportation is actually rather easy in Springfield. I make that claim based on my own experience. I made it a goal to ride a bicycle as much as possible when I moved here from Kansas City almost a decade ago. I assumed there would be many days that I would choose to drive a motor vehicle instead. But the more I rode a bicycle the more I realized how often I actually do not need a car.
The goal of Bike to Work Week should be making it to the following Monday. Why not push for a second week? Then a third? Pretty soon you may be participating in Bike to Everywhere Decade.
*I live in Springfield’s urban core. I live close to work, shopping, and entertainment. I chose to live in the urban core precisely because it would make using a bicycle for basic transportation easier. Your choice of where to live does affect your choice of transportation. Those two things — housing and transportation — ought to be thought of together. If your living circumstances make bicycle commuting difficult, you may wish to try the 1-Mile Solution instead.