Each week, I meet colleagues at a local coffee shop early in the morning. We fill our travel mugs with our favorite cup of Joe, hop on our saddles and bike into the office together. For me, it’s a great way to blend a passion with my profession. But, it’s become so much more.
Cycling has been an important part of my life since I scored my first bike in the 5th grade. It was a Schwinn Sting-Ray, lime green with a long sissy bar. What a sweet ride! Since then, my years have been filled with everything from late night mountain bike rides to burn off a little stress – to weekend centuries to raise money for various charities – to long solo journeys in search of a bit of perspective.
Surprisingly, regular bicycle commuting has been a fairly recent choice. I’ve done it only infrequently over the past decades favoring my car for commuting because I thought it was less of a hassle. After all, commuting by bicycle requires a bit of extra effort. You’ve got to stage your clothes, have access to a shower, and schedule additional time for your commute.
But my thinking changed a few months ago after we kicked off our Bay Area Adobe cycling club (even got a love letter because of it). After discovering some fellow Adobe employees in my neighborhood with a similar passion, we decided to form a “bike pool”. We began by meeting at a designated time and place each week and riding to work together. Over time, other employees have begun to join us at various locations as we pedal along our 12 mile route to the office. Fueled by the caffeine and exercise, it’s become a wonderful way to begin the day, as well as the chance to discover more about colleagues and develop new friendships. I’ve also learned that I work with some really cool people.
So why do I hate Bike to Work Day? It’s because – with all of the positive aspects of the experience – fitness, camaraderie, the psychic pleasure of riding past a freeway filled with cars in gridlock, the societal benefits of reducing carbon emissions – you would think that the idea of having a day devoted to commuting by bicycle would be unnecessary. Instead, it would just be part of how we live.
To that end, get a group of fellow employees and pedal into work one day. Just give it a try. If you do, I’m convinced that in the years ahead Bike to Work Day will be a thing of the past.