BIKE TO WORK
For the Environment
Bicycle commuters do not pollute the air or require extensive roadways
or parking lots.
Bicycles take you door-to-door or directly to the MBTA station. No more
circling for a parking space. No more traffic jams. In urban areas,
a bicycle is the fastest transportation for trips of five miles or less.
For Your Health
When you commute by bicycle, you don't have to make time for exercise--it
is a normal part of your daily routine.
To Save Money
By leaving your car home, you save on fuel, wear and tear and parking fees,
easily doubling the life of your car. If you can eliminate a car you'll
save thousands of dollars per year in payments, insurance and maintenance.
There's a saying that "you never forget how to ride a bicycle," but it
would be a mistake just to jump onto your old ten-speed and pedal off to work.
How about your equipment?
Some essential equipment you'll need
- A "city bike" or mountain bike is much more reliable, and only
slightly slower, than a super-lightweight racing bike.
- An ugly bike is less likely to be stolen some people even deliberately
spray-paint their bicycles to make them ugly so they won't get stolen!
- a baggage rack and/or a small backpack;
- a good lock, helmet and bicycling gloves;
- fenders and a raincape for wet weather;
- lights if you'll be returning after dark;
- a small tool kit for minor repairs.
Getting To Work
How about your riding abilities? Even
Boston traffic is manageable if you can
ride smoothly and predictably, and communicate with the drivers around you.
Here are some other tips for city riding:
Where will you store your bike and equipment while at work?
- If you are not used to riding in traffic, build up to it, starting
with the weekend rides offered by local organizations of bicyclists.
- Know your route. Estimate how long it will take to ride, how long
it will take to park your bike, and how long will it take
- Leave a little extra time for rush-hour conditions.
- For security and to avoid rain damage, bring the bike indoors
and lock it if possible.
- If management doesn't let bikes into your office, look around
the neighborhood for a parking garage where you can lock your bike in
sight of the attendant.
- If you wear nice clothes at work, change clothes after you get to
work. Use a washroom to change, freshen up, and cool down.
What are your alternatives if your plans change:
There are good answers to these questions!
- if you discover that your bicycle has a flat tire as you prepare to
go to work;
- if the weather turns bad;
- if a coworker wants to go shopping with you after work?
- Keep a change of clothes at work.
- If you have two bikes, keep one as a spare, ready to go if the
other one isn't.
- A folding bicycle in a carrying bag can go on public transportation
or in the trunk of a small car, so you can bring it home for the trip
to work the next morning.
Join Other Bicyclists
The Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition
(phone: 617-542-BIKE) is the
bicyclists' educational and advocacy group in Massachusetts, working with
government agencies, employers and bicyclists.
The Charles River Wheelmen
(phone: 617-325-BIKE) are the major
recreational riding club in the Boston area and have weekly rides.
(phone: 617-731-6692) has an extensive program of rides.
Boston's Bikemap by Rubel Bikemaps
shows the best bicycle routes in and around Boston,
contains information on riding technique, and provides information on
train, bus and ferry connections, bike shops, bicyclists' organizations and
much more. It is available at many bike shops and through MassBike.
Street Smarts is published by Bicycling magazine and written by
John Allen of the Boston Area Bicycle Coalition. This booklet instructs
you on tactics you need to know to ride safely and confidently in Boston
traffic. It is available from MassBike.
The MassBike Web Site contains
lots of FREE information, though we would like you to join.
Some useful contents include
Bikes on Planes,
Biking in Boston Traffic,
Bicycle commuting pays off for you, too!
Employees who commute by bicycle save you
money by reducing expenses for car parking,
improving employee job performance, and
reducing absenteeism due to improved health
(c) Text copyright 1999 Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition
- Provide safe parking spaces for
bicycles, like a storage room or sheltered
parking place that permits use of modern U-
- Provide facilities for bicyclists
to freshen up after getting to work, at least a
washroom. Showers and lockers are ideal.
- Flexible Hours
- Offer a flex-time schedule so employees can avoid peak time
congestion and fumes.
- Offer information on bicycling and publicize the facilities available
for bicycle commuters.