It’s Bike to Work Week in Spokane, the annual celebration of two-wheel transportation and a healthy body and environment.
Meg Lindsay – GSI’s Program Coordinator – recently began pedaling her Trek mountain bike and her Bianchi commuter to work. She sat down to answer a few questions:
When did you start riding to work?
I started riding to work in April of this year because I was looking for a way to be more environmentally friendly as well as get a little exercise. Kind of a mix of both.
Have you noticed a lifestyle change?
I have noticed that I have spent less on gas – quite a bit less on gas, in fact – and I’m not paying as much for parking as I would have. I find that time wise, it’s the same amount of time getting to work. It does take me a little longer to get home in the afternoon because I live up on the South Hill. I really do enjoy that time between work and home. I kind of unwind on my bike on my way home.
What do you think the advantages are in riding your bike to work?
The exercise and the cost savings. I have to say that I feel better about my transportation choice as well. It’s just more sustainable in working toward having less of a footprint. (Biking to work is) just one of the ways I’ve been doing that.
Do you take the same route each day?
I do. I work in the core of downtown and there are certain roads with bike lanes that work better than others. For example, there’s a bike lane down Howard, which is nice. Going up the hill, I go a little bit west and then up because there’s a little less traffic.
What does it take to ditch the car keys and get on a bike?
It takes a little bit of pre-planning. You have to think about what your schedule for the day is. I don’t ride every day because if I have a meeting somewhere else that I can’t get to on my bike, then I don’t ride my bike that day. (You’ll also need) a little extra time, but not much, and a commitment to find a bicycle that works for you. With that, I mean if you’re not real comfortable on skinny tires then you’ve got to get yourself a commuter bike, one that is set up with the proper lights. It’s good to have your ‘blinkies’ on your front and back so the cars can see you. So, a little bit of commitment in getting your gear ready to go and coordinating your calendar. Really, truly – that’s about it.
Washington was recently named the most bicycle friendly state. Bike lanes in Spokane are starting to sprout as well, and new transportation projects tend to incorporate a bike component to them. Even the North Spokane Corridor has plans for a bicycle/pedestrian trail to connect the corridor to the Centennial Trail.
Bike to Work Week lasts all this week with a number of events, but you can ride your bike to work anytime you’d like.
Need a bike? Purchase one from Two Wheel Transit, a longtime GSI member.