I love the concept of Bike to Work Day. I think it’s great to celebrate alternative transit modes and think we should do so more often. But the truth is that Bike to Work Day makes me feel kind of lame.
As I revealed a few months ago, I didn’t learn to ride a bike until a few years ago, and I mostly save my bike riding for the Black Rock desert. I’m actually pretty terrified of riding a bike on busy Oakland streets. To ride from home to work, it would be a straight shot up Telegraph, and though there are bike lanes on part of the route, I know I’ll get hit one day.
I do my part for the environment by riding the bus and walking, but when Bike to Work Day comes around every year, I feel somehow inadequate and like I’m missing out on something.
I know I shouldn’t need a Bus to Work Day or Walk to Work Day to validate my actions, but it does seem a bit unfair that bike riders get their own month and own day when pedestrians and transit riders are largely ignored.
Ultimately though, if Bike to Work Day gets commuters out of their cars and onto their bikes, I can’t really complain. Also, I guess I shouldn’t expect someone to create a Bus to Work Day for me so I’ll be sure to add that to my list of projects I’ll maybe get to one day.
If you’ve gotten over your fears of urban bike riding, make sure to stop by City Hall this Thursday morning (May 15th) for free pancakes and a raffle. I’ll be the bikeless one across the street with my head held down in shame.