ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Approximately a dozen employees took up the challenge and participated in National Bike to Work Day, May 15, despite the day’s wet ending with rain, wind and thunderstorms rolling across the Albuquerque area.
The day is the flagship event of National Bike Month. Established in 1956, National Bike Month is held each May and showcases the many benefits of bicycling and encourages people to try it.
“As an avid cyclist for almost 30 years, I find this and other cycling activities invigorating and motivating to the community. It was so nice to see the District’s participation in this year's event,” said engineering technician Joseph “Paul” Rebarchik.
“I participated because I needed a reason to ride to work (downhill), although I didn't expect the weather to deteriorate so quickly in the afternoon,” said project manager Bradly Green.
According to the League of American Bicyclists, more than half of the U.S. population lives within five miles of their workplace, which makes bicycling a feasible and fun way to get to work. From 2000 to 2013, the number of bicycle commuters in the U.S. grew by more than 62 percent and many of them started with participation in National Bike to Work Day events.
“I live about six miles due east of the office, so I have a nice, fast, downhill ride in the cool morning. When I'm tired at the end of the day, I start to dread that long climb home, but then I get on the bike. After a few minutes of pedaling, the stress melts away and I really start to enjoy the ride. By the time I get home, the worries from my work day are long gone,” said Mike Goodrich, chief of the District’s Military and IIS Project Management Branch.
“I bike because it makes me feel alive!” said botanist Dana Price.
Ten District employees have also chosen to take on the Cascade Bicycle Club's Bike Month Challenge Presented by Adobe. This challenge is to ride as much as possible during May. Participants need only to start or join a team, commute at least four days in May and track their trips online.
Here are 10 reasons to try bicycle commuting from the City of Albuquerque Transit Department:
1. Biking conserves resources.
2. It's non‐polluting.
3. It's inexpensive ‐ no costly gasoline or vehicle maintenance.
4. It relieves traffic congestion.
5. You'll avoid parking expenses.
6. You'll save time by combining exercise and commuting.
7. You'll arrive at work invigorated.
8. Every seat is a window seat.
9. You can experience nature.
10. It's healthy and relieves anxiety!
It’s important to be safe while biking around town. Here are some ways to stay safe provided by the City of Albuquerque Transit Department.
- Go with the Flow, never ride against traffic.
- Ride in the right most lane serving your destination.
- Always have 3 feet of clear space on your right.
- Wear a helmet; you only have one brain protect it.
- Must have headlights and taillights & rear reflectors while riding at night.
- STOP completely at Stop Signs and Yellow/Red Lights.
- Look left, look right, look left again at all intersections.
- Be seen; wear bright colors and reflective vests.
- Pedal in a straight line, cars don’t weave nor should you.
- Scan over your shoulder for vehicles often.
- Be aware for potholes, cars entering roadway, kids, etc.
- Use hand signals when safe to do so.
- Don’t pass on the right, unless you are in a bike lane.
- Use the Bike Lane & Bike Boxes
- Make sure your bike is mechanically sound, brakes work.
- Don’t exceed the speed limit. Announce yourself to pedestrians before you pass them.
- Don’t pedal your bike while under the influence.
- Drive your Bike as you would drive a Car.
Visit: http://www.cabq.gov/transit/modes-of-transportation/bicycling for more information about bicycling in Albuquerque.