Tuesday, September 1, 2009

From Polluto-commuting to Cyclo-commuting

I don't commute by bicycle nearly often enough. Want to hear my excuses?
  1. Logistics. I struggle with getting my act together enough to get ready.
  2. Need my car at work. I have out-of-the-office meetings to which I can't cycle.
  3. There is no number 3.
Pretty pathetic, eh?
I'll now debunk my own myths.
  1. Get over the logistics. Commit. It gets easier. If I'm not committed, then I'll find a way so it doesn't happen.
  2. Not true. It's not that I need my car at work, it's that I need to travel from my office to meetings sometimes. I often--not always--control when those meetings are. Light Rail is now available. I could cycle to Link Light Rail or cycle to most meetings. Just requires a little planning.
  3. Uh, there aren't many reasons NOT to.
So, here is my commitment to myself and you. I say "you" since my driving my vehicle pollutes your world too so when I commit to reduce that driving I am also committing to you.
I pledge to work out a plan so that after Labor Day (little vacationing until then) I will have a solid commitment of how and by how much I will cyclocommute instead of pollutocommute.
Could be that on certain days of the week (Thursday & Friday?) I'll cycle. Or, that I'll drive no more than two days/week. Whatever it will be, I plan to make it manageable and a platform from which I can aspire higher. The intent is to succeed at this plan.
What's the impetus? I've been thinking about this for some time, but the added push was while on my Oregon Randonneurs Alsea Falls 400k Brevet, Tom Russell suggested regular commuting as good randonneuring prep. That is what is pushing me over this hump. I got alot from that brevet as I described in my post of same.
Did you know there is plenty of support for commuting by bicycle? In Seattle for instance, the Cascade Bicycle Club offers classes: everything from urban cycling skills and bicycle maintenance to commuting skills and programs tailored to youth and seniors. Bet you got the same support.

This photo and the graphic at the top of the post are both from the Cascade Bicycle Club Education Foundation link.
For further inspiration, go no further than Kent Peterson's Bike Blog. He drives no car. Just doesn't do it, and hasn't for a long time.
Keep it clean,

Update: see my specific commitment post here and two follow-up posts here and here.


  1. Good luck with the plan!

    Another benefit to cycle-commuting, in my mind, is that depending on where you live in Seattle, your commute can be full of gorgeous scenery. I've been meaning to do a post on my own blog about how awesome my commute is. How many people get to ride along a giant lake, through a bike tunnel and then on a bike path, all in 6 miles?

  2. Two years ago I found myself looking for a new job. Decided 25 miles was the limit to cycle commute, and found a job in Renton 20 miles away. Since then, it's a great way to train, and with weather planning, do it year round at least once a week in winter, 4-5x in summer.
    If you need a car at work, sign up with Zipcar.

  3. I rode up to a teacher's in service today and you wouldn't believe the looks of "there's Vincent, rolling up on a bike, again". Mostly good humored but from people 25 years my junior with not nearly the healthy heart and lungs i have. I have meetings at other schools, at times, and I think i need to get used to rolling up in bike clothes as others stare at me. Getting rid of the "gee, its really dark, cold, and nasty out at 5 AM" excuse is my tough one.

  4. Good suggestions all. My public commitment is coming soon, but Dylan shames me many mornings as I crank my engine and he cycles on by....

    Thanks, Dylan, you're a good reminder. We don't always know we're inspiring others by our actions.