Monday, February 25, 2008

News: Washington State Bike Commuter

Story from the Columbian (WA) 2.17.08

Road Tales From A Bike Commuter
Tom Simon knows it made little sense to choose November to start commuting to work by bicycle. It can be cold, foggy, rainy, snowy and icy. It's dark both going and coming. But three or four days a week since November, Simon, 44, pulls on Lycra and neoprene and rides from his Felida home to work in Portland. It's a trip of 17 miles each way to his office on Northeast Sandy Boulevard. But there are bike lanes most of the way and other bicyclists to commune with. "It's a relatively bike-friendly commute," he said. "The best part is the commuting community. You feel safe."Simon, an engineer, is among a small but growing number of ­Vancouver commuters who brave the Interstate 5 Bridge from the bike lanes. Their numbers are expected to increase with higher gas prices, more highway delays and expanded bike capacity planned for the new I-5 bridge. He rates both Vancouver and Portland pretty good for bike friendliness but wishes drivers would keep their eyes open. "Please give us room," he said. "We're your neighbors out there living the American Dream and commuting to work." (Read More)


Elaine said...

That's quite amazing!

Although sometimes I wish there were more stories out there about people with less strenuous commutes.

In my experience, people react to the idea of bike commuting as if it were this incredibly complicated or arduous thing, and thus: not for them.

(Most of the people I work with consider me pretty hard-core, and there's no way I'd bike 17 miles each way in the winter!)

With my office team this next year, I'd almost rather have lots of people riding fewer miles than getting one or two die-hards. Get folks acclimated to the idea of getting around by bike, talk up partial commutes (bike/bus combo, etc.), making it easier.

ThurstonBCC said...

I as well agree that 17 miles each way is a pretty tough commute. It is definitely nice to see how people deal with their very different bike commutes, and how short trips around town add up real fast and are a lot less intimidating than the above 34 mile trip. The Consistancy category for the BCC is key if you have lots of short trips!