May 12, 2010

Bike Like a Hollander

June 12 to 18 is National Bike to Work Week. If you live in Chicago, don't miss the Bike to Work Day Rally and (free) breakfast in Chicago's Loop. Bicycling year round has become awesomely commonplace in windy, blustery Chicago. Our bike-friendly Mayor Richard M. Daley continues to install new bike lanes and establish great bike-friendly policies.

I used to ride 16-mile r/t from my Roscoe Village loft to my banking job. Fortunately we had a workout room and shower at my office. I saved $$ on train fare, coffee (didn't need it after the ride) and health club membership. And even more by keeping fit, reducing the likelihood of disease. It always gave me a huge mental boost for the day. I'd sometimes leave work fatigued and dreading any hard wind from the north. Yet by the time I got home, I'd feel refreshed again!

Bicycling to work, church, or when running errands around a busy city is a great money saver: No parking fees, parking tickets. Little chance of getting stopped for sliding through a "No turn on Red" sign. Less expense for gas and car upkeep. And don't discount the huge medical costs you may be saving.

Tip of the Day:
Always wear a helmet; ride defensively. An injury by a driver is probably your worst and highest possible cost.

Check out this time-lapse video of rush hour in the city of Utrecht, the Netherlands, where bicyclists flow evenly and politely, following traffic guidelines all while looking cute! May it inspire you to get on your bicycle this week. I'm going back to my former self-imposed rule this summer of bicycling to every errand within three miles, wearing my backpack to haul groceries.

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